Kirsty Wilson

MSc: Environmental Change and Management, University of Oxford (distinction) (2013), BA Social and Political Sciences with a specialism in Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge (2001)

Kirsty Wilson has nearly fifteen years of progressively senior experience in design, delivery and monitoring and evaluation of inclusive rural development programmes. She is an experienced team leader and project director with a keen interest in climate resilience, food security and social protection, and smallholder agriculture.

Kirsty is passionate about ensuring public investment in international development gets to where it is needed in an effective and efficient way. She has held several long-term evaluation Team Leader roles and has provided a range of technical and research inputs on climate and agricultural policy. Prior to joining LTS, she led the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance in Ethiopia, worked as a technical advisor to the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and was Head of Policy at Oxfam GB Ethiopia. She worked with researchers and practitioners to design approaches to building adaptive capacity at community level and worked to integrate these into national policy and large-scale Government programmes, including the national social protection programme.

At LTS, she has worked on evaluation and investment planning for the UK Government (Departments for International Development and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Norad, the World Bank as well as impact investors and NGOs. Kirsty remains passionate about finding cost-effective approaches to supporting smallholder farmers to manage risk and grow their livelihoods. In 2011, she was co-editor of a book Small Farmers, Big Change which presented case studies on achieving change at scale through public investment in the smallholder sector. She has continued to work on the design and evaluation of a number of market-based agricultural programmes, with a particular focus on climate smart approaches.

Kirsty has a deep knowledge of donor practices and requirements, a unique range of long-term overseas work experience, qualitative and quantitative research skills, and a demonstrated record of strategic leadership. She has worked in Cameroon, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia as well as on several global and African regional programmes.

Patrick Abbot

MSc Human Resources Management and Development, IDPM, University of Manchester, (UK) 2006;

PhD, University of Aberdeen (UK) 1997;

MSc Forest Business Management, University of Aberdeen (UK) 1991;

BSc (Joint Hons) Biological Sciences and Geography, University of Birmingham (UK) 1988.

A Director since 2007, Paddy became Managing Director of LTS in January 2009. He started his career by setting up an environmental NGO with friends back in 1987, which brought the concept of people and forests to schools and homes in the UK through educational programmes, film and popular publicity. In the subsequent years, he built-up field experience in the areas of ecology, socio-economics, and organisational development and supported institutional strengthening at local and national levels. Paddy remains passionate about development and the environment and he now combines a company management role with consultancy work. This consultancy focuses on supporting monitoring and evaluation processes for a range of clients and delivering institutional assessments and policy analyses, particularly in the context of environmental change. Co-author of a review for DFID of development policy and the Clean Development Mechanism to enhance financing of development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

SADC Regional Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis Programme

SADC’s RVAA programme aims to support ‘Policy responses to vulnerability constantly informed and influenced by improved assessment of climate vulnerability (who, where, why) across the region’.

The objective of our contract is to assist SADC RVAA Programme Management Unit (PMU) in Gabarone, Botswana to manage and implement DFID’s support to SADC RVAA Strategy.

  • This is a component of the wider Climate Smart Programme ‘Scaling-up Climate Smart Agriculture in Eastern and Southern Africa’ aims to improved knowledge, policies and longer-term incentives drive increased uptake of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) in COMESA- EAC-SADC member states.
  • The SADC Programme Management Unit (PMU) is responsible for coordinating and facilitation of the SADC RVAA programme. It is supported by a Technical Assistance Team provided by Cardno and LTS International.
  • LTS has provided two long-term experts and a range of short-term inputs, delivering the M&E for the RVAA programme and specialist inputs on climate change adaptation, capacity assessment, strategic planning and outcomes assessments.

Cardno and LTS have worked with a range of partners, including the Food Economy Group and the Institute of Development Studies.


SADC developed a regional Vulnerability and Assessment and Analysis (VAA) Strategy, which forms the basis for this Programme component. The component has 3 main outputs:

  • National Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis procedures operational.
  • National Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis outputs reflected in policy and programme.
  • Regional Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis output accessible and communicated.

The SADC Secretariat has requested support to achieve this, through technical experts within the RVAA PMU.


The technical and project management services include:

  • capacity building, institutional development and reinforcement of national VACs.
  • harmonisation of vulnerability analysis across the region.
  • support to the development and implementation of communication and advocacy strategies.
  • support to increase the uptake of vulnerability analysis by policymakers, particularly in relation to humanitarian response, nutrition and food security, social protection, urban planning and climate change adaptation.
  • evaluating the impacts of vulnerability analysis on policy.

Value and benefits

DFID’s support to SADC RVAA Strategy will enhance regional and national response to climate change, poverty and livelihood vulnerability.

Regional Climate Change Programme

Southern Africa is particularly vulnerable to climate related challenges. As part of an ongoing effort to help minimize the risks associated with climate change, DFID has been supporting adaptation efforts in the region. In 2007/08 LTS, together with our regional partner OneWorld, conducted a 5-country feasibility study to clarify the role DFID should play to help southern Africa respond to the challenge of climate change. LTS identified key risks and vulnerabilities in the region, reviewed the anticipated impacts climate change and determined at what resolution biophysical information is needed to inform a) a robust regional programme and b) allow for effective monitoring of climate change progress and effectiveness of responses. It also concluded that a Regional Climate Change programme (RCCP) for Southern Africa (SADC region) could enhance adaptation to climate change, thus contributing towards poverty reduction. Subsequently, DFID approved funding a RCCP designed “to enable transboundary adaptation to climate change, with equitable access to climate funding, in southern Africa”. This programme, with funds managed by OneWorld and technical assistance supported by LTS and a number of South African Partners, was designed to promote capacity building and advisory support to the SADC region, as well as promoting stakeholder engagement, public awareness and lesson learning.

Wildlife Conservation in Northern Region

A specialist in institutional strengthening was provided for a mid-term review of the programme. The findings showed that the project had been weakened by the lack of an appropriate problem analysis and a fragmented design process. In these circumstances the project would be unable to achieve full objectives so recommendations were made for the design of a new project.