03 Jan

Paula Richardson

Paula is passionate about monitoring, evaluation and learning and driven to use data to make a difference. As the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Program Lead for Salanga she coaches organizations to identify key metrics, craft useful and gender-sensitive data collection tools and implement software for better data storage, analysis and learning. Paula is the go-to person for designing user-friendly data management and evidence-based learning tools and systems, and her expertise in Food Security, Sustainable Economic Development/Market Development, Gender and Organizational Development projects provides a key advantage for clients.

Paula has 15+ years in the development sector managing complex projects and spearheading cutting-edge monitoring, evaluation and learning tools and technology for over 15 programs in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean (ranging from $2–$20 Million in budget). She has boosted the MEL capacity of various organizations including the Canadian Hunger Foundation (past MEL Manager), Canadian Feed the Children, Vets Without Boarders, World University Services of Canada (WUSC), Save the Children, Well Grounded, Aga Khan Foundation, Plan International, Humber College and USC Canada (current part-time MEL Manager). Paula has overseas experience in Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica and Guyana.

Paula holds an M.A. in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School (Carleton University), and a B.A. Honours in International Development and Gender, where she was awarded the Canadian Graduate Scholarship for her thesis work on African development (University of Guelph). She has undergone further training from Humber College, the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) (World Bank), and the School of Oriental and African Affairs (London, UK).

She has certificates in “Sampling Techniques for Development Evaluation”, “Excel Level II and III”, “Survey Design”, “Program Logic Model and Evaluation Matrix”, “Microsoft Access Data Base I”, and “Participatory Techniques for Assessment and Evaluation.”

Paula is a seasoned facilitator and excels at building capacity, buy-in and ownership in MEL activities. She has conducted over 50 trainings and workshops with international development organizations and government, and presented at Universities, MOASIC’s 3-day advanced M&E courses and at the Canadian Evaluation Society Conference (Ottawa 2015/Vancouver 2017) and the Global Development Symposium (Guelph 2012/13/14).

Paula is committed to using MEL tools to listen deeply. She pursues data collection efforts and methods that elevate local voices and perspectives in order to enable project participants to inform and influence their own knowledge systems and in turn the projects and policies that affect them. She makes MEL an engaging and collaborative process by including a range of stakeholders in data interpretation exercises in order to stimulate joint inquiry and catalyze learning and evidence-based decision-making within individuals and across organizations.