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Ethel Sibanda

Ethel Sibanda joined Itad as a Principal Consultant in the Social Protection and Livelihoods theme in December 2015.

Ethel has a wide experience and deep understanding of M&E including performance management and capturing impact at both local and global levels, project development and management. She has specific expertise in Agriculture and Food Security; Rural livelihoods, Forest Governance, Markets and Climate Change; Empowerment and Accountability; Public Sector; Health, HIV/AIDS, Climate Change and Social Protection.

Her experience covers managing a portfolio of programmes including M&E of complex multi-country programmes, progress reviews and impact evaluations.  She brings a track record of evaluation and learning over the life of the programme, monitoring and evaluation of policy adoption and implementation, political economy analysis and evaluation of gender and other social issues. Furthermore, she is conversant with mixed methods: qualitative and quantitative methodologies in conducting baseline, formative, summative and impact evaluations including identifying positive and negative effects, intended and unintended effects and programme contribution. Over many years she has gained excellent writing and data analysis skills, thought leadership through research and innovative approaches in M&E of policy and advocacy interventions, strong project and team management skills with outstanding record of project delivery. Her networking skills are well developed with significant contacts within the UK and in the global South.

Between 2004 and 2010, Ethel worked as M&E Officer, and subsequently Deputy Head of the M&E department of the FAO in Zimbabwe, and more recently as M&E advisor to the HIV/Aids Alliance before joining Itad. Ethel is currently the programme director of the DFID funded Forest Governance Markets and Climate change evaluation manager contract that Itad is leading on in partnership with Triple Line Consulting Company.

Find out more about Ethel in her 60 Second Interview.

Nationality: Zimbabwean
Languages: English, Shona, Ndebele/Zulu
Country Experience:

Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe


2007 - 2011
MA Development Studies
University of Free State, South Africa
1999 - 2002
BSc Psychology (Hons.)
University of Zimbabwe


2015 - Present
Principal Consultant
Itad Ltd

2012 - 2015
Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor
International HIV/AIDS Alliance (IHAA)
Ethel designed, managed and implemented M&E strategies and protocols for complex multi-country projects; she provided technical support to country level M&E teams in delivering evaluations. She provided technical inputs to secretariat and country level teams for performance monitoring, including designing results framework for all strategic multi country projects including supporting M&E plans and indicator reference guides. Ethel also conducted M&E of the organisation’s global strategy and multi-country programmes, generated evidence for advocacy, supported business development initiatives as well as thought leadership strategies; she produced products for publication on the organisation website. She led and managed strategic relationships and alliances with stakeholders including donors, research institutions, civil society and other iNGOs. Ethel developed and maintained networks of consultants and associates with skills in M&E. She managed evaluation consultants and relationships with like-minded organisations with complementary skills including research institutions. She led the performance accountability of Alliance Global Strategy, Strategic Interventions and Multi country programmes. Ethel also led in capacity building and training country partners, consortium partners and internal staff on M&E concepts, delivery and ensuring data quality standards and partners’ expectations were met. She represented the organisation in external platforms, including donors and partners: participated in donor initiatives and contributed to thought leadership where donor and organisational priorities converged.
2011 - 2012
Senior Advisor: Monitoring and Research
Ethel managed a team of four M&E experts, including recruitment, performance appraisal, technical guidance in M&E, and allocation of roles and had responsibilities for project evaluations, staff motivation and ensuring personal development plans were met. She managed and collected primary and secondary data to support evidence of project impact. Ethel contributed to report writing for donors, technical proposals and bid applications to government departments, donors and funders. She developed M&E frameworks including logical frameworks for schools projects. Ethel supported staff in development of data collection tools, data analysis and reporting, including using complex statistical models to generate evidence to support economic, health and environmental benefits of cycling.
2006 - 2010
Deputy Head: Monitoring and Evaluation Unit
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation
Ethel was responsible for M&E of all FAO funded projects: performance monitoring, baseline, mid-term and end-line evaluations using experimental and quasi- experimental designs for social protection and livelihoods projects. She line-managed a team of four permanent staff and ten temporary field support officers: performance management, team motivation, allocation of duties for national assessments, evaluations and budget management. She coordinated the joint FAO and World Food Programme Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM) and used complex formulas to compute national and sub- national livelihoods and food security status and using results to inform UN and Government interventions. Ethel participated in logistics and coordination, design, data analysis and reporting of the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC), including evaluation of complex data and documenting results into simple and accessible products for a variety of audiences; making recommendations for Livelihood options and Social Protection. Ethel also participated in other national and regional assessments like Integrated Phase classification IPC, Household Economy Approach (HEA) and maintaining relations with organisations with complementary skills like research and academic institutions. She assessed the impacts of Climate Change on small holder rural livelihoods; piloting and testing models of conservation agriculture and other farming methods that increase resilience to drought. Ethel provided technical support, training and capacity building. She worked with Implementing Partners in setting up, developing and utilizing M&E systems, including reporting against result chains. She set up participatory M&E systems at local and community levels, trained stakeholders on how to use qualitative and quantitative methodologies to assess their own progress against project outcomes and eventually reviewing their achievement of project outcomes. Ethel managed partners to help them design, pilot, and collect survey data, as well as supervising survey design, data quality, undertaking field level checks and spot-checking.
2004 - 2006
M&E Officer
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation

2003 - 2004
Monitoring Officer
Help Germany
Ethel worked on the training and capacity building of Project Officers in M&E and stock management. She also designed data entry templates and provided technical support in reconciling data. She carried out spot check monitoring of service delivery points to ensure quality and compliance. Ethel was involved in report writing for donors and other stakeholders, and in mainlining relationships with bilateral organisations like the World Food Programme and Ministry of Health.

Project Experience:

2015 - Ongoing
Monitoring and Evaluation of the Implementation of the Forest Governance, Markets and Climate Programme
(DFID Global) - Programme Director
This project aims at monitoring the implementation of a programme aimed at tackling forest governance failures in developing timber-processing countries, and the consequent market failures that result in illegal exploitation of forest land and resources and the associated trade in timber and other commodities.

Ethel is responsible for contract negotiation, liaison with the client (DFID) on behalf for the independent evaluation team, managing the contract and budget, overall delivery of contract deliverables, providing technical support on methodological design, implementation, data analysis and reporting. Ethel has provided support in developing methodologies like outcome monitoring, Force field analysis and Most Significant Change.

2015 - 2016
Fund Manager for Strategic Climate Institutions Programme (SCIP)
(DFID Ethiopia) - Knowledge Management and Design Expert
SCIP aims to build Ethiopia's institutional capacity to respond to climate change across Ethiopian Government, civil society organisations, academia and international development partners. It does this by establishing a flexible funding mechanism targeted at strategic activities to build the institutional fabric necessary for Ethiopia to field a coordinated and effective response to climate change.

Itad was the M&E partner in the SCIP fund manager consortium, providing technical leadership in M&E and knowledge management in the context of climate change. In particular, Itad was leading on the instrument level M&E, including qualitative and quantitative performance benchmarks.

Ethel was responsible for communication with the Fund Manager, managing the contract and budget, coordinating team of M&E consultants and contribution to the writing of the final programme report.

2015 - 2016
Impact Evaluation of a Programme to Accelerate Improved Nutrition for the Extreme Poor in Bangladesh
(DFID Bangladesh) - Programme Manager
Itad is working with a consortium co-ordinated by the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) to conduct an Impact Evaluation of the DFID Programme to Accelerate Improved Nutrition for the Extreme Poor in Bangladesh.

The evaluation covers areas and households targeted by DFID’s ongoing programmes on the Economic Empowerment of the Poorest programme (EEP); the Chars Livelihood Programme (CLP), and the Urban Partnership for Poverty Reduction (UPPR). These programmes currently provide indirect nutrition (livelihoods) interventions. A direct nutrition intervention is being integrated into each of the three programmes. DFID has specified a multi-method evaluation to assess the impact of the combined livelihoods and nutrition package on the nutritional status of beneficiaries; comparing this with non-beneficiaries and those beneficiaries only receiving the livelihoods intervention. This is a mixed methods impact evaluation, involving quantitative analysis; qualitative analysis, process evaluation and value for money (cost effectiveness).

Itad is responsible for designing, implementing and managing the process and cost-effectiveness elements of the evaluation. Ethel’s responsibilities include quality assurance of deliverables, communication with consortium partners and contract and budget management.

2015 - Ongoing
Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED)
(DFID) - Programme Director for Adaptive Social Protection
Itad is responsible for M&E for the Knowledge Manager consortium established to provide monitoring, evaluation and learning for DFID’s Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme. BRACED was launched in 2014 to respond to the changing magnitude and frequency of some of these climate extremes. The BRACED programme aims to build resilience in a selection of countries in the Sahel and elsewhere in Africa and Asia, through an NGO challenge fund. An estimated 5 million people will be benefit from the support. As a core partner of the Knowledge Manager (KM) consortium for BRACED, Itad is responsible for leading all monitoring and evaluation (M&E) aspects of the KM grant. This includes assessing how interventions can be designed and implemented to successfully build resilience and what lessons these generate for application in other climate vulnerable states.

Ethel’s specific role under BRACED is oversight of the Adaptive Social Protection programme. Her duties include supporting the development of evaluation methodology, conducting primary data collection, analysis and reporting, contract and budget management, providing thought leadership on generating learning products and dissemination of knowledge. Ethel has supported the development and implementation of methods including Key Informant interviews and Organisational Capacity assessment tools.

2007 - 2009
Impact evaluations of humanitarian interventions in livelihoods and food security of small holder farmers
(United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, Zimbabwe) - Co-leader
Co-led an impact evaluation of the combined effects and contribution of humanitarian interventions towards livelihoods and food security of small holder farmers in Zimbabwe. This involved negotiating with donors and NGOs supporting rural livelihoods to collaborate and come up with standardized tools to assess impact and measure combined contribution of the NGO sector to livelihoods. This was a significant initiative which took three annual cycles to reach a representative sample of organisations across sectors: water and sanitation, gardening and nutrition, irrigation, seed and fertilizer, cash transfers and livestock projects. This evaluation made great strides in coordination of players in the humanitarian sector and was well received by government and major donors in the country.