Our Team

Social development specialists with decades of
International development sector experience

Our Team

DSC_0109 (2).JPG

Jennifer O'Brien

Project Officer

Jennifer joined SDDirect in February 2018 as Project Officer as a part of SDDirect’s Programmes team to support the management, coordination and delivery of a varied project portfolio.

Jennifer’s portfolio of projects, amongst others, includes DFID’s Strengthening Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness initiative (STAR Ghana ll), a voice and empowerment programme that supports civil society to achieve increased accountability and responsiveness of the state to the citizens, the flagship £25m DFID What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls Programme, UNICEF’s Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies AoR Helpdesk, a technical advice and learning service for UNICEF global and the groundbreaking £36m DFID-funded Disability Inclusive Development Programme, a six-year cutting-edge innovation and scale-up programme to find out what works, for whom, when and why and to deliver tangible outcomes to improve the lives of people with disabilities in a number of developing countries. Other client partnerships include The World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UN Women, and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). 

Jennifer brings cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary experience having worked in the public, private and non-profit sectors in the fields of public health and international development. She brings experience in women’s empowerment, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), child protection and grassroots community development in Nepal, UK and Canada.

Prior to joining SDDirect, Jennifer worked as Co-ordinator for the Bupa UK Foundation where she managed a portfolio of 52 grant recipients worth £1.4m across the UK. Prior to that, she spent time at Plan International UK conducting research for the Girls’ Rights and Youth Team, contributing valuable knowledge and information to a high-profile campaign. Jennifer also spent time at Street Child UK, a charity that aims to create educational opportunity for some of the most vulnerable children in Africa and Asia, working on one of its largest fundraising events in Nepal.

Jennifer also has experience consulting on the operation and implementation of WASH programs in Western Africa for a London-based organisation as well as in corporate social responsibility (CSR) with a large UK-based corporate where she revised and further aligned their Sustainabilities Agenda with the 2030 Development Agenda and the UN Global Compact for Business. Before moving to the UK, Jennifer worked as a research assistant for Public Health Ontario, a Crown corporation of Canada aiming to reduce inequities in health.

Jennifer holds a BA in Political Science and International Development with a concentration in Economic Development and Livelihoods from McGill University in Canada and an MSc in Development Studies with a concentration in aid effectiveness from The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

She is an avid traveller, sports enthusiast, foodie and lover of live music.