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Who We Are​

Our team comprises experts from diverse fields such as economics, political science, public health, social policy, and international development, each bringing their unique perspectives and insights to the table. Our expansive network of academic associates ensures that we always have access to the specialized knowledge and skills required to tackle the unique challenges of each project we undertake. We firmly believe in the power of interdisciplinary collaboration and the collective wisdom of experts from various domains to generate innovative and impactful solutions for the ever-evolving landscape of social programme and policy development.

Meltem Aran, Ph.D. 
Human Development Economist, Director

Dr. Meltem Aran is a human development economist with over two decades of experience in social policy design and evaluation. She specializes in poverty, inequality, and the distributional impact of social policies, and her work has significantly contributed to the field of social policy research, particularly in the application of ex-ante microsimulation methods for social policy design.  

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Amalee McCoy, Ph.D.
Child Protection Expert, Research Associate

Dr. Amalee McCoy is a Child Protection Specialist with over 20 years of expertise in child protection, child and family welfare, and child rights. She currently serves as a Project lead for the Peace Culture Foundation in Thailand, where she focuses on scaling up evidence-based parenting interventions for preventing child maltreatment and promoting healthy child development. 

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Aytuğ Şaşmaz, Ph.D. 
Political Scientist, Research Associate

Dr. Aytuğ Şaşmaz is a Political Scientist working on secular-religious cleavage, political parties, social policy, and democratic decline, primarily in the Middle East and North Africa.  He is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Bryn Mawr College.  His work also explores voters' responses to executive aggrandisement (focusing on Turkey) and social welfare in the context of ethnic and organisational diversity (focusing on Lebanon). 

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Burcu Yakut-Cakar, Ph.D.
Labour Economist, Associate

Dr. Burcu Yakut-Çakar is a Labour Economist with extensive work and publications on gender, youth employment, and social protection in Turkey.  Her research interests lie in the intersection of social policy and political economy. She has been working on topics such as the economics of social policy, public policy analysis, female employment, gender budgeting, micro-simulation, tax-benefit analysis, poverty and social exclusion, pension reforms, and the labour market from a comparative perspective. 


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Derya Özkul, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Dr. Derya Özkul is an Assistant Professor in Sociology at the University of Warwick. Her work examines the politics of migration and displacement. Before joining Warwick, Derya worked for over five years at the Refugee Studies Centre of the University of Oxford. Before that, she worked at the University of Sydney, where she completed her Ph.D. in Sociology. Derya holds an MSc degree in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and a BA degree in Political Science and International Relations from Bogazici University in Turkey.

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Didem Pekkurnaz, Ph.D.
Economist, Research Associate

Dr. Didem Pekkurnaz is currently an Associate Professor of Economics at Başkent University in Ankara/Türkiye. Her research interests include microeconomics, health economics, labour economics, and demography.  Her publications focus on topics such as childcare pricing and its quality, the relationship between contraceptive methods and women’s employment, women’s provider choice for induced abortion, determinants of unmet needs in family planning, and the effect of obesity on the employment of women. 

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Ezgi İrgil, Ph.D.
Political Scientist, Associate

Dr. Ezgi İrgil’s work lies at the intersection of politics and forced migration, particularly focusing on migration diplomacy and management in the Middle East and the European Union and the everyday politics of forced migration. She is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Global Politics and Security Programme at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI). 

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Gökçe Baykal, Ph.D.
Political Scientist, Associate

Dr. Gokce Baykal focuses on the political economy of social protection programmes. She is interested particularly in analysing social protection programs, gender issues, and, more recently, humanitarian aid provision programs.  Her doctoral dissertation delved into the political and social impacts of conditional cash transfers on impoverished Kurdish and Roma women in Turkey. 

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Gökçe Uysal Kolasın, Ph.D.
Labour Economist, Associate

Dr. Gökçe Uysal is is a labour economist with focus on the economics of gender, the economics of education, and household savings. Her recent research centres on the labour market integration of Syrians in Turkey, leading a comprehensive assessment for the International Youth Foundation on identifying sectors with strong labour demand to facilitate the integration of young Syrians. 

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Güneş Aşık, Ph.D.
Economist, Research Associate

Dr. Güneş Aşık is a Development Economist specialising in growth, regional development, and trends in female labour force participation. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at TOBB Economics and Technology University in Ankara and a Teaching Fellow at the London School of Economics. She actively engaged in various research projects with esteemed organisations such as the IMF, World Bank, ILO, Oxfam, and the Chatham House.

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Hazal Çolak Öz
Data Scientist for Social Policy

Hazal Çolak Öz is a Data Scientist and Social Policy Researcher with 9 years of experience in analysing social policies. Her expertise is leveraging quantitative data analysis and machine learning to design social policies.  Over the past 6 years at Development Analytics, she has conducted the analytical aspects of diverse projects, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative dimensions. 

