Jane Fortson

Jane Fortson

Senior Director, Mathematica Global Unit
Pronouns she/her

Jane Fortson leads teams across Mathematica’s global development area. She has extensive experience conducting measurement, evaluation, and learning activities in agriculture, health, education, workforce development, financial inclusion, and water and sanitation. She has worked in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, and the United States.

Fortson’s experience in the agricultural sector includes her work as the project director and as a principal investigator for the evaluation of an agricultural project in Moldova funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation. The project’s activities—which included an agricultural finance program, a farmer training program, and an irrigation infrastructure rehabilitation program—were designed to facilitate the transition to high-value agriculture. She served as a senior advisor for numerous evaluations in the agriculture area, including an evaluation of agricultural market interventions in Odisha, India for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; an evaluation of AGRA’s Village-Based Advisors program in sub-Saharan Africa; and an evaluation of a Millennium Challenge Corporation-funded agricultural project in Morocco that focused on increasing productivity among fruit tree producers through irrigation, training, technical assistance, and post-harvest infrastructure investments. Fortson also contributed to the design and analysis of an evaluation of a cocoa farmer training program in West and Central Africa sponsored by the World Cocoa Foundation.

In the global health area, Fortson led the design of mixed-methods evaluations of two programs designed to improve family planning and reproductive health services through community-based monitoring programs in Bihar, India funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. She has also conducted extensive research on the consequences of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

Fortson has led monitoring, evaluation, and learning efforts focused on education and workforce development. She led the Mathematica team that served as the measurement, evaluation, and learning partner for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. The Scholars Program provides scholarships, mentoring, transition support, and networking to academically promising but economically disadvantaged secondary and postsecondary students in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the developing world. As the learning partner, Mathematica conducted a wide array of learning activities, including designing and conducting impact studies across several settings. Fortson also served as a senior advisor for an evaluation of workforce development programs in India and Kenya sponsored by Generation.

Fortson has experience in an array of sectors, including financial inclusion and water, sanitation, and hygiene. As part of Mathematica’s learning partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Financial Services for the Poor team, Fortson led a segmentation analysis designed to inform efforts to close the gender gap in financial inclusion. She also conducted analysis as part of a mixed-methods performance evaluation of a Millennium Challenge Corporation-funded project designed to increase use, access, and quality of water, sanitation, and hygiene services in Cabo Verde.

Fortson has presented to numerous international and U.S. audiences and published in edited volumes and major academic journals, including the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Demography, the Journal of Human Resources, the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and the Review of Economics and Statistics. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University.

  • Designing and Conducting Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Evaluations
  • International Development
Focus Area Topics
  • Global
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Education and Workforce Development
  • Social Protection
  • Water and Sanitation

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