Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Rachel had to say…
What’s your job here at Itad?
I’m a senior consultant in technical excellence.
What does that involve?
I am member of the Itad Knowledge Hub team, supporting knowledge management, learning, and sharing of our technical expertise. A big part of my work focuses on technical quality assurance systems and processes within the company. I also support the Centre for Development Impact, currently focusing on our practice paper and seminar series, and preparing for our upcoming short course in impact evaluation.
How did you get into the field?
My career has been somewhat varied! After my PhD, I began my career as a researcher, carrying out studies, and providing quantitative and qualitative research training and technical support to teams around the world. Following this, I worked as a programme advisor on a regional desk, developing my interest in monitoring and evaluation, and my understanding of the practical challenges faced when implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programmes. As Deputy Head of Impact, Innovation and Evidence at Save the Children, I had a great opportunity to look at systems and processes to improve the quality and utility of research and evaluation at an organisational level.
Throughout all my work, my interest has been focused on developing innovative methodologies for measuring complex phenomena, borrowing and adapting from different disciplines. I’m a bit of a methods geek!
What do you most enjoy about your job?
I love having the opportunity to work on a range of different projects, across themes and sectors. I like the balance of consultancy work and academia; bringing theoretical knowledge, academic debate, and rigour from CDI to drive innovation and improvement in our consultancy work and drawing on the practical experience we gain at Itad to learn and develop evaluation practice.
What new methods have you noticed in your sector?
I’m interested in how information and communication technologies can be utilised by the evaluation community to improve the utility of evaluation processes and findings; improving speed and quality of data collection/analysis; access to information and participation in the evaluation process and ultimately communication and use of findings.
I’m relatively new at Itad so getting this job has been my most recent Itad highlight!
Most interesting question you have been asked recently?
Can children really run their own evaluation….what about data collection and analysis? Yes they certainly can!
Favourite place you have visited as part of your job?
I’m still new so I’ve only made it as far as London! In previous roles, I have been lucky enough to visit some amazing places. I’ve trekked to a remote shrine in the Himalayas on the back of a mule, eaten the best pomegranates in the Tajik mountains and climbed an active volcano in Guatemala – sorry, that’s three…it’s too hard to answer!