Judith Ann Walker

Judith-Ann Walker is an Afro-Caribbean female development practitioner with 19 years of experience working in Nigeria where she supports several international development programs as an independent advisor and evaluator. She is a founding member and current Coordinator of the indigenous non-profit, the development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC).

Judith-Ann holds PhD and Masters Degrees in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies of the University of Erasmus, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 2005 and 1989 respectively and a BSc Honors Degree in Government majoring in Public Policy and Administration, 1984, from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. Judith-Ann also holds a post-graduate diploma in Decentralization, Rural Planning and Administration in the Developing World, 1988, from the DSE, Department of Development Co-operation, German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Berlin.

Judith-Ann has peer review publications on development effectiveness, early marriage, gender and development and girls’ education. Her 2005 publication, Development Administration: Women’s Education and Industrialization, by Palgrave, Macmillan Press, is a recommended text for students of education and development. Judith-Ann has held Lecturing positions at the University of the West Indies, Bayero University Kano and a Teaching Assistant at the International Institute of Social Studies, the Hague.

Judith-Ann served as the Gender Advisor on the EU Programming Study of Nigeria between 1999 to 2001 to support Nigeria’s return to democratic governance. In 2003 Judith-Ann led a team of experts to review USAID strategies for programming in the North and make recommendations for improved development effectiveness. Her report shaped the new USAID health and education integrated programming strategy. Similarly, Judith-Ann has been asked to review and make strategic inputs into flagship health and education interventions in Nigeria by the European Union, the Canadian International Development Agency and USAID. She has reviewed and recommended for funding more than 200 proposals to the European Union by Nigerian NGOs. Judith-Ann also coordinated the dissemination of  the Country Partnership Strategy I (2003) and II (2010) both of which were designed by the World Bank, African Development Bank, DFID, and USAID Nigeria as well as the World Bank’s new Gender Strategy for Nigeria, 2012. Judith-Ann was engaged by the European Union under its Support for Transforming Institutions Program (STRIP) program to train senior level civil servants of the National Planning Commission, the Centre for Management Development and the National Institute for Social and Economic Research on Gender based Budgeting, Gender Planning and Analysis in a series of customized capacity building workshops. Across West Africa, Judith-Ann was supported by the Ford Foundation to conduct a 2 year review of girls education interventions and interventions to end early marriage in 16 ECOWAS countries. Findings are currently being published by the Ford Foundation.

The non-profit she leads, the dRPC, has emerged as the première think tank on development programming in Nigeria and West Africa. Since the dRPC’s formation in 1994, the organization has raised over $20,000,000.00 in competitive grant funds to implement innovative projects in the areas of public health, trafficking in persons and girls’ education. As the Co-founder and current Executive Director Judith-Ann developed winning proposals and implemented projects with funding from the Grand Challenges Canada, the Institute of International Education, World Learning, USAID Nigeria, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, Family Health International, the World Bank, the Ford Foundation, the Bernard Van Leer Foundation and a host of other bilateral and multilateral development partners.  Funds were used to implement 34 signature programs targeting women, girls, policy makers and Muslim opinion leaders.

Under her leadership, the dRPC has also facilitated cutting edge research and projects on religion, culture and development in Nigeria and West Africa. These include the Oxford University project funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Nigeria- Strengthening Research and Understanding of the Muslim World, 2011-2013; the Sharia Information and Documentation Project (SIDOP) project of the Henrich Boll Foundation 2001-2005; and the Poverty Knowledge and Practice study of the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, 2003.

Judith-Ann started her early career in 1986 in the Civil Service of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago as the Senior Research Officer, Parliament, Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Her areas of expertise are – gender, girls’ education, public health, religion and development and development effectiveness.  Judith-Ann is an Ashoka Innovator, 2003.