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Jeanette Cooke


Rural development consultant - water supply and gender



Professional info


I have 12 years of work experience in international development, working on rural water supply, sanitation and hygiene, gender equality and women’s empowerment and poverty targeting. After graduating with a BA (Hons) Business Studies degree and undertaking voluntary work in Romania, I joined the Water Research centre (WRc), in Asset Management and International Consulting. I worked on various consultancy projects for water utilities and governments worldwide, the UK Environment Agency, European Union, and the World Bank. The work covered diverse topics from the effectiveness of foreign service providers in developing countries to decision support tools for optimising sewer systems. I then undertook the MSc in Water Management – Community water supply at Cranfield University, including my thesis on schoolgirl menstrual hygiene.

Since 2007 I have been a rural development consultant for the United Nations agencies of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and, more recently, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). I have deepened my knowledge of rural water, supply and sanitation and broadened my expertise in rural development through training and work on gender equality and women’s empowerment and poverty targeting. My work has included project design, technical review of design, implementation support, field and desk-based research and analysis, writing publications, organising workshops and policy and strategy development. Clients and partners include the rural people involved in development projects, government ministries, national and international staff of UN and other development agencies, non-governmental organizations and development research bodies.


My mother tongue is English, with working knowledge of French and Italian.

Country experience


Central African Republic









Download Jeanette's CV here


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