Anitha Sivasankaran

Anitha Sivasankaran

Senior Researcher
  • Designing and Conducting Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Impact Evaluations
  • Mixed-Methods Evaluations
  • International Development
Focus Areas
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • International Research
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Human Services
About Anitha

Anitha Sivasankaran has designed and conducted mixed-methods evaluations in a variety of topic areas related to international development, including health, agriculture, education, access to finance, and gender, and has worked on projects in South Asia and Africa.

Sivasankaran has played a key role in several projects conducting measurement, learning, and evaluation activities for various foundations. She is the deputy project director for an evaluation of The Power of Nutrition, a partnership of investors and implementers that raises new funds for nutrition and invests in evidence-based nutrition programs in countries with a high burden of undernutrition. Mathematica’s role is to evaluate the impact and influence of The Power of Nutrition’s portfolio of investments and provide strategic, real-time feedback and inputs to The Power of Nutrition for monitoring and course correction. As a key researcher in Mathematica’s qualitative evaluation of the Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI), which engages in research and advocacy at the global, regional, and country levels, she analyzed and synthesized data from more than 100 global and country-level stakeholders to provide recommendations for the Gates Foundation’s continued investment in MEI. She was also a key researcher in the evaluation of the Gates Foundation’s Ananya maternal, child, and reproductive health program in Bihar, India, and conducted experimental evaluations and cost analyses of two innovative health interventions that aimed to improve the performance of frontline health workers. Sivasankaran is also closely involved in Mathematica’s work as the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning partner for the Packard Foundation’s Population and Reproductive Health (PRH) program. She is currently leading a mixed-methods impact evaluation of a community-based monitoring program that empowers female elected representatives to monitor and advocate for improvements to maternal and reproductive health services in Bihar, India, funded by the PRH program. She also worked on a mixed-methods evaluation of a community-based family planning program in Western Kenya and developed profiles for a cohort of grantees working on innovations to improve the quality of reproductive health care as part of her work for the PRH program.

In addition to her work with foundations, Sivasankaran is also working on an evaluation of activities to assess the impacts of rehabilitation, training, and irrigation improvements in olive- and date-growing areas and to assess the impacts of post-harvest infrastructure improvements in the agricultural sector in Morocco, funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation. She is also a certified reviewer for the What Works Clearinghouse, which reviews the existing research on different programs, products, practices, and policies in education to provide educators with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions. She has also contributed to conducting rigorous evaluations of pilot interventions to prevent school dropout in Cambodia, India, Tajikistan, and Timor-Leste.

Before joining Mathematica in 2014, Sivasankaran designed and implemented an evaluation of the impact of employment opportunities in the manufacturing sector for women in rural India on marriage, fertility, and empowerment outcomes. Sivasankaran holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. 

Key Projects
  • Woman with child
    The Evaluation of The Power of Nutrition

    Mathematica is evaluating The Power of Nutrition over a period of seven years to measure its impact and influence; provide strategic, real-time feedback and inputs; and extract insights and lessons to expand and replicate this model.

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