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Dave Wilson

Dave Wilson is a Principal Consultant at Itad where he leads the Climate Change theme – a team of six full-time technical M&E staff. His focus is on delivering robust, evidence-based findings to help clients make informed decisions which lead to actionable change towards a low carbon, climate resilient future. He is an experienced evaluator and researcher with over 10 years’ experience in designing, delivering and managing complex climate change adaptation and resilience assignments.

Dave has experience of using both experimental and theory-based evaluation designs and has advanced qualitative and quantitative research skills in the following areas: complex data analysis including statistically downscaling climate data, using qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) and meta-analysis techniques, geospatial analysis (specifically change detection for monitoring land use change), focus group discussions, key informant interviews, semi-structured interviews as well as participatory natural resource and vulnerability assessments. Dave has published in various international peer-reviewed journals.

Dave’s background is in climate change adaptation, forestry, land-use management and low-carbon development. He led major climate change mitigation projects for a leading London authority and, in 2010, he relocated to Latin America to design and develop a carbon forestry project with rural communities in Nicaragua. From 2012-2015, Dave worked in Southeast Asia with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) to deliver a range of research in development projects relating to Natural Resource Management, land use change and climate change.

Nationality: British
Languages: English (mother tongue), Spanish (Intermediate), Tagalog-Filipino (Basic)
Country Experience:

Cambodia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Nicaragua, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam


2012 - 2014
MSc Environmental Science (Academic Achievement Award Recipient)
University of the Philippines, Los Banos (UPLB)
1999 - 2003
BA (Hons) Archaeology and Pre-history
University of Sheffield


2015 - Present
Principal Consultant
Itad Ltd

2012 - 2015
Senior Associate
World Agroforestry Centre

2008 - 2012
Senior Sustainability Officer/Sustainability Officer
London Borough of Camden

2006 - 2008
Assistant Policy and Projects Officer
London Borough of Camden


Data Analysis and Statistical Inference, John Hopkins University (Coursera Online)
Data Scientists Toolbox, John Hopkins University (Coursera Online)
Introduction to Analytical Statistics (R), Princeton University (Coursera Online)
The Science of Climate Change, Oxford University

Project Experience:

2018 - ongoing
HMG Climate Change Compass
(UK HMG) - Project Director
Management and oversight of a set of realist evaluations focussed on the role of UK climate finance (ICF) in climate-related policy change and private finance mobilisation.
2018 - ongoing
Evaluation of Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme (K-CEP)
(Climate Works/CIFF ) - Project Director
Oversight and management of a multi-year assessment of K-CEP on behalf of a range of funders under the Climate Works umbrella. Developing and testing a Theory of Change in a theory based evaluation.
2017 - 2018
Learning Partnership on the Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities
(World Bank CIF) - Project Director
Management and technical oversight of this multi-country assessment of the role and impact of the DGM delivering climate finance flows to be managed at the local level. This learning review provided valuable insights into the emerging and enabling outcomes delivered by DGM for Indigenous Peoples and Local (forest-dependent) communities.
2017 - 2018
Strategic Evaluation of the World Food Programme’s Support for Enhanced Resilience
(World Food Programme) - Project Director & Resilience adviser
Provided oversight and technical contributions to this strategic assessment of WFP and it’s approach to resilience strengthening including relative strengths and weaknesses across the organisation from concept to practice including guidance, information, people and partnerships.
2016 - ongoing
Global Resilience Partnership: Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation
(Global Resilience Partnership (GRP)) - Project Director
Responsible for the establishment of the overarching MEL system for this multi-country, multi-donor $150m investment programme.
2015 - 2017
Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED)
(DFID) - Component Leader and Evaluation Manager
Responsible for design and management of a set of 5 independent experimental and theory based evaluations including impact evaluations in Ethiopia, Myanmar and Niger, realist evaluation of 15 projects and contribution analysis for 4 programmes in the Sahel.
2015 - ongoing
Ideas to Impact (DFID Innovation Prizes for Environment and Development)
(DFID) - Project Director
The I2I programme is expected to launch and award over five years up to five innovation prizes that seek solutions to poor people’s access to affordable clean energy, safe drinking water and other climate/environmental services.
2014 - 2015
Evidence Based Forestry – Systematic Review of upland agriculture in Southeast Asia
(CIFOR [DfID], Southeast Asia) - Project Co-ordinator
Co-ordinating author and project manager for a DfID funded, CIFOR administered Evidence Based Forestry Systematic Review focussing on the livelihood, ecosystem service and forest transition dynamics associated with long fallow swidden systems in south-east Asia in light of emerging policy influences including and in particular REDD+. The role included desk based research and analysis, coordinating a team of global research academics and convening international technical meetings.
2013 - 2015
Climate-Smart, Tree-Based, Co-Investment In Adaptation And Mitigation In Asia (Smart-Tree-Invest)
(IFAD, Philippines) - Lead Researcher
An action-research project designed to increase the resilience of small holder farmers in Southeast Asia to climate shocks by incentivising the incorporation of trees into agricultural landscapes in the uplands.

