Our Team

The IEA team is a small team based in Rome, Italy and hosted at the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the UN. Our objective as a team is support the evaluation community with a 360
degree structure of services.

Rachel Sauvinet-Bedouin has more than 25 years of professional experience in evaluation and in the international food and agriculture sector. Rachel gained a Masters and post-Masters degree in economics and development economics, respectively, from the University of Paris IX Dauphine. Her earlier career included posts in the Asian Development Bank, the French Research Centre for Agriculture Development (CIRAD), and FAO’s Economic and Social Department. Before joining CGIAR in late 2012, she was a senior evaluation officer in FAO’s Office of Evaluation, where she managed strategic and complex evaluations and contributed to international evaluation quality standards and systems, including co-chairing several task forces of the United Nations Evaluation Group.

Sirkka Immonen

Senior Evaluation Officer

Sirkka worked for the Secretariat of the ISPC (and its predecessors) for 14 years, and served the Standing Panel on Monitoring and Evaluation coordinating all independent external Center, Program and thematic evaluations in the CGIAR and organizing a number of them. She also coordinated the assessment of the rolling Medium-term Plans and was involved in the research aspects of the CGIAR’s Performance Measurement System, including critical assessment of the lessons. More recently, Sirkka contributed to ISPC’s guidance on research prioritization, planning and CRP review. In joining the IEA as senior evaluation officer She brings experience on research and research evaluation and institutional memory of the CGIAR’s M&E. Her background is on plant breeding, with her PhD research completed while at CIMMYT. She has completed studies on development oriented farming systems research. Before joining the CGIAR she worked on cereal tissue culture and plant genetic resources.

Deborah Basilici

IEA Assistant

Deborah joined CGIAR-IEA in July 2013 as an office assistant. Before then she worked for almost 15 years in FAO, in various technical divisions, and before joining FAO she worked in England and for private companies in Rome. She has a degree in Political Science, specialized in Modern and Contemporary History, and enjoys reading – mostly thrillers, running and swimming

Jenin Assaf

Communications Manager/ ECOP Facilitator

Jenin joined IEA in November 2013 to lead communications and knowledge sharing efforts in IEA, as well as facilitate and support the Evaluation Community of Practice. Her experiences with CGIAR include working with as Program Manager and COmmunications Specialist with the Independent Science And Partnership Council (ISPC), the former ICT-KM Program of CGIAR as well as the Global Crop Diversity Trust – all part of the CGIAR family. Prior to joining the CGIAR, she worked as Program Director in prominent international organizations to develop complex intervention programs and projects in the Middle East and Afghanistan, including Search for Common Ground and Vital Voices Global Partnership. She holds both Palestinian and US nationalities, and speaks fluent English, Arabic and Italian, and has completed her Masters of Arts in International Development.

Sophie Zimm

Evaluation Analyst

Sophie joined the CGIAR Independent Evaluation Arrangement in May 2013 where she works as an Evaluation Analyst. Before working for the CGIAR she worked in the evaluation departments of UNIDO and UNODC and also gained experience in project coordination/management in Mozambique.During her various assignments she gained insight into a variety of issues, ranging from the evaluation of country programmes and thematic evaluations to establishing a lessons learned database and identifying ways to disseminate lessons more effectively.She enjoyes working in evaluation, because it is most of all forward looking and constructive, and believes when evaluation is conducted and used properly it can actually increase the development impact of organizations like the CGIAR. Apart from work, Sophie is a movie enthusiast, loves taking photos and looking at art photography and is addicted to cryptic-crosswords, which she hopes she can complete in a foreign language one day.

Federica Coccia

Evaluation Analyst

Federica works as an Evaluation Analyst for the CGIAR-IEA, based at FAO in Rome. Prior to joining the CGIAR, She worked for FAO for 12 years, mainly in project management, gender, evaluation and administration. She collaborated with the Evaluation Service of FAO on various evaluations including the 2006 Independent External Evaluation (IEE) of FAO. Following the IEE, She was also closely involved in FAO’s reform process. Her academic background is in development economics and she speaks English, French and some Spanish.These various field-based assignments gave her insight into several aspects of conducting evaluations, including first-hand experience on data collection, survey development, data analysis, field team coordination and most recently evaluation management. She likes working in Evaluation as she believes that evaluation is key for better decision making and for the achievement of development results. Her academic background is in development economics and she speaks English, Italian and Spanish. She enjoys travelling, hiking and playing capoeira.

Manuela Bucciarelli

Evaluation Analyst

Manuela joined the CGIAR Independent Evaluation Arrangement in September 2015 as an Evaluation Analyst. Before working for the CGIAR she worked in several international organizations, including UN Agencies and NGOs. Her last assignment was with the Evaluation Division of UNRWA in Jordan, managing external evaluations focused on various Agency interventions targeting Palestine refugees. Before then she worked as a Consultant for the Development Impact Evaluation Group of the World Bank in Kenya and Malawi and as a Field Coordinator for Impact Evaluation studies in Malawi with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). These various field-based assignments gave her insight into several aspects of conducting evaluations, including first-hand experience on data collection, survey development, data analysis, field team coordination and most recently evaluation management. She likes working in Evaluation as she believes that evaluation is key for better decision making and for the achievement of development results. Her academic background is in development economics and she speaks English, Italian and Spanish. She enjoys travelling, hiking and playing capoeira.