Image of Luke Heinkel

Luke Heinkel

Senior Program Officer

People are surprised to find that a rigorous impact evaluation is not always the right tool if they want to understand if their program is working. We like to say that if you are doing something innovative then uncertainty abounds, and there are leaner, more rapid evaluation tools to figure out quickly what isn’t working that will set the program up for a future impact evaluation.”

Luke Heinkel is an evaluation and learning expert with over 15 years’ experience conducting research in the United States, Africa, Europe and Asia, and works as a senior program officer on adaptive learning projects in R4D’s Learning Lab. In the case of adaptive learning, his team’s goal is to create “a theory of change” with the implementing partner, perform research to understand the partner’s working conditions and context, and develop two or more strategies for implementation while at the same time collecting data for review and improvement.

At R4D, Mr. Heinkel’s team co-developed a literacy program with a low-fee private school network in West Africa, and working with community mobilizers in India devised a method of web-based “e-libraries” for parents’ mobile phones that can help instill early reading practices in young children. A former teacher in Africa through the Peace Corps, Mr. Heinkel also spent considerable time in schools in Sierra Leone working with student leaders to develop a reading club to assist struggling students through direct assessment and one-to-one peer support. Mr. Heinkel has also written several evaluation reports and policy papers.

Before joining R4D, he was a research analyst at Mathematica Policy Research where he worked on large program evaluations both internationally and at home for clients such as the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the MasterCard Foundation. Mr. Heinkel is a returned Peace Corps volunteer (Namibia 2005-07), where he taught English and math at a rural junior secondary school and founded a scholarship program for Namibian students.

Mr. Heinkel holds a master’s degree in urban planning from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and a BS in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

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