Jindra Cekan, PhD

Primary Address:
11814 Sweetpea Ct.
Tampa, FL 33635

Secondary Address:
Kolinska 5
130 00 Prague 3
Czech Republic

Resume CV (download pdf/print version)

Jindra Monique Cekan, Ph.D.

323 11th St., N.E., Washington DC 20002 Suite 100
Email: jindra@cekanconsulting.com
Cell phone: 202-375-3119
Fax: 1-857-559-5404


Political Economist. 11 years president of own consulting firm for international development clients in the US and abroad. Overall 24 years of international development experience, with 4 years in academia. Main focus has been knowledge management and learning from best practices including strategic monitoring and evaluation, supported by Appreciative Inquiry.  Specialties in food security/ livelihoods and gendered program design with INGOs in 26 countries. Convened and led teams of consultants for clients such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Johns Hopkins University. 


  • Africa: Anglophone: Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Zambia.  Francophone: Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Senegal.
  • Latin America/ Caribbean: Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and Peru
  • Europe: Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Czech Rep., Kosovo, Macedonia, UK


  • Ph.D. / M.A.L.D.  The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, 1994, 1990. Thesis: ‘Listening to One's Clients' a Political Analysis of Mali's Famine Early Warning Systems"
  • B.A. Gettysburg College: Economics and Political Science, 1983
  • e-Certified Knowledge Professional certificate from Knowledge Management Institute, 2011

Languages:  Bilingual English and Czech (FSI 5), proficient French (FSI 3), basic Spanish (FS1)
Dual Citizenship: USA and Czech Republic (EU)

KNOWLEDGE SHARING (Best Practices, Strategic Analysis, Monitoring & Evaluation)

USAID, PPL/LER (Policy, Planning, Learning Bureau, Office of Learning Evaluation and Research) Organizational Learning Direct Consultant, preceded by consultancy to USAID via QED 2012-present

  • Supporting USAID’s Organizational Learning at USAID/ HQ and field.  Designed Appreciative Inquiry process doing qualitative interviews which celebrated USAID/ HQ staff technical and regional learning products and processes (kdid.org/ stp) adapting AI to Discovery, Design, Discussion, Dissemination and Determination, This led to the SILK Community of Practice launch with Learning Champions across nine Bureaus and gathered a group of 300 supporters from around the agency. Also helped design the Thought Leaders in Learning speaker series via QED, the Learning Buzz e-newsletter and provided evaluation expertise as well as research on international non-profit KM best practices and learning. See http://usaidlearninglab.org/library/organizational-learning-usaid-strengthening-technical-practice-presentation-0

 ITECS – Project design/ evaluation Consultant (East Africa) 2012-present

  • Project design/ proposal development consultant to ITECS team, providing technical advice for their proposal development process linking African NGOs and a large international for-profit medical device co.

Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, KM Strategic Planning Consultant   (DC)  2012

  • Reviewed current KM strategic plan, did interviews with senior HQ and international staff, analyzed findings and made a wide number of recommendations to become a premier Learning Organization

TOPS/ Food Security and Nutrition Network Consultant on Knowledge Sharing  (DC) 2012

  • Did 20 qualitative surveys, analysis and wrote five briefs on knowledge sharing about programming, learning, incentives and knowledge supports among 11 int'l non-profits mostly using USG Title II funding. Co-presented findings with Joan Whelan of TOPS/ FSNN at the World Bank KM conference, June 2012.

World Vision Strategic Planning Consultant (Food Security & Livelihoods) 2011

    • Designed and facilitated strategic planning retreat for merged team. Used Appreciative Inquiry process.

    InterMedia (DC, global) Health Policy Researcher(DC, Global) 2012

      • In-depth qualitative interviews on international health policy with 12 African, Asian and American senior experts and policy makers for The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Wrote up key findings for report.

      Women Thrive Worldwide, Food Security/ Gender Policy Consultant (World)  2011

      • Consultant and acting Director for agriculture/ food security and gender policy advice, including input to the US government on gender monitoring and evaluation for food security in Africa’s CAADP/ Feed the Future, writing policy briefs, representing WTW at US Agency for Int’l Development events.

      The Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa Technical Consultant 2011

      • Drafted section on Feed the Future’s measurement criteria and USAID’s learning prospects for a white paper for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Also provided edits to this evaluative prognosis.

      World Vision: Food Security/ Livelihoods and Health & Hope, Strategic Planning Consultant 2011

      • Created a retreat agenda and facilitated meetings and the retreat for both groups' strategic planning processes. Primarily used Appreciative Inquiry methods.

      OIC International Food Security Strategic Planning Consultant (Africa) 2010-11

      • Assisted OIC with strategic planning around their African food security, agriculture/ livelihoods and vocational training portfolio. Surveyed field programs, met with senior management and staff to revise materials, focus sectoral programming, including special needs of female youth. Recommended knowledge sharing process with donors and foundations. Drafted two concept papers for Africa.

      Johns Hopkins University Knowledge for Health M&E Consultant (DC, Global) 2010

      • Created and headed team to research and review existing eLearning practices for public health, analyze existing data from 35 international public health eLearning courses, survey a subset of 15,000 eLearning users. Developed a comprehensive strategy for evaluating eLearning moving forward with e-Learners.

      InterMedia AudienceScapes M&E Consultant (DC, Africa)  2010

      • Analyzed and revised a questionnaire, two field reports and wrote an interview protocol to assist the Gates Foundation to know how high-level policy makers in Ghana, Kenya and Zambia access, learn from and disseminate policy information. Integrated gender into questionnaire and report.

      Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Sanitation & Hygiene Advocacy Researcher (World)  2009

      • Created and lead team of seven to research and evaluate advocacy around sanitation and hygiene in 10 countries in Africa and Asia, Europe and the US. Our team interviewed 103 public, non-profit and private key informants to inform Foundation and partners' priorities. Wrote report with recommendations and did presentation to key staff with G. McAuliffe (Data Harvest).

      Lutheran World Relief (LWR), Participatory Rural Appraisal M&E Consultant(Niger)2006-2008, 2010

      • Created, conducted community-based participatory M&E system assessment and evaluation for Gates Foundation-funded drought relief for 4,000 women’s pastoralists on sheep restocking, wells, fodder and transhumance. Trained local staff in PRA process in French and wrote up RRA recommendations. Special focus on impact of program on women and equitable livelihoods.
        Also advised the agency on a potential value-chain evaluation research in West Africa with CATIE/ Ford Foundation. Reviewed technical documents, attended meetings, made recommendations.

      World Vision SP&NK ICB Evaluation & Assessment Consultant (DC, Global) 2008

      • Evaluated impact of the Specialized Programming and New Knowledge training and work-plan process including staff’s knowledge of many sectors of food security programming and how well the SP&NK project supported staff’s international cross fertilization and sharing of promising best practices. This covered 26 participants from 10 programs worldwide plus HQ staff.

      Congressional Hunger Center Part-time Training Advisor (DC, Global) 2007-2009

      • Training Advisor for Leland class of 2007-09, providing fellows mentoring and information on key food security issues and training.  Part-time, led two 10-day Leland International Hunger Fellow trainings on anti-hunger programming and policy, identified speakers and coordinated trainers.

      WISHH Global Development Alliance Project Evaluation Consultant (Honduras, Kenya)  2008

      • Evaluated World Initiative for Soy in Human Health's (WISHH) USAID-funded four-year soy market promotion and humanitarian assistance project. This project evaluated grant and training success with Honduran and Kenyan for-profit meat and bread companies. Final report recommendation included perspectives from 30 partner companies, staff and consultants. Included special focus on women's nutrition.

      Save the Children USA Consultant/Principal Interviewer and Evaluator (Africa)  2005-2006

      • Facilitated the Integration of Food Security and HIV/AIDS provided technical assistance in East and Southern Africa on integrating HIV/AIDS care & support with food aid.  Reviewed 20 USAID and private projects, interviewed staff about project integration of food aid, HIV/AIDS, wrote up findings on how to best disseminate knowledge and create joint learning across countries and programs.

      SUSTAIN, Researcher/Consultant (World)  2004-2006

      • Assessed the quality, expectations and preferences for different kinds of food aid for those infected/affected by HIV/AIDS, malnourished mothers/children and refugees.
        Also designed and sent out survey to over 30 NGO and UN field programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America and analyzed results. Coordinated with USAID/USDA, food industry and scientific experts.

      Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance (FANTA)/ AED Consultant (World)   2003–2004

      • Provided “Programming Food Aid for HIV/AIDS Mitigation” project data from 40 interviews internationally on design and monitoring of food for HIV/AIDS infected/affected with best practices.

      Three years of consultancies on proposal writing and advising:
      Mercy Corps, Proposal Writer and Technical Reviewer  (Africa)  2008, 2009
      CARE, Concept paper Technical Reviewer  (Haiti)   2009
      Geneva Global, Grant Writer (Ethiopia and Ivory Coast) 2006
      Aga Khan Foundation, Food Aid Consultant (Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Mali)   2006-2008
      North American Miller’s Association (NAMA), Food Aid Consultant (Ethiopia, Kenya)      2006

      American Red Cross, International Services Head of Food Security Unit (World)         1999-2003

      • Created first 'food security strategy' for ARC within Technical Assistance, Planning and Evaluation section of International Development with sectoral foci: agricultural recovery, health/nutrition, water/sanitation and safety nets.  Built field staff capacity through trainings, created communities of practice by sectoral email groups, including building national Red Cross/ Red Crescent capacity. Trained over 80 national and international staff and hired two regional staff to disseminate best practices including gender integration.
        Field tools: “ARC Food Security Proposal Review Checklists and Tools”, “Food Ration Calculation Exercise”, “White Paper”. 2001, “Food Security Workshop: Developing Best Practices for Design and Implementation of Food Security Programs” and Emergency Assessment tools: http://www.foodsecuritynetwork.org/resources/program_management/assessments.html Published best practices papers on Food security and HIV/AIDS, Safety Nets and Rapid Rural Appraisal. Commissioned studies on Micronutrient costs and benefits and Agricultural recovery. http://www.foodaid.org/food3.htm. Included special focus on women’s needs in food security.
        Provided ongoing project technical assistance to eight field programs, including participatory M&E during technical assistance/ project design and evaluation in Kenya and Armenia “Armenia Food Security Assessment”, Food Aid Management Food Forum newsletter, IV Q, 2001. Wash., DC.
        Managed ARC’s first ISA $500,000 grant from USAID to improve global food security best practices. Recurrently seconded to ICRC in Kosovo for setting up refugee food program (1999-2000).

      Catholic Relief Services, Head of Food Security Unit (World)  1995–1999, 2005

      • Created first conceptual food security framework covering the agriculture/ livelihoods, health, micro-enterprise, safety net, education and emergency sectors.  Provided technical assistance and capacity building to field offices using food aid in 14 counties and trained over 200 international staff in person and by communities of practice. Special focus on female-headed households in safety net programs.
        Also furthered best practices through conceiving of and editing PRA/RRA Manual including writing “Food security” chapter in CRS PRA/RRA Manual, Spring 1999. Baltimore, MD. Still being used today: http://www.crsprogramquality.org/2009/10/rrapra/.  Published best practices papers on Food Security in Poverty Lending and Food Security in Monetization.
        Co-managed $4 million of USAID ISA grant to CRS worldwide food security programming.
        Evaluated homes/clinics serving the disabled, aged and destitute with food aid. Devised system to assess institutions' self-reliance. Kept US Government ‘safety net’ funding from being eliminated.

      University of Cambridge, Research Associate (UK) and Pew Charitable Trust Fellow    1992-5

      • FEWS (Famine Early Warning System)/Systeme d’Alerte Precoce (Mali). Researcher/Analyst, African Studies Centre 1990-1992. PhD research in Famine Early Warning systems and relief and famine prevention for rural Malian agro-pastoralists. 

      Price Waterhouse/ Coopers, Strategy Consultant and Intern(Czech Republic, USA)1991, 1988

      • Analyzed privatization options and prospects for a Czech distribution enterprise with 19 branches, including debt/asset overviews.  Presented report to Czech and US management.
        Consulted to two international Strategic Management Services clients in banking and high-tech.

      The Ilorin Diocese, Social Development Coordinator/Grant-writer (Nigeria)  1987

      • First grant writer for Diocese. Got 8:12 grants funded, up to $25,000 for economic development, health, disabled services and women’s projects. Created grant application packet and process.

      Salomon Brothers Inc Corporate Finance, Financial Analyst (USA)  1984-88

      • Designed databases, researched and presented data on foreign exchange, mergers and acquisitions, insurance and forest products. Acting head of Graphics & Data analysis team. Organized Corp Finance analyst recruiting and supervised analyst regional trainings.


      The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University (USA)
      Adjunct Asst Prof of Politics

      • Taught graduate-level seminar, "The Politics of Change in Central Europe".

      Harvard University (USA)
      Head Teaching Assistant, Faculty of Arts & Sci. Fall 1992-94, Spring 92  1992-1994

      • Fall: "History of Modern Africa-1850 to the Present" (undergraduates).  Led discussion sections, graded papers, examinations. Coordinated more than 100 students and three Teaching Assistants.
      • Spring: "The Emergence of African Capitalism" (undergraduate). Same as above, 40 students.


      • KUSARD (Kenya Relief and Development NGO) and Education for Hope Boards 2004-, 2011-now
        Washington (Buddhist) Mindfulness Community Board of Directors/Advisor                    1998- present
      • Principal North South Group 2007-present
        Member of American Evaluation Association, Appreciative Inquiry DC, BasisDC Public Charter School working groups and Who’s Who in the Czech Republic, Who’s Who of American Women
      • Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Harvard University Faculty of Arts & Sciences (based on student evaluations, in top 5% of Harvard’s 1,000 Teaching Assistants 1993-94)
      • Doctoral Scholarships: Pew Charitable Trust (1990-92), African Studies Centre, University of Cambridge, UK (1990-91) and The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy (1990, 1993-94)


      Knowledge and use of Web 2.0-3.0 sharing mechanisms and regular Twitterer. Participant in Communities of Practice on: Learning (USAID’s SILK), KM (KM4Dev, KM Braintrust), Evaluation (MandE, AFREA, Xeval), Food Security (Food Security& Nutrition Network) and Gender in Evaluation.


      Additional proposals/ presentations/ publications in separate document. References also available.