Helen Nelson

Principal Consultant

I am a research, monitoring and evaluation specialist with 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 the Head of Evaluation Profession and Head of Evaluation Unit in DFID (latterly FCDO). I honed my qualitative research skills as a researcher for 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. My particular interest is in equity focused evaluation, participatory approaches, and ethics in research, evaluation, and monitoring.

I have experience in streamlining and simplifying M&E, 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).