Activities: Leading the inception phase for the Philippines component of the regional project.

2013 - 2014
Assessing long term climate trends in the Philippines
(OML Centre for Disaster Risk Reduction, Philippines) - Technical Writer
Assessment of observed climate trends in the Philippines between 1990 and 2010. Preparing and editing Philippines climate data for publication in peer reviewed journals including coordination with national meteorological scientists. Statistical trend analysis and interpretation of large time series datasets and development of thematic maps.
2012 - 2014
Assessing the impacts of Land Use Change on Ecosystem Services at Landscape Scale
(ICRAF, Philippines) - Lead Researcher
Mixed method research involving a large fieldwork component (watershed monitoring – streamflow, soil erosion, land cover change and water quality assessment), participatory approaches (Focus Group Discussions, Key Informant Interviews, Semi-structured interviews, Rapid Natural Resource Assessments) with rural farming-forest dependent communities, local government and other local agencies.
2010 - 2011
Design and Development of Plan Vivo Carbon Forestry Project
(Nuevas Esperanzas, Nicargua) - Project Manager
Development of a dry tropical ecosystem reforestation project to generate carbon credits and access carbon finance from the voluntary market. Primarily a poverty alleviation and community development project incorporating agroforestry systems to support a climate change adaptation and resilience plan.

Activities included grant writing, technical methodology development, monitoring framework (Key Performance Indicators), carbon sequestration calculations and financial modelling. Substantial fieldwork including Participatory Rural Appraisals with community members.

2011 - 2012
Green Economy Strategy, Camden
(London Borough of Camden, UK) - Project Manager
To conduct a review of Camden’s position as a leader in the local Green Economy.

Activities: Provided policy advice, guidance and options appraisal for local elected politicians and senior management. Developed a strategy to support economic development in Camden’s Green Economy including SWOT analyses and production of action plans. Performance management and reporting against KPIs for European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Data collecting, assimilation, analysis and management of complex datasets and technical report writing.

2008 - 2010
Camden’s Sustainable and Healthy Food Strategy
(NHS, UK) - Project Manager
Responsible for the development of Camden’s first Healthy and Sustainable Food Strategy (2009 – 2012).

Activities: Advising London Authorities on Food Strategy Development through GOL and the GLA’s London Food Board. Chair of Camden’s Good Food Partnership and responsible for maintaining key partnership with NHS Camden
Cost benefit analysis, risk management, financial planning and budget management across project portfolio. Technical report writing for senior management including Directors and Assistant Directors


  • Evaluating the results of BRACED projects in Ethiopia, Myanmar and Niger (2018)
    BRACED Working Paper
    Wilson D, Yaron, G and Bene, C.

  • Laying the foundations for measuring resilience (2016)
    BRACED Working Paper
    Wilson D. & Yaron, G.

  • The impact of swidden decline on livelihoods and ecosystem services in Southeast Asia: A review of the evidence from 1990 to 2015. (2016)
    Vol 46 – 3. Pp 291-310
    Wolfram H. Dressler, David Wilson, Jessica Clendenning, Rob Cramb, Rodney Keenan, Sango Mahanty, Thilde Bech Bruun, Ole Mertz, Rodel D. Lasco

  • Credits where credit’s due: a guide to community-level carbon forestry project development. (2014)
    World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
    Alforte A., Wilson D., Pulhin F., and Lasco R.

  • Climate risk adaptation by smallholder farmers: the roles of trees and agroforestry. (2014)
    Current Opinion in Sustainability. (6), 83 – 88 (Special Issue)
    Lasco R., Delfino, R.J.P, Catacutan D, Simelton, E and Wilson, D.

  • Long-term trends and extremes in observed daily precipitation and near surface air temperature in the Philippines for the period 1951 – 2010 (2014)
    Atmospheric Research
    Cinco T., de Guzman R., Hilario F. and Wilson D.

  • Modelling the effects of land use change and agroforestry systems on landscape scale ecosystem services in a Philippines watershed (2014)
    Conference paper resented to the World Congress on Agroforestry, New Delhi. February 12th 2014.
    Wilson D.M and Lasco R.

  • Chapter 2: Land Use Change, Agriculture and Forestry in a Changing Climate, in Addressing The Impacts Of Climate Change In The Philippine Agriculture Sector (2015)
    International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI - Washington).
    Wilson D.M. and Lasco R.D

  • Modelling the effects of introducing Agroforestry Systems and Conservation Agriculture with Trees (CAT) on sediment regulation in a tropical, forested watershed in the Philippines (2015)
    (Under Review at Science of the Total Environment)
    Wilson, D., Lasco, R.D., Espaldon, MVO. Calderon, M.

  • How do long-fallow swidden systems impact upon livelihood and ecosystem services outcomes compared with alternative land uses in the uplands of Southeast Asia? (2015)
    Journal of Development Effectiveness. Online Issue (Jan 2015)
    Dressler, W., Wilson, D. Clendenning, J. et al.