Jo Feather is an SDDirect Senior Associate who has been working in gender equality and women and girl’s empowerment programmes for almost 20 years. She has significant expertise in working with adolescent girls and young women, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights, preventing violence against women and girls, child protection, girls’ education, and young people’s participation. She has worked primary in Africa.
She holds an MSc from SOAS in Development Studies, specialising in anthropology and gender. Her thesis was on FGM and alternative rites of passage.
She has held a variety of programme management, monitoring and evaluation and technical advisor roles within international NGOs, including Interact Worldwide, an SRHR specialist NGO now part of Plan International; Save the Children and ActionAid.
Jo has worked on a number of long term technical advisor roles including supporting the research and evidence lead on the Voices for Change (V4C) programme, Nigeria, and as MEL lead on La Pepiniere, adolescent girls and young women’s economic empowerment programme in DRC. Her role with V4C including developing a research communication and uptake strategy and supporting the design, delivery, embedding and sharing of findings from two ‘landmark research reports’ - the first 'Being a Man in Nigeria: perceptions and realities’ and the second ‘Young People and Social Change’ . She worked with the team to ensure that research findings were used to inform programme implementation and the development of key messages for different stakeholders, including young women and men, religious and traditional leaders, male champions, policy makers and activists. As MEL lead for La Pepiniere, her role including supporting the design of the logframe and programme theory of change, grounded in internal and external evidence and research. She also supported the design of three mini-pilots to test ‘what works’ to economically (and socially) empower adolescent girls and young women, including developing a longitudinal panel study with a cohort of participants. She worked closely with the girl-led research unit, providing them with training and ongoing support as they conducted qualitative interviews with participants.
Other highlights include working as a social development and education advisor on the Girls Education Challenge for almost three years, conducting a study for Save the Children to map their approaches to preventing and responding to sexual violence against children across the movement, conducting the mid-term evaluation for the Girls Generation End FGM Grants Programme and providing senior monitoring and evaluation support to The Girl Effect.
Jo has been an active board member of Theatre for a Change since 2007 and a governor of a large inner-city secondary school in Bristol where she serves as safeguarding, behaviour and SEND link governor.