Governing Board

The following members constitute the CoE Governing Board. More information on the duties of the Governing Board are available in the Operational Guidelines. The members were elected following the Election Process.



Ms Mallika Rukminie Samaranayake
B A; M Ed; Advance Certificate in Educational Planning & Administration, IIEP, France; Chairman, Community of Evaluators – South Asia Ms Samaranayake, a national of Sri Lanka, was a Founder Member and a member of the Strategic Advisory Team (SAT) of the Community of Evaluators - South Asia.

She has over 30 years’ of experience in evaluations, research and social assessments in Sri Lanka, Asia, Africa and Europe She is a Sociologist and a Community Development Specialist with considerable experience as a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist and a Workshop Facilitator/ Trainer in Participatory Evaluation and Strategic Planning. She served as the Regional Coordinator - Asia / Pacific PDE Phase 2 Evaluation Team which won the “AEA 2012 Outstanding Evaluation Award”. Ms Samaranayake was also a founder member of the Sri Lanka Evaluation Association (SLEvA), and it’s President from 2006 – 2009.She was in the Sri Lanka Education Administrative Service (SLEAS) as the Special Project Director, prior to joining the World Bank, Colombo Office as its Participatory Development Specialist.

She worked as the Joint Director, Self Help Support Programme of Swiss Interco-operation, Sri Lanka. She has served as a member of the Core Evaluation Team for Phase 2 of the Paris Declaration Evaluation (PDE) and was a Steering Committee Member and the Executive Secretary, Sri Lanka Water Partnership and Regional Council member Global Water Partnership South Asia Region. She was also a member of the International Steering Committee of the Joint MFS II Evaluation Programme of Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), Netherlands.

She has been a visiting fellow of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, UK. Ms Samaranayake is a Founder Director of the Institute for Participatory Interaction in Development (IPID), Sri Lanka, established to promote participatory methodologies in development, and currently serves as its Chairperson. She is also the Technical Lead for the Child Protection in Crisis (CPC) Learning Network Sri Lanka established in collaboration with the Global CPC Learning Network affiliated to the Program on Forced Migration and Health at the Mailman School of Public Health of the Columbia University, USA.

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Gana Pati Ojha
Ph D; Vice Chairman, Community of Evaluators – South Asia

Dr Ojha, a national of Nepal, has about 30 years’ experience in development in different capacities in several countries. Dr Ojha is a founder member, was a member in the Strategic Advisory Team and currently is the Vice-President of Community of Evaluators South Asia. For the last 20 years he has been actively involved in research and evaluation with state and non-state actors both as a team leader/sole evaluator and team member for over three dozens of projects/programmes. He has used different approaches of evaluation in his work including contribution analysis, appreciative inquiry, and value for money in addition to other common approaches to evaluation.

He has also experience in developing M&E guidelines, promoting quality evaluation through knowledge generation in evaluation, evaluation capacity development, and organising international and national conclaves, workshops, network meetings and seminars. He is also experienced in managing evaluation organisations, creating enabling environment for evaluation by contributing to formation of evaluation policy framework, M&E Bill, motivating parliamentarians to be evaluation sensitive and helping form evaluation forums of parliamentarians. He has over three dozens of publications and was awarded by EvalPartners in 2015 for his outstanding work in evaluation. Dr Ojha is the founder President of Imagine Nepal and Capital College and Research Centre as well as the President of the Association of Fellows, Students, Trainees and Residents of the International Rice Research Institute (AFSTRI) for 1997/98 in the Philippines. Dr Ojha contributed significantly towards the establishment of the Community of Evaluators, Nepal and currently functions as its Chairperson.

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Sonal Zaveri
Ph D; Secretary, Community of Evaluators – South Asia

Dr Zaveri is a national of India with over 25 years’ experience in strategic planning, programme design, research and evaluation at national and regional levels, involving a number of countries. She is a founder Member of CoE South Asia. She has worked in more than 25 countries in Asia, East and West Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central Asia, Middle East and Eastern Europe. She writes, trains and presents on issues of rights, participation, and gender and works extensively with utilization focused evaluation, feminist evaluation and participatory, empowerment, and transformative approaches.

Her recent publications reflect this interest. Her sector expertise is varied - in early childhood development, inclusive and participatory education, HIV, sexual and reproductive health, life skills, social protection, information/ communication technology for development and organizational development. Previously, she has worked in the academia; she also has extensive work experience with government, non-government organizations, INGOs, foundations, the UN and multilaterals. She was an advisor to the feminist evaluators’ network . She was the Technical Coordinator for the HIV/AIDS Project Support Unit in Gujarat State, India, a consultant for the National AIDS Control Organization, Government of India; Programme Specialist with a national level NGO and Research Director for the Centre for Research and Development in India.

