Our Team

Social development specialists with decades of
International development sector experience

Our Team


Katja Jobes

Principal Consultant - Inclusive Economic Development

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 as a Senior Technical Expert leading the Inclusive Public Services (IPS) portfolio with oversight for education, health, infrastructure and urban development work. Her responsibilities include strategic direction and advice, line management, technical quality assurance, bid development and programme design.

Her portfolio of work has included having overseen the Women’s Economic Empowerment workstream for the DFID Infrastructure and Cities for Economic Development programme (ICED) where she produced influential briefing notes for the UN High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE). She has been seconded as a Senior Social Development consultant to the £1.3bn Cross-Government Prosperity Fund (PF) at the FCO. Here, she worked to ensure programme design and institutional processes, systems and incentives, support Gender Equality Act compliance and good practice development for inclusive growth, women’s economic empowerment and poverty reduction. She also led a final review of the Nigeria Stability & Rehabilitation Programme (NSRP) on the impact of Observatories on women, peace and security.

Prior to this 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.

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.