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Mario Picon

Project Director, LTRC (Leveraging Transparency to Reduce Corruption)

Dr. Mario Picon is an economist with over 15 years of experience in international development, working in design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of programs across sectors. He has field experience in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and has worked in the public sector and for research organizations, as well as with multilaterals and local/international NGOs. His most recent work emphasizes adaptive learning and the use of evidence in policy and programming.

At Results for Development, Dr. Picon is program director of the Leveraging Transparency to Reduce Corruption initiative, a joint effort from R4D, the Brookings Institution and the Natural Resources Governance Institute. He oversees evidence review and the piloting of open governance solutions and eventually their impact evaluation in several countries, as well as the generation of knowledge around the topic of open governance in the management of natural resources. He also collaborates with other programs and lines of work at R4D.

Dr. Picon’s recent work has been focused on generating and adapting evidence to local context for enhanced performance in terms of social development outcomes. He led the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) engagement in Latin America, establishing 3ie as a partner in many government agencies in the region looking to generate and use evidence in policy-making. He coordinated over 20 World Bank projects in South Asia to apply poverty and social impact analysis to their work, while setting the foundations for an innovation lab for the South Asia region. His evaluations in India and South Sudan helped local and international organizations inform their operations and access funds. He has also highlighted the value of negative or neutral results in evaluation to better inform programs.

Before joining R4D, Dr. Picon was a senior evaluation specialist at 3ie, managing their public goods line of work and the relationship of the organization with partners in Latin America, as well as managing evaluations in Ghana (DFID), Tanzania (Technoserve) and China (government agencies). He also led or collaborated in scoping work focused on intimate partner violence prevention, evidence for peacebuilding and youth employability, among other topics.

At the World Bank, Dr. Picon built a social accountability line of work in Pakistan in support of the country office, managed the South Asia Poverty and Social Impact Analysis trust fund and supported several World Bank programs. Before that, he worked at the Brookings Institution, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Inter-American Development Bank and other international and national NGOs in different capacities.

Dr. Picon holds a PhD in public policy with specialization in international development from the University of Maryland, as well as master’s degrees in agricultural, environmental & regional economics and demography from Penn State. He graduated as an economist from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, where interaction and exchange with sociology and anthropology students is a key feature.

Native in Spanish, Dr. Picon speaks English and Italian fluently, with basic skills in French and Portuguese.

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