Elena Mancebo

Elena Mancebo is an experienced consultant on planning, monitoring, evaluation, and learning. Over the past 12 year, she has worked for governments, non-profit and development aid organisations working primarily in the African continent by providing an independent assessment of their projects’ performance; by drawing learnings that can help improve future programmes; by facilitating strategy and project planning; by building effective M&E systems that allow organisations to learn and measure progress; by facilitating training and learning programmes that build M&E capacity. She has recently worked in the fields of citizen-based accountability, entrepreneurship and small-business development, affordable housing, and climate advocacy.

She holds a BA (Honours) of Social Science in Political Science from Madrid, where she is originally from. Between 2016 – 2018, she taught on Theory of Change for the Social Innovation Lab at the Graduate School of Business in Cape Town, and since 2017, she is a tutor on Social Impact Measurement for the Social Enterprise Academy Africa. Sustainability and the future of African Cities is her latest passion, and she has recently obtained a postgraduate diploma and a master’s in philosophy in Sustainable Development Planning at Stellenbosch University. Dena is a member of the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association.

Applied research and evaluation

  • Co-lead in the mid-term review of Integrity Action’s 2018 – 2024 Sida grant aimed at increasing government accountability through tech-enabled citizen monitoring of infrastructure development projects across multiple countries (2022 – 2023).
  • Senior consultant in the mid-term review of the Countering Backlash programme by the Institute of Development Studies which is aimed at increasing the capacity of southern research institutes to understand resistance to gender equality gains around the world and ultimately counter it (2022 – 2023)
  • Senior consultant in the final evaluation of the “Building Trade Union Capacities and Quality Public Services for a Just Transition to Climate Change” by Public Services International (2023)
  • Team leader in the close-out evaluation of the Jobs Fund-funded ‘JF3 Leveraging Project’ for TUHF Limited targeting small business development, increased affordable housing opportunities in South African inner city and improved livelihoods (2021 – 2022).
  • Team leader in the longitudinal evaluation of the implementation of the Safer Communities Initiative programme, implemented by Fight for Peace International in Cape Town and Kingston, aiming at strengthening local response to youth violence (2017-2019). 
  • Team leader in the evaluation of the Anglo-American Investment Climate Facilities Municipal Capacity Development Programme for the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) (2015 – 2016).

Programme design, MEL systems

  • Lead in the development of a Theory of Change and Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning plan for Africa Climate Reality Project (2023).
  • MEL consultant to Bread for the World grantees providing guidance with project planning, design and documentation and MEL system development support (2021 – 2023)
  • Team leader in the development of a user-friendly Theory of Change and M&E system for the Make a Difference Foundation (MAD) to enable the organisation to track the impact of its holistic scholarship programme over time (2019)
  • Social Development consultant and M&E expert in the development of processes and systems to be used by BFA to implement Solidario, an award programme part of the Banks’ emerging social Foundation, for meritorious social development projects across Angola. Includes award structuring, due diligence process and tools and results evaluation (2018 – 2019).

Capacity building

  • Trainer for Education Africa on Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (PMEL) (2023)
  • Trainer for DPME on Theory of Change (2022)
  • Member of the learning coordination team (one of five) supporting nine Comic Relief-funded NGO and academic partners working in the field of girls affected by gang violence and crime in Colombia, the UK and South Africa. (2017 – 2020).
  • M&E advisor for NOAH’s Impact Area Leads (Home, Health, Happiness, Social Enterprise Development and Sustainability) since 2017.

Organisational strategy

Facilitation of annual review and annual planning process for NOAH (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)