Our consultancy services

We apply 20 years of knowledge to practical issues affecting all sorts of organisations through our consultancy work. We offer a wide range of skills and expertise as consultants in the field of international development, all tailored to the needs of particular organisations.

Our country offices specialise in regional issues and take on consultancy for their geographical regions as well as their thematic issue areas.

Our services

  • Data and policy analysis
  • Presentation of data for policy discussions through online and offline visualisations and infographics
  • Evaluations of advocacy, strategy and a range of development interventions
  • Communication of complex issues to non-specialist/policy audiences
  • Policy, advocacy and research evaluations
  • Editorial of policy publications
  • Strategy reviews
  • Reviews of pooled funding mechanisms and related incentives
  • Technical support to map data
  • Technical support for transparency and open data projects
  • Evaluating transparency strategy/implementation

Thematic areas of expertise

  • Aid
  • Southern cooperation
  • Private development cooperation
  • Nutrition
  • Humanitarian finance
  • Gender-related data
  • Poverty
  • International standards
  • Chronic poverty
  • Social protection
  • Transparency
  • Open data and data revolution

Recent completed projects

Department for International Development: Humanitarian evidence systems mapping in East Africa (to October 2015)

We are partnering with Development Research and Training in Uganda on a research project funded by the UK’s Department for International Development on the production and use of humanitarian evidence in Kenya, Uganda and the East Africa region. The project focuses on who produces, uses (or should be using) and influences humanitarian evidence, and the barriers and enablers for production and use, including people’s capacity. The inception report outlines our approach, research questions, information gathering methods and key stakeholders. Our short online survey helps provide a baseline on current production and use of humanitarian evidence. If you are in East Africa and produce or use humanitarian evidence in your work, please fill out the survey. Contact Karen.Rono@devinit.org for more information.

International Food Policy Research Institute: Global Nutrition Report 2015

We are contributing to the analytical work involved in producing the 2015 Global Nutrition Report. This includes: a report on the allocation of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive aid from Nutrition for Growth donors; technical advice on accessing, collating and analysing countries’ national budget data; a report on the coverage, timeliness, detail and usefulness of donors’ self-reported nutrition related aid data; and a report on the nutrition landscape in Brazil, outlining key debates, narratives and actors.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Analysing domestic resources to optimise the allocation and impact of domestic resources in Foundation priority countries

Our Africa Hub is working on a project for the Foundation that involved collecting a wide range of data from budgets on aid to international flows for selected countries and using this data to develop in-depth briefs on resources available for reducing poverty. The project aims to analyse the economic situation and in-country fiscal situations to provide information and tools to address knowledge gaps and inform opportunities to scale up public spending on priorities; to analyse, interpret and translate the institutional (including policy) environment, public finance structure and system, the budget process and systems, and the political economy and to provide detailed sector analysis and information on selected pro-poor sectors.

PATH: Department for International Development aid spending on nutrition, 2013 data analysis

We have produced a review of DFID’s aid investments in nutrition in 2013, using the common SUN Donor Network methodology. This identifies, quantifies and analyses nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive spending. This work also included contributing to an evaluation of options for streamlining the nutrition aid tracking methodology. It builds on DI’s previous analysis of DFID’s nutrition projects in 2010–2012.

Restless Development: Big Idea

We are providing data expertise to the Big Idea programme, which aims to equip young people with the skills to find, analyse and generate data on key issues that affect their lives and to empower them to exercise accountability over the post-2015 sustainable development goals.

Oxfam US: Tracing development cooperation

We are working with Oxfam US to develop and test a methodology based on International Aid Transparency Initiative data on the traceability of development cooperation – how much flows into the country to which it is allocated and how much stays there, and the extent to which development cooperation is aligned with government budget and systems.

Save the Children: Conducting child budget analysis and trends on the education sector in Somaliland

Our Africa Hub is working with Save the Children’s Somalia/Somaliland (SCISOM) programme on a study to improve government budget allocation and spending on the education sector, specifically on child friendly budgeting. The programme aims to strengthen state institutions and mechanisms for implementing and monitoring children’s rights and increase awareness and capacity of civil society and children to promote children’s rights. Our role is to conduct a comparative analysis of the adequacy, allocative efficiency and use of the education budget of Somaliland, mainly at a national level, and to develop and implement an advocacy action plan based on the findings of the study for increased and efficient use of budget in the education sector.

WaterAid: Targeting aid investments in water and sanitation

We analysed aid to the water and sanitation sector, identifying priority countries where aid has a key role to play in financing universal access to water and sanitation services. The analysis fed into WaterAid’s engagement strategy for the Financing for Development discussions. The report Essential element: why international aid for water, sanitation and hygiene is still a critical source of finance for many countries was published in July 2015.

DFID: Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation

Our Africa Hub developed case studies to document the progress, challenges as well as possible impacts of the Global Partnership (GP) in supporting implementation and monitoring of Busan commitments in Burundi, Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique. In selecting these countries, we conducted a comparative study of a country that has done relatively well on the GP and one that is struggling. We sought to understand the key drivers or dynamics of success or challenges in different geo-political environments on the continent, and how these impact on development co-operation.

CAFOD-led NGO group: Donor interviews on leveraging private finance practices

We carried out interviews with key donors on leveraging finance with public funds to understand the principles behind their approaches and their monitoring and evaluation processes. These interviews formed an important part of the engagement by a group of NGOs (CAFOD, Oxfam International, ActionAid UK, EURODAD, WWF, BOND report) and fed into their report, Delivering sustainable development: A principled approach to public-private finance (see also this CAFOD blog post). The report argues that sustainable development principles should be applied to all types of public finance.

“The donor interviews gave us confidence that we had engaged with donors ahead of a meeting in New York, and that they saw this as a key issue they needed to engage with.”

ONE: DATA Report

We provided analysis of aid, other financial flows and policy for the annual DATA accountability reports from 2006 to 2014, tracking key trends in official development assistance and monitoring the extent to which donors have met commitments made at the 2005 Gleneagles G8 summit and by EU member states. See 2014 report, 2013 report and aid commitment tracking analysis. Our executive director, Judith Randel, also advised on the 2015 report.

World Health Organisation: Global Report on IHP+ performance: monitoring commitments to effective development cooperation in health

Our Africa Hub was part of a consortium (HERA; ITAD; CHESTRAD) reporting on effective development cooperation in health in 2014. The International Health Partnership (IHP+) mobilises governments, development agencies, civil society and others to support a single, country-led national health strategy – and hold one another to account. The assignment included reporting on partners’ progress against commitments; supporting countries for the next round of reporting; and developing materials/options to help countries establish systems to strengthen mutual accountability where needed. The Africa Hub collected data and engaged with four respondent countries: Burundi; Cameroon; Sudan; and Uganda.