Thomas De Hoop

Program Area Lead, Gender and Social Protection and Principal Economic Researcher

Thomas de Hoop directs a research and evaluation portfolio with a focus on the impact, scalability, and cost-effectiveness of self-help groups, savings groups, and education innovations in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. He is currently the co-principal investigator for the Evidence Consortium on Women’s Groups, a four-year research project that focuses on synthesizing, strengthening, and disseminating research on the impact and cost-effectiveness of large-scale government-supported women’s groups. As part of the ECWG, Dr. de Hoop leads or co-leads studies on the impact of COVID-19 on the functioning of women’s groups and how self-help groups in India and savings groups in Nigeria and Uganda contribute to mitigating the economic consequences of COVID-19. In addition, he oversees various evidence syntheses, experimental and quasi-experimental studies, and cost-effectiveness analyses on women’s groups. This research guides the Gender Equality team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the use of evidence to inform the Foundation’s gender equality strategy.

Read our Q&A with Thomas de Hoop about his work in international development

Dr. de Hoop is also the principal or co-principal investigator for a five-year cluster-randomized controlled trial of a technology-aided instruction program in Zambia, a three-year quasi-experimental study on the impact of a World Bank-funded and government-supported women’s group program in Nigeria, the development of a typology for a handbook on the implementation of self-help groups in South Asia, and a social impact assessment of an organic cotton farming project in India. In addition to designing these studies, he trains and manages teams of researchers, closely engages with funders, governments, foundations, and non-governmental organizations, analyzes data, and authors briefs, reports, and peer-reviewed papers.

Previously, he was the principal investigator on a three-year research project supported by UNICEF, UNHCR, and DFID that aimed to generate rigorous evidence on how to facilitate the effective scaling of innovations in education in protracted crisis settings. For this project, Dr. de Hoop led a meta-evaluation that synthesized the lessons learned from five process evaluations and three impact evaluations of education innovations. He also led a cluster-randomized controlled trial of an early childhood nutrition program in Bangladesh, a quasi-experimental evaluation of an economic self-help group program in India, and a strategy for future impact evaluation work in UNICEF’s education office. In addition, he co-led Campbell systematic reviews on the effects of economic self-help group programs on women’s empowerment, the effects of vocational and business training programs on women’s labor market outcomes, and the impact of education programs on early grade literacy in Latin-America and the Caribbean.

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Ph.D., Development Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen; MSc, Development Economics, VU University Amsterdam

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