Rosalind Eyben is one of the co-convenors of the Big Push Forward. She has been a Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies where she is a member of the Participation, Power and Social Change team [link] where she works on power and relations in the international aid system. She was previously employed by the UK Department for International Development and before that as consultant and adviser to the ILO, FAO and other United Nations agencies. Rosalind’s interest in knowledge, power and practices has led to her taking the international aid system as an entry point to enquiring more generally into institutions that have a declared normative commitment to progressive social change. She has been exploring this with a variety of development organisations in the UK, Netherlands, Norway, the Caribbean, Australia, Switzerland, Ireland and most recently in Vietnam to help them bring theories of social change to bear on practical and institutional questions in a manner that allows them to interrogate their assumptions and identify alternative modes of thinking and doing. She has published extensively on aid relations, including Relationships for Aid (2006).
Irene Guijt is one of the co-convenors of the Big Push Forward. She is an independent advisor, trainer, author and researcher focusing on learning processes and systems in (rural) development and natural resource management, particularly where this involves collective action and social justice concerns. Work with organisations like RIMISP, IUCN, IFAD, ActionAid International, and Dutch development NGOs has focused on how strengthening critical reflective practice to enhance pro-poor and sustainable development. Prior to this, she was a researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development (UK) on sustainable agriculture issues and a visiting lecturer at Wageningen University and the Australian National University. In both institutions, she set up new graduate level courses on participatory and social change processes. She tweets @guijti.
Cathy Shutt is facilitator of the Value for Money thematic cluster. She is an independent consultant with over 17 years’ experience of research and practice within the international aid system. Much of this work has been in the Global South and has involved managing the financial side of relationships between donors and non-governmental organisations. Research interests include: power in aid relationships; non-profit financial management; the sociology of money and accounting; and social constructions of ‘corruption’.
Chris Roche is an Associate Professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne. He was, until September 2012, the Director of Development Effectiveness at Oxfam Australia. Prior to that, Chris was Head of Program Policy at Oxfam Great Britain for eight years, and worked for 10 years for the Agency for Cooperation in Research and Development (ACORD), managing the agency’s West Africa and Sahel programs and setting up its research and policy program. He is author of the book Impact Assessment for Development Agencies, the recent report Promoting Voice and Coice: Exploring Innvations in Australian NGO accountabilty and co-editor of Ethical Questions and International NGOs.
Brendan Whitty is a facilitator of the ‘driving change’ thematic cluster. He is an independent consultant with ten years’ work in the development sector. Research interests include: political economy analyses of development processes in fragile states, with a particular emphasis on Afghanistan and Pakistan; mutual accountability and the bilateral aid relationships; evaluation and management tools for development organisations. He tweets @brendanwhitty.