Helen Nelson

Principal Consultant

I am a research, monitoring and evaluation specialist drawing on more than 16 years’ experience working in the UK Government, NGOs, and academia. Prior to joining IOD PARC in 2021 I was a senior evaluation leader serving as both DFID’s/FCDO’s Head of Evaluation and Head of Evaluation Profession. I honed my qualitative research skills as a researcher at the Institute for Gerontology, Kings’ College London, before going on to conduct, commission and oversee evaluations for Amnesty International (International Secretariat), DFID, and FCDO. I have a knowledge of a range of research, monitoring, and evaluation methods and designs, spanning experimental (RCTs), quasi-experimental, theory-based, quantitative and qualitative. I am particularly interested in equity-focused evaluation, participatory approaches, and ethics in research, evaluation, and monitoring. As Principal Consultant for IOD PARC, my recent and current clients include the OECD (MOPAN), WFP, UNDSS, UNOPS, the ILO, and the British Council.

I have experience streamlining and simplifying monitoring, evaluation and learning, demystifying the practice, sparking interest and thirst for evidence and evaluative thinking whilst also upholding standards and ensuring robust evidence generation. I have designed and conducted capacity building processes and training programmes on monitoring and evaluation and organised several international skillshare conferences. I am experienced in gathering and analysing data from across the globe, establishing M&E systems, global results management systems combining geographical information systems (GIS). I am also an accomplished programme manager and team leader. My thematic expertise lies in Countering Violent Extremism and Counter Terrorism, with an academic background in geography and gerontology (I hold a PhD in Social Gerontology).