Netherlands (Municipal) Government

Our Director Diana Brandes – van Dorresteijn works since March 2018 as Strategic Advisor Sustainability for the Dutch (Municipal) Government advising senior management, politicians and policy makers in the Amsterdam metropole periphery in Amstelveen/Aalsmeer.

Zowel Amstelveen als Aalsmeer hebben in 2016 een aanpak duurzaamheid vastgesteld, waarin de doelen fossielvrij, circulaire economie en inclusieve stad centraal staan. Binnen de ruimtelijk-economische agenda van de MRA en in de samenwerking binnen de regio Amstelland-Meerlanden zijn de energietransitie en circulaire economie belangrijke thema’s. Realisatie van internationaal overeengekomen klimaat- en energiedoelstellingen is een belangrijk speerpunt in het nieuwe Nederlandse Regeerakkoord. Vanuit deze achtergrond werkt Diana met het bestuur van Amstelveen aan meer strategische bestuurlijke adviescapaciteit op het gebied van duurzaamheid en is zij verantwoordelijk voor de voorbereiding van kaderstellende besluitvorming, uitvoering van strategische, politiek-bestuurlijk complexe en gevoelige dossiers en het voeren van een stevige procesregie op uiteenlopende onderwerpen binnen het brede thema duurzaamheid. Ze neemt deel in regionale samenwerking op het gebied van energietransitie en circulaire economie, uitwerking van een programma-aanpak op het gebied van duurzaamheid voor de organisatie, monitoring van de voortgang in de aanpak duurzaamheid en initiëren van innovatie en initiatieven die op lokaal niveau invulling kunnen geven aan de circulaire economie.

International Center for Policy and Conflict

Since September 2017 we advise and co-develop programs with the International Center for Policy and Conflict, ICPC (, and we collaborate on the “Improving conditions to enhance pro-poor sustainable local economic development and private sector in devolved system of government (Kenya) initiative”.

ICPC is a non-profit and non-partisan organization initiated in Kenya and is registered as a trust in the year 2005, under the Trustee (Perpetual Succession) Act Chapter 164. The Great Lakes and Horn of Africa region, which have experienced widespread political instability for decades, is the ICPC’s major focus area. ICPC proactively reflects and engages in public policy and legal dialogues, research and analysis as well as advocacy and capacity development on the broad realms of transitional justice, human security, conflict resolution and gender justice in order to prevent conflict recurrence; promote accountability, transparency, inclusion and equality; and deepen culture of justice and respect for human rights and democracy. The Center is meant to establish and promote sustainable human development and build democratic human rights adhering states.

Agricultural Business Initiative Trust

The Agricultural Business Initiative Trust (aBi), a multi-donor entity, is one of the components of the U-Growth programme aimed at supporting private sector in achieving the objective of the government of Uganda’s Competitiveness and Investment Climate Strategy. The component is managed by Agricultural Business Initiative Trust (aBi Trust). The mandate of aBi Trust is to support private sector actors to increase their contribution to the agricultural sector by increasing land productivity, and market competitiveness thereby contributing to poverty reduction through economic growth, wealth and employment creation. aBi Trust follows a long-term commitment by being both a catalyst in support of the Ugandan agricultural sector and a conduit through which development partners and investors can develop the capacity of the agricultural sector. The aBi Trust provides both financing and technical support in selected agricultural value chains and offers an integrated approach on value chain development. The aBi Trust is jointly founded by the Governments of Denmark and Uganda. Other Development Partners include USAID, EU, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands Embassy, UKAid, and KfW.

Since early 2017, Development Connect works together with aBi’s senior management and (government) board, dealing with a complex governance and business structure, to develop clear process descriptions and workflow information between aBi’s Governance, Operations, HR, Finance & Accounting, Procurement, M&E and Risks functions to ensure that operations are following a clear path, where there are no deviations in the process and where audit trails are clear and reconcilable with having manuals in place and approved procedures.


Our Director Raymond Brandes works since early 2017 for SNV (Netherlands Development Organisation) as Gender Program Manager responsible for managing the Enhancing Opportunities for Women’s Enterprises (EOWE) program in Kenya and Vietnam. This 3-year program is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands government as part of Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW) funding window and will advance women’s economic participation and self-reliance in Kenya and Vietnam by creating a conducive environment for female entrepreneurship as a vehicle of change.

He provides strategic direction and dedicated technical and administrative, monitoring, evaluation, and learning guidance to the program and its partners at national and sub-national level. He further coordinates with program stakeholders the donor, including ministries, private sector, investors and partners, as well as the donor (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands). He will ensure knowledge development products are designed and disseminated. Learn more here:

Development Connect provides Public Private Partnership and Water and Sanitation advisory services to SNV (Netherlands Development Organisation) in Kenya. Within the framework of the Kenya Market Trust Fund and the “Climate Resilience Water Services (CREWS) program Development Connect provides team leader, technical expertise, working with a national consultants team to strengthen Kenya’s water sector through the development of 5-7 concept notes outlining a range of services delivery and business models and performance based contracts for water services in rural and peri-urban areas. The key objective of the CREWS programme (April 2016 – December 2018) is to scale up sustainable and climate resilience water services delivery models in at least 15 counties.


Development Connect signed an MoU with UNEP DTU PARTNERSHIP in November 2016, and is a lead author to write articles for UNEP’s flagship 2017 report on “MSMEs’ Engagement in Climate Change Adaptation”.


In 2018 Development Connect designed and conducted an evaluation of the project “Support to the Small Island Developing States Global Business Network (SIDS-GBN) for the United Nations Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), funded by the Danish Government.

The evaluation included the development of in-depth assessments and multiple surveys (mix-methods approach) which aimed to review both results at outcome and impact levels, and of the sustainability of the projects and its value added. Recommendations of the evaluation were intended to inform a phase two of the SIDS-GBN project going forward, and to map out best practices to share between the three SIDS regions to promote sustainable development in specific focus areas namely:

  1. Oceans and marine resources;
  2. Connectivity – ICTs and Transport;
  3. Sustainable Agriculture;
  4. Sustainable Tourism;
  5. Disaster Risk Reduction;
  6. Renewable energy;
  7. Finance and other support measures for sustainable private sector in SIDs.

The evaluation was conducted in accordance with the principles outlined as per UN’s evaluation rules and guidelines and both the Norms and Standards for Evaluation in the UN System by the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) and the UNEG “Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation”. Survey questions were formulated in accordance with the OECD/DAC evaluation criteria of Relevance, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Impact and Sustainability, to which Learning and Accountability were added.

UN Women’s Regional Office for East and Southern Africa (ESARO) and UNFAO’s Sub-Regional Resilience Team for Eastern Africa

Development Connect signed a partnership for a 2016/2017 assignment to provide senior advisory and consultancy services on Gender and Resilience with UN Women’s Regional Office for East and Southern Africa (ESARO) and UNFAO’s Sub-Regional Resilience Team for Eastern Africa in September 2016.

Together with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) teams and in close collaboration with the UN Women regional economic empowerment team, and a technical committee, comprising experts from UN Women, UNFAO Resilience Team for Eastern Africa, UNFAO Regional Office for Africa, UNFAO Headquarters and other (UN) chief actors on the resilience agenda, Development Connect, represented by its director Raymond Brandes, will provide strategic and technical leadership in the review of existing regional and national resilience strategies, programmes, good practices, mid-term reviews and evaluation reports including policies and development frameworks that IGAD has put in place for resilience building, undertake consultations at regional and country levels, and support the preparation and implementation of two regional meetings.

With a strong gender focus and lens and with particular attention to gender needs in the resilience dimensions of environment and natural resource management, climate smart technologies, market access, trade and financial services, land access, livelihood support and basic services, disaster risk management, preparedness and response, research and knowledge management, conflict prevention, resolution and peace building, migration, coordination and multi sectoral partnerships, Development Connect will further help design a Joint Theory of Change on the key role of women in building resilience and then in accelerating implementation of the SDGs; take stock of key indicators and metrics related to gender and resilience, and develop an inventory of resilience innovative solutions, with a gender lens.

Furthermore, Development Connect will provides advisory services around the reformation of land and property rights and laws, climate smart agriculture – energy solutions – through expanded partnerships (including with private sector actors) and promoting women to move up the value chain.

