DARA Staff


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Dorian LaGuardia

Executive Director


Dorian is the Executive Director of DARA. His practice focuses on complex evaluations and organisational reviews that require leading-edge approaches to collecting and analysing diverse data sets that get to the heart of difficult humanitarian operating environments. This includes complex assignments, like the evaluation of UNHCR’s response to the Syria crisis in Jordan and Lebanon or in designing a comprehensive impact evaluation to assess DFID’s humanitarian programme in Somalia. He has also developed several evaluation tools. More

These include an “emergent” qualitative data analysis tool that avoids implicit biases inherent in most qualitative data software and related approaches, and a matrix for assessing the impact and value for money of SIDA evaluations, amongst other innovative evaluation tools. His knowledge of the humanitarian system includes evaluations and other work that assess both specific contexts and the broader humanitarian system and community. This includes an evaluation of OCHA’s Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF), DFID’s first multi-year humanitarian programme in DFID’s portfolio, or UNHCR’s first major third-party evaluation of a major response, in this case their response to the Syria crisis. He has worked with over 20 UN organisations, 30 INGOs, and 5 donors (DFID, Sida, EU, Norway, & Italy). He has also conducted highly political evaluations, including a comprehensive organisational review of UNRWA or a review of the UN Junior Professional Programme that assessed different donor approaches to JPO candidacies. Dorian provides training workshops to senior professionals in the UN and other multilateral organisations that include case materials from international public sector activities, including humanitarian action. This includes specific materials on innovation, partnership, organisational learning, and knowledge management. He led countless workshops on these subjects for UNICEF, WFP, IFAD, FAO, UNESCO, UNFCCC, amongst others. He also leads the blog Humanitarian Analytics that explores the intersections between data, technology, and humanitarian action. Mr. LaGuardia has a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and a MA from Harvard University. A native English speaker, he has a working knowledge of Arabic, French, and Italian. He is an active member of ALNAP.


Luis Peral

Refugee Response Index Project Manager


Luis is currently co-leading the development of the Refugee Response Index (RRI) as Senior Project Analyst with DARA. He is also Adjunct Professor at the IE School of International Relations, teaching Forced Migration among other subjects. Luis has extensive academic, policy-oriented and practical experience in the fields of human rights and International Humanitarian Law, refugee law and policy, peacekeeping and peace-building, conflict analysis and private diplomacy. More

In the field of refugee and forced migration, his work covers all aspects of the international and national response, from the interpretation of the refugee definition to the security and humanitarian consequences of mass exodus derived from conflict and generalised violence. From 2006 to 2014, he served in the Editorial Board of the Refugee Law Reader (http://www.refugeelawreader.org/), an academic network that constantly updates developments in refugee law and policy. Among his policy-oriented work with governments, NGOs and international organisations, including UNHCR, he has provided direct advice to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) as, respectively, Senior Research Fellow at the EUISS and Chief of the Civil-Military Analysis at SHAPE-NATO, always with a focus on refugee protection. Among his academic work in this field, he has been Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan (Program in Refugee and Asyum Law) and since then collaborated with Professor James C. Hathaway e.g. in the organisation of the Cuenca Colloquium on Refugee Law (2006-10), where scholars from all over the world discussed recent developments and innovative approaches to refugee protection. Luis is a PhD in Law, Master in Law of the European Union, and holds degrees both in Law and Political Sciences (Universities Complutense and Carlos III of Madrid, Spain), and a Diploma in English Law (University of Kent, Canterbury, UK).



Daniela Ruegenberg

Evaluation Manager


Daniela is responsible for external team and project management, quality assurance of evaluation products and communication with partners.  She has experience in evaluation proposal drafting, focusing on team composition and the financial component. She has managed the 3ie impact evaluation in Chad, WFP evaluations in Somalia and Central America, and provided methodological, research and management support for various evaluations (UNICEF, ECHO, WFP, among others). She has experience conducting impact evaluations and providing quantitative analysis and has also been involved in projects such as the Refugee Response Index (RRI), Humanitarian Response Index (HRI), OCHA Study: Saving Lives Today and Tomorrow, Thematic Study of the Paris Declaration, Disaster Risk Reduction Index (DRRI).



Ana Rodríguez

Operations Manager


Ana is currently in charge of team coordination for the Madrid office as part of her duties as Operations Manager. On the technical side, Ana does quantitative and qualitative analysis for evaluations and DRR research, as well as project management. She has been a part of the core team in projects such as the global thematic evaluation of UN Women’s contribution to humanitarian action, GFDRR program evaluation, the Risk Reduction Index and several WFP evaluations. She has also managed multiple evaluations, including an impact evaluation for 3ie. Her field research experience is in the following countries: Jordan, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Honduras, Peru, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Prior to DARA, she worked as an environmental consultant and sustainability coordinator. Ana has a Master’s degree in Rural Planning and Development.


