MY PROFESSIONAL PROFILE & EXPERIENCE

I’m an Argentine-Italian qualitative researcher with 11 years of professional experience in research and evaluation in child protection and forced migration in Latin America, Europe, and the US. I help them with the following thematic expertise and skills:

🚸Child protection programs and policies in different contexts (i.e., middle-income countries, least developed countries, humanitarian contexts)
🔎qualitative research, including policy analysis and MEL (Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning)
📝the creation of advocacy reports, guides, evaluations, needs assessments, and recommendations
🌎 Expertise and focus on the Latin American and Caribbean region, even if I’ve also worked in the European Union and Central Asia.

MY STUDIES & ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE

I’m a sociocultural anthropologist (the University of Buenos Aires, one of the top-ranked anthropology programs worldwide), and a Master in Public Administration graduate from the School of Public Policy, Central European University, where I specialized in the design of evidence-based social policies and programs.

In affiliation with the Institute of Anthropological Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires, I carried out three years of in-depth academic research on child care global advocacy coalitions. My research led me to conduct fieldwork in Argentina, England, Mexico, Switzerland, and The Netherlands.

Since 2016, I’ve expanded my professional and research focus beyond child protection to the protection of vulnerable people on the move. I’ve done specialization courses and postgraduate diplomas at:

I’m also certified in MEAL:

  • MEAL (Certification in Monitoring, Accountability, Evaluation & Learning by PHAP)
  • Advanced Monitoring & Evaluation Systems (by INTRAC)

REGIONAL EXPERTISE

Since 2007, I’ve specialized in the Latin American and Caribbean region through my undergraduate and graduate coursework, a graduate diploma in Latin American & Caribbean Studies (Latin American Council of Social Sciences, CLACSO), and a Certificate of Afro-Latin American & Caribbean Studies (Harvard University).

I’ve also studied and got certified in the most widely spoken official Languages across the region: I’m fully proficient in Spanish (native), English (C2), and Portuguese (C2). I’ve studied French (C1), too.

RECOMMENDATIONS / PRAISE

“I always admired her ability to engage with senior officials from governments and NGOs with confidence since she was young. Also, I am very proud of her recent achievements outside of RELAF, for they demonstrate how driven and hard-working she is. We continue to be friends at a distance, and I look forward to working with her again in the future!”

Maria Sanchez Brizuela
Project Development Coordinator - RELAF, the Latin American Network for the Right to Live in Family

“Mara maintained a highly entrepreneurial and forward-looking attitude when she was in charge of the cooperation with global networks at RELAF. She has shown to be very responsible, well-trained, and greatly committed to the defense of the rights of children. During the nearly 6 years we worked together, Mara’s high level of professionalism was evident in her outstanding capacity to comprehend and analyze complex and problematic issues and her efforts to achieve the integration of RELAF into international networks.” [Translation of the original in Spanish].

Federico Kapustiansky
Former Coordinator of Advocacy - RELAF, the Latin American Network for the Right to Live in Family.

“For one and a half years, I directed Mara in the elaboration of her dissertation research, which resulted in a high-quality piece of research. She proved to be highly independent and diligent, and she tackled the research process with a high level of maturity, discipline, and critical thinking. Also, she showed to be exceptionally hard-working and organized, and she was especially reliable when given tasks to fulfill for the research team.”

Doctor and Professor Carla Villalta
Professor, Buenos Aires University, Argentina Associate Researcher, National Council on Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET)

“I know her since she started working for Relaf, the Latin American Foster Care Network as a student. Ever since she showed creativity in developing ways to develop the network further and engaging with children and youth to incorporate their voices, she operated at a worldwide platform and represented the network in global meetings advocating for Latin America to be heard.”

Bep Van Sloten
International Alternative Care Consultant and Trainer

“Mara is perhaps the most talented, skilled, and driven youth I’ve ever met and supervised. She did a great job in different areas at RELAF over the years I was her boss. Her professional advancement within RELAF over time was a sign of how driven she is towards learning and capitalizing on her experiences and knowledge. This is also the sign of how far she will go in her professional life.”

Sara Josefina Gonzalez
Family and children’s wellfare expert - National Argentine government, Buenos Aires University and RELAF.

“Mara graduated in June 2017 from the two-year Master of Public Administration program at CEU in Budapest. Within this program, Mara came across as one of the most well-rounded talents of the cohort, since she combined sound professional skills with academic knowledge and curiosity. In addition to her academic achievements, I would like to highlight that Mara comes across as very dedicated to both learning and real-world impact.”

Doctor Sara Svensson
Former Research Fellow, Center for Policy Studies - visiting Professor, School of Public Policy, Central European University

“Mara is a talented researcher. Her work was considered highly supportive, well-executed, and of high quality. She maintained a high level of professionalism during the documentation process, including organizing key respondent interviews and focus groups. She has strong written and presentation skills. She showed that she is adept at innovating and using technology to enhance the communication of complex information. She quickly integrated with the UNICEF team in Kazakhstan.”

Fiachra McAsey
Deputy Representative UNICEF Kazakhstan (2016)