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Zoë Sutherland

Zoë Sutherland is a Senior Consultant in our Impact Investing Theme, part of our Economic Development Practice. She has ten years of expertise working in international development, with specialisms in impact measurement, evaluating large, complex and innovative portfolios, providing strategic MEL support, and qualitative methods.

Prior to working at Itad, Zoë worked at Save the Children (STC) as their Senior Impact and learning Advisor in their Business Programmes Hub. During her time at STC, she was the Lead Evaluator of an Evaluation of the Healthcare Innovation Award as part of the STC and GlaxoSmithKline global partnership. She assessed its achievements, made recommendations to support the design of the award’s second phase, and supported the award’s evolution into an accelerator. Zoë was the Impact & Learning Lead for the Health System Strengthening portfolio of the STC-GSK partnership, developing the results framework for the portfolio. She was the evaluator for an After Action Review of STC’s Emergency Health Unit’s response to Hurricane Matthew in Haiti and provided MEL technical assistance to the design and delivery of a large, complex health programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Zoë was also the Head of Impact and Learning at Build Africa, where she was the technical lead on Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning, developed organisational and project-level MEAL systems, provided significant programmatic support, and strengthened staff capacity around outcome development, measurement and evaluation.

Nationality: British
Languages: English
Country Experience:

Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Haiti, India, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nepal, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, South Africa, Uganda.


2006 - 2009
BA (Hons), English and Latin Literature
University of Warwick


2018 - present
Senior Consultant
Itad Ltd.

Senior Impact and Learning Advisor (Business Programmes Hub)
Save the Children UK

2016 - 2018
Impact and Learning Advisor (Business Programmes Hub)
Save the Children UK

2015 - 2016
Head of Impact and Learning
Build Africa

2014 - 2015
Programme Officer (Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning)
Build Africa

2013 - 2014
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Manager (Secondment)
Save the Children International

2012 - 2014
Data Management and Reporting Officer
Save the Children UK

2011 - 2012
Programme Policy and Quality Coordinator
Save the Children UK

2010 - 2011
Effective Programmes Coordinator
Save the Children UK

Effective Programmes Volunteer
Save the Children

Project Experience:

2018 - ongoing
Evaluation of Impact Hub’s Latin America Scaling Programme
(Argidius Foundation) - Programme Manager
Itad is conducting evaluations of two Argidius grantees, who provide Business Development Services to Small and Growing Businesses to support them to become investment-ready.

Zoë is currently managing the two ongoing evaluations, liaising with the client, coordinating the evaluation teams and ensuring deliverables are on time and on budget.

2017 - ongoing
CDC Longitudinal Study
(DFID/CDC) - Case Study Lead
Together with partners, Itad is conducting the first ten-year study to systematically analyse the mobilisation of private investment by CDC in the fragile and frontier markets.

Zoë is the Case Study Lead, using a case study approach to evaluate CDC’s mobilisation of further investments, drawing on contribution analysis and process tracing approaches.

Results Framework for the GSK-Save the Children partnership
(Save the Children and GlaxoSmithKline) - Impact & Learning lead for Health Systems Strengthening
Save the Children and GlaxoSmithKline formed an innovative partnership in 2013 to find pioneering ways to reduce child mortality by working together. The partnership leverages the complementary skills, expertise and resources of the two partner organisations to support marginalised children to access basic health care, including through improvements in supply chain and procurement, development of child-friendly medicines, and health programme delivery. In 2018, the multi-million pound partnership was voted as the ‘most admired’ corporate partnership in the C&E Barometer’s survey of businesses and NGOs for the third consecutive year. Zoë played a significant role in generating evidence on the partnership and its results. She led the Impact and Learning approach for the Health Systems Strengthening portfolio of over 20 projects within the GSK-Save the Children partnership, including the development of a results framework for the portfolio and setting the portfolio’s research strategy.

The results framework was designed to facilitate the aggregation and analysis of results at a portfolio-level to support portfolio assessment and decision-making at a senior level. She also supported the development of the overall partnership results framework and associated results dashboard, providing analysis, data interpretation and reporting against the dashboard on a regular basis to inform reporting and senior level decision-making. Zoë identified areas of the partnership for which there were evidence gaps, designing and conducting primary research and evaluations to generate findings, recommendations and learning which could be applied directly within the partnership and more broadly across the health sector.

2017 - 2018
Understanding how change is created through Participatory Women's Groups in Kenya
(Save the Children ) - Lead evaluator
Led a realist evaluation, with a nested process evaluation, into women’s groups that were using a participatory learning and action cycle approach to improving maternal and newborn health in Western and North Eastern Kenya. Findings presented at Global Summit on Social and Behaviour Change Communication in April 2018 and Health Systems Research conference in October 2018.
Evaluation of the GSK-Save the Children Healthcare Innovation Award
(Save the Children and GlaxoSmithKline) - Lead evaluator
Led a theory-based evaluation into the GSK-Save the Children Healthcare Innovation Award, assessing its achievement against strategic objectives, and the relevance and relative significance of its model of support to funded innovations. The evaluation assessed portfolio level achievements through document review and interrogated causal links between winners’ results and the Award’s support through interviews with a large sample of winners and other informed actors, using a case study approach to conduct a detailed assessment of the Award’s contribution to an innovation’s achievements in South Africa through extensive document review, interviews with staff and with representatives from actors in the innovation ecosystem. Findings and recommendations were shared and discussed with internal decision-makers in a timely fashion to support the design of the second phase of the award, supporting the evolution of the award into an accelerator.
2016 - 2018
Multi-country study into the motivation of Community Health Workers in West and Central Africa
(Save the Children) - Lead researcher
Led a multi-country qualitative study into the motivation and retention of Community Health Workers across a portfolio of Save the Children’s health projects, using a contribution analysis approach with the Most Significant Change technique embedded, including management of extensive qualitative data collection in supported communities, working with teams of Research Assistants. Managed multiple internal and external stakeholders to deliver findings and recommendations that could be integrated into programmatic and advocacy interventions across the Save the Children portfolio and that could be taken on by other development actors.
After Action Review of Save the Children’s Emergency Health Unit’s response to Hurricane Matthew
(Save the Children) - Lead evaluator
Conducted an After Action Review of Save the Children’s Emergency Health Unit’s response to Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, collection qualitative data through interviews and group discussions. Emerging findings and recommendations were generated during the review period, allowing for validation from and action by response managers before the end of the review process.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Technical Assistance to a large, complex health programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo
(Save the Children) - Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Technical Advisor
Provided Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) technical assistance for a multi-donor, £15.4 million health programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo, funded by DFID, the EU and corporate donors. Provided extensive technical support to programme design, bid writing, and MEL systems, specifically in theory of change development, measurement and evaluation of outcomes and impact and associated activity budgeting. Provided significant technical support to the design of formative research into the knowledge, attitudes and practices of community members to inform the development of the Social and Behaviour Change strategy for the programme.
Utilisation-focused evaluation of Early Years Education Quality in Uganda: Advancing Learning (EQUAL) Project
(Build Africa) - Lead evaluator
Led a utilisation-focused evaluation of an Early Years Education project in Western Uganda, facilitating and supporting colleagues to design and implement the mid-term review, as the Primary Intended Users of the evaluation, with the support of a co-evaluator.
2015 - 2016
Organisational Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning system
(Build Africa) - Head of Impact and Learning
Development and delivery of a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning strategy, including resourced business plan, to improve the quality of MEL across the organisation, with a core component of the strategy focused on the design of an organisational Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning system, facilitating the aggregation of results across comparable projects within Build Africa’s education and livelihoods portfolio. The organisational MEL system allowed for assessment of the scope of the programmes and achievement of programmatic outcomes, providing opportunities for aggregated reporting to the Board and Directors and for learning on programme design and implementation.
2014 - 2016
I-LEAP (Improving the Learning and Educational Attainment in Primary)
(Build Africa) - Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning technical lead
Technical lead for Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning of the ILEAP project, which aimed to improve the learning of children in their first three years of primary school, by working with teachers, parents and older children to support the young children’s education. Played significant role in the programme design, including managing participatory sessions on the proposed programme design with teachers, parents and pupils; developed and initiated the MEAL system and its resourcing requirements; led evaluation design, including commissioning and management of baseline. Developed all aspects of the accountability mechanisms within the project, including the design and roll-out of reporting and referral pathways for all types of complaints, including child safeguarding, involving the development of organisational policies and procedures on whistleblowing and complaints handling.
2014 - 2016
Kwale Girls’ Project
(Build Africa) - Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning technical lead
Technical lead for the design and implementation of MEL systems for a multi-donor programme, focused on improving girls’ education in Kwale County, Kenya by improving their access to school, the quality of classroom teaching and girls’ safety in schools and in their communities. Technical support included the design of MEL systems including results frameworks, planning and resourcing for MEL, evaluation design and commissioning and managing of evaluations, training for staff and external Research Assistants for monitoring data collection and analysis, and quality assurance of data analysis for reporting and decision-making. Led participatory reviews of the programme implementation to generate applicable learning to improve programme management and implementation. Also led the design, roll-out and review of the child safeguarding reporting and referral mechanism for the programme.
Return on Investment of NWELIS project (North Western Livelihood Support)
(Build Africa) - Qualitative lead
Overall responsibility for a mixed methods approach to evaluating the return on investments of a small-scale farmers’ project in North Western Uganda, assessing changes in production, productivity and value addition. Technical lead on the qualitative component of the evaluation, including assessment design, instrument development, training of Research Assistants and oversight of data collection in the field.