Lene Poulsen, a Danish citizen, was brought up with a vision that there is always something to learn and that by working together across cultures we all benefit. International development cooperation, as a career choice, seemed a natural expression of that ethic. Ms. Poulsen worked at the United Nations in West Africa, Rome and at Headquarters in New York for more than a decade, interspersed with a four- year assignment as an international development consultant for a private company. This broad experience allowed Lene to develop her knowledge and understanding of development processes in vulnerable societies and how policies that are well-thought out and planed can facilitate poverty eradication, strengthen resilience to shocks at all levels, and promote greater equality.
Since 2000, Ms. Poulsen has been working as an independent consultant, primarily leading strategic and thematic evaluations of programs and projects in humanitarian and development contexts for the European Commission, UN agencies, and Internal NGOs. Key to these evaluations exercises is that there is no repetition in evaluations: every program and project is unique and requires a special evaluation design with special focus on recommendations based on what is possible for the specific organization. It is therefore critical to carry out evaluations in continued dialogue with the clients and if possible develop lessons-learned and recommendations in joint workshops. As a result of this dynamic approach, Lene can look back at many evaluation exercises from Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America that have led to important changes.
Lene Poulsen holds a Master of Science specializing in Rural Economics and Organizational Theory from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark); a post-graduate diploma in Animal Production in Mediterranean countries from Instituto Agronómico Mediterráneo de Zaragoza (Spain) and a post-graduate diploma in Rural Development Economics from Institut Agronomique Méditerranéen de Montpellier (France).