Sam McPherson is an Itad Partner and has over 20 years of experience in international development, specialising in research, planning, monitoring and evaluation.
Prior to joining Itad, Sam was Associate Director: Field Programmes at the HIV/ AIDS Alliance (now Frontline Aids). In this position, he was a member of the Alliance’s Senior Management Team and was responsible for heading up the Planning Analysis and Learning Unit at the Alliance which, amongst other things, led on the Alliance’s work on research, evaluation, aid effectiveness/VfM analysis and strategic planning across 42 countries.
Sam has project managed, directed and provided quality assurance to a large number of complex and high-profile evaluations while at Itad and before. He has hands-on experience in rolling out planning, monitoring and reporting systems in two different international NGOs, as well as setting up and managing large project teams. Recent evaluations he has been/currently is involved with include the Global Fund Prospective Country Evaluations, the Global Fund’s 2015 and 2017 Strategic Reviews, an evaluation of the 3 Millennium Development Goal (3MDG) Fund in Myanmar, as well as the Independent Multi-Disciplinary Review of the National Response to HIV/Aids in Malawi. He is also delivering Itad’s work providing monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL) support to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s health systems design portfolio in India.
He has represented civil society organizations at the UN Monitoring Evaluation and Reference Group (MERG) and his broad experience in evaluation is complemented with strong research skills, proven by a long track record of published reports and academic papers.
Bolivia, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Ukraine, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Lancaster University Management School, UK / McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management, Canada / INSEAD, France
Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK
University of Edinburgh, UK
International HIV/AIDS Alliance
Responsible for setting up and management of the Planning Analysis and Learning (PAL) Unit and member of the Alliance Senior Management Team. Responsibilities included: 1) Director role in the Alliance - member of Senior Management Team 2) Overall budget and unit (2 teams 10 people) responsibility 3) Producing the Alliances Strategic Frameworks 2007-2009 and 2010-2012 4) Managing mergers with other NGOs 5) Developing a 'Value for Money' assessment framework 6) Data management and visualization initiatives 7) Country director cover in Uganda (4 months) 8) Responsible for providing cover to for the Field Programmes Director
International HIV/AIDS Alliance
Responsible for the setting up of a new unit and setting strategic directions. Responsibilities included: 1) Overall budget and team (5 people) responsibility 2) Co-ordinating evaluations, Including a major evaluation of a $25 million multi-country HIV/AIDS prevention project 3) Co-ordinating the provision of technical support on M&E to all 'Alliance' countries 4) Defining and improving monitoring systems for the Alliance 5) Co-ordinating operations research activities
Responsible for the setting up of a new unit, setting strategic directions, hiring staff (6 people at headquarters and 20 world-wide) and hiring a replacement for my position during the transition period.
Responsible for the management of the development and roll-out of the Corporate Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (CPME) system for a major international, community focused, development agency (operating in 42 developing countries). Responsibilities included: 1) Management of CPME related activities and overall strategy and direction setting 2) Staff development of other team members (3 at headquarters and 15 world-wide) 3) Management of workshop and training functions (international arena) 4) Overall budget responsibility
Responsible for the management of the development and international rollout of the planning, monitoring and evaluation components of CPME. Responsibilities included: 1) Lead role in development of corporate planning instruments - including strategic and operational planning instruments and methodologies. 2) Lead role in development of corporate monitoring and evaluation instruments, manuals and carrying out international testing, piloting and roll-out training. 3) Business owner for the development of bespoke software supporting planning, monitoring and evaluation processes. 4) Training of field staff (especially Training of Trainers) in CPME methodologies and associated software and support of roll-out of CPME system.
European Commission, Evaluation Unit of DGVIII (Development)
In House Consultant for the European Commission (EC) working for the Evaluation Unit of DGVIII (Development).
Dr Robert Chambers at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex
Preparing an in-depth annotated bibliography on Participatory Rural Appraisal and Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation - for publication.
International Centre for Living Aquatic Resource Management (ICLARM)
Duties included organising and administrating a large scale ecological and social survey in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam; training of Vietnamese scientists in the survey methods used; and critically analysing the survey/analytical techniques that were employed in the research 'package'.
