Joanna Wakia

Senior Associate & Senior MEAL Advisor for Changing the Way We Care

Joanna has 15 years’ experience developing and leading monitoring, evaluation and research work focused on child protection, family reintegration and family strengthening. Joanna works at the cutting edge of pioneering child-focused monitoring and evaluation (M&E) approaches which bring out children’s and caregivers’ experiences of family-child separation, reintegration and alternative care.


Joanna is currently the Senior M&E Advisor for Changing the Way We Care, operating in Guatemala, Kenya, Moldova and Haiti, as well as regionally and globally. She supports the development of good practice in monitoring, evaluation, learning and research on care reform, including child outcomes, system strengthening and advocacy.


Previously, as the Monitoring and Research Advisor for Retrak, an international NGO working to see no child forced to live on the streets, she developed and managed M&E frameworks for reintegration and prevention of separation projects across eastern Africa.


Joanna is passionate about approaches to M&E that are participatory and place the voice of children and all those with lived experience at the centre of evidence-building and learning. She also believes in developing and clearly documenting M&E approaches which are robust but also accessible for agencies with limited resources.


Joanna has been part of several research and learning projects to build understanding of key child protection approaches and their outcomes. This has included the development of standard operating procedures and monitoring approaches for family reintegration which have been used to inform national and international guidelines; estimations of hard-to-reach populations of children living and working on the streets in Malawi and Uganda; and more recently measurement of child wellbeing outcomes amongst children leaving alternative care and disability prevalence amongst children in residential care in Guatemala and Kenya.


Joanna holds an MSc in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics and PG Certificate in Children and Young People’s Worlds: Frameworks in International Practice from the Open University.

Experience and Expertise


Thematic Expertise

Project Experience


Country Experience

  • Malawi
  • Moldova
  • Guatemala
  • Ethiopia
  • Uganda
  • Kenya