This long-term randomized controlled trial followed students who applied to enter KIPP middle schools in 2008 and 2009, and measured their outcomes in college.
- Education research
- International development
- Design, implementation, and analysis of experimental, quasi-experimental, and mixed-methods evaluations
- Human Services
- International Research
- Education and Workforce Development
- Energy and Climate
- Food and Agriculture
Thomas Coen’s research focuses on evaluating education, agriculture, labor, and climate-related investments in sub-Saharan Africa. He uses a variety of quantitative and qualitative analytical methods in his work. Coen also studies education interventions (kindergarten through postsecondary) in the United States.
Since joining Mathematica in 2014, Coen has worked on a range of projects in education and international research. Currently, he is the deputy project director for the evaluation of the Environmental and Natural Resources Management Project in Malawi, a mixed-methods study funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation that examines whether changes in land management practices can mitigate aquatic weed growth and sedimentation in the main river basin used for hydropower generation. Coen is also the technical lead for an evaluation of the Irrigation and Water Resource Management Project in Senegal, which uses a matched comparison group design to examine changes in agricultural production, land tenure security, and household income. For another study, Coen led the analysis on the long-term impacts of Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) charter middle schools, using a randomized design to examine how attending KIPP middle schools affects college enrollment and persistence. Past projects include supporting Teach For All by developing a monitoring, evaluation, and learning guide for its chapter members; analyzing the content and predictive power of observation instruments to assess teacher performance; estimating the early elementary school impacts of students attending KIPP pre-K; and reviewing education studies for the What Works Clearinghouse.
Before joining Mathematica, Coen managed a randomized controlled trial for Innovations for Poverty Action in Malawi that examined the diffusion of new farming technologies. He also supported democracy and governance programming in Central and West Africa for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. He holds a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree in economics and government from Wesleyan University.