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Mollie Liesner

Mollie Liesner joined Itad in September 2016, as a consultant in the Private Sector Development, Markets and Trade theme.

Prior to joining Itad, Mollie was a manager in Adam Smith International’s Inclusive Economic Growth Team, where she designed and managed the monitoring and results measurement (MRM) components for programmes across the team’s Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P) and skills development portfolios.

Mollie worked on a number of projects with Adam Smith International, most notably the £33m DFID-funded skills development programme, Mafita, in the northern states of Nigeria, where she led the MRM component during the inception phase. Mollie subsequently managed DFID’s youth employment programme in Mombasa, Kuza, in addition to working on the programme’s MRM and Gender Equality components. Mollie also has experience in women’s economic empowerment (WEE), having designed data collection tools and methodologies for Adam Smith International’s published papers on measuring WEE changes on market based development programmes, which were presented at both the SEEP and DCED conferences in 2016.

Prior to joining Adam Smith International, Mollie was an Account Executive Assistant for a public affairs consultancy, Jefferson Communications, (where she worked with RBS Group, UNITE and Thames Water), as well as a Data Analyst for the Cambridge Centre of Governance and Human Rights.

Mollie has an MPhil in Development Economics from the University of Cambridge, and is trained in both the Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P) approach and the DCED Standard for Results Measurement.

Find out more about Mollie in her 60 Second Interview.

Nationality: British
Languages: English (mother tongue), French (basic), Afrikaans (basic)
Country Experience:

Australia, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, UK


MPhil, Development Studies
University of Cambridge
BA (Hons), Philosophy and Politics
University of York


2016 - Present
Itad Ltd.

2014 - 2016
Adam Smith International UK/Kano

2013 - 2016
Programme Co-ordinator
Chembe Village Community Project Centre, Malawi

Account Executive Assistant
Jefferson Communications, UK

Policy and Research Assistant
Social Justice Coalition, South Africa


Results Measurement Using the DCED Standard
Making Markets Work for the Poor Training, The Springfield Centre, Thailand

Project Experience:

(DFID Nigeria) - Project Manager
Mafita is DFID’s skills development programme in the northern regions of Nigeria which works to empower marginalised youth and women to increase their economic opportunities and social inclusion. Through supporting the most marginalized in society, Mafita is working towards creating 43,000 new jobs and increasing the incomes of 85,000 adolescent girls from Islamiyya and Quranic schooling systems, the Almajirai (young boys living with, and learning from, Islamic religious teachers) and women.
As Project Manager, Mollie was responsible for designing and implementing the programme’s operational and financial systems in three states across the north of Nigeria. Mollie effectively drew-up and managed the programme’s budget, workplans, operational business processes and governance framework.

(DFID, DRC) - Project Manager
ELAN RDC is DFID’s ambitious GBP 50m programme in the DRC which applies the Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P) approach. This approach holds that aid should focus not on delivering services directly to the poor, but on facilitating the market systems around them, using resources to catalyse lasting and deeper change by addressing the reasons why markets are not working effectively for poor people in the first place. In providing backstopping support to the programme management team, Mollie made significant contributions to ensuring the successful deployment of key staff resources and supporting the local team to deliver high-quality results.
Safety and Sanitation Campaign
(Social Justice Coalition, South Africa) - Policy and Research Assistant
The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) is an activist movement with approximately 1,000 members across 5 branches in Khayelitsha. The SJC is focused on advocacy around safety and security for all citizens. Given the poor sanitation infrastructure in Khayelitsha, the SJC ran a policy advocacy campaign for the City of Cape Town to install a maintenance service for public sanitation facilities in the area. The SJC assumed a mediation role between the community and the government to ensure the launch of a janitorial service in 2012. In her role as a policy and research assistant, Mollie worked with the local government on reviewing and reforming the government’s sanitation provision policy in the urban township. The report she compiled was submitted to the Major of Cape Town’s office and resulted in a re-evaluation of governance structures in the area and a public statement of apology on the part of the Major’s office.
Commission of Inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency and a breakdown of relations between the community and the police in Khayelitsha
(Social Justice Coalition, South Africa) - Policy and Research Assistant
In November 2011, the SJC and partner organisations submitted a formal complaint against the police – both South African Police Service (SAPS) and Cape Town Metro Police – and the criminal justice system serving the Khayelitsha area. The complaint, submitted to the Premier of the Western Cape, cited a breakdown in trust between police and the community as well as ineffective policing and a failing justice system. This resulted in a formal Commission of Inquiry into the allegations of police inefficiency and a breakdown of relations between the community and the police in Khayelitsha. Mollie’s role on the inquiry as Policy and Research Assistant included facilitating legal advisory services, managing the process of submitting affidavits and supporting the security and operations team.