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Member Spotlight

Pia Saunders Campbell
Pia Saunders Campbell

Director, Measurement, Evaluation, Research & Learning, International Youth Foundation

Pia has over 15 years’ experience working in sub-Saharan Africa, MENA, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, and the U.S.  She has designed and led the implementation of performance measurement, evaluation, and strategic learning systems in the youth wellbeing and economic opportunity, humanitarian assistance, and emergency response sectors.  At IYF, Pia leads Measurement, Evaluation, Research and Learning. Prior to IYF, Pia worked at Education For Employment (EFE) and The International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and The Financial Access Initiative (FAI).

As a sophomore in college, I recognized that I wanted to work with people and social structures to address issues that were relevant to individual and community wellbeing (whether social, economic, political, or a mix) and I resolved, in preparation, to spend time living in a community that was going through a transition before going on to graduate school. I subsequently lived in Vieques, Puerto Rico as an observer/participant for nearly four years, working alongside community leaders seeking to realign their priorities following the departure of the U.S. Navy, which had been a dominant presence on the island for decades. 

Later, when I went to graduate school, I was drawn to the field of performance measurement and evaluation for many of the same reasons I had been cultivating an intensive yoga practice: in both contexts, discipline and focused attention combine to peel away distractions that can be obstacles to meaningful action. Just as each person must extend effort in a fractious world in order to stay connected to core values, intentions, and vision, so too programs, initiatives, and organizations may be unclear about their goals, whether their actions really are advancing them, or how and why results are achieved.  By compelling clarity about what is true, measurement, evaluation, and the utilization of data for learning advance action that is genuinely effective and meaningful.

IYF, like so many others in the “youth space”, envisions a world in which young people have the power, ability, and voice to create positive change in their lives and the world around them. I have found the intersection where we work–where a discipline committed to truth serves a field focused on the future—to be an extraordinary place of great hope, responsibility, and inspiration.

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