Padma M. Karunaratne (1998)


Independent Consultant – Monitoring and Evaluation

Brief Bio – Area of primary research:  During my studies, I focused my research on fertility and development, and was primarily interested in monitoring and evaluating development interventions. After joining the World Bank as an Evaluation Specialist, my area of interest broadened to evaluating development training programs as well. I also offer training on the methods and techniques of monitoring and evaluation of development initiatives at country level.

Current work:  I currently work as an independent consultant, conducting monitoring and evaluation studies of development programs worldwide.  My main clients consist of the World Bank and UN agencies. As a team leader I collaborate with local consultants and have completed several country-level program evaluations in Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Turkmensitan, and other countries for the United National Population Fund (UNFPA). The key focus areas are  population and development, sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, youth and gender equality. I also conduct training workshops for UN, the World Bank, and other development professionals on results-based monitoring and evaluation methods.

Penn State’s Demography Program:  The Penn State demography program prepared me to succeed in my professional career and my current work. Given the mandate of UNFPA, theoretical exposure to population dynamics, fertility transitions, gender issues and their complex interplay with development, gave me a comprehensive understanding of how these processes can impact poverty reduction – the overarching goal of every development agency. The Penn State dual-degree program in Rural Sociology and Demography provided me with a rare and valuable mixture of substantive expertise and advanced research skill – a gift that not many have the opportunity to experience.

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