Heather Esper is the Program Manager of Impact Assessment at the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan (WDI). Her work focuses on gaining a deeper understanding of the contributions of business ventures to poverty reduction. At WDI Esper works with base of the pyramid (BoP) ventures to identify, measure, analyze and leverage their impacts in order to develop strategies to better meet the needs of their stakeholders. Esper has more than seven years of experience creating data collection tools, conducting field work, and developing recommendations for social enterprises, non-profits, government institutes, and foundations across different sectors. She has conducted research in various settings including Vietnam, India, Kenya, Peru, Cambodia, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Mexico.
She has co-developed a versatile tool and methodology with a multi-disciplinary view of poverty that is used by ventures to assess their poverty alleviation outcomes in a holistic way. She also co-created an impact assessment training curriculum and leads workshops designed to help ventures implement this framework. Before joining WDI, she designed and led research efforts in rural Vietnam with the National Institute of Nutrition. This research examined the impact of different nutritional supplements on child malnutrition. She also conducted research to increase understanding of cross generational beliefs and practices related to breastfeeding and weaning.
Esper holds a Masters of Public Health and Bachelors of Science in Global Health from the University of Michigan. She can be followed on Twitter via @heatheresper.
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