As Deputy Technical Director, Barry Smith co-leads SDDirect’s consultancy and research staff. He is also a Principal Consultant in the Governance and Inclusive Societies team and Equal Education portfolio.
Barry is a senior social development and governance specialist with over 30 years of multi-sector experience in international development assistance, philanthropy, grant-making and social investment. He has extensive experience in civil society leadership and institution-building, collaborative learning, adaptive programming and partnerships. His career has focused on promoting more inclusive governance and accountable service delivery through stronger civic engagement, active citizenship and multi-stakeholder collaboration. Barry is a skilled writer, speaker and facilitator, adept in the design and facilitation of participatory processes, peer learning and inclusive dialogue.
Barry spent much of his life in Southern Africa working for democracy and development. He served for nearly 14 years as founding Executive Director of INTERFUND, an anti-apartheid, democracy-building grant-maker channelling Scandinavian, Dutch and UK donor support to civil society organisations active in the struggle for equality, human rights and development in the region. From 2002 to 2010, Barry was the Cape Town-based Senior Director, Southern Africa, with the Synergos Institute, which works for systemic change by strengthening bridging leadership, philanthropy and inclusive partnerships. Additionally, he worked for two years at global level as Director of Development & Public Affairs for CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation.
Born and raised in Canada, Barry has a BA (Honours) degree in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario and an MA (Politics) from Warwick University (UK), where he studied as a UK Commonwealth Scholar. He is passionate about social justice and loves books, art, music and nature.