maize cobsResearch and development work

As my consulting practice has evolved, I have increasingly been asked to take on work that could broadly be described as research.  The category is a bit of a mash-up, and there is some overlap with other categories like evaluation and guidance – but all of the contracts listed below involve finding out stuff that’s new, and using it to apply to real operational environments.

Consulting contracts involving research


WFP guidance for work in urban settings

2016Researcher and writer – for the World Food Programme
Role: Produce guidance on urban programming for WFP, and feed into developing policy, ahead of the Habitat III summit.

Framing the next Sphere Handbook revision process

2016Analyst and writer – for the Sphere Project
Task: Consider a range of factors influencing the next revision process and make recommendations to the Sphere management and Board.

Sphere in urban settings

2015Author and researcher – for the Sphere Project
Task: Develop additional ‘unpacked’ guidance for the Sphere Project, this time exploring the use and adaptation of Sphere standards for humanitarian projects in urban environments.

Cash and Vouchers in School Feeding, WFP

2015 Researcher, analyst and author for WFP
Main task: Identify the areas of coherence and the opportunities presented between school feeding, social protection, and cash and voucher programming. Write practical guidance for country offices.
Innovation: analytical framework for classifying school feeding programmes, subsequently used as a template for guidance.

Use of CTP in Gaza

2015-2016Sole consultant – for Oxfam and the food sector
Main tasks: undertake two research components and multi-agency technical support into cash-based emergency responses for INGOs working in Gaza.
Innovation: new participatory approach for exploring beneficiary preferences in detail

Estimating beneficiary and user numbers for assets built with WFP assistance

2014Sole consultant – for WFP
Output: a proven methodology to count ‘tier two’ beneficiaries of WFP assets created through CFA, and guidelines for country offices and partners

Evaluation of UNHCR relationship with UNV (and UNOPS)

2014Sole Consultant – for UNHCR
Key Questions: what value can UNV add in emergency operations; what is the appropriate balance of UNV and UNOPS within the workforce?

Early Warning, Early Action

2013-14 Sole consultant – for a consortium led by IFRC
Research and analysis: How can drought warning be better linked to flexible finance, contingency plans and resilience building?

Market Assessment – linked with parallel HEA process

2011Lead author, markets section – for ICRC
Key Question: what is the impact of the ‘easing’ of the blockade on households and markets in the Gaza Strip?
Innovation: combining a political economy approach with the sustainable livelihoods framework in a graphical tool to enhance analysis at a variety of levels.

Relief assessment, feeding into the Federation’s revised strategic plan for recovery

2011Team Leader for IFRC Haiti
Key Question: what is the correct balance of relief and recovery programming at this stage?

Developing recovery surge capacity

2011 Analyst and author – for IFRC Geneva
Objective: Build on experience from Pakistan and Haiti to develop recommendations for rapid deployment of technical recovery staff to emergency operations.