Emilie Bagby

Emilie Bagby

Senior Researcher
  • Design and implementation of rigorous impact, rapid cycle, and performance evaluations
  • International development
  • Education research
  • Workforce research
  • Survey design and implementation
Focus Areas
  • International Research
  • Education and Workforce Development
  • Social Protection
  • Human Services
About Emilie

Emilie Bagby specializes in designing and conducting rigorous evaluations, including impact, rapid-cycle, and performance evaluations of education and workforce development programs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). As a learning partner, she excels at identifying and implementing the appropriate methodology to generate learning, working with stakeholders to identify the most meaningful research questions to inform decision making, and combining available secondary data with primary data collection. She has experience measuring reading skills in local languages for evaluations and has led evaluations that incorporated social-emotional learning (SEL) measures, classroom observations, and frequentist and Bayesian analytic approaches.

Bagby is currently leading a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)-funded impact evaluation of a secondary education activity focused on improving the employability of secondary school graduates in Morocco, using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) design. She is also leading an impact evaluation of an activity aiming to increase access to and improve the quality of lower secondary education—particularly for girls—through policy change, improved teacher training, and school construction in Côte d’Ivoire. Bagby is also currently the principal investigator for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Rapid Feedback Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) engagement with Senegal’s Lecture Pour Tous early-grade reading program. For this project, she is using rapid-cycle evaluation methods to help improve implementation of a program that uses technology and coaching to support teachers, and to understand early impacts of community engagement. Bagby is also currently directing an MCC-funded evaluation of a workforce development activity focused on enhancing the employability of Moroccans by improving training, job placement, and the Moroccan labor market system.

Previously, Bagby has led several USAID evaluations of education activities using RCTs and qualitative research, such as the evaluations of Espacios para Crecer, part of the Community Action for Reading and Security activity in Nicaragua, and of the School Dropout Prevention Program in Cambodia, India, Tajikistan, and Timor-Leste. She was also the project director for an impact evaluation of a primary school girls’ education program in Niger funded by MCC. She recently led a learning agenda for six workforce development projects in four Central American countries, which synthesized findings across projects and supported continued learning during project implementation. Additionally, she recently led a USAID-funded evidence review on the role education policies can play in mitigating violence and crime, and correlated factors such as SEL; the home, school, and community environments; and risky and protective behaviors. Bagby has studied human capital investment decisions made by resource-constrained households in LMICs, finding that higher-ability children in Burkina Faso and Ecuador receive more schooling, are less likely to be involved in child labor, and receive more nutrition investments than their lower-ability siblings. She also examined risk and protective factors and risky behaviors related to early school dropout using special youth surveys in Chile and Mexico.

Bagby holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is fluent in French and Spanish.

Key Projects
  • workforce development
    Morocco: Workforce Development Activity for Employability Project

    The Workforce Development Activity, part of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s five-year Employability and Land Compact with the Government of Morocco, intends to improve the employability of Moroccans. Mathematica will evaluate the Workforce Development Activity using a mixed-methods approach.

  • Niger
    Niger: Improving the Education of Girls (IMAGINE)

    Mathematica designed a rigorous evaluation of the girl’s education component in Niger. The component included public awareness campaigns, local action plans, tutoring and training, incentives for school-age girls and female teachers, and construction of classrooms and latrines.