Justine Garrigue

Researcher and Evaluator


Justine is a researcher and data analyst with five years of experience in the humanitarian and development field. She is currently finalising the Real Time Response Review of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and Swiss Solidarity (SwS) response to the 2018 Indonesia Tsunami Appeal in her capacity as Internal Coordinator. She was also Team Member/Internal Coordinator for the evaluation of UNICEF Rapid Response to Population Movement (RRMP) in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for which she participated in the field mission, and has participated in the evaluation of UNICEF’s Response to Hurricane Matthew in Haïti and the evaluation of the World Food Program’s (WFP) Humanitarian Protection Policy. She has also contributed to other WFP program evaluation in Djibouti, evaluation of the PRRO in Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, and in the context of WFP in Chad. She holds a Master’s degree in Advanced Studies in Human Rights. French is her native language and she speaks English and Spanish fluently.


Julia Durand

Contract & Evaluation Manager


Julia is responsible for project management, quality assurance of evaluation processes and communication with clients. Currently she is managing the corporate thematic evaluation of UN Women’s contribution to humanitarian action and the evaluation of the No Lost Generation initiative commissioned by UNICEF. She also participates in research for evaluations and projects, more specifically on participatory mechanisms. She led the participatory methodology and focus group discussions for the evaluation of WFP’s Nutrition Components of the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) in Algeria. Prior to working with DARA, she was an environmental and social consultant. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Policies and Social Practices. Julia is fluent in Spanish, English and French.


Alesia O´Connor

Researcher and Evaluator


Alesia provides research support to DARA’s evaluations and projects and drafting of technical proposals. She is part of the team for the evaluation of UN Women’s contribution to humanitarian action, participating in the mission to Bangladesh, and has worked as researcher on the review of CERF’s added value to the Venezuela regional migration crisis. She has also contributed to the development of the Refugee Response Index, including indicator design and project development. Prior to joining DARA, she worked with grass-roots NGOs providing assistance to refugees in Greece and France, with a focus on vulnerable women and unaccompanied minors. She has a degree in International Studies and speaks English and Spanish.


Natacha Fazzio

Office Manager & Executive Assistant


Natacha provides support to DARA’s general administration, logistics and finance department, and she is Executive Assistant of DARA’s Director. Prior to joining DARA, she worked in Spain, UK and Italy, in various organisations, in the administration, operations and marketing departments. She has a Master’s degree in Conflict, Displacement and Human Security. She speaks Spanish, Italian and English.


Allan Lavell

Senior Consultant


Allan has more than 35 years experience conducting national and international research projects. Recently, he was awarded the prestigious 2015 United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction for his achievements and work in this area.  Since 1992, Allan has been the Coordinator for the Programme for the Social Study of Risk and Disaster (FLACSO) in the General Secretariat of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences. More

He is also a founding member of the Network of Social Studies in Disaster Prevention in Latin America (LA RED). He has been a professor and researcher at the University of London, Middlesex University, El Colegio de México, UNAM, the Metropolitan Autonomous University of Mexico, the Central American University Confederation, the University of Costa Rica and the University of Buenos Aires and has received more than 2.5 million dollars in research grants. He has written 110 publications, scientific articles and news articles on risk and disaster related themes in different languages and has given more than 150 conferences in 42 countries. He has been a consultant in more than 65 projects and evaluations worldwide for numerous governments and organizations including UNDP, OPS, UNFPA, CELADE, GIZ, BMZ, BID, World Bank, OFDA-AID, IFRC, CARE, OXFAM, CEPREDENAC, PREDECAN, and DIPECHO. He was a member of the Board of the Inter American Planning Society, Vice President of the Disaster Research Committee of the International Sociological Association, full member of the ICSU-ISSC Committee to promote the International Disaster Risk Reduction Research Programme at a world level. He was also the coordinating author for the first chapter of the Special Study for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Managing Risk in Extreme Events and Disasters for the Advancement of Climate Change Adaptation (2012). He is currently a member of the UNISDR High Level Advisory Committee for the Global Assessment Report, the Partners for Resilience project financed by the Dutch Government, the American Red Cross and IFRC Global Disaster Preparedness Centre and the Disaster Research Committee of the ICSU-ROLAC.

Marie Spaak

Senior Evaluator


Marie has 20 years experience working in the humanitarian field, principally with DG ECHO and OCHA, in emergencies resulting from conflict and natural disasters. She is familiar with the international humanitarian policy setting, standards, and accountability frameworks and initiatives. She has led or taken part in numerous evaluations and studies with a specialization in humanitarian financing (CERF, Common Humanitarian Funds, DG ECHO Thematic Funding and Enhanced Response Capacity). More

She has long-term field experience in Europe (former-Yugoslavia, Russian Federation/North Caucasus), Africa (Great Lakes Region), Asia (Indonesia, Bangladesh,), and the Caribbean (Haiti) and also worked for DG ECHO and OCHA (Geneva) headquarters, where she supported other emergencies, such as the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Given her experience, Marie is highly qualified to bridge the practitioner-observer gap and ensure that findings are immediately useful at both policy-making and implementation levels.
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