Catherine Fisher

Catherine is a PlanAdapt Fellow, based in Brighton, UK.

Catherine’s professional work focusses on designing and facilitating learning, reflection and strategy processes. She is passionate about collaborative processes of exploration and co-production that support people to find inspiration and create strategies by combining their own knowledge and experience with knowledge, ideas and evidence from elsewhere. She has worked across these areas with research institutes and think tanks, INGOs and national civil society organisations, knowledge sharing and activist networks, bi- and multi-lateral donors and the UN system. She spent 12 years at the Institute of Development studies focussing on role of knowledge brokers and knowledge networks in facilitating connections between research, policy and action. In this time she worked as a practitioner designing and implementing knowledge programmes, convened and participated in networks of practitioners and contributed to theory building in the area. She developed the knowledge brokers spectrum, widely used within adaptation programmes. Subsequently, Catherine worked at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International supporting the organisational development of Amnesty offices in the Global South.

Since becoming an independent consultant in 2010, Catherine has worked to support ongoing learning within large programmes; acting as the “L” in third party MEL contracts. She has supported Theory of Change development for GAVI and the Lancet Countdown focussed on processes of learning and research uptake. She has undertaken theory-based evaluations focussed on learning and capacity development and a National Health Service pilot to support greater inclusively in public and patient inclusion. Catherine’s work is cross-sectoral which allows her to share insights and approaches between sectors. Her work in adaptation has focussed on supporting knowledge networks Africa-Adapt and the Climate Knowledge Brokers Network. Catherine has worked with the Stockholm Environment Institute supporting strategy processes, contributing to SEI’s capacity development strategy and providing training on facilitation. Since 2017 she has worked with the NAP-Global Network to facilitate peer learning between adaptation policymakers.

Publications include Fisher, C and Harvey, B (2019) Facilitating Peer Learning with Adaptation Policy-Makers: Approaches and insights from the NAP Global Network’s Targeted Topics Forums International Institute for Sustainable Development; Harvey, B, Lewin, T and Fisher, C. (2012) Introduction: Is Development Research Communication Coming of Age? IDS Bulletin Vol 43: 5 (Featuring the Knowledge Brokers Spectrum);  Newman, K., Fisher, C. and Shaxson, L.(2012) Stimulating Demand for Research Evidence: What Role for Capacity-building? IDS Bulletin Vol 43:5 p17-24; Fisher, C (2010) Between Pragmatism and Idealism: Implementing a Systemic Approach to Capacity Development IDS Bulletin Vol 41: 3 p108-117

Catherine holds a MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge, UK and a first-class Bachelor’s degree in Social and Political Studies from the University of Sheffield, UK.

For more info, see Catherine’s Linkedin page

Catherine contributed to PlanAdapt’s work in the following projects and initiatives: