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Meltem Aran, Ph.D.

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.  

During her tenure as a consultant for the World Bank from 2004 to 2013, she played an analytical role in building microsimulation models using household-level data for the Poverty and Social Impact Analysis of World Bank-funded projects in operational countries. Since 2013, as the Director of Development Analytics, Meltem has led many multidisciplinary teams to achieve impactful outcomes. Her leadership has been evident in research projects and evaluations conducted for prominent organizations such as the World Bank, UNICEF, International Labour Organization (ILO), WFP, European Commission, the French Development Agency (AfD), and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Her extensive experience spans international development projects, policy research, and evaluations for diverse clients, including UN agencies, IFIs, governments, and NGOs. She has also been actively involved in providing capacity building to researchers and practitioners in developing countries. 

Meltem's expertise extends to the management, design, and implementation of quantitative and mixed-methods research and evaluation projects across various developing countries. Her track record includes engagements in Indonesia, Myanmar, South Africa, Madagascar, Tanzania, Mali, Nigeria, Egypt, Türkiye, Albania, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and St Lucia.

With a profound understanding of microsimulation models using household-level data, she has delivered impactful simulation models for the World Bank, including the estimated impact of childcare subsidies on preschool enrolments and female labour force participation (2018) and revisions for cash transfer targeting options for Syrian refugees (2020). Meltem's leadership roles in various studies, such as the mid-term evaluation and review of the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) and the strategic mid-term evaluation of the EU Facility for Refugees in Türkiye, highlight her expertise in steering complex initiatives.  

She holds a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in Economics from the University of Oxford, a Master's in Public Administration in International Development (MPAID) from Harvard University, and a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and International Relations from Brown University. 

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