Our Team

Social development specialists with decades of
International development sector experience

Our Team


Sally Baden

Lead Consultant - Women's Economic Empowerment


Sally joined SDDirect in January 2015 as Lead Consultant on Women’s Economic Empowerment. She is a senior social development professional with a 25 year career in academia, the NGO and private sectors. Sally provides technical leadership and oversight of our economic empowerment portfolio which encompasses research, evaluation and technical assistance services to diverse clients on issues related to economic policy, agricultural livelihoods, gender equity and women’s rights. She is currently an advisor for the DFID funded Business Environment Reform Facility (BERF). Previously she was Technical Director setting up the DFID funded research programme for adolescent girls’ economic empowerment in the DRC; La Pepiniere.

Sally is an agricultural economist, specialised in gender and development and women’s rights. She is broadly interested in equity in economic policy and practice and her specific interests include rural livelihoods and markets and the role of collective action in in promoting women’s empowerment. 

Prior to joining SDDirect Sally spent 12 years with Oxfam, of which seven were based in West Africa, during which she advised Oxfam’s country programmes on approaches to supporting rural women’s livelihoods; and contributed to global advocacy efforts on investing in women in smallholder agriculture and on equity in trade policy.

Immediately before joining SDDirect Sally was an independent consultant who worked for a range of high profile clients including UN Women – for whom she was substantive editor for the 2015 Progress of the World’s Women Report “Transforming Economies, Realising Rights”.  She also worked for DFID and TraidCraft.

From 2010-13, Sally led a research, learning and communications project on Women’s Collective Action in Agricultural Markets in sub-Saharan Africa - funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This project culminated in the Oxfam International Research report: ‘Women’s Collective Action: Unlocking the Potential of Agricultural Markets’ (Oxfam: March 2013) as well as various journal articles, policy briefs and blogs.  She has also authored other journal articles, book chapters, and numerous policy briefings on gender equity, economic and agricultural development issues.

Sally is currently Interim Chair of the Board Womankind Worldwide in the UK, which works in partnership with women’s organisations in Africa, Asia and Latin America to end violence against women; and promote their political participation and economic empowerment.

Sally speaks French fluently, and has studied Mandarin Chinese to degree level. In her spare time, she enjoys fiddle playing, cooking, yoga, swimming and running.