Our Team

Social development specialists with decades of
International development sector experience

Our Team

Jennifer O'Brien Photo SDDirect.jpg

Jennifer O'Brien

Programmes Coordinator

Jennifer joined SDDirect in February 2018 as a part of SDDirect’s Programmes team to support the coordination and delivery of a varied project portfolio. She is currently working on a G2G agreement between the Government of Peru and the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) to support the crucial reconstruction of public services facilities following damages caused by the 2017 El Nino.

Jennifer’s past portfolio of projects include the DFID-funded Girls’ Education Challenge programme, a 12 year commitment focused on improving the educational opportunities of marginalised girls in developing countries and the largest global fund dedicated to girls’ education, setting up and delivering the Disability Inclusion Helpdesk, a research and advice service for DFID and other UK government departments on disability inclusion in policy and programming, 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, Implementation and Analysis in Action of Accountability Programme (IAAAP), a £12m DFID funded adaptive intervention that probes ‘what works’ for strengthened accountability in Somalia, the flagship £25m DFID What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls Programme and UNICEF’s Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies Helpdesk, a technical advice and learning service for UNICEF global. Other client partnerships include The World Bank, UN Women, OECD 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 gender equality and social inclusion, women’s economic empowerment, gender-based violence, child protection, inclusive public services and grassroots community development in Nepal, UK and Canada.

Prior to joining SDDirect, Jennifer worked as Coordinator 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. 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 Living Standards from McGill University in Canada and an MSc in Development Studies from The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.