(GAVI) - Project Director & Quality Assurance
Itad has been commissioned by Gavi to undertake an evaluation of the Alliance’s support to CSOs. The primary purpose of this assignment is formative: the evaluation will inform decisions on how Gavi will approach the way it engages CSO in contributing to its mission in the future. The evaluation also has a clear summative purpose: there is an evidence gap about how CSO support mechanisms have contributed to the achievement of Gavi’s mission to date and this evaluation will help address this lacuna. Finally, and perhaps more ambitiously, the evaluation will contribute to the broader evidence base relating to unpacking the role that CSOs can play as they interface with other multilateral organisations engaged in key global developmental initiatives.
Sam is Project Director and is accountable for the successful delivery of the evaluation, as well as assuring the robustness of the methodologies used and the quality of all outputs/deliverables
(Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ) - Team Leader/Principal Investigator
Itad are providing comprehensive monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL) for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in India, as part of their health systems design (HSD) strategy and portfolio of work. An HSD approach aims to lead to a health systems transformation, which is much needed in India which has poor access to quality services, low levels of investment and a rising burden of disease from non-communicable diseases. The MERL has been designed to support the development and roll-out of the strategy, with an innovative design that will be theory-driven, generate evidence and capture learning to adjust the strategy, course correct and lead to better impact.
Sam is Team Leader/Principal Investigator for this contract, responsible for planning, overseeing and inputting into all of the deliverables to ensure that these are delivered to a high quality.
(World Bank) - Team Leader
Itad has been commissioned by the World Bank’s Climate Investment Fund (CIF) to conduct an evaluation to better understand and assess transformational change in the CIF context. The evaluation is examining the Transformational Change Learning Partnership undertaken by CIF’s Evaluation and Learning Initiative. It is hoped this will boost the transformative impact of CIF investments, as well as those of other funds, by establishing a more systematic and robust understanding of transformational change and how it occurs.
As Team Leader, Sam is responsible for overall technical delivery of the evaluation, including development of the final design and methodology, and managing the inputs of the core team.
(Global Fund) - Quality Assurance
Assurance using various mechanisms and providers is a key component of the Global Fund process to improve and operationalise its risk management framework. In this context the GF identified a need to analyse whether and how assurance providers and mechanisms can be effective and to identify potential ways of strengthening in-country assurance for programmatic risks. The overriding objective of this review was to generate a set of bold and implementable recommendations to help the Global Fund to better assure that the programs it supports are delivering public health gains.
Sam is responsible for assuring the robustness of the methodologies used and the quality of all outputs/deliverables.
(Global Fund) - Quality Assurance
Itad is part of the Euro Health Group-led consortium delivering the Global Fund PCEs. To successfully undertake the PCE, a range of quantitative and qualitative evaluation approaches are required. These are being developed by the Partnership during the Inception Phase and will take into consideration the TOC developed for SR2015 by the same Partnership and the TOC being developed for the TERG based on the 2017-2022 strategy Strategic Objectives and related operational objectives.
(Department of Health and Social Care) - Quality Assurance
The Department of Health launched the Fleming Fund, a £265 million one health programme, to support low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Itad has been contracted to deliver an independent evaluation of the Fleming Fund country and regional level projects. Our work combines both a formative aspect to provide recommendations to guide the portfolio of country and regional grants, and a summative aspect to assess how far the outputs of the portfolio of country and regional grants have contributed or will contribute, to the outcomes and impact of the overarching Fleming Fund.
Sam is responsible for assuring the robustness of the methodologies used and the quality of all outputs/deliverables.
(Global Fund) - Team Leader
The Global Fund has commissioned Itad and Euro Health Group to conduct the Strategic Review 2017 (SR2017). The SR2017 is a follow on to the Strategic Review 2015 (SR2015) and has two overarching objectives: one is to assess progress specifically made during the final two years of the Global Fund Strategy 2012-2016, and the other is to analyse how lessons learned are contributing to the readiness of the Global Fund in implementing its 2017-2022 Strategy.
(Global Fund) - Project Director
Conducting the mid-term review of the Implementation of the Global Fund’s 2012–2016 Strategy and to assess impact made against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and Malaria over the past ten to fourteen years. Overall project director for the assignment.
(DFID) - Project Director
Delivery of: (i) a baseline data report, (ii) an ‘interim findings’ report to help inform programme activities and priorities for the remainder of the CHAI grant period, (iii) an end of grant evaluation report which covers the programme areas evaluated/reviewed; (iv) an end of grant document that addresses the lessons learned during the evaluation and a learning note for dissemination across the market dynamics. Overall project director for the assignment.
