LinkedInDonna Leigh Holden

Donna Leigh Holden

Development Practitioner - Design, M&E, Capacity Building

Adelaide, Australia
International Trade and Development
  1. Development Consultant, Self Employed,
  2. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
  3. New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade
  1. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
  2. Aurecon,
  3. AusAID
  1. The Australian National University
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Development Consultant, Self Employed

Development Consultant, Self Employed


– Present

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Development Consultant, Self Employed
– Present (8 years 7 months)

Current panel contracts in place:

DFAT Australian Aid Advisory Services Panels:
* Program Design,
* Monitoring and Evaluation,
* Capacity Building; and
* Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

New Zealand MFAT Foreign Aid Program Panel
* Design Advisory Services

Aid Advisory Services Panel Member: Design, M&E, Capacity Building, DRR

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
– Present (1 year 5 months)Worldwide

Holder of 4 Panel contracts for DFAT Aid Advisory Services Panels as listed above

Design Specialist

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade
– Present (6 months)

Design Panel Member for NZAID Program Design

Design Team Leader, Early Childhood Education

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade
– Present (1 month)Indonesia: NTT, NTB

Lead design team to develop design for partnership between NZAID and UNICEF in support of early childhood education (ECE) in Eastern Indonesia.

Team Leader Technical Support Team Australia Community Rehabilitation Program Phase 3

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
– Present (1 year 9 months)Sri Lanka

ACRP3 is a $45m multistakeholder program which aims to support the rehabilitation and rebuilding of communities in post war Sri Lanka. This role is responsible for support M&E and the provision of technical support to AusAID and partners in peace and conflict programming, gender and inclusion, capacity building and civil society.

Program Quality Resource Group (PQRG) Member for Australia Mekong NGO Engagement Platform (AMNEP)

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
– Present (1 year 5 months)Mekong Region (Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao, Vietnam)

Delivering of range of services to facilitate the establishment of AusAID-NGO partnerships within multiple sectors and with multiple agencies in the Mekong region. Including partnership brokering, design facilitation, peer review and appraisal, partnership and business systems development, technical support, facilitation.

Team Leader Community-based Climate Action Grants (CCCAG) Evaluation

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
(4 months)Vietnam

Lead 4 person technical team for the evaluation of DFAT Australian Aid's Community-based Climate Change Action Grants (CCCAG) which provides grants to 6 NGOs for climate change adaptation and mitigation in Vietnam.

Evaluation Team Leader (Australia Civil Society & Community Development Strengthening Scheme ACCESS)

(2 months)Indonesia (Sumba Barat Daya, Sumba Tengah, Lombok Utara, Selayar)

Evaluation of DFAT funded ACCESS Phase II Replication in 4 Districts of Indonesia. Determine extent to which civil society strengthening and village level local governance interventions are creating emerging impacts for communities in Sumba Barat Daya, Sumba Tengah, Lombok Utara and Selayar (South Sulawesi). Identify which tools and products have potential for replication within the wider Australian government governance programs in Indonesia.

Design Writer - Australia Indonesia Partnership for Disaster Risk Reduction (AIFDR)

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
(8 months)Jakarta, Indonesia

Design support for $180m bilateral program supporting DRR in Indonesia

Consultant - Interim Partnership Services for Australia Mekong NGO Partnership Platform (AM-NEP)

(1 year 5 months)Mekong region

Delivering of range of services to facilitate the establishment of AusAID-NGO partnerships within multiple sectors and with multiple agencies in the Mekong region. Including partnership brokering, design facilitation, peer review and appraisal, partnership and business systems development, technical support, facilitation.

Re-contracted as Program Quality Resource Group Member in July 2013.

External Evaluator, Design Consultant RAGAM

AusAID Australia Indonesia Facility for Disaster Reduction (AIFDR)
(1 year 10 months)West Sumatra

Monitoring, evaluation of program interventions aimed at piloting approaches for earthquake safe reconstruction as a model for roll-out as national program by the Government of Indonesia in earthquake prone areas of Indonesia. Documentation of lessons learned and design options.