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Irem Güçeri, Ph.D.
Economist, Senior Research Associate

Dr. İrem  Güçeri is an economistspecialising in public policy and taxation, focusing on R&D, innovation, and firm-level productivity. She is an Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation at Saïd Business School. Her prior experience includes a role as a private sector development economist at the World Bank within the Europe and Central Asia region, Financial and Private Sector Development unit.  

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Kimberly Colopinto
Urban Planner

Kimberly Colopinto is an Urban Planner and Economist with a strong background in conducting both quantitative and qualitative analyses. Specialising in spatial analytics and data visualisation, she has collabourated with public, private, and non-profit organisations on diverse projects, including economic impact studies, affordable housing needs analysis, land market analysis, and policy research.

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Kristen Biehl, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Dr. Kristen Sarah Biehl has been acting as an Assistant Professor at Sabanci University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) since 2021. Between 2018 and 2021, she was a Researcher at Sabanci University’s Women and Gender Studies Center of Excellence (SU Gender). Since 2006, she has been academically and professionally involved in intensive research within the migration and asylum field in Türkiye, having worked closely with a wide range of international, national, and local actors and different migrant and refugee communities. 

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Laetitia Lemaistre
Refugee and Education Specialist

Laetitia Lemaistre is an Education Specialist focusing on refugee education, emergencies and conflict contexts, and humanitarian coordination. Since 2005, Laetitia has worked with different UN agencies, the World Bank, and international NGOs in East Africa, South East Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. 

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Laura S. Friederichs
Health Specialist, Associate 

Laura Friederichs is a results-oriented Program Manager with a career in driving international humanitarian initiatives. Over a decade, she played a key role in building and expanding global public health programs at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in Geneva, as well as with UNDP in New York. Laura's extensive portfolio includes program management in diverse locations such as Malawi, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Belize, Bolivia, El Salvador, and Central Asia. 

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Mehveş Demirer
Project Officer and Qualitative Research Analyst 

Mehveş Demirer is a Project Officer and Qualitative Research Analyst at Development Analytics. She has experience in grant counselling, funding, tender searching, and project management. She is responsible for business development and the maintenance of qualitative research for the assigned projects. She supports research associates and project teams in research development and implementation. 

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Dr. Merve Demirel Derebaşoğlu is an accomplished economist with a strong background in the Economics of Education and Gender. Currently serving as a post-doctoral research fellow at the European University Institute, she specializes in policies designed to enhance female education and improve women's labor market outcomes. 

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Merve Uzunalioğlu, Ph.D.
Social Policy Researcher, Associate

Dr. Merve Uzunalioğlu is a Social Policy Researcher with a focus on parental leave policies and their societal impacts, fathers' involvement in childcare, and how workplaces could be transformed from enablers to promoters of fathers' parental leave take-up.  Currently, she is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Oxford Department of Social Policy and Intervention. 

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Naureen Karachiwalla, Ph.D.
Economist, Research Associate

Dr. Naureen Karachiwalla’s research interests encompass education, risk, labour economics, empirical microeconomics, and a regional focus on South Asia, China, and Africa. She  is a Research Fellow in the Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division (PHND) at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and a non-resident Fellow at both the Consortium for Development Policy Research (CDPR) and the Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP). 

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Nazlı Aktakke
Economist, Director of Research

Nazli Aktakke is a social policy researcher with 12 years of research experience working on various policy topics ranging from poverty and cash transfer programs to health and education outcomes of children. In the last 10 years, she worked as part of several project teams in Development Analytics with responsibilities related to designing methodologies and instruments for measuring project or policy outcomes, conducting policy and program evaluations as well as a trainer in capacity building trainings on research methods and impact evaluations for local CSOs and state agencies. 

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Onur Altındağ, Ph.D.
Economist, Senior Research Associate

Dr. Onur Altındağ is an applied economist focused on population health, social protection, and migration. His work centers around economically vulnerable populations and the analysis of public policies and programs directed towards them. He has expertise in conducting fieldwork, designing interventions, and employing both experimental and quasi-experimental methodologies in empirical research.

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Özge Kaptan
Quantitative Data Analyst

Özge Kaptan, a proficient quantitative data analyst at Development Analytics, plays a crucial role in our research team. Her responsibilities encompass statistical analysis, data coding, and visualization, particularly focusing on the quantitative analysis of micro-level datasets. With expertise in tools such as Stata, R, and Power BI, Özge's research interests revolve around labour economics, poverty, inequality, social policy, and applied econometrics.

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Özsel Beleli, Ph.D.
Social Policy Researcher, Senior Research Associate

Dr. Özsel Beleli’s research interests include early childhood development, primary education, violence against children, good governance, public administration reform, organisational analysis, and qualitative research methods. Özsel is an expert on early childhood development and basic education policy with over 15 years of experience in evidence creation, program management, advocacy, and policy-making in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. 

