DARA Staff


Daniela Ruegenberg

Evaluation Manager and Senior Researcher
Daniela has 11 years experience as a researcher and data analyst. As DARA’s Evaluation Manager she’s responsible for project management, quality assurance of evaluation products and communication with clients. Recently she managed the WFP PRRO Somalia evaluation. She has experience conducting impact evaluations and has also been involved in projects such as the Humanitarian Response Index (HRI), OCHA Study: Saving Lives Today and Tomorrow, Thematic Study of the Paris Declaration, and Risk Reduction Index (RRI), among others.

arAna Rodríguez

Evaluation Researcher
Ana does quantitative and qualitative analysis for evaluations and DRR research. She has been a part of the core team in projects such as the GFDRR program Evaluation, Risk Reduction Index and several WFP evaluations. Her field research experience includes 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.

justinegJustine Garrigue

Research Assistant
Justine provides support to DARA’s evaluations and research studies, translation of DARA documents and general support to the organization. She has carried out various research projects, including an extensive work on the question of the use of torture by the United States in their foreign policy during the war on terrorism. She has a Master’s degree in Advanced Studies in Human Rights. She speaks French, English and Spanish.

cmColleen McMillon

Researcher and Communications
Colleen provides research support to DARA’s evaluations and research studies and is responsible for communications. Prior to joining DARA, she worked for a training and organisational development consulting firm.  She has a Master’s degree in International Development, for which she undertook a research study on civic activism and women’s microfinance groups in Bolivia.

VFerraraValentina Ferrara

Institutional Relations and Partnerships
Valentina is responsible for institutional relations, partnerships and the overall coordination of DARA’s strategic activities including its resource mobilization efforts. She specializes in non profit management and in evaluation of development and humanitarian programmes and public policies. She has been involved with desk research and data analysis for multiple evaluations and studies for a variety of actors and took part in the Humanitarian Response Index project. Valentina is especially interested in efforts aimed at enhancing the utilization of evaluations through better communication of its findings and recommendations including to affected populations.

bgBelén García-Ganges

Belén is an executive assistant and P.A. with more than 25 years of experience. She has worked for general managers, managing directors and presidents in more than ten multinational companies: headhunters, investment banks, financial institutions, electronics and consumer companies.

alavellAllan 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.
mariesMarie 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. 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. 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). 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.

DorianDorian LaGuardia

Senior Evaluator
With over 25 years of experience, Dorian has conducted over 30 evaluations, mostly as team leader, amongst other consultancy engagements. His practice focuses on methodologies to extract and analyse diverse data sets related to measuring performance and results in complex environments. More
This includes several evaluations related to the international community´s response to the Syria crisis, a meta-evaluation of 86 evaluations conducted by SIDA, evaluations for UNRWA, including a major organisation-wide reform effort there, an evaluation of the CHF in South Sudan, and an impact evaluation of DFID´s humanitarian programme in Somalia that uses multi-variate analysis (MVA) and complex adaptive systems (CAS) to understand which mix of partners and activities deliver the best results.
Prior to his work related to humanitarian action, Mr. LaGuardia worked in mergers and acquisitions in the automotive and electronics sectors. It was here that he developed a strong foundation for how to leverage data and analysis toward operational decision-making and performance.
He writes frequently on the intersection between humanitarian action, technology, and how to measure results in complex operating contexts, including the blog http://www.humanitarian-analytics.com/.
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.
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