Nancy MacPherson

Former Special Projects

Nancy MacPherson was the Managing Director for Evaluation at the Rockefeller Foundation where she served in that role from 2008-2017 managing the Foundation-wide evaluation. Prior to 2008, she worked in Asia and Africa with international development organizations, the United Nations, multilateral and bilateral agencies.  She set up and managed IUCN’s Program Evaluation System and Performance Assessment System and served as Special Advisor to the IUCN Director General. She has also played a key role in the establishment and nurturing of a number of global and regional development evaluation professional associations, and networks, notably, the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS) and the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA). Nancy was a member of the teaching faculty at the World Bank’s summer International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) from 2001-2011. Ms. MacPherson holds a master’s degree from Carleton University, Ontario. She has lived and worked in Canada, Africa, Asia, Switzerland and the United States. She is the recipient of the 2015 American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) Enhancing the Public Good Award, presented to an individual whose evaluation work has substantially contributed to the public good. She is currently working on a special initiative on resilience measurement for the Foundation.

Authored Content

  • Nov 18 2015
    Report 5th Wave: Social Impact Evaluation This working paper describes evaluation as a growth industry in rapid transformation. Given the twin challenges of increased inequality and results orientation a new generation of evaluators will have to learn to surf a social impact wave.  Given the rise of emerging market countries, they will be called upon to move the center of gravity […] Nancy MacPherson
  • Nov 18 2015
    Report Streams of Social Impact Work This working paper addresses the gaps and opportunities between the approaches of traditional public sector and NGO program evaluation and the social impact measurement approaches of new market-oriented players. The authors posit that a convergence of these cultures would generate enormous rewards for both constituencies. New methodologies, evaluative tools and strategic learning processes would enrich […] Nancy MacPherson
  • Sep 11 2014
    Report Emerging Opportunities: Monitoring and Evaluation in a Tech-Enabled World Emerging Opportunities: Monitoring and Evaluation in a Tech-Enabled World, a discussion paper written by Linda Raftree and Michael Bamberger under a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation to Itad, provides an overview of how the practice of monitoring and evaluation (M&E)—including that of the Foundation’s M&E practice—is learning how to better use information and communication technologies […] Nancy MacPherson
  • Sep 04 2014
    Blog Post Could This Be The New Approach To Disaster Recovery? The Urban Institute and The Rockefeller Foundation recently released an evaluation that explores how the Rebuild by Design competition, an initiative of President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, was designed, carried out, and could be replicated in other contexts. The evaluation revealed that even though the Rebuild by Design competition was limited to the Sandy […] Nancy MacPherson, Samuel Carter
  • Jun 19 2014
    Blog Post What We've Learned About Program-Related Investments In May, The Rockefeller Foundation released a new book—”The Power of Impact Investing: Putting Markets to Work for Profit and Global Good.” In it, Judith Rodin and Margot Brandenburg examine the potential of impact investing on the structures, systems, and practices that will need to take hold for it to go big and go global. […] Brinda Ganguly, Cynthia Muller, Nancy MacPherson