Riccardo Polastro – Head of Evaluations
Riccardo Polastro is Head of Evaluation at DARA. He has 18 years of experience in humanitarian affairs and development aid having worked in sixty countries for the International Movement of the Red Cross, the United Nations, NGOs and donor agencies. Since 2001, he has carried out policy, partnership and operational evaluations and reviews funded by Danida, DFID, the DG ECHO, EC, IASC, ICRC, Norad, OCHA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNDP, SIDA and other organizations. To date, he has carried out four Inter-Agency Real Time Evaluations of the humanitarian system response to both conflict and natural disasters as well as several multi-country evaluations. Riccardo lectures in several university MA programs and provides professional training on evaluation and development related topics. He holds an MPhil in Peace and Security, an MA in International Relations, and a Maîtrise of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris
Nicolai Steen – Senior Evaluator
Nicolai Steen joined DARA as an Evaluation Officer in September 2007. Nicolai has 13 years of experience from international development and humanitarian aid in Africa, Asia and Latin America for UNICEF and for private consultancy firms. He has been a consultant on evaluations, reviews, programme formulation, appraisals and thematic studies for bilateral and multilateral organisations as well as for international NGOs. He brings a great deal of experience to his role, especially in the fields of education, governance and humanitarian assistance. Nicolai Steen holds an MA in International Development Studies and Education, and is currently working on a PhD in International Relations and Development at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
John Cosgrave – DARA Associate
John Cosgrave has more than 30 years of experience of humanitarian action and development in over 60 countries. His initial academic training was in engineering, and he holds three masters degrees (in
engineering, management, and social science). He has led 35 evaluations in the humanitarian sector in the last 14 years and participated in another 18. John has worked for NGOs, Donors and for the United Nations. John has extensive experience of both real-time evaluation and joint evaluation.
John was the evaluation advisor and coordinator for the Tsunami Evaluation Coalition and co-authored the synthesis report. He trains on evaluation method both for ALNAP and for the World Bank sponsored
IPDET programme, was lead author for the ALNAP Real-Time Evaluation guide and is one of the two authors of ALNAP’s forthcoming guide on humanitarian evaluation. John is a full member of ALNAP and is a member of the American Evaluation Association.
Juliet Pierce – Member of Board of Trustees
Juliet Pierce is an international development consultant who specialises in monitoring, evaluation and strategic planning. She is an experienced facilitator and trainer. Her 25 years experience in policy formation in the public sector in Africa, Asia and the UK includes institutional change, implementing decentralisation, and performance management and review. She was the first director of the Performance Assessment Resource Centre, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
Jock Baker – DARA Associate
Jock Baker began working as an independent consultant in 1999 following a career of over fifteen years in a series of field-based assignments with the United Nations, including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), World Food Program (WFP), and the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA). Mr. Baker works part-time as CARE International’s Programme Quality & Accountability Coordinator at the CARE International Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland where he is the focal point for humanitarian accountability, program quality, disaster risk reduction and transition programming. Mr. Baker has led a number of thematic reviews of organizational policy in addition to participating in and leading a number of assessments, appraisals, participatory reviews and evaluations. He is skilled in workshop design and facilitation. He holds a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc degree in Economics from the London School of Economics & Political Science.
Ricardo Solé Arqués – DARA Associate
After 20 years of clinical and managerial work in the health sector in Spain, Ricardo Solé Arqués got involved in humanitarian activities in 1994 working with major medical NGOs, and carrying out different field assignments for the EC and WHO. He served as deputy director of DARA in 2009/2010. Mr. Solé has carried out a number of evaluations and studies for different parties in West Africa, South East Asia, the Middle East and Central and South America with particular focus on learning and participatory evaluations, and a number of studies on policy issues of development and humanitarian aid.
He is a Medical Doctor and specialist in Internal Medicine and holds a Master in Public Health and Health Services Management of the Andalusian School of Public Health in Granada, where he is currently an associated professor.