60 Seconds with…Marc Theuss

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

What’s your job here at Itad?

I am a Senior Consultant in the Health Theme.

What does that involve?

I am involved in managing several large evaluations, and am responsible for the design and management of the process of implementation of these evaluations. On two evaluations, I am a Team Lead. Ultimately, this means I am responsible for ensuring that the evaluation process is designed and managed to deliver the evidence and insights required by the client, on time and within budget. I also spend a fair amount of my time working on proposals to generate new business.

How did you get into the field?

I have worked in the area of Monitoring and Evaluation for around fifteen years, mainly for International NGOs. I started working for Itad (in the consulting sector) relatively recently. I got into this field after undertaking fieldwork as part of my Masters (in Anthropology of Development) which required that I do some field-based research on a development intervention. I spent a few weeks studying nomadic herders in Kyrgyzstan and the Team Lead of the research process offered me a short-term consulting opportunity, which lead me into doing further pieces of evaluation consulting in the development sector.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love being part of evaluations of large and important programmes that rely on the evidence generated to influence the direction of their strategies and designs.

What innovations have you noticed in your sector?

I think that the use of digital technology, mobile telephony, and social media in the arena of qualitative evaluation is very exciting.  Particular population groups (for instance adolescents), can find it much easier to communicate their lives and health practices through these new media than in face-to-face interactions. This provides opportunities to generate rich insights in the area of reproductive health (which is my main area of interest and a big focus of Itad’s Health Theme).

Recent highlight?

Itad was recently awarded the contract to do the evaluation of the Fleming Fund, a Ministry of Health-funded programme to combat Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). This is a big highlight for Itad because AMR constitutes a global threat to mortality and morbidity, and gives us an opportunity to contribute to an intervention that is part of the effort to manage this risk.

Most interesting question you have been asked recently?

How would you prioritise the budget you have available to ensure that nationally representative surveys to measure change in health outcomes in three countries demonstrate measurable change? My colleagues at Itad and our partners within the consortium are thinking through scenarios and options to answer this complicated question!

Favourite place you have visited as part of your job?

I love visiting Burma/Myanmar. I lived there for 6 years and having the opportunity to see it evolving and changing within the context of an ongoing evaluation is extremely exciting.

Marc Theuss, November 2016