She is a Fleishman Fellow, Duke University, USA. Sonal is currently an independent consultant, the International Advisor with the Child-to-Child Trust in London and affiliated with the Training Support Facility of UNAIDS in South Asia. She is a member of the EvalGender+ global management group and a co-chair of the Tools and Approaches task group for gender sensitive and equity responsive evaluation.

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Chelladurai Solomon
M A; MBA; Chief Financial Officer, Community of Evaluators – South Asia

Mr Solomon, a national of India, is a Founder Member and a member of the Strategic Advisory Team of CoE – Community of Evaluators, South Asia. Mr Solomon has over 25 years’ experience being a researcher, evaluator and management consultant in Asia and West Africa. He is a specialist in Rural Policy and Planning, Livelihoods and Social Enterprises and child rights. He has undertaken several action-oriented researches on child rights, government primary education, local governance, socio-economic profile of conservancy workers and employment guarantee scheme and social enterprises. He has also been part of the international Team which facilitated a research on the application and effectiveness of Utilization Focused Evaluation framework in Asia.

These researches have subsequently led to formulation of programmes to relief and rehabilitation of children from work place, debate on the local governance and better implementation measures in the employment guarantee scheme. In all, the action researches also generated researched campaign materials for different campaigners especially in India. His current work focus continues to be in the similar role and expertise. He has worked with organizations like HEKS-Switzerland, Oxfam Novib, Cordaid-Nederland, Swiss Development Corporation (SDC), South Research-Belgium, IDRC-Canada and various other Aid Agencies and NGOs in India and Asia.

Mr Solomon has published research materials titled "Realities of Adi Andhras in Chennai Metro" and articles / case studies on "Panchayat Raj Institutions", Test-driving UFE methodology:  and on “Learning from UFE process with PAN Asia Projects” for the Evaluation Volume of CoE-South Asia. He has also produced Guides on LFA (Logical Framework Approach) and Programme Indicators.  Mr Solomon currently works as a Management Consultant in DMC (Development Management Consultants) and India Country Advisor to Aid Agencies from Europe.   

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Abdul Ghani
MD; DPH; Member of the Governing Board, Community of Evaluators – South Asia

Dr Ghani, a medical doctor from Afghanistan, is a Founder Member of the Community of Evaluators - South Asia. Dr Ghani has 13 years’ experience working in public health and monitoring and evaluation with a number of national and international NGOs, and UN agencies. He was part of a number of important task forces constituted within the Ministry of Public Health, Afghanistan. He was also a member of the taskforces that developed the national Monitoring and Evaluation framework for the Ministry of Public Health. He was one of the two non-government members of the task group that was responsible for revision of evaluation tool, Balanced Score Card, which is being used for evaluating health services delivery in Afghanistan by third parties on an annual basis.

While working with a Netherlands-based NGO, he established an independent Monitoring and Evaluation unit which was responsible for conducting internal evaluations of projects. In addition, he functioned in national level taskforces that were responsible for revising the basic package of health services at primary health care level and revising the essential package of hospital services as well.  He started his career as a Health Management Information System Officer with a national NGO; he then worked as the Programme Development Coordinator, Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator and Health Director with internal NGOs. He also worked as the Head of WHO Zonal office in Afghanistan.

He has worked with organizations such as Coordination of Humanitarian Assistant (CHA), Health Net International TPO, International Medical Corps, World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nation Office for Project Services (UNOPS). Dr Ghani currently works as the Programme Health M&E Specialist /Local Funding Agent (LFA) for Global Fund projects in Afghanistan and is responsible for reviewing the progress, conduct data quality review, health facility assessment, sub recipient capacity assessment, and programmatic spot checks.  He is the Vice Chair of the Community of Evaluators, Afghanistan.  

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Bhabatosh Nath
M Sc; Member of the Governing Board, Community of Evaluators – South Asia

Mr Nath, a Bangladeshi National, is a Founder Member of the Community of Evaluators - South Asia. He has more than 30 years’ experience in Development Programmes comprising design, implementation, management and evaluation of projects in national, international, donor and Government organizations. Emphasis has been on capacity building and grassroots’ participation in human development and economic development programme, government ministries and departments, evaluation of projects/ programmes and organizations including impact study and Project Cycle Management (PCM), Participatory M&E, and Organizational Capacity Assessment (OCA). For about 20 years, he worked with BRAC and with Save the Children USA, Save the Children- Denmark in the field as well as country headquarter positions- as country representative.

