Contributing to Social Change: Tips for Negotiating the Academic-Practice Divide


Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 13:00


Alexandra Pittman
Alexandra Pittman
Thursday April 9, 2015  1:00 - 2:00 P.M.
Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall - 160 East
Open to everyone    Refreshments served

Drawing on diverse experiences in monitoring and evaluation in the field, Pittman shares tips for students wishing to make a difference by applying their theoretical and academic skills to the international development and human rights sector. Case examples are presented from her work with peacebuilding and women’s rights work in Armenia and Azerbaijan, design and implementation of a participatory evaluation process with Moroccan activists, and development of a software product to track and visualize trends in social change data, Impact Mapper. 

Alexandra Pittman is the founder of Impact Mapper and AVP Global Consulting, LLC. Alexandra specializes in research and evaluation for human rights, women's rights, and social justice organizations, networks, and movements. Alexandra has worked with a diverse set of donors and international nonprofits since 2005, including Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID), Foundation Center, FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, Kvinna til Kvinna, Open Society Foundations (NYC and Armenia), Oxfam America, Oxfam International, Oxfam Great Britain, Mama Cash, Spring Strategies, UNDP, UN Women Trust Fund for VAW, and Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP).  

Publications span both professional and academic spheres, including a chapter in the 2011 Reality of Aid report (with Anne Schoenstein and Lydia Alpizar), a chapter on the family law reform in Morocco (with Rabéa Naciri) in Citizen Action and National Policy Reform: Making Change Happen (eds. John Gaventa and Rosemary McGee), a paper for UNDP on measuring gender equality and women's empowerment, a co-authored paper on M&E in women’s rights organizations, "Capturing Changes in Women’s Realities" (with Srilatha Batliwala), and was the creator and moderator of AWID's M&E wiki

Alexandra received her Masters degree in International Education Policy from Harvard University and PhD in Sociology and Cultural Psychology from Boston College. She also held a Senior Research Fellowship position at the Hauser Center for Nonprofits at Harvard University from 2010-2011, working on the role of brand in international nonprofits and philanthropies.