Chair, Board of Trustees
“I’ve always been an extremely curious person. I read anything that falls into my hands.”
Lizbeth Navas-Aleman joins INASP as Chair of the Board of Trustees. She brings extensive experience within the development world, combined with a deep interest in designing hypotheses and carrying out fieldwork. When asked why Lizbeth wanted to join INASP, the new Chair says that the organisation’s vision to put research at the heart of development resonated with her own commitment to research. Lizbeth especially liked INASP’s sense of inclusivity, of ensuring that all voices are heard, including those from the Global South. This, she says, made the opportunity hard to resist.
“My experience of over 20 years working in International Development has also showed me that creating the best solutions for the world’s challenges requires a diversity of views which helps us avoid the ‘blind spots’ that homogeneous groups tend to be unable to identify.”
Lizbeth sees herself as having the opportunity within INASP to create the conditions for talented, committed and experienced people to come to talk with the organisation, and with each other in ways that bring about policy ideas and solutions that meet the changing needs of our societies both in the Global South and the Global North. She sees the main challenge, especially in the times of Covid-19, climate change and growing inequality, to be to find time to invest in meaningful collaborations (South-South and South-North) to enable valuable knowledge exchange. She and INASP need to think strategically together with partners from the Global South how to develop and fund initiatives that makes the best use of resources and are relevant in several contexts.
Lizbeth speaks highly of our team and her experience with Oxford HR, notably of Zoe Greenwood, our Head of Practice for Environment, Climate and Conservation. She notes that she always had the sense that Zoe would not settle for an individual who was not right for INASP, and that she was willing to put in the time to assess whether INASP would be the right organisation for her to join. Lizbeth says she had excellent support from Oxford HR throughout the whole process, and has already recommended us to several colleagues.
“I always felt that she could hold both the best interests of her client (INASP) at heart as well as my own.”
Looking ahead, Lizbeth feels there is huge opportunity for innovation, particularly in new geographical regions such as in parts of South America and Asia. She also thinks that INASP could work with complementary organisations to develop new methodologies and solutions, using it’s global reach to help facilitate productive networks of development organisations and provide quality assurance if needed.
“I believe there’s an evolving role for INASP both as a provider of services and as a generator of innovative bespoke solutions to development challenges.”