Our Team

Social development specialists with decades of
International development sector experience

Our Team


Katja Jobes

Senior Technical Expert

Katja Jobes is an international development professional with over 25 years’ experience in social development with DFID and a PhD in social anthropology from Sussex University. Katja joined SDDirect in January 2017 as a Senior Technical Expert providing cross cutting advice and strategic direction for SDDirect’s Inclusive Public Services Portfolio. Katja leads on women’s economic empowerment and gender and inclusion for the Infrastructure and Cities for Economic Development Programme (ICED), which includes supporting the UN High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. Katja supports work in Nigeria and Pakistan on peacebuilding, voice and accountability and social norm change and is exploring new areas of business globally.

Katja joined SDDirect in January 2017. Prior to that Katja worked for the Department for International Development (DFID) most recently in DFID Pakistan (2013 – 2016) as Senior Social Development Adviser and Democracy and Accountability Team Leader and in DFID Nigeria (2010-2013) as Senior Gender Adviser. She has also worked on Aid for Trade, on Aid Effectiveness and in DRC, Angola, Burundi. In the Caribbean Katja was seconded to developing country governments to strengthen social policy and planning. Here Katja gained deep insight into the practical realities of doing social development on the ground, learning to navigate scarce resources, power and politics to support institutional change and capacity development for poverty reduction, inclusion and women’s empowerment. She has worked with a wide range of partner governments, multilateral and bilateral agencies, as well as research, community-based and civil society organisations.

Katja works to strengthen demand side voice and accountability and supply side responsiveness enhancing state citizen engagement and supporting transformative change, tackling the root causes of discrimination and disadvantage. Katja has a demonstrated track record of using social research, analysis and application to shape new strategies and policies; support institutional strengthening and organisational change; design trail-blazing programmes and strengthen programme delivery, impact and learning. Katja has extensive experience from the grassroots to national and international levels in programme and policy design, management, research, M &E, having lived and worked abroad and in the UK.

Areas of expertise include social policy and planning; gender equality and women’s empowerment including in Islamic contexts; gender mainstreaming; fragile and conflict states;  social norm change; poverty, vulnerability and social exclusion; voice, accountability and state citizen engagement; qualitative and participatory research & M&E; aid for trade; urban poverty and infrastructure development; conflict reduction and peacebuilding; democracy, civil society and elections; aid effectiveness

Career highlights include establishing the £38m Nigeria Voices for Change (V4C) programme – DFID’s flagship women’s empowerment and social norm change programme; getting results for women and girls into Nigeria’s national budget working with the Minister of Finance; setting up DFID Pakistan’s first CSSF Democracy programme; influencing DRC’s first PRSP by commissioning a nation-wide Participatory Poverty Assessment; and getting gender, rights and inclusion into the heart of the aid effectiveness agenda working.

Katja brings a passion and enthusiasm to her life and work.