Sharon is a community engagement and accountability expert, with more than 12 years’ experience strengthening and mainstreaming accountability approaches within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. She specializes in institutional capacity strengthening and has supported National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies across Africa to adopt more systematic and planned approaches to how they work with local communities. Sharon developed the first Red Cross Red Crescent Guide to Community Engagement and Accountability, toolkit and training packages, which are widely used within and outside the Movement. Sharon has extensive experience strengthening accountability within emergency response operations, including in Haiti, Indonesia, Sierra Leone and Mozambique. Most recently, she led risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) efforts for the IFRC’s COVID-19 response across Africa, including co-chairing the interagency working group. Sharon collaborated regularly with CDA during her time with the IFRC in Africa, including co-developing a ‘Strategy to Strengthen Community Engagement and Accountability in Africa’. Rooted in a year of practical research, the strategy outlines enablers, barriers, and solutions. Sharon and CDA also collaborated on a series of operational case studies, capturing Kenya Red Cross’ experience of mainstreaming accountability to communities and community-led approaches to recovery planning within the Cyclone Idai response in Mozambique.
As well as her associate role with CDA, Sharon is also supporting NORCAP to strengthen and mainstream community engagement and accountability and revising the Red Cross Guide, toolkit and trainings. Sharon lives in Glasgow Scotland and has an MA in Development Studies from Glasgow University’s Adam Smith Business School.