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Laura Hopkins

Laura Hopkins is an evaluator with ten years of experience who currently works in Itad’s organisation effectiveness theme. Laura’s current portfolio includes a partnership with DFID to coordinate a learning journey on raising data capability. Through this work, she has facilitated a participatory workshop and conducted interviews with data stakeholders across DFID to understand their data needs and uses.

For her ongoing work to support capacity development in MEL for grantees in the Global Fund advocacy portfolio at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, she has reviewed data and information flows with a view to identifying and providing capacity development opportunities within each organisation.

Laura is currently working on two projects related to strategic and operational capacity assessments of networked organisations. She has played a lead role in designing the evaluation team approach and engaging the client in discussions around findings.

Prior to joining Itad, Laura worked as an independent consultant, focusing on M&E assignments, and acting as Project Manager for Smart CSOs Lab, an international network of more than 1000 activists, civil society leaders, researchers and funders aiming to fundamentally rethink and redesign how activists and change agents in civil society can effectively work towards a systemic change. Her previous work includes conducting external evaluations for a range of clients, developing and overseeing the roll-out of project results and MEL frameworks and guidance, and managing a portfolio of Economic Reform projects in Afghanistan.

Nationality: British
Languages: English (Mother Tongue), Spanish (Professional Capability), Dutch (Beginner)
Country Experience:

Afghanistan, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mongolia, Peru, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom

Qualifications:

2013 - 2014
MSc Specialized Economic Analysis (Public Policy)
Barcelona Graduate School of Economics
2006 - 2010
BSc Economics and Politics
University of Bath

Employment:

2017 - ongoing
Consultant
Itad Ltd.

2014 - 2017
Independent MEL and Strategy Consultant
Extractives Hub, Global, MEL Lead

2011 - 2013
Project Manager
Adam Smith International, Afghanistan

2010 - 2011
Business Analyst
White Space Strategy

2008 - 2009
Project Manager
Adam Smith International, Afghanistan

Project Experience:

2018 - Ongoing
Evaluation, Learning and Verification for Agency Reform
(DFID) - Evaluator and Project Manager
Laura is a core team member for the verification and evaluation of DFID’s attachment of payment by results (PBR) to core funding to UN and Red Cross agencies. She had a lead role in developing the winning proposal, which formed the basis for the verification and evaluation approach. Laura supported DFID and agency consultation during inception phase to design verification and evaluation processes. She has a key role in designing and managing evaluation implementation.
2018 - Ongoing
Evaluation of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD)
(GPSDD) - Evaluator and Project Manager
Laura conducted an evaluability assessment of the strategic and organisational set-up of this global, networked secretariat that works to support better data to both measure and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. She supported the design of data collection tools and data management systems, report design and writing. Laura also lead a co-creation workshop with representatives from 3 main funders and secretariat to develop evaluation design based on evaluability assessment findings and conclusions. Laura took a lead role in designing organisational elements of evaluation design.
2018 - Ongoing
Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme
(ClimateWorks) - Deputy Team Leader
Laura evaluated the strategic and organisational set-up of the K-CEP programme, a 3-year, $51million (USD) fund to support efficiency gains in cooling technologies, funded by 17 philanthropic organisations and individuals. Evaluation conducted at the mid-way point through K-CEP to enable lessons to be taken forward into the final year of its first phase and enable a summative evaluation at a later stage.
2018
Portfolio Evaluation for Setting Corporate Strategy
(The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) - Evaluator and Project Manger
Laura was responsible for evaluating two portfolios of work to understand strategic alignment with goals of the team. Focusing on how evidence generation translates to policy change, she scoped the evaluation with the client to refine evaluation questions and provide evaluation design options including facilitating a participatory consultation with senior management at the Foundation. Laura also designed evaluation tools for assessing strength of documentary evidence and completed primary data collection through key informant interviews, and qualitative data analysis and synthesis across case studies to inform portfolio level assessment.
2018 - ongoing
MEL Capacity Development for the Global Fund Advocacy Portfolio
(The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) - MEL Consultant and Project Manager
Building capacity for Measurement, Learning and Evaluation across a portfolio of Global Fund advocacy grantees.

Laura's role includes designing a bespoke framework for understanding the role of MEL for advocacy across organisations of varying sizes and foci, as well as an approach to MEL capacity development to integrate with existing processes and culture to support long-term adoption of new practices.

2017 - ongoing
Raising Data Capability - Learning Journey Facilitation
(DFID, UK) - Coordinator and Researcher
Supporting DFID to explore how to raise their data capability for better decision making.

Laura is designing and delivering a workshop to develop a shared understanding of the role of data, evidence, and research within DFID, and is researching best practice in understanding the role of data, evidence and knowledge to support to DFID conversations .

2017 - 2018
Global Health Research and Development Advocacy Evaluation
(Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) - Evaluator
Portfolio evaluation of grantees working on global health research and development (GHRD) advocacy in the EU and German markets.

Laura undertook primary and secondary data collection through key informant interviews and focus group discussions with stakeholders in the GHRD space in both geographies, then completed data processing and analysis based on an adapted evaluation method of Contribution Analysis to understand grantee influence on GHRD outcomes vis-à-vis their advocacy partners and other factors. Laura also developed written inputs for evaluation final report.

2016
Ghana Oil and Gas for Inclusive Growth
(DFID Ghana) - Evaluator, Annual Review
Mid-term evaluation of this five-year, £15million DFID-funded project, including two-week in-country trip, conducting interviews with DFID responsible staff, project managers, Ghana government clients, and project team members to build a 360-degree picture of project delivery.

2016
Western Regional Coastal Fund
(DFID Ghana) - Evaluator, Annual Review
Mid-term evaluation of this five-year, £10million DFID-funded project to develop a vehicle for oil and gas corporate social responsibility spending in the western region of Ghana. Laura interviewed team members, fund recipients, oil and gas players, and donor counterparts to understand the project context and progress. The final report was delivered on time and to client satisfaction.

2015 - 2016
Geothermal Enabling Environment, East Africa
(DFID East Africa) - Results Monitoring Adviser
Results Monitoring Adviser for a £6million, three-year DFID project across five East African countries, designed to improve the regulatory environment for geothermal energy and increase investment in the sector.

Laura designed the Theory of Change, log frame indicators, baselines, and targets, and designed monitoring tools and process, including a client feedback survey, and developed a comprehensive Results Monitoring Handbook. Laura also designed and delivered training sessions for relevant team members on their role in the monitoring, evaluation and learning processes.

2015 - 2016
Extractive Industries Resource Hub
(DFID, Global) - Monitoring and Evaluation Adviser
Laura designed and wrote the winning proposal for this £4.5million, five-year DFID programme for the development of an extractive industry best-practice signposting website. She was subsequently hired on to the team as the Monitoring and Evaluation Adviser, where she designed and delivered the Monitoring and Evaluation, Framework, and Handbook, including Theory of Change and Log frame.

2011 - 2013
Ministry of Mines Institutional Reform
(DFID, Afghanistan) - Project Manager
Long-term technical assistance to the Ministry of Mines, Afghanistan to develop and implement a business plan that supported a greater degree of private sector involvement in the mining sector. Managed staff and other resource inputs for the £3 million project budget. Developed a successful proposal for a three-year follow-on phase of work to the existing support. Developed productive working relationships with donor and ministry clients. Technical inputs into project reporting and other monitoring and evaluation.