- Results-based financing
- Data analytics and visualization
- Impact evaluation
- International Research
- Energy and Climate
- Health and Nutrition
Matthew Spitzer contributes to research projects in Mathematica's International Unit by analyzing large, complex data sets in multiple programming languages. To support research on the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) investment in Liberian energy infrastructure, Spitzer analyzes primary survey data in Stata and uses R to conduct spatial analysis and generate maps. These analyses contribute to reports that inform policymakers in U.S. and Liberian governments on the effectiveness and impact of their projects. To support a study on MCC’s investment in agricultural development in Burkina Faso, he used farmer surveys to implement techniques such as mediation analysis and multiple imputation. His work also includes analyses of administrative data sets: as part of research on MCC’s investment in fisheries infrastructure in Morocco, he prepared a data set of over 6 million fish catch transactions for interrupted time series analysis. To support research on the Oakland Unite project in Oakland, California, he analyzed justice system data that suggested that a peer-led group cognitive behavioral treatment program reduced prevalence of violence and recidivism.
In addition to data analysis, Spitzer is experienced in assessing payment triggers for results-based payment mechanisms, including development impact bonds. He is a member of a small team at Mathematica that verifies payment metrics for the Utkrisht Development Impact Bond. In this role, he coordinates data collection and analyzes data for reports on payment metrics. If the metrics reach a pre-specified threshold, the reports trigger millions of dollars of payments to investors. He co-authored Mathematica’s midline report on the project, which investigated the impact of health facility quality improvement on health outcomes. Spitzer has also conducted research on results-based payments: for the Green Climate Fund, he assisted with an evidence review that assessed the state of knowledge around results-based payments across sectors. This evidence review was used to inform the Green Climate Fund’s possible strategic areas of investment.
Before joining Mathematica, Spitzer worked in policy and communications at Innovations for Poverty Action and at the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, where he coordinated a randomized controlled trial evaluating the impact of human and physical capital augmentation on small-scale craftsmen in Nairobi, Kenya. Spitzer’s research has been published in the Journal of Public Economics. He holds a B.A. in Economics and a B.A. in Religion from Middlebury College.