Team Leader, Mid term Review Australia Sri Lanka Community Rehabilitation Program ACRP3

(3 months)Sri Lanka

Team Leader - Evaluation PNPM Peduli

The World Bank
(4 months)Indonesia

Evaluation of national program supporting Indonesian civil society (CSOs) to deliver programs for marginalised people's. Leadership of 6 person evaluation team.

Design Team Member - Civil Society Specialist (AM-NEP)

AusAID (Mekong Section)
(3 months)Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao PDR

Design of AusAID NGO Partnerships Mechanism for the Mekong Region.

Designer & Technical Writer

RTI International
(3 months)Indonesia (Papua Province)

Design of a health system strengthening/local governance program with a focus on HIV, MCH and TB. Funded by USAID and delivered by RTI Kinerja.

Team Leader, Review of AusAID Periodic Funding for Humanitarian Assistance to Burma (PFHAB)

(3 months)

Review of AusAID modality for funding to Australian NGOs in Burma, development of a road map for future AusAID – NGO Partnerships and a modality for support to civil society in Burma

External Evaluator, Design Consultant, Build Back Better (BBB) Campaign

AusAID Australia Indonesia Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction
(7 months)West Sumatra

Evaluation of a social marketing campaign for the construction of earthquake safer housing in West Sumatra. The process included a qualitative survey of 3000 households, qualitative field surveying and the development of a design concept for a national BBB campaign/program.

Design Team Leader, Australia Fiji Community Development Program

(7 months)Fiji

Led 4-person team for design of $15m modality for Australian/EU development assistance to civil society to delivery demand driven development programs in Fiji.

External Reviewer

Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health
(3 months)Burnet Indonesia

Strategic Review of Burnet Operations in Indonesia

Trainer, Peace, Conflict Learning Development Package

AusAID, Peace and Conflict Unit
(6 months)

Training of AusAID staff and partners on Peace and Conflict. 2 x 5 day programs in Thailand and Timor Leste covering Timor, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Independent Evaluator Covalima District Development Program

(3 months)Timor Leste

Lead a team of local evaluators to undertake evaluation of Oxfam's district development program which focussed on local governance, womens' political leadership, DRR and rural economic development

Technical Advisor, Coordinator, Bali Rehabilitation Fund

(3 years 6 months)

Donna was engaged to assess the socio-economic impacts of the Bali bombings on local communities, design recovery responses and manage the AusAID BRF including:

* Establishment and management of a community grants program supporting new initiatives for alternative livelihoods, vocational training, basic service delivery and support for SME development;
* Mobilisation of community recovery activities within affected communities
* Technical support for NGO partners and communities in the design and delivery of recovery programs;
* Networking and multi-stakeholder planning for response and recovery;
* Development of management guidelines and procedures for the delivery, monitoring and evaluation of $1.5 million in community grants;
* Establishment of beneficiary based M&E including MSC and measuring change through creative means such as photography and story telling;
* Project monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

In this role Donna was also a member of the ACCESS Senior Management Team and was responsible for supporting the appraisal of grants issued to communities under this scheme, training and capacity building activities and strategic project management.

Recovery and Livelihoods Specialist Aceh (Consultant)

(less than a year)

Country Director, Indonesia

Save the Children
(3 years 4 months)

Donna established the SC UK presence in Indonesia including negotiating the MOU and legal registrations, development and oversight of an operational strategy, program, financial and human resource management systems and securing a funding base. SC UK grew to be an agency with 9 field offices, 280 staff and an annual budget of US $4 million. The SC UK country strategy focused upon the impact of conflict and displacement on children specifically:

* Emergency and humanitarian assistance and recovery: with sectoral focuses in primary health, social protection and education. Recovery and mitigation was a key focus and SC UK worked with communities and government to ensure sustainable solutions to economic and social recovery, conflict reduction and peace building;
* Education: effective models of education for displaced children;
* Social protection: mitigation of child/youth involvement in armed conflict; establishing civil society frameworks for child protection, prevention of separation, trafficking etc.

