Theory-based impact evaluation specialist joins NatCen’s Centre for Evaluation

NatCen has appointed Barbara Befani as a Research Director in its Centre for Evaluation
  • Publishing date:
    22 June 2023

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) has appointed Barbara Befani as a Research Director in its Centre for Evaluation. As a leading innovator in the theory-based impact evaluation field, Barbara will strengthen the services offered by the Centre for Evaluation. Theory-based evaluation approaches offer frameworks for examining the causal models that underlie programmes to understand whether, how and why they lead to results accounting for alternative explanations.

Barbara brings 20 years’ experience to the role and will lead and advise on key NatCen evaluation projects and develop programmes of work to build our capacity in the theory-based evaluation space.  An author of widely cited seminal publications on theory-based evaluation, Barbara is an editorial board member of the journal ‘Evaluation’ and was elected Board Member of the European Evaluation Society (EES), between 2012-2015, and was former EES Secretary General.

Joanne McLean, Co-Director of the Centre for Evaluation at NatCen, says: “I am delighted that Barbara is joining us as we grow our theory-based evaluation capacity. NatCen’s Centre for Evaluation specialises in delivering a variety of evaluations to support organisations discover what is and isn’t working about their programmes and policies and why; enabling them to make the most appropriate, evidence informed decisions about how they can make best use of their funds and resources to impact positive societal change. Barbara’s expertise combined with the innovative evaluation methodologies we employ for projects across a range of policy areas will strengthen our offer in this area”.

Commenting on her appointment, Barbara Befani adds: “I am delighted to be joining NatCen, the leading social research organisation in the UK, now an established force in policy evaluation. I look forward to contributing to its expanding theory-based evaluation capabilities

For more information please contact:
Emileigh Spurdens, Communications Manager
National Centre for Social Research
t: 0207 549 8506 e: