60 Seconds with…Julia Hamaus

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Julia had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

I am a consultant working on projects within Itad’s Governance, Empowerment, Accountability and Gender themes.

What does that involve?

It involves designing, managing and conducting qualitative research for evaluations, including for Tilitonse, Voices for Change and Mobilising for Development.

How did you get into the field?

After doing my Master’s degree in Peace, Conflict and Development Studies, I started working at GIZ Zambia – initially as a trainee and later as an advisor of the Civil Society Participation in Governance Reform Processes programme. In this role, I designed, managed and evaluated projects on strengthening the collaboration between civil society and state actors in the multidisciplinary management of gender-based violence cases. After three years in Zambia, I moved back to Europe and started working at IDS as a Gender Convenor. In this role, I engaged in research, knowledge mobilisation, as well as, managing and evaluating gender-specific projects.

Through my work on monitoring and evaluating projects at GIZ and IDS, I became increasingly interested in using innovative methodologies to monitor and evaluate complex change processes – this is how I got interested in joining Itad. I was impressed with Itad’s strong focus on development effectiveness and expertise in designing and applying innovative methodologies to measure impact.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy exploring why and how change happens and theory-based evaluations provide an opportunity to gain greater insights into this. It is much more intriguing to explore the complexity of a change process by analysing the context, potential external factors that influence change (or the lack of it), rather than simply focusing on whether things have changed. Another highlight of my work is the interaction with our in-country partners.

Recent highlight?

I am just about to finalise the last out of our 12 Tilitonse endline case studies and I am looking forward to working on our final evaluation report over the next couple of months. After having engaged in the Tilitonse case study work over the past year, it will be very interesting to pull all our data together and analyse the overall contribution the programme has made to enabling civil society to better engage with national and local government to promote more accountable, responsive and inclusive governance in Malawi.

Most interesting question you have been asked recently?

Gender equality – what’s in it for men? This blog provides some thoughts.

Favourite place you have visited as part of your job?

So far, I have only been on one trip since I joined Itad last year, which was to Kano in Nigeria, where I facilitated a learning event of the Mobilising for Development Programme, together with a colleague. It was great to meet our Nigerian partners, after having communicated a lot over Skype. I enjoyed the interesting discussions we had and it was a real opportunity to jointly reflect on the opportunities and challenges the programme is facing.

Julia Hamaus, April 2016