Senior Technical Specialist
Jessica first began working with SDDirect in 2012 as part of a research internship on DFID’s Research into Use project. She later returned as a consultant in our team on the DFID Girls’ Education Challenge Fund (GEC) and joined us full time in 2014. She brings experience across sub-Saharan Africa, and North Africa. Jessica hails from South Africa and New Zealand and holds a BA in Anthropology and Spanish from the University of Otago and an MA in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development from the Australian National University.
Jessica’s drive for social justice, gender equality and inclusion began as child growing up in South Africa and later volunteer work with homeless and working children whilst studying in Mexico. Much of her career has been spent working for UNICEF in Australia, the UK and Sudan where her roles spanned managing communications and advocacy projects, overseeing large grants, and technical programme consultancy. She has also worked for UK NGO Children in Crisis, which focuses on improving education systems in post conflict counties, as well as impact communications consultancy Skating Panda on strategic advocacy initiatives.
Recently Jessica provided strategy advice to PricewaterhouseCoopers for the development of their knowledge management and learning strategy for the DFID GEC programme. Her ongoing work on this large-sale and complex programme that is improving access to education for the world's poorest girls, involves providing technical advisory on gender and social inclusion within the high risk portfolio of projects in Afghanistan, Somalia and South Sudan. She recently provided consultancy for DFID Nigeria’s flagship Voices 4 Change programme and is currently conducting research and analysis on the state of adolescent girls in Nigeria for Girl Effect.