Development Connect will participate in the Gender and Resilience Sharefair in 2016, and work closely with its research and knowledge working groups and lead components and key functions of the Sharefair including supporting the Technical Planning Committee, also to assist identify data gaps and provide advices on any further research needed. Learn more about our UN partners through and


Development Connect works together with De Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten (VNG, Foundation of Dutch municipalities) to develop a capacity development program for the South Sudan Stability & Humanitarian Aid 2017 contributing to SDG16. Explicit advice will be provided on gender equality & mainstreaming, and on targets to be formulated for SDG5. A gender capacity assessment methodology has been developed which has been applied in-country with different local government counties mid-2016. The assessments in South Sudan have jointly been conducted with MDF, Eastern & Southern Africa and The Netherlands.

Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development

Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development is a policy research institute of Egerton University, under the Division of Research and Extension in Kenya. Development Connect signed a partnership in January 2017 to support the Measurement, Learning and Evaluation (MLE) unit which was formed in response to growing demand for independent, high quality and rigorous designs for evaluations and measurement of outcomes, and the increasing emphasis on learning from interventions (projects, programs and policies) in the agricultural sector. Development Connect will support review the MLE value proposition, propose Theories of Change(s), help design a business plan and a strategy for strengthening demand for MLE services, and develop a financial and human resource proposal for delivering upon the Tegemeo five-year strategy and support the selection of external partners to enter into partnership agreements to co-deliver.

Ekoenergy & Climate

Development Connect Ltd and Ekoenergy & Climate (an Indian based private company with expertise in energy, power, climate change and green growth sectors, working in South/East Asia (Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Vietnam) and East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Rwanda) signed a MoU in August 2016 in which Development Connect, represented by its Director Diana Brandes – van Dorresteijn, agreed to be a part of Ekoenergy and Climate’s Global Advisory Team to provide advisory and strategic support to (new) programming.

UNDP, UN Women, UN Environment, UN-Habitat and UNSSC

Development Connect’s directors are proud to be among selectively vetted technical experts for different UNDP, UN Women, UN Environment and UN-Habitat rosters, such as the Rapid Crisis Response Unit (CRU, ExpRes) to better support UNDP Country Offices with enterprise recovery, livelihoods and area based development in crisis and post-crisis environment and with their work on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Public Administration (GEPA), and for UN Women to regularly review global proposal submissions to the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women which focuses on supporting country and local implementation of laws, policies and action plans to address violence against women, while maintaining flexibility in terms of responsiveness to a wide range of forms of violence, national and emerging priorities and needs, and diverse approaches. The UN Environment and UN-Habitat rosters contain pre-approved candidates for consideration of assignments at the United Nations Secretariat.

Our directors are also vetted senior experts to Support Organizational Change and Knowledge for the UN System through the UN Laboratory for Organizational Change and Knowledge (UNLOCK) initiative, a consortium between the UN System Staff College (UNSSC) and UNDP’s Management Consulting Team. UNLOCK was established in 2015 and aims at enhancing the capacity of the UN system to adapt to the challenges of the 21st century by increasing the understanding of, commitment to, and capacity of its staff for change.

Further, through the UNSSC, which runs courses and delivers learning initiatives to UN staff for over a decade, reaching on average 7,000 participants across the globe every year, and the UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development, Development Connect will support the design and delivery of comprehensive learning, training, and knowledge management needs of UN staff and partners in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Human Rights-based approach to Development Programming, Results-Based Management, Building Partnerships for Development Effectiveness, Leveraging Big Data for Sustainable Development, SDG12 on Responsible Consumption and Production and Communicating as One on Sustainable Development.

International New Town Institute

Development Connect works together with the International New Town Institute (INTI) from The Netherlands ( as experts in Kenya “Feeding the City” research program. INTI works in partnership with the University of Amsterdam, and the Technical University Kenya to map the metabolism of Nairobi (spatial planning for food security).

Soester Zakenkring

Development Connect is lid van de Soester Zakenkring –

Netherlands Business Hub

Development Connect works in close partnership with the Netherlands Business Hub in Nairobi which is part of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Enterprise Agency as part of Minister Ploumen’s from aid to trade strategy in Kenya. The Netherlands Business Hub facilitates economic and business interests between the Netherlands and East-Africa, actively supporting the participation of Dutch companies in inclusive business opportunities.