The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Ana Maria de la Parra

I am co-founder and consultant of SIA Consultancy for development, a Mexican firm specialised in advising governments, organisations, and companies to design, implement and evaluate people-centred projects that contribute to sustainable well-being. We have worked for federal, state, and municipal governments and international organisations such as Amnesty International, USAID, Catholic Relief Services, Interamerican Development Bank, IDRC, UNHCR, and The Newton Fund, among others. Our projects cover a wide range of countries such as Mexico, El Salvador, Brasil, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Peru, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Greece, and Kenya.

I have had the opportunity to shape myself as a hybrid between a practitioner and an academic. I have worked on research projects with universities, such as Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero (UAGro), Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Washington University St. Louis, Newcastle University, and Durham University. Also, I have publications, such as in Environment and Urbanization (IIED).

What I love the most is that I have the opportunity to engage and learn about the most relevant needs in the region, and even more, I can innovate and contribute to the betterment of the status quo. I have worked on mobility, gender-based violence (GBV), migration, disaster risk reduction (RRD), climate change, police brutality, sustainable infrastructure, and diversity and inclusion. Some of the most pressing challenges are around the hesitancy to integrate comprehensive participatory processes into projects. Also, social development is not a priority yet, limiting the economic resources available to incorporate the vision.

I have a BA in International Relations from ITAM (Mexico) and an MSc in Social Development Practice from the DPU. I also specialised in Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation for Accountability and Learning (PMEAL) schemes at IDS. My studies have deeply impacted my professional journey. The founding of SIA Development would not have happened if it had not been for the practical experience I got from the DPU, the extraordinary team of practitioners that taught me how to do it, and the network that the DPU offers. I became part of several projects through DPU alumni, while becoming a part of a strong team of specialised consultants with a shared vision. I am also a very active member of the UCL Mexican Alumni association.