Our Expertise

Gwendolyn Heaner - Founder and Managing Director

Gwendolyn Heaner

PhD, Founder and Managing Director; Senior Consultant, West Africa Projects

01Over thirteen years’ experience in social research in international development; PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in the social sciences with a focus on international development and social change. Expertise in research design, fieldwork, analysis, and training, working with various corporations, INGOs, US-based nonprofits and academic institutions on matters pertaining to research methodology, education, social change, participation / democracy, religion and culture, gender,  public health and service delivery/infrastructure. Her field research has been primarily in West Africa. She has recently completed a variety of projects through GK Consulting, including as Lead Global Consultant for a 4-country quantitative and qualitative midline and baseline (endline planned for 2018) evaluation on youth financial education and skills development for Plan UK (Brazil, India, China, Rwanda), Project Manager / Quantitative Lead for a Midline and Baseline Evaluation (Endline planned for 2018) of Norwegian Church Aid’s Gender Based Violence Reduction Programme in North and South Kivu, DRC, Team Leader for a baseline and endline evaluation of a program to use SMS reporting mechanisms in reduce child sexual abuse in Liberia, and as a Gender Expert / Technical advisor for the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s investment in Liberia. Outside of GK Consulting she consults regularly for the World Bank, and is also a  Research Fellow at University of Massachusetts Center for International Education (CIE), working as the Research Manager for a USAID funded 5-year contract on Education in Conflict and Crisis Affected Environments (USAID ECCN).

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Gregory Deacon - Senior Consultant, East Africa Projects

Gregory Deacon

PhD, Senior Consultant, East Africa Projects

02Fifteen years of both practical and academic experience in international development and social change in Africa, with a particular focus on the role of religious groups in East Africa and their relationship to and within civil society and political engagement. In 2014 he completed a three-year British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow in African Studies at the University of Oxford. He has expertise in one-on-one and group engagement with persons at all levels of political and public life, in urban and rural areas, both to conduct rigorous qualitative and quantitative research, and also to provide trainings and briefings to relevant parties on issues surrounding livelihoods, participation, civic engagement, gender rights and community-level empowerment. He has experience working with a variety of donors, NGOs and governments in the UK, Africa, Europe and the US. His most recent assignment was as Team Leader / Qualitative Lead on GK Consulting’s 2014 (Sept – Dec) Baseline Evaluation of Norwegian Church Aid’s Gender Based Violence Reduction Programme in North and South Kivu, DRC.

Edwin Moses Chea - Liberia and Sierra Leone Project Manager

Edwin Moses Chea

Liberia and Sierra Leone Project Manager

04Eight years of experience as local field team leader and qualitative/quantitative researcher on various social research projects in Liberia and Sierra Leone, primarily through GK Consulting, including for Oxfam GB, UNWomen, Unicef, the World Bank, and Plan UK. In the most recent, a 6-county baseline evaluation for UNICEF, Mr. Chea served as local co-team leader and data collector. He also served as local project manager in GK Consulting’s 2013 baseline evaluation of girls’ education in Sierra Leone, where he recruited and assisted in the training of 21 local data collectors, and led a team of seven that visited over 70 communities reaching across 3 districts, completing over 1400 interviews. Mr. Chea is also helping GK Consulting establish a Liberia country office, where he resides.

Jacob Bower-Bir - Senior Quantitative Analyst / Governance and Public Policy Specialist

Jacob Bower-Bir

PhD Senior Quantitative Analyst / Governance and Public Policy Specialist

05Expertise in quantitative modelling and analysis, with vast experience in RCTs and quasi-experimental evaluations in socio-economics, both at the academic and practical levels. In his own research, he looks at the evolution of moral norms and the influence those norms have on various social policies, with additional experience applying economic and social theory to a range of research topics. He has worked internationally in fragile and conflict-affected states, and has a keen understanding of the dynamics of inequality in the international development setting. His previous work includes conducting a cross-national quantitative comparison of legislative data, developing cutting-edge modelling techniques of legislative behaviour in order to predict policy outcomes; and evaluating the effects of charter school reforms on the traditional public education system, assessing the ability of charter schools to educated minority and economically disadvantaged students by conducting a quantitative analysis of student performance across a range of school types while controlling for student demographics, and reported findings to state legislatures, public school officials, and community stakeholders. For GK Consulting he was Quantitative Lead / Field Coordinator for a UNWomen baseline evaluation on Women’s Economic Empowerment in Liberia (2015), and is currently working as Quantitative Lead / Senior Field Researcher on the UNWomen Papua New Guinea Safe Cities Programme.

Ashlie Williams - Project Associate

Ashlie Williams

Project Assistant

06Ms. Williams has field and desk experience in international development, particularly gender issues, health, and social change. She conducted independent field research relating to girls’ education in rural Kenya and wrote an honors thesis on women’s rights and HIV/AIDS activism as an undergraduate at Brown University. She has a strong background in qualitative research design, analysis, and workshop facilitation and experience living and working with local CBOs in urban and rural Kenya. She has worked with GK Consulting since March 2014.

Arbab Ghulam Qadir - Project Assistant

Arbab Ghulam Qadir

Project Assistant

07Mr. Qadir is a development professional with master’s degree in Agriculture Economics and more than 16 years experience in the development and business sector in Pakistan (where he resides), United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. He has expertise on conducting mixed methods evaluations of livelihood, education and WASH projects. He is also actively involved in field survey team management including training, management, field operations, and coordination with client and donors. He first worked with GK Consulting in 2013 on a Year 3 mixed methods evaluation of an adolescent education programme in Pakistan.

Julia Rose Karpicz - Project Assistant

Julia Rose Karpicz

Project Assistant

08Ms. Karpicz has experience providing programmatic support to supplemental education programs for African, refugee youth in Central Massachusetts; researching models of M&E for community-driven development programs in East Africa; and co-leading EFL workshops for faculty at a secondary school in Ndera, Rwanda. She holds an M.A. in International Education from New York University and a B.A. in Political Science from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her graduate research has explored the intersections of disability, education, and conflict; as well as race, identity, and education. She has worked with GK Consulting since November 2014.

Daisy Chang - Project Assistant

Daisy Chang

Project Assistant

09Ms. Chang has field experience in education, health, sanitation, and technology innovations, and has worked on projects in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria. She studied economics with a focus on international development at Wellesley College. Most recently in Ghana (where she currently resides) she led a team and built two science labs and trained teachers on how to teach practicals with limited resources. She has also worked on randomized control trials of conditional cash transfers, studying the effect on school attendance, and has conducted field research on the health effects of charcoal emissions / viable alternatives. She has worked with GK Consulting since February 2013.

Extended Consultant Database

We have an impressive database of local and international consultants from around the world with skills to meet clients’ specific needs. Our consultants are based in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the US and Europe with language skills in (among others) English (primary), Spanish, Portuguese, French, Swahili, Chinese, Russian, German, Italian, Urdu, Hindi, Arabic and a variety of local dialects.

We can provide consultants of varying experience, depending on client needs, at competitive rates based on their skills. We have PhD-holders with over 20 years’ experience and JDs with over 10 years of experience; we have medical doctors with experience in public health in developing countries; we have life-long consultants who have worked in over forty countries; we have recent PhD graduates with up to 5 years of consulting experience and MA and PhD students who are anxious to get dirty in the field. All of our consultants share a passion for theoretically-grounded yet practical and results-driven social research.