(Euro Health Group, UNOPS) - Project Deputy Director/Quality Assurance
Project Evaluation Services of the 3 Millennium Development Goal (3MDG) Fund in Myanmar. The 3MDG Fund is the next phase of funding of the Three Diseases Fund (3DF) which was established by a consortia of seven donors after the withdrawal of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria from Myanmar in 2005. Supporting the consortia in defining evaluation approaches and providing overall QA to the project.
(DFID) - Evaluability manager and VFM lead
In 2010, DFID published two Frameworks for Results (FfRs - 'Breaking the Cycle: Saving Lives and Protecting the Future' and 'Choices for Women: Planned Pregnancies, Safe Births and Healthy Newborns'. The key objective of this evaluation is to verify the results achieved by DFID and to evaluate the utility of these frameworks as a guiding modality. Lead on the production of the Evaluability assessment for this assignment. Lead on the Value for Money component of the work.
(DFID) - Team Director
Conducting a formative VFM assessment of DFID's support Financial Assistance (FA) and Technical Assistance (TA) to three states (Odisha, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh). Overall project director for the assignment.
(DFID) - Team Lead
An evaluation of 12 DFID pilots which combines the use of quasi-experimental methods, theory-based approaches and process evaluation to understand if and how beneficiary feedback mechanisms and transparency results in improved programme quality and better development outcomes. Overall team lead
(UNICEF) - Deputy Team Lead
MoRES is a conceptual framework for effective planning, programming, implementation, monitoring and managing for results to achieve desired outcomes for the most disadvantaged children. The objective of the evaluation is to support continuing efforts across UNICEF to articulate, develop and mainstream the MoRES approach by learning from experience. The evaluation is, therefore, forward-looking, focusing on operational learning and practical adaptation rather than on issues of accountability and outcomes. Deputy team lead managing a number of in-country studies and leading the drafting of key components of the report
(NICE International, UK, China, India) - Project Director
Monitoring and Evaluation of NICE International (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) Activities in the Context of the Health Partnerships Scheme. Working in Kerala, India and Beijing, China. ITAD is designing a fit for purpose monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework and is applying this framework, in collaboration with NICE International and its partners, to the activities of the three year Health Partnerships Scheme (HPS) project. ITAD will be delivering under three phases - 1) inception / design, 2) protocol analysis and validation 3) project evaluation and re-planning.
Director on the team which is providing expertise in country health systems, statistical analysis, health issues in developing and middle income countries, and monitoring and evaluation and quality assurance. Specific methodologies being used include, document reviews, interviews with key informants, theory of change, (re)construction of portfolio intervention logic, development of an analytical and theoretical logical framework.
(Oxfam, UK, Pakistan, Kenya, Zimbabwe) - Project Director and Quality Assurance
This Mid Term Evaluation (MTE) examined the proposition that the mixed funding approaches through the PPA can improve the quality of Oxfam programmes according to a range of criteria. The MTE assessed the added value of Oxfam's PPA funding and the quality of ongoing learning and the likelihood that it can provide the evidence required at the end of the PPA period. Value for money and the quality of ongoing M&E at Oxfam were key elements of the MTE. An effective gender approach was key to the MTE design and learning. The aim of the project was to undertake an analysis of country visits, UK interviews and desk studies, followed by a meeting with Oxfam PPA Steering Committee on the MTE findings.
Provided overall project direction and Quality Assurance on the job.
(Plan UK) - Project manager and Quality Assurance
Plan UK, Independent Progress Review (IPR) of the Department for International Development's (DFID) General Programme Partnership Agreement (PPA). This mid-term review covered: evaluation strategy, value for money and impact evaluation for civil society organisations, girls' rights and gender equality, and was underpinned by robust research. The approach included: inception meeting, rapid document review, evidence collection through interviews and workshops with management team, 3 in-depth project case studies with qualitative and quantitative methods for gathering data, followed by analysis, reporting and presentation / dissemination of findings
Project managemet, Input in to the Value For Money Assessement. Quality Assurance
(Population Council, USA) - Lead Trainer
Developed and co-ran a bespoke training for Population Counsil staff focused on Value for Money approaches and working with Dfid
(International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, USA) - Project Director
This project has been commissioned by the IAVI secretariat and is focused on helping IAVI articulate its value for money proposition while at the same time help define areas where it can increase its VFM offer. Working in close coordination with the senior management team at IAVI, ITAD have helped create a detailed Theory of Change(ToC) for the organisation and then have mapped over this ToC the key areas where IAVI does (or could) leverage significant VFM. On the basis on this very participatory exercise ITAD have then helped IAVI build a comprehensive case for how they offer VFM in their sector and within the development arena in general.
