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Senior Advisor, Applied Research Jennifer Simpson

Dr. Jennifer Simpson is a highly driven and accomplished research and evaluation expert, experienced in study design, ethics, project management, data management, new business, and community-led development. At Chemonics, she leads development, testing, and quality improvement of applied research methods, with an emphasis on design and development of priority learning agendas, and development of rigorous qualitative and quantitative methods. Jennifer received her Ph.D in Epidemiology from Yale University. Over her career, she has expanded her expertise, conducting research across the globe with many different populations, varying local contexts, and a wide range of development sectors, including health, education, food security, and gender equity. At Yale, her research on West Nile virus transmission combined laboratory, field, and modeling work that resulted in an integrated, novel, and exciting body of knowledge attracting significant attention and following. Her previous research on the application of immunization registries for tracking vaccination status helped determine opportunities to improve vaccination rates, fill coverage gaps, and better protect the public from vaccine-preventable diseases. Her previous research on contributing factors influencing the sustainability of locally provided school meals in rural Tanzania helped inform development approaches and sustainability planning that benefitted additional programs. Jennifer’s main goal is to design and support rigorous and ethical studies while taking local contexts and real-world challenges into account, and ultimately, achieving greater positive impacts for study participants and their communities.  In her free time, she is an avid world traveler and adventurer. At home, she enjoys taking nature walks together with her daughter and their big fuzzy labradoodle.

by Jennifer Simpson

Filling in the Gaps: Generating Evidence through Applied Research Investments

There has been a notable shift across all USAID offices and the broader U.S. federal government towards a heightened emphasis on data collection, evidence generation, applied research, and learning, and the trend is evident in a series of regulatory and guidance documents. USAID’s 2022-2026 Agency Learning Agenda, along with USAID’s 45 sector-specific evidence and learning…

3 Questions with Jennifer Simpson on Applied Research in International Development

Evidence-based decision making not only leads to more successful development outcomes, it can also enable improved agility on projects, allowing changes to be made as fresh information becomes available. Jennifer Simpson, Chemonics’ new senior advisor for applied research, explains why development practitioners should focus as much on applied research as on other aspects of development…