Spotlight: Kevin Leiby (Manager)
What was your background before joining IDinsight? Why did you decide to join?
I majored in International Relations at UPenn. Before joining IDinsight, I worked in Ghana and West Africa for a small development consulting company.
I knew I wanted to be involved with impact evaluations, but I also wanted to work closely with clients and inform policy decisions. IDinsight was a perfect fit.
During your time at IDinsight, where have you been based and what kind of projects have you worked on?
I’ve been based in Uganda and Zambia, and I’m currently managing agricultural-sector engagements in Tanzania, Uganda, and Mozambique. Previous, I measured the demand curve for a new health product in rural Zambia, evaluated the efficacy of an SMS information service for behavior change, and designed an implementation strategy for a new HIV testing policy being evaluated. I recently returned from a month-long process evaluation in four locations across Tanzania.
How would you describe a typical week at IDinsight? What is the range of things you might work on?
There is no typical week at IDinsight, which keeps things exciting. One week I’m in the field, and another I’m at my desk crunching numbers and preparing slide decks. We sit down to discuss evaluation design, meet with clients and partners, and navigate the Ministries.
How would you describe the culture at IDinsight?
IDinsighters care passionately about improving how the development sector works, and they think critically about the problems and questions in front of them – that’s always been evident from day-to-day interactions. Our offices are highly collaborative, even when colleagues are on completely separate work streams. We have fun at the office (Muffin vs. Cupcake blind taste test), get together for happy hours and dinners during the week, and see each other for lawn bowling on the weekends.
What’s are some specific things you feel that you’ve learned during your time working at IDinsight?
I learn constantly from my colleagues, managers, and projects. I started with little formal training in Stata or statistics. Now I help colleagues with Stata and explain complex analysis to clients. I’m much better at managing meetings and communicating findings and recommendations to diverse audiences.
What’s your favorite book that you’ve read this year?
Rabbit at Rest by John Updike. (Runner up: Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos)