Julie Lawson-McDowall works within some of the most effective recent programming responses to extreme poverty and gender inequality: women’s empowerment programming, cash based interventions and social protection. She draws on extensive academic research experience (IDS 1991, IDS 2015, DFID 2000, AKRSP 1992-96) to ground her analysis of poverty for appropriate programming and policy advice, spending over 6 years on applied research into women and livelihoods in Pakistan and Malawi (FSIPM 1996-2000) before moving into national policy and programming on gender and social protection in Zambia, Kenya, Somalia and the southern and eastern African region (Irish Aid Zambia 2006-08, UNICEF 2010-11, FAO Somalia 2012-14).
Julie has built capacity in a range of local research teams to ensure nuanced gender and livelihoods analysis for each task. These capacity building skills were most recently adapted for remotely managed research in the high risk context of Somalia to map the gender division of labour for greater inclusion of women and the socially excluded in FAO agricultural programming (FAO 2015). Julie has experience with financial inclusion initiatives, having managed the first scoping study of delivery systems for the Zambia SCTs (IAZ 2008); identified and adopted best practice selection criteria for a private sector delivery mechanism for an emergency cash transfer programme in Kenya (UNICEF 2011) and designed and managed a mobile banking pilot for FAO’s flagship Cash for Work programme. Julie is currently working on the interface between social protection systems and women’s empowerment in supporting the linking of Zambian SCTs with programming for extremely poor women’s livelihood empowerment through training in business, soft skills and savings complemented by grants (GEWEL 2015).