DARA Staff

Augusto Lopez-Claros

Research Director


Augusto Lopez-Claros is the Director of Research, leading the methodological design and strategic direction of DARA’s research projects, including the Refugee Response Index. He is an international economist with over 30 years of experience in international organizations, including most recently at the World Bank. For the 2018/2019 academic years, Augusto Lopez-Claros was a Senior Fellow at the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Between 2011 and 2017 he was the Director of the World Bank’s Global Indicators Group, the department responsible for the Bank’s Doing Business report and other international benchmarking studies. Previously he was Chief Economist and Director of the Global Competitiveness Program at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, where he was also the Editor of the Global Competitiveness Report, the Forum’s flagship publication, as well as a number of regional economic reports. More

Before joining the Forum, he worked for several years in the financial sector in London, with a special focus on emerging markets. He was the International Monetary Fund’s Resident Representative in the Russian Federation during the 1990s.

Brian Gorlick

RRI Project Manager


Brian Gorlick is managing the Refugee Response Index project, developing guidance for country focal points and overseeing the pilot process. He is an international jurist who worked with UNHCR and the UN Secretariat in a number of senior positions for over two decades. He has served in the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, North America, Headquarters in Geneva, and has been on mission to some forty countries around the globe. Prior to joining the United Nations, Brian worked as legal counsel in Toronto. He holds advanced degrees in politics (MA, York) and law (JD, Osgoode Hall) from Canada and England (LLM with distinction, London School of Economics). In addition to consultancy work, he currently teaches and is a senior research associate at the Refugee Law Initiative, School of Advanced Study, University of London..


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.


Alesia O’Connor

RRI Project Coordinator


Alesia leads the coordination of the Refugee Response Index, managing stakeholder engagement, developing project materials and methodological design. She is a researcher and evaluator, providing support to DARA’s evaluations and projects, as well as drafting of technical proposals. She was 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. 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 is completing a Master of Humanitarian Assistance. She speaks English and Spanish.


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. 



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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