National Policy Advisor/Deputy Team Leader

AusAID, Australia Indonesia HIV/AIDS and STD Prevention and Care Project
(1 year 4 months)

This AusAID bilateral project assists the Government of Indonesia to develop and implement responses to HIV/AIDS including institutional strengthening, clinical and laboratory services for STD/HIV management, surveillance, social research and policy development. Donna had a dual role of Deputy Team Leader and assisted the Team Leader in all aspects of management support, operational planning, monitoring and evaluation and reporting. As National Policy Adviser she was responsible for supporting the AIDS Commission and government Ministries in the development of the National AIDS Strategy, strengthening capacity to plan and manage ongoing HIV/AIDS responses, and bringing together the threads of all Project activities into a framework of lessons learned and aligned sustainable policy and program responses.

Strategic Planner

(1 year)Canberra and Field Officer

Director, Youth Services

YWCA of Canberra
(6 years)


* Twenty years senior management experience within international development and community organisations in Australia, Asia and Pacific.
* Professional consulting experience in the design, monitoring and evaluation of development activities in multiple sectors (HIV/AIDS, health, social protection, child protection, gender, community/rural development, civil society, DRR/DRM).
* Institutional capacity building/organisational development including strategic planning, organisational assessment, HRD, training and mentoring.
* Qualified senior trainer with experience in curriculum development.
* Extensive grant management with a range of bilateral/multilateral donors.
* High-level policy development and advocacy with central and regional governments in Indonesia and Australia, UN agencies, donors and NGOs.
* Experience in human security management and NGO security assessment.
* Strong understanding of the Australian aid program including 5 years senior management of AusAID bilateral aid programs, and 6 years consulting.

* English (native speaker) *Indonesian (fluent written & spoken) * Malay (fluent written & spoken) * Thai (basic spoken)

* Indonesia * Timor Leste * Myanmar * Thailand * Hong Kong
* Australia * UK * Philippines * Lao PDR * Fiji * Vietnam *Cambodia * Sri Lanka

Specialties: Design, Independent Monitoring and Evaluation, Partnership Development, Civil Society, Training
Sectors: Civil Society, Humanitarian and Disaster Risk Reduction, Health, Child Protection and Youth, Gender, Conflict and Fragility, Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening.

Volunteer Experience & Causes

Team Mobiliser - Participant

The Great Cycle Challenge

Mobilised a team of cyclers and raised funds for childhood cancer research.

Opportunities Donna Leigh is looking for:

Causes Donna Leigh cares about:

Organizations Donna Leigh supports:


Independent Coursework

  • Theory of Change for Development Effectiveness (Clear Horizons 2013)
  • Facilitating Program Design (Clear Horizons 2013)
  • Peace and Conflict Development Program (AusAID 2007)
  • Systems Approach (SDI 2009)
  • Managing HIV Programs in Developing Countries (Burnett Institute 1998)
  • Conflict Resolution Advanced Skills (CRN)
  • Conflict Resolution Train the Trainer (CRM)
  • Primary Health Care Development Program (ACT Heath)
  • Train the Trainer (VETAB)
  • Train the Workplace Assessor (VETAB)
  • Managing Community Based Organisations (ACT Dpt Community Service)


Partnership Broker Level 1

The Partnership Brokers Association
– Present

TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

Australia Mastery Learning Academy (AMLA)
– Present


  • Capacity Building
  • Monitoring and...
  • Programme Design
  • Civil Society
  • Partnerships
  • Training
  • Facilitation
  • Design Review
  • NGOs
  • Project Planning
  • Workshop Facilitation
  • International...
  • Program Management
  • Program Evaluation
  • Policy Analysis
  • Facilitators
  • Community Development
  • Corporate Social...
  • Policy
  • Project Management
  • Governance
  • Proposal Writing
  • Public/private...
  • Technical Assistance
  • Government
  • Humanitarian
  • Qualitative Research
  • Economic Development
  • See 13+  See less


Australian National University

Masters in Applied Anthropology and Development

University of Wollongong

Graduate Certificicate in Management, Management


  1. English

    Native or bilingual proficiency
  2. Indonesian

    Full professional proficiency
  3. Malay

    Professional working proficiency
  4. Thai

    Elementary proficiency


Community Climate Change Action Grants Vietnam

Review of DFAT/AusAID funded projects addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation opportunities in Vietnam's rural communities. Implemented by local and international NGOs, six projects seek to improve community resilience and adaptation, while cutting emissions. Part of the review team, I focused on evaluating the progress of two low-carbon rice cultivation projects implemented by SNV and Environmental Defence Fund.

Team members:

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