(DFID Southern Africa, Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe) - Project Director
DFID Southern Africa office is designing a new regional programme to support HIV prevention in the Southern African Region. The programme intends to build (regional) consensus around methods of HIV prevention that have proven effectiveness. The objective of this assignment is to: (a) provide data and information for DFID and partners on noteworthy HIV prevention methods and programmes implemented in Southern Africa; and (b) develop options for a business case of a regional HIV prevention programme for Southern Africa.
(DFID, Nigeria) - Project Director
Partnership for Transforming Health Systems 2 (PATHS2) is a 6-year national programme funded by DFID which aims to lead to the strengthening of the health system in Nigeria. I ITAD is leading a consortium to conduct a 2012 baseline project evaluation in the 5 focal states and at the federal level. Three surveys are being conducted - a household survey, facility survey, and provider survey, using face-to-face interviewing with PDAs or laptops in order to reduce field time and data-entry error.
(Comic Relief, UK) - Team Leader
This research project is funded by DFID, Comic Relief, NIDOS and BOND and is focused on helping establish normative guidance for NGOs relating to the level of resources that they should invest in measuring their effectiveness. The approach we are taking it to undertake a series of in depth case studies of NGOs who exhibit excellence in key areas of M&E and unpack how these NGOs have resourced this work. This information coupled with an extensive web based survey of all UK based NGOs, a costing exercise and in country site visits will help provide the basis for the development of normative guidance to help UK NGOs resource their effectiveness work.
(UNITAID, Global) - Project Manager and Operational Lead
UNITAID is a global health initiative, established in 2006 to provide sustainable, predictable and additional funding for the treatment of HIV/ AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. It has disbursed over $1.5 billion over the last five years to partners across the three disease areas with the aim of addressing gaps in the provision of quality medicines, diagnostics and other commodities through market-based approaches and interventions. The purpose of the assignment is two-fold; to assess UNITAID's overall performance against its goals and principles, and identify how UNITAID can strategically leverage its strengths to increase its impact on markets and catalyse improved public health outcomes.
ITAD is leading a comprehensive, high quality and robust 5-year evaluation of UNITAID with SEEK Development and a range of other partners. We are implementing an innovative methodology, based on an underpinning Theory of Change (ToC) analysis. A mixed methods approach is then being deployed, centred around the ex-post construction of detailed ToC for UNITAID operations across the three work streams. Contribution analysis is also being used to establish the extent to which both market and health impacts generated can be linked to UNITAID intervention.
(UNAIDS, Cambodia, Zambia, Kenya) - Project Director
Project director on multi-country costing study evaluating the costs of community based HIV/AIDS and health interventions delivered by CS organisations.
(DFID, India) - Project Director
Project director on 'Value for Money' (VfM) study employing Social Return on Investment (SROI) methodology to determine impact of home based care programmes on orphans a vulnerable children in India.
(DFID, Zambia) - Project Director
Project director on Value for Money study employing Social Return on Investment (SROI) methodology to determine impact of anti-stigma programmes in Zambia.
(World Bank, UK) - Project Director
Project director for contract with WB focusing on defining 'community mobilisation' as delivered by CSOs and identifying key methods for measuring the VFM of these interventions.
(USAID, North Africa) - Evaluation Director
Evaluation of USAID funded North Africa Regional Program
(DFID, Zambia, India, Senegal, Ecuardor, Zimbabwe, Kenya) - Research Coordinator
DFID Research Programme Consortia - led by LSHTM. Evidence for Action - researching evidence on how to design, manage and deliver comprehensive HIV treatment and care programmes in resource-poor settings. Budget: $383,590.
(Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, India, Ecuador, Cambodia, Morocco) - Evaluation Director
Evaluation Director for a major evaluation (RCT + design) of a multifaceted HIV/AIDS prevention programme ($25 Million programme) - The Frontier Prevention Programme - delivered by CS organisations in 4 countries. Evaluation budget: $6,236,000.