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Pınar Kolancalı, Ph.D.
Education Expert, Research Associate

Dr Pınar Kolancalı is a researcher contributing to the Learning for Families through Technology (LiFT) project at the Department of Education, University of Oxford. As a member of the research team, Pınar is immersed in evaluating learning apps designed to improve parent-child interactions and child outcomes. 

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Rebecca Holmes
Social Protection Specialist, Senior Research Associate

Rebecca Holmes brings over 15 years of expertise in delivering policy-relevant social protection research focusing on gender equality, women and girls' empowerment, lifecycle analyses, and the humanitarian-development nexus. Rebecca has led the design and implementation of numerous qualitative and mixed-methods evaluations for reputable entities such as UNICEF, DFID, the World Bank, and the EU. 

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Selçuk Beduk, Ph.D.
Social Policy Researcher, Research Associate 

Dr. Selçuk Bedük’s research focuses on poverty, inequality, and comparative social policy. He employs quantitative methods and long-term survey or administrative data to study poverty measurement and analysis, accumulation and transmission of economic inequalities over the life course and across generations, and design of anti-poverty policies.

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Selin Köksal, Ph.D.
Research Associate 

Dr. Selin Köksal is an Assistant Professor in Demography at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Selin’s research focuses on social demography, fertility decisions, and reproductive health matters. Selin received her PhD in Public Policy and Administration from Università Bocconi in Italy in 2022.

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Stephen O'Connell, Ph.D.
Economist, Senior Research Associate

Dr. Stephen O’Connell is an Applied Economist studying social protection and inclusion. Currently, he serves as an Associate Professor of Economics at Emory University. He uses empirical methods to understand how scaled policies can promote greater economic opportunity, particularly for socially excluded or economically vulnerable populations. 

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Tuğba Bozçağa, Ph.D.
Political Scientist, Research Associate

Dr. Tuğba Bozçağa’ research focuses on comparative political economy and the political economy of development, specifically in local governance, bureaucracy, distributive politics, social welfare, and migration. She utilises a combination of quasi-experimental statistical designs, novel data sources, fieldwork and archival research-informed hypotheses, and research designs to study these topics in the Middle East context. 

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Volkan Yılmaz, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Dr. Volkan Yılmaz is a Political Scientist and Social Policy Researcher with over a decade of experience in policy-oriented research and analysis. Currently serving as a Lecturer in Social Policy at Ulster University in Northern Ireland, Dr. Yılmaz previously taught public policy at Dublin City University and served as the director of the Social Policy Forum Research Centre at Boğaziçi University, a leading institution in Turkey dedicated to evidence-informed and rights-based social policy-making. 

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Yali Hajhassan
Qualitative Research Analyst

Yali Hajhassan is a multilingual qualitative researcher with a track record in the field of cash transfer programs and evaluation projects related to refugees in Turkey and the surrounding region. Drawing from her four-year career as a qualitative researcher, her areas of specialization mainly encompass the collection, coding, and analysis of qualitative data. 

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Yasemin Kisbu, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate

Dr. Yasemin Kisbu is an Assistant Professor and a Director of the Independent Evaluation Labouratory at Koç University, bringing extensive expertise to her role as an evaluator in various social, educational, and health-related projects. Her research revolves around several key areas, including testing intervention components for cost and outcome effectiveness, developing quasi-experimental methods for program and policy evaluation, implementing models to maximise intervention effectiveness, and conducting transportability and adaptability studies to bring evidence-based programs to diverse countries.   

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Zehra Sena Kibar
Statistician, Research Associate

Zehra Sena Kibar works as a Research Assistant at the Middle East Technical University (METU), Statistics Department. Her primary research interests encompass statistical and causal inference, applied and computational statistics, and modelling within poverty, inequality, sustainability, and social policies. Her diverse skill set and commitment to statistical research underline her capacity to contribute effectively to various fields, especially in addressing complex social issues.


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Zeynep Balcıoğlu, Ph.D.
Political Scientist, Research Associate

Dr. Zeynep Balcioglu specialises in forced migration, social policy, and welfare provision, focusing on the Middle East and the Balkans. She has authored multiple policy reports for the Boston Consortium on Arab Region Studies (BCARS) and the Feinstein International Center of Tufts University by engaging in various qualitative research projects with Syrian refugees. 

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Zeynep Başer-Kubiena
Qualitative Social Policy Researcher

Zeynep Başer-Kubiena is a Key Expert at Particip GmbH, where she evaluates the Technical Assistance to Civil Society Organisations (TACSO) in the Western Balkans and Turkey. With a career spanning back to 2012, she has extensive experience in monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Zeynep has served both as an internal M&E officer within organisations and as an external evaluator, conducting independent program evaluations for international donor organisations. 

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