I can’t see, so when my radio was destroyed in the cyclone, I felt very isolated. Now that I have a radio, I feel like I can see!
The CDAC Network Secretariat is currently made-up of a full-time Global Coordinator and Research and Learning Officer, a part-time Communications Consultant, and additional short-term support provided by two fantastic interns. The Secretariat supports and coordinates the Network's membership to deliver activities focused on the Network's four strategic objectives. The driving force behind the Network's change agenda is its committed and diverse membership, with the Secretariat acting as a catalyst and facilitator.
The Secretariat Team:
Rachel Houghton - Global Coordinator
The gap between the need to think and act interdependently and our ability to do so sits at the heart of the most difficult problems we face today. A sustainable world will only be possible by thinking differently; by learning to see the larger systems … and by fostering collaboration across every imaginable boundary (The Necessary Revolution by Peter Senge, 2008).
…the challenges we face require us to become aware and change the inner place from which we operate (Theory U by Otto Scharmer, 2007).
Rachel has over 15 years’ experience in the international development and humanitarian sectors. For the past five years she has specialised in developing, leading and assessing complex multi-stakeholder initiatives, which is initially what attracted her to the CDAC Network. She is a trained Partnership Broker.
Rachel says: ‘I believe passionately in the power of collaboration. Working in partnership represents a potential, brought about through the alchemy of many different stakeholders. When diverse groups work together, magic and innovation can occur. Together, we need to pursue deeper, more fundamental solutions to the challenges we face today and will face in the future. Only then will humanitarian organisations be in a position, alongside their partners in business, government, and other sectors, to achieve a more effective humanitarian response.’
Rachel joined the CDAC Network in February 2011. She is aware of the privileged opportunity she has been given to work with such a unique, diverse stakeholder group on one of the most critical issues facing humanitarian action today: how to communicate in a way that not only affords greater dignity to people in crisis, but also likely improves the quality, effectiveness and accountability of aid.
Email Rachel: Rachel.Houghton@cdacnetwork.org
Nicki Bailey - Research & Learning Officer
“Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes. But they are useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.” - Jules Verne, Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
As the Research and Learning officer for the CDAC Network, Nicki is passionate about sharing and using experience to make humanitarian practice as good as it can be.
Nicki has six years experience working in international NGOs and university research centres. Working on large-scale disability surveys as a research assistant at UCL inspired her to undertake an MSc in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2009, where she specialised in humanitarian health. Nicki went on to work for Merlin as Monitoring & Evaluation Officer in DRC, where she developed M&E processes and carried out a number of community-based studies. She has also undertaken evaluations and research studies in Malawi and the UK.
She is excited about working with CDAC Network members on building the evidence base around communications interventions, and driving forward the research agenda.
Email Nicki: email@example.com
Leonie Corcoran - Communications
Leonie has seven years experience working in the media in Ireland. She worked in The Irish Times newspaper in Dublin for six years, as a production editor, subeditor and reporter. During this time she worked across special reports, features, sports, home and world news.
She completed an MSc Humanitarian Action at the end of 2012 and worked as Communications Intern for the CDAC Network for four months while writing her thesis. She now provides part-time communications consultancy support to the Network. She also works with the Irish Forum for Global Health.
Leonie is from County Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland and previously lived in Sacramento, California; Chaing Mai, Thailand; Bukit Lawang, Sumatra; and London.
Leonie says: "I am driven by a belief that communication – face-to-face dialogue, traditional media and, increasingly, social media – and access to information can improve the realities of people affected by crises around the world. Working as part of the CDAC Network team, I hope we can improve the understanding of the importance of 'commisaid' and practically improve communication with crisis-affected communities, thus aiding co-ordination, transparency and accountability in the humanitarian sector."
Email Leonie: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Wetterwald - Project Officer
Jeremy has accumulated nearly two years experience in the humanitarian and human rights sector in Thailand, Lebanon and the UK. Working for the IOM, Le Commerce du Levant, and Amnesty International his professional interest focuses on forced migration.
He completed an Msc in International Relations in 2012 after a business degree in finance and marketing. He is currently responsible for different projects of the CDAC Network and conducts fundraising research for the secretariat. He also works part-time as Child Immigration Advisor for the British Refugee Council.
Jeremy lived in ten countries across three continents. He is bilingual in French and English with knowledge of German and Spanish. Born in Guatemala, his parents' work with the UN led him to Switzerland, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Germany, the US, Colombia, and Thailand. He completed his undergraduate in Canada and worked in Thailand, Lebanon and the UK for major international organisations.
Jeremy says: "Ten years ago my first phone had a black & white screen and its functions were limited to calling and texting. Now from a smartphone I can video call friends and family in different continents via a free service. The humanitarian applications of these technological developments are virtually limitless. Working as part of the CDAC Network team, I want to support a network of like-minded organisations who want to harness the radical changes in consumer technology to help crisis-affected populations including forcibly displaced people."
Natasha Wissanji- Communications and Research Officer
Natasha has experience from Asia, East Africa and Europe through her work with the Aga Khan University, CARE, the British Institute of Human Rights and most recently Save the Children.
She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Nottingham in 2009 and an MSc Tourism, Environment and Development from King's College London in early 2013. She went on to joined the humanitarian relief team in Save the Children, with a focus on communications. She is now with the CDAC Network as a Communications and Research Officer. She also has field experience and has conducted impact assessments at the Kenya/Somalia border and in Karachi, Pakistan.
Natasha says: "Since working for the CDAC Network, the role of communications in my life has become more important than ever before. Everyday, I find my mind being opened to new opportunities and ways of improving the lives of marginalised and disaster affected communities, made possible through different communication and media channels. Being born and raised in Kenya, it isn't hard for me to imagine what a profound effect this work can and does have on people's livelihoods and wellbeing. I look forward to building the case for 'commisaid' and promoting it wherever possible."