(USAID, Uganda) - Acting Country Director
Acting country director for the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Uganda covering gaps in country director position. Included organisational review.
(USAID (Led by John Hopkins University), Mozambique) - Alliance Manager of project
Health Communications Partnership (HCP), Mozambique. Budget: $233,284
(USAID (Led by the Population Council), India, Senegal, Cambodia, Zambia, Ecuador) - Research Coordinator
A global operations research project designed to identify solutions to improve prevention, care and support programmes and service delivery. Research budget: $715,145.
(Plan International, Global) - Manager
Responsible for the management of the development and roll-out of the Corporate Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (CPME) system for a major international, community focused, CS development agency (operating in 42 developing countries).
(European Commission, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Vietnam) - Consultant, Monitoring and Evaluation
Participation in field level evaluation missions and contributing to production of evaluation products (carrying out a poverty analysis reviews, research into the provision of 'social safety nets' in recipient countries, and direct methodological assistance to the consulting teams).
Membership of professional associations:
- Member, UK Evaluation Society
- Evaluating results, maximising value for money, and being transparent (2012)
McPherson, S. & Barr, J.
- Meeting the challenges of proving impact in Andhra Pradesh, India (2010)
Journal of Development Effectiveness, December 2010, Vol 2, No 4, 468-485
Fiona Samuels and Sam McPherson
- Community-based prevention leads to an increase in condom use and a reduction in sexually transmitted infections among men who have sex with men and female sex workers: the Frontiers Prevention Project evaluation results (2010)
BMC Public Health 2010, 10:497
Juan-Pablo Gutierrez, Sam McPherson, Ade Fakoya, Alexander Matheou, Stefano M Bertozzi
- Demography and sex work characteristics of female sex workers in India (2006)
BMC Int Health Hum Rights 2006 Apr 14, 6:5
Dandona R, Dandona L, Kumar GA, Gutierrez JP, McPherson S, Samuels F, Bertozzi SM, Study Team TA
- How much attention is needed towards men who sell sex to men for HIV prevention in India? (2006)
BMC Public Health 2006, 6:31
Dandona L, Dandona R, Kumar GA, Gutierrez JP, McPherson S, Bertozzi SM, ASCI FPP Study Team
- High risk of HIV in non-brothel based female sex workers in India (2005)
BMC Public Health 2005, 5:87
Dandona R, Dandona L, Gutierrez JP, Kumar AG, McPherson S, Samuels F, Bertozzi SM, ASCI FPP Study Team
- Sex behaviour of men who have sex with men and risk of HIV in Andhra Pradesh, India (2005)
AIDS 2005 Mar 24, 19:611-9
Dandona L, Dandona R, Gutierrez JP, Kumar GA, McPherson S, Bertozzi SM, ASCI FPP Study
- HIV testing among female sex workers in Andhra Pradesh, India (2005)
AIDS 2005 Nov 18, 19:2033-6
Dandona Dandona L, Kumar GA, Gutierrez JP, McPherson S, Bertozzi SM, the ASCI FPP Study Team
- Getting In Right: Designing An Evaluation Of An International Non-Governmental Organisation Led HIV/AIDS Prevention Programme In Resource Poor Settings (2004)
Presentation at Sixth International Conference on Social Science Methodology: Recent Developments and Applications in Social Research Methodology
F Samuels, S Bertozzi, JP Gutierrez, L Dandona, R Dandona, D Molina
- Understanding Pathways: Exploring Quantitative Social Capital Measures and Their Links to Health Outcomes (2004)
XV International AIDS Conference, 2004, pp 327-334
F Samuels, P Chikukwa, JP Gutierrez, S Bertozzi, L Dandona
- Corporate Planning Monitoring and Evaluation: Guidelines for implementation Plan International (version 2) (2001)
Plan International 2001
Lead author with Corbette V, Deson N
- An evaluation of Stabex and Structural Adjustment Support (SAS) in Zimbabwe (2001)
Final Report, EC evaluation reports DGVIII
Penrose, P., Muchaponda, E., McPherson S.
- Annotated bibliography on Participatory Rural Appraisal and Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (1994)
IDS PRA guides, Institute of Development Studies