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Human development

Human development


We work for a world where everyone can develop to their full potential. We are focused on expanding meaningful rights and opportunities for people who are marginalised. Part of a global African firm, we are particularly committed to children, women and young people in Africa and the Middle East. 

We work in key human development areas: health, nutrition, and WaSH (water, sanitation and hygiene); youth, education and early childhood development; and social protection and social care. Rapid changes in demography, climate and technology are generating massive challenges and tremendous opportunities for human development. At the same time, Covid-19 has caused a severe shock to human development from which people and systems need to recover.

We help governments, their global partners, and private and non-state clients to improve the delivery of key human development services while navigating these changes. To do so, we provide services in diagnostics; regulation, governance and oversight; strategy, planning and implementation; financing and budgeting; service delivery; and monitoring and evaluation.

Leading The Team


    Tomas Lievens

    Managing Partner (Human Development)

    Ian Macauslan

    Partner (Human Development)

    Tafara Ngwaru

    Principal (Human Development)

    Tom Pugh

    Principal (Human Development)

    Tshegofatso Walker

    Manager (Human Development)

Areas of Expertise


      Youth, education and early childhood development

      Improving outcomes for infants, children and young people.

      Half the population in Africa is below the age of 20. We are committed to helping these young people, and their peers in the Middle East, develop to their full potential and make a positive contribution to their communities and societies. We work to improve education, care and support from the critical first 1,000 days of life, through K-12 education, up to young adults’ entry into the world of work. 

      We are particularly focused on expanding opportunities for children and young people who lack choice and opportunity. We work with governments, their partners in development, and private and non-state actors to improve the reach and quality of education, care, and support services. We help clients to take opportunities and deal with challenges presented by changes in demography, climate, technology and the shock of COVID-19.


      Social protection and social care

      Helping vulnerable populations manage risk and shocks.

      Managing risks, such as the risk of ill health, poor rains or losing a job, forces many vulnerable people in Africa and the Middle East to put themselves in difficult situations. We are committed to helping people manage risks and deal with shocks. 

      We help governments, their partners and non-state actors understand the risks that affect their populations, including both “fat tail” risks such as Covid-19, conflict, or catastrophic climate change, as well as risks associated with being young or old and those related to disease, the economy, accidents and crime. 

      We help clients build social protection and social care systems and programmes that are adequately financed, are targeted equitably, allocate budgets wisely and efficiently, make good use of technologies, and are adaptive and responsive to shocks and opportunities.


      Health, nutrition and WaSH

      Improving health and nutrition outcomes and systems.

      Good health and good nutrition are essential for people to develop to their full potential. Both are major barriers to human development in Africa. Working with our health practice, we are committed to improving the financing of healthcare, and to supporting good nutrition and WaSH. 

      We help governments, their partners, and private and non-state actors to provide better nutrition, WaSH and healthcare services, with a particular focus on young and marginalised populations.


      Service: Diagnostics

      Helping to understand human development challenges and opportunities.

      Large changes in demography, technology, and climate, and the changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, have renewed the importance of understanding the nature and needs of populations and the contexts in which they live. 

      Using rigorous analysis, we help clients conduct diagnostics of human development challenges and opportunities to provide more effective services.


          Service: Financing, costing and budgeting

          Helping clients spend enough and spend well on human development.

          Spending enough money, and spending it well, is a core function for human development organisations. Most organisations, governments in particular, allocate budgets on a historical basis rather than using a clear-eyed analysis of costs, needs or returns. They then often struggle to spend budgets, especially non-salary budgets, as planned. 

          With rapid changes in needs and opportunities, and immediate fiscal pressures from Covid-19, a more proactive approach to financing is often needed. We help clients improve financing, costing, budgeting and spending through rigorous analysis and diagnostics, modelling of costs and returns, resource mapping, innovative financing solutions, and the facilitation of conversations between finance and service delivery ministries.


            Service: Strategy, planning and implementation

            Improving strategy, planning, and putting strategies and plans into action.

            Making difficult choices with scarce resources – and then turning those choices into reality – is critical to good service provision. The rapid changes to which human development sectors must adapt give renewed importance to effective strategy, planning, and implementation on a regular basis. 

            Using Genesis’s approach to joint solutions, we help human development clients develop robust, realistic, and innovative strategies and plans, and then put them into action.


            Service: Regulation, governance and oversight

            Optimising the performance of human development service providers and support systems.

            Human development at scale requires hundreds of thousands of organisations functioning independently yet coherently, both to provide services (such as schools) and to support them (such as textbook printing). Effective regulation, governance and oversight arrangements are key to this. 

            Working with our Competition and Regulatory Economics practice, we help governments improve their regulation of private and non-state organisations, and improve the governance oversight of their own human development systems. We help private and non-state organisations interested in human development to navigate regulation effectively.


              Service: Service delivery

              Improving the quality and coverage of human development services.

              People can develop to their full potential when they have access to quality human development services. We are committed to helping governments, their partners, and private and non-state actors improve these services. 

