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David Walker

David Walker joined Itad in autumn 2017 as a Senior Consultant in the Gender theme. David is a Social Development specialist, with over 13 years’ research experience in aspects of gender equality, gender-based violence, child protection, and linking evidence to policy processes. Cross-cutting this work is a focus on gender inequality and social norms as drivers of deprivations, and how such drivers are connected with or separate to economic drivers and poverty.

In particular, David’s work has focused on violence – particularly relating to adolescent girls –  as well as the related structural ramifications of service delivery and governance. In addition, David has published on the intersection of ‘knowledge, policy and power’ – how evidence links with policy processes and decisions. In an extra-curricular capacity, he is a founding trustee in the organisation ‘Cities for Children’, and on the Research Advisory Panel for the Consortium for Street Children.

David has a background in Human Geography and Development Studies, with methodological specialities in the areas of qualitative and participatory evaluative approaches. This includes a focus on gender-sensitive and child/youth friendly practices, as well as secondary techniques such as systematic reviews and evidence synthesis. He is also experienced in using qualitative coding (MAXQDA), and the innovative Sensemaker approach.

David has experience in a variety of NGOs and research institutions, including the Overseas Development Institute, Oxfam GB, the Green Economics Institute and others. He also brings broad and in-depth primary fieldwork and project experience with bilaterals, multilaterals and NGOs from a variety of settings, including South Africa, Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand. He has a broader geographic focus on Sub-Saharan and Southern Africa.

Nationality: South African
Languages: English, Afrikaans, Zulu
Country Experience:

Ethiopia, Indonesia, Malawi, Malaysia, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Thailand Uganda, Zambia


University of Birmingham
M. Sci (Hons) Poverty Reduction and Development Management, specialising in Gender and Development
B. Sci (Hons) Human and Social Geography
University of Durham


2017 - ongoing
Senior Consultant
Itad Ltd.

2015 - 2017
Research Fellow, Social Development Programme
Overseas Development Institute
Responsibilities included managing a portfolio of work and research officers on areas including social policy, social inequalities and inclusion, child protection, and gender-based violence, and raising ODI's international reputation through external outreach and communications on programme findings.
2011 - 2014
Research Officer, Social Development Programme
Overseas Development Institute
Responsibilities included designing, undertaking and supporting primary and secondary research activities on social development issues and seeking out broader research opportunities, and working on external outreach and communications on programme findings.
Programme and Research Officer, Social Development Programme
Overseas Development Institute
Responsibilities included designing, undertaking and supporting primary and secondary research activities on social development issues and seeking out broader research opportunities, and coordinating administrative functions, including budget management processes and donor contracts.
Assistant Research Officer, Research and Policy in Development Programme
Overseas Development Institute
Responsibilities include supporting and informing research project activities, and determining, locating and engaging with target audiences and supporting research fellows/officer engagements.
Green Economics Institute, Oxford
Developing and advising on funding proposal design and execution, with particular reference to gender and post-conflict oriented research opportunities.
2007 - 2008
Programme Policy Researcher
Oxfam GB
Responsibilities included critically analysing Oxfam GB’s various health and livelihoods approaches through programme mapping with reference to strategic intent and providing learning with policy and programme suggestions, and supporting the Global Advisor team on programme research tasks – both theme and context specific, primarily relating to gender, health and vulnerable livelihoods, food insecurity and disaster risk reduction.
Disaster Risk Reduction Project Assistant (internship)
Oxfam GB
Responsibilities included amalgamating and reviewing promising practices of Disaster Risk Reduction within past and present programmes/projects and following up with internal surveys.
2004 - 2005
Research Associate
Rural Agricultural and Social Management Institute of Thailand with Birmingham University
Responsibilities included designing and implementating of a social audit grafted with gender analysis frameworks for two community currency systems (3 months fieldwork).
Schools Officer
Project Tenteleni (NGO)
Working on HIV& AIDs awareness raising and project implementation.


Conflict Resolution Management, (PGC), Responding to Conflict NGO, Birmingham, UK

Membership of professional associations:

  • Member of Research Advisory Panel: Consortium for Street Children (since 2013)
  • Member of UK Child Rights Working Group and DFID Youth Working Group (since 2008)
  • Trustee on board – Cities for Children (NGO)


  • Measuring violence, abuse and neglect among older persons: An introductory tool (2017)
    Walker, D.

  • Violence Against Indigenous Women: Factors that support and prevent access to services in India and Uganda (2017)
    ODI – UN Women
    Walker, D.

  • Sri Lanka Child Protection Systems Mapping and Evaluation (2016)
    UNICEF Sri Lanka
    Walker, D. & Bandara, I.

  • Costing the impacts of gender-based violence to business: a practical tool (2016)
    Walker, D. and Duvvury, N.

  • Baseline study: stamping out and preventing gender based violence (STOP GBV) in Zambia (2015)
    ODI-World Vision
    Samuels, F., Ndubani, P., Walker, D. & Simbaya, J.

  • Situation Analysis Of Children In Uganda (2014)
    Walker, D., Jones, N. & Gupta, T.

  • An evaluation of Restless Development’s Youth Livelihoods Programme (2013)
    ODI-Comic Relief, Karamoja, Uganda