Sarah Cechvala joined CDA in 2013. Her area of expertise is conflict sensitive aid and accountability to affected communities, participatory program design, and responsible business practice She specializes in community engagement and working with organizations and companies on institutional change and mainstreaming effective practices through coaching and accompaniment.
Sarah has ten years of experience as a researcher, facilitator, and trainer, and has facilitated collaborative learning processes and field research in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Her learning and advisory focus is accountability to local communities, effective feedback mechanisms, and strengthening local leadership and partnerships; and she has worked with and advised a wide-range of partners and clients in the humanitarian and development sectors in these areas. Sarah also has extensive experience working with corporate practitioners and communities in fragile and conflict affected states in order to enhance company-community relations and to strengthen corporate social performance management systems.
Before joining CDA, Sarah conducted mix-method research on displacement, vulnerable populations, and gender-based violence in conflict zones. She has a background in forced displacement and durable solutions for refugees and IDPs, and worked on refugee resettlement efforts in Kenya. She has also designed and facilitated humanitarian response training programs.