Stephen Parsons
Education, evaluation, disability inclusion

Stephen Parsons has a diverse range of experience in consulting and senior leadership roles in Australia and across Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

Since 2014 he has focused on consultancy work both internationally and in the community sector in Australia. This has included program design and evaluation, strategic and operational planning, environmental scanning and research, value for money assessments, competitor analysis, leadership development and project proposal writing.

Stephen’s recent experience has seen him working across a wide range of sectoral areas. For example, during 2016 he assessed an Australian Government disaster risk reduction initiative in the Philippines, evaluated a newly developed national system of needs assessment for students with a disability in Fiji, and reviewed the effectiveness of Australian volunteers working in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Laos, and their contribution to improved food security. More recently, he completed a formative evaluation of capacity-building initiatives in the Pacific, with a focus on Kiribati and Tonga, identifying the factors contributing to effective capacity-building activity in a range of government departments.

Stephen has extensive experience in the assessment of public sector reform programs, in particular exploration of decentralization processes (e.g. education budgeting), and has reviewed international volunteering initiatives, including team volunteering, in a wide range of contexts.

Beginning his working life as a secondary school teacher, Stephen’s early career included two years as part of the Australian Volunteers Abroad program, teaching in a mining township in Botswana. This was followed by time on an English language teacher training project in Vietnam, and completion of a Master of Development Studies (to add to a Bachelor of Education) while working at the University of South Australia (UniSA).

Subsequent positions have included an executive role at Australian Volunteers International, and two years as the Human Resources Adviser on a UNDP-coordinated governance and public administration reform project in Laos. In 2005 Stephen returned to UniSA, taking on leadership roles in International Relations and then in the Teaching and Learning Unit. During this time, he also took up an Australian Government–funded placement at the International Islamic University Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.

Stephen recently completed a Master of Evaluation at the University of Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation in South Australia and a member of the Australian Evaluation Society.