Center for Applied Learning and Impact

Center for Applied Learning and Impact

IREX's Center for Applied Learning and Impact strengthens the assessment of IREX’s impact, develops cutting-edge new approaches, creates a dedicated space for learning, and integrates technology and gender across the IREX portfolio.

The center includes a director and a core group of advisers:

Jill Miller is an international development professional with 18 years of progressive experience in democracy and governance, education, gender and youth. In her current capacity as director of the Center for Applied Learning and Impact at IREX, Jill leads a team that develops cutting-edge new program approaches, fosters learning across the IREX portfolio and beyond, and assesses IREX’s impact. More about Jill »

Joy Amulya serves as senior monitoring, evaluation, and learning adviser in the Center for Applied Learning and Impact. Joy leads the Strategic Evaluation and Learning initiative, which carries out projects and activities that support IREX in becoming more systematic, coordinated, and intentional about data, evaluation, and learning. More about Joy »

Brian Batayeh is the implementation research senior technical specialist for the Youth Excel program. In this role, Brian leads initiatives to strengthen evaluation and research capacities of youth-led and youth-serving organizations. More about Brian »

Tsega Belachew serves as technical lead for design, innovation, youth (leadership, entrepreneurship, economic opportunities, and education), applied research, learning, and strategic partnership initiatives. She leads IREX’s school-to-work journeys and 21st-century skills strategic thrust and research on impactful partnerships. She contributes expertise across IREX’s portfolio. More about Tsega »

Sally Bisharat is the communications officer for the USAID-funded Youth Excel program. Sally leads the design and implementation of the project communications strategy, develops content supporting project outreach, and engages with partners and youth participants to support their communications effort. More about Sally »

Kayla Caldwell is the subgrants and capacity building officer for the Youth Excel program. In this role, Kayla manages a substantial and diverse global portfolio of subawards for youth-led and youth-serving organizations, with an emphasis on new local partners, and provides capacity building support to enhance grant management. More about Kayla »

Philip Davidovich is a technical lead for data and digital development initiatives. His work includes implementing and developing products that support capacity development for data-informed decision-making practices among leaders and public-serving institutions. More about Philip »

Charles Guedenet serves as a monitoring and evaluation adviser within IREX’s Center for Applied Learning and Impact where he is responsible for measuring IREX’s global impact and supporting organizational learning, accountability, and data-informed decision-making. More about Charles »

Silvya Kananu is the project lead for USAID’s Youth Excel program, which seeks to empower youth and youth-serving organizations to use implementation research to strengthen local, national, and global development solutions. More about Silvya »

James Karongo Kuria is the regional program officer for the Youth Excel program. He is the point of contact for the program's partners in Africa and supports their activities and subgrants. More about James »

Zaira Lainez is the gender equality and social inclusion officer for the Youth Excel program. She is responsible for ensuring that the considerations of girls, young women, and marginalized groups are mainstreamed throughout program activities and for fostering youth-led program planning through a variety of assessments, outreach to targeted groups, and adaptive methodologies. More about Zaira »

Diego Manrique is the global knowledge mobilization officer for the Youth Excel program. He is responsible of ensuring that learnings produced in the program are transformed into useful and compelling knowledge products for diverse development stakeholders in order to provide them with tools to improve development programing across regions and sectors. More about Diego »

Rosemary Manu is the program coordinator for the Youth Excel program. She works within IREX's Center for Applied Learning and Impact to aid in the coordination of the program. More about Rosemary »

Hafez Neeno is the regional lead & senior capacity building adviser on the Youth Excel project’s leadership team. He is responsible for providing strategic and technical leadership to the project, including a large consortium and public- and private-sector partners. More about Hafez »

Nina Oduro is the leadership technical adviser supporting IREX's leadership programs and the Center for Applied Learning and Impact's initiatives on research, learning, and innovation. More about Nina »

Sheila Scott is the senior technical adviser for gender in IREX's Center for Applied Learning and Impact, where she brings expertise on gender and inclusion, women's empowerment, gender-based violence, civil society, good governance, and youth. More about Sheila »

Rachel Surkin is a senior technical advisor who supports project design, partnerships, and proposals at IREX. Rachel brings over 20 years of experience in youth development, education, leadership development, community development, and international exchanges. More about Rachel »

Tara Susman-Peña is a senior technical expert in IREX’s Center for Applied Learning and Impact and in the Information & Media Practice. Tara provides technical expertise on media literacy, media development, and research across the IREX portfolio. More about Tara »

Matthew Vanderwerff is deputy director for IREX's Information and Media Practice. He provides direct program management and technical assistance in Washington, DC. More about Matt »

Jesus Melendez Vicente is a senior technical adviser for data and digital development in IREX’s Center for Applied Learning and Impact, where he advances IREX’s impact by integrating digital development, data use, and innovation methods in IREX’s capabilities, thought leadership, programs, and new business. Jesus leads IREX’s efforts to help public-serving institutions and leaders use data and evidence more effectively to serve individuals and communities. More about Jesus »

Brenda Xum is a regional program officer for USAID's Youth Excel program. She is responsible for coaching and mentoring local partners and subgrantees in Youth Excel approaches. More about Brenda »