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Deirdre has sixteen years of experience as a programme officer and traininer in the water supply and sanitation sector. The focus of her work is on sector capacity building and learning for strengthening water sector governance. Deirdre is conducting a doctoral research project on approaches to delivering systemic change in the water sector. The research seeks to ground IRC's approach to delivering change in the water sector through the lens of complex adaptive systems sciences. Agent based modelling serves as the experimental tool for exploring complexity-based approaches to delivering large scale systemic change. The research is being done in collaboration with the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft Technical University in The Netherlands.

Key activities

2013 - 2014 Coordinator IRC Training Services
Revitalised in 2012, IRC's training services form a central component of the organisation's core activities.

IRC offers a range of online and tailor-made training programmes based upon thematic and practical areas such as Costing Sustainable Services: The Life Cycle Cost Approach; A Service Delivery Approach: Roles and Functions of Water Service Authorities and Governance of WASH Services.

2011 - 2014 Learning Coordinator Triple-S Water Services that Last
Deirdre worked on Triple-S Sustainable Services at Scale project from 2009 - 2014. Following co-development of the Monitoring and Learning framework for the project's outcomes based management approach, Deirdre took up the role of Learning Coordination in late 2011. The aim of the Learning component was to research and make explicit the approach of the project to affecting whole system change in the rural water services delivery sector.

Deirdre works mainly in Africa (Ghana, Uganda, South Africa and Cape Verde) and Asia (Sri Lanka and Vietnam) and provides advisory work for governments, multilateral and bilateral agencies, foundations, development banks and other international organisations globally.


A native of California, USA, Deirdre has long been active in local social equity and human rights initiatives. As a staff member of Brotherhood ● Sisterhood USA in the early-1990s, Deirdre worked with Los Angeles youth to build skills for transcending the socially divisive challenges of our times such as racism, social exclusion and gender discrimination with the aim of enhanced local social cohesion and equity in a city renowned for strife and glaring social inequity. During her studies at UC Santa Barbara, Deirdre served as a member of the University's Rape Prevention Peer Education Programme, designing and conducting peer-education and awareness-raising programmes for members of the university community about gender-based violence and rape.

Deirdre is a doctoral candidate (Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands), holds an MA in Development Studies with a specialisation in social demography and population studies (International Institute of Social Studies, The Netherlands) and was originally trained as a Sociologist (BA, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA).


English, Dutch and basic French and Spanish

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