Skip to main content

Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Safeguarding Support, Defra

SDDirect provided Defra with a Social Development Advisor, supported by a senior safeguarding specialist and a gender equality, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI) specialist. This assignment supported Defra to mainstream the rights and needs of women and girls, Indigenous Peoples, and minority groups across its ODA portfolio – and to deliver this work safely.

What is Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Safeguarding Support, Defra?

Our team conducted an audit of all programmes in the ODA portfolio to identify good practice, areas to be strengthened, and entry points for engaging, strengthening and even transformative GESI approaches and impact. Our review cut across different dimensions of the Department’s work – programme design and delivery, monitoring and evaluation, staff capacity/ learning, and guidance and protocols.

We provided three training sessions for the ODA team on GESI and safeguarding, and reviewed gender mainstreaming, M&E, and safeguarding guidance, to strengthen capacity on GESI and safeguarding from SEAH. We developed capability plans on GESI and safeguarding and provided targeted safeguarding support and tool development.

Plant bud growing.

Jillian Popkins, Project Team Lead

Jillian is a social development professional with over 25 years’ experience in advisory, programme, management and executive roles.  She has led processes of institutional strengthening, with a particular focus on human rights, gender equality and social inclusion, poverty, and economic development. Across her 25-year career, Jillian has held various senior positions in the former Department for International Development (now FCDO), which managed the majority of the UK’s ODA allocation. Her most notable roles include Deputy Head of Profession for Social Development, and Senior Social Development Adviser. She was Country Director for Girl Effect Ethiopia, a public-private partnerships between Nike Foundation and the UK government and has also held executive positions with UNICEF in China and the UK.  Jillian has a strong track record of delivering results at the global level and measurable change at the national, institutional and community levels.

Area of work this relates to

Staff working on this project