Mr Nath has development cooperation and working experience with EU, has experience on Evaluation of grant proposals (of EU and other donors) /Project appraisal. He is a Member, Gender and Evaluation Network; Member, Asia Pacific Evaluation Association (APEA), Member, IOCOM, Member, IDEAS (International Development Evaluation Association), and Monitoring and Evaluation Professionals (International). In 1994, Mr Nath established his own development consultancy firm, “Responsive to Integrated Development Services” (RIDS). He has been conducting numerous external programme evaluations, project appraisals, baseline surveys, feasibility studies, programme audits for national, international, donor and government organizations. He has expertise particularly in the areas of institution building, CBOs, livelihoods, children, and women’s rights. He has work experiences in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Uganda. Mr Nath is currently the Executive Director of RIDS. He is the Head of Associate Consultants on development programmes & issues, RIDS.

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Syed Khairul Islam
M A; Member of the Governing Board (Institutional Representative), Community of Evaluators – South Asia

Mr Syed Khairul Islam, a Bangladeshi national, is a Founder Member of the Community of Evaluators - South Asia and represents the Community of Evaluators, Bangladesh in CoE SA as an Institutional Member. His working career started in 1976 in a Government-Operated Sea Port in Bangladesh as an Evaluation Officer and thereafter was involved in wide variety of national and international projects/agencies, in public departments/agencies and private enterprises (mostly consultancy firms) in regular positions and short term staff/consultancy assignments. The thematic areas he worked with, both inside the country and overseas, inter alia, are: rural development, livelihood, poverty, agriculture, gender, children, health, community mobilization, microfinance/enterprise, education, human rights, local governance, infrastructure development etc. During his long career, he worked in all stages of project cycle (PCM) with special focus on M&E and research/studies.

From January 2013 to June 2015, he has been working as Team Leader, Process Monitoring, Social Development Foundation (a World Bank-Funded Project). He is life member of Social Performance Task Force (SPTF), Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Environment Movement) and General Member of some NGOs. Since July 2015 he works as an Independent Consultant (mostly as Team Leader or Lead Consultant) in short term assignments. He has about 10 publications of high standard.

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Jagadish C Pokharel
Ph D; MURP; B Arch; Member of the Governing Board (Institutional Representative), Community of Evaluators – South Asia

Dr Pokharel, a national of Nepal has been trained in regional planning, and represents the Community of Evaluators, Nepal in CoE SA as an Institutional Member. Dr Pokharel has held several high level public positions in Nepal. He was two-term Vice Chairperson of the National Planning Commission (NPC) of Nepal from 2010-2013 and 2006-2008 and a member of NPC from 1997-2002.

As the Vice-Chair of NPC he led the design of Nepal’s national development plan for post conflict reconstruction and development, and helped to institutionalize a Monitoring and Evaluation system in the public sector in Nepal. He was also the Vice Chairperson of the High Level Committee on Least Developed Countries.   

He has led and participated in various national delegations to international fora including the UN General Assembly, ESCAP, SAARC Ministerial meetings, World Mountain Summit, and the Sustainable Development Summit in Johannesburg. Dr Pokharel is an active researcher and evaluator, and brings vast experience in organizational leadership. He is the President, Regional and Urban Planners Society of Nepal, and the President of the Centre for Consolidation of Democracy, Nepal.

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Dr Rajib Nandi
M.Phil, Ph.D. Member of the Governing Board, Community of Evaluators – South Asia

Dr Nandi is an Indian citizen with 20 years of experience in gender research and evaluation. Dr Nandi has worked on a range of research and evaluation projects funded by the government, UN agencies and other national and international donors. His areas of work cover gender and development, solidarity economy, ICTs, environment, HIV/AIDS, social movements, programme evaluations and evaluative studies.

His expertise lies in both quantitative and qualitative research techniques and field based research. He has written a number research and evaluation reports, published in edited books and reputed journals and presented in national and international seminars and conferences. He has participated and acted as a resource person in several training/evaluation workshops in India and abroad.

His co-edited book on feminist evaluation methodologies will be published soon by Zubaan. Having completed his M. Phil in Applied Economics from Centre for the Development Studies (CDS) and PhD in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) he started working with the Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST), New Delhi since 1998. Presently he is a Research Fellow and Office-in-Charge with ISST.

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