              We support building and running excellent organisations (such as schools or clinics); improving systems for recruiting, training, deploying and managing capable and motivated people (such as teachers or care workers); making sure appropriate goods (such as cash or food transfers), materials (such as textbooks) and technology are available as needed; improving systems for standard setting (such as a curriculum or care standards), verification (such as a single registry for social protection) and assessment; and engaging communities.


              Service: Monitoring and evaluation

              Supporting learning, accountability and communication in human development.

              Understanding what works and why in human development is not straightforward. Human development systems are complex in themselves and interact with other complex systems. This creates unpredictability: it is by no means certain that what has worked to improve human development outcomes in one time and place will work in another. 

              However, rigorous and contextual analyses of human development programmes can help improve outcomes. Working with our Evaluation for Development practice, we help human development clients to conduct monitoring and evaluation for the purposes of learning what works and why, of accountability for public or private funding, to take a note of and learn from failure, and to identify and celebrate success.



            Building the case for an investment in ECD in Burundi

            Genesis Analytics partnered with UNICEF and the Government of Burundi to build the case for multi-sectoral early childhood development (ECD) investments in the country and recommend the package of ECD interventions that is optimal to boost the development of its youngest generation and, thus, of the nation as a whole.


            Diagnosing expenditure performance through health financing analysis

            The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation needed to identify health-financing challenges driving poor system performance and the entry points in addressing the challenges.


            Supporting safe reopening of ECD centres in Oman in pandemic

            Genesis Analytics has been working alongside UNICEF Oman to develop guidelines for the safe reopening of early childhood development centres in Oman, in order to limit the impact of COVID-19 on this crucial stage in the lifecycle for infants.


            Counting the health costs of VAT on soap in Madagascar

            Genesis Analytics partnered with UNICEF and the Government in Madagascar to evaluate whether an exemption in the value-added tax on soap would increase access to soap and achieve better WASH-related outcomes, and drive tax policy decision-making based on the recommendations derived from the evaluation.


            Assessing family planning financing expenditure performance

            Genesis conducted family-planning performance assessment for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to identify key improvement areas in family-planning financing for three countries and created a tool that supports alignment between the foundation’s health and family-planning financing strategies.


            Evaluating project to empower 2000 scholars through school

            The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) appointed Genesis to conduct a mid-term review of their 10-year programme to support 2,000 scholars (primarily girls) in Rwanda and Ethiopia through secondary school, and to further support a group of the Rwandan scholars through university.


            Charting sustainable roadmap for AIDS in Sri Lanka

            Genesis was contracted by UNAIDS to lead a transition readiness assessment (TRA) in Sri Lanka and develop an implementable sustainability roadmap to mitigate for transition risks and vulnerabilities.


            Analysis of fiscal space Oman needs to maintain social welfare

            In partnership with Oxford Policy Management (UK) and The Firm (Oman), Genesis Analytics carried out a comprehensive fiscal space analysis for Oman, projecting expenditures for health and education to 2040.


            Supporting health-financing advocacy with evidence-driven strategies

            We apply a suite of diagnostic and analytical approaches in health financing assessment to determine the adequacy, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and equity of financing for different disease and programmatic areas.

          View all

          Related Focus Areas


            Behavioural solutions

            Genesis recognises that certain problems in commerce and development demand an expert understanding of human behaviour. Moreover, the quality of traditional solutions can often be dramatically improved by incorporating behavioural expertise. Behavioural Solutions at Genesis combines expertise in economics, psychology, anthropology and sociology to unlock value.


            Centre of Digital Excellence

            The Centre of Digital Excellence (C0DE) at Genesis supports African governments, their development partners and private firms to harness technology to achieve their development objectives. We advise our partners on how to build sustainable ecosystems that enable transformative tech applications – covering the full spectrum of elements that must be in place.


            Financial sector strategy

            Genesis offers a wealth of experience in providing strategy support to financial services players, with two decades of experience and over 600 successfully completed projects in Africa and the Middle East.

            Our clients are diverse. We assist governments and government agencies in developing long-term strategies aimed at economic development and advise donors in developing their initiatives to better reach their targeted segments.



            We work with our clients to develop solutions aimed at improving the health of populations throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. 

            Our region faces the challenges of the quadruple burden of disease, which includes both communicable and non-communicable diseases, as well as violence and injury. 

            Coupled with this are relatively weak health systems, heavy reliance on donor funding and inequitable public and private sectors. Within this context, we provide experts with decades of experience in the design, implementation, costing and evaluation of health programmes, and strengthening of sustainable health systems.


            Monitoring, evaluation and learning

            We work to maximise the social and economic impact of development efforts. As a trusted provider of monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) services we combine our deeply rooted understanding of the African context with our extensive experience in qualitative and quantitative monitoring and evaluation (M&E) methods to assess progress, measure value creation, and facilitate internal and external learning.


            Water and sanitation

            Water has been identified by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as the most significant area of global risk. Africa is particularly vulnerable, given the relatively low level of average annual rainfall, constrained access to clean and safe drinking water, and climate variability on the continent.

            Genesis has provided strategic advice to donors, governments and the private sector to support decision-making in the water sector. We have also evaluated water projects and worked as a learning partner on longer-term programmes.

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