• University of Melbourne, PhD (gender and anthropology)
  • Bachelor of Arts (psychology, 1st class honours)

Languages: English, Bahasa Indonesia

Expertise: Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion. Project management, Monitoring and Evaluation. Desk reviews. Research (qualitative)

Sarah Richards (nee Hewat) is a freelance anthropologist based near Melbourne, Australia. With more than 25 years technical and community development experience, Sarah is an expert in designing stakeholder engagement and other program processes and features to enhance and measure gender and social inclusion.

Sarah has delivered high quality products, on time and in budget, for a range of private and public sector clients in in Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia including:

  • Multilateral Agencies (Asia Development Bank, UNDP, UNFPA)
  • International NGOs (World Vision; Oxfam)
  • Research Organisations (Monash Uni, Melbourne Uni, Queensland Uni)
  • Victorian State Government (Vic. Dept. of Justice; WorkSafe)
  • Community-Based/Not-for Profit Organisations (Emergency Services Foundation; Yayasan Kesehatan Bethesda; other West Papuan NGOs).
  • Firms or Consulting Businesses (PwC, TripleLines, Phillip Conwell Smith, EnviroSolutions Consulting, Arcoona)

A list of recent assignments can be found on my LinkedIn page.

Fresh produce wash basin at existing Lae Market, in the PNG highlands.
Social/GEDSI baseline study of the Lae Main Market, PNG

In 2022 I supported Phillip Conwell Smith (Cardno/DFAT) deliver a social-GEDSI baseline study of the Lae Main Market with the support of two young nationals. This report included a list of recommendations for the design of the new Lae market and future rebuild and management.

Circular Economy for Reducing Marine Plastic

In 2020-2021 I supported a multidisciplinary team at the Asia Development Bank develop two detailed projects plans to build a circular plastics economy to end the marine plastic pollution crises. These plans – one Asia regional and one Indonesia specific – helped secure Global Environment Facility (GEF) funding and placed women, informal waste workers and other marginal groups at the heart of project activities.

Waste Management system upgrade – Jakarta

In 2021 I integrated GEDSI in a preliminary study to support the DKI Jakarta improve waste management, collection and transport arrangements for all. This work was part of Kemitraan Indonesia Australia untuk Infrastruktur (“KIAT”), a facility that works with the Government of Indonesia (“GOI”) to improve policy and regulatory frameworks via supporting high-quality projects and infrastructure delivery.

Gender and disability inclusive infrastructure reconstruction

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), ‘Programme for Earthquake and Tsunami reconstruction Assistance’ (PETRA)

In 2020 I produced a technical report with a checklist, specifications and recommendations to build gender and socially inclusive (GESI) critical public infrastructure in the post-disaster regions of Lombok and Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Gender-based violence

Policy and Research Officer, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

In 2017 I produced a consolidated research report from the data of mixed-methods study of female genital mutilation in ten Indonesian regions. Findings and recommendations of my report was the basis of policy advocacy work with a range of stakeholders, including national ministries and community-based organisations (CBOs).

Community-based waste Management

Asia Institute, Monash University

In 2017 I designed a method, conducted field-based interviews and produced a report that documented and evaluated a grassroots waste management/eco-village initiative in a village in Jogjakarta, Indonesia.

HIV /AIDS Prevention

Yayasan Peduli Perempuan, ‘Stop HIV’, Manokwari, Papua

In 2004 I worked with NGO staff to design a gender and culture sensitive methodology for HIV survey work. I trained staff and cadres in interview techniques from a GESI perspective for HIV survey work.

Global Health

Lecturer, The Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne

For ten years (since 2010) I co-lectured the subject ‘Global Health, Security and Sustainability’ from an anthropological angle. I discussed gender and culture in the context of the root causes of disease, poverty, injustice and inequity that exist in Indonesia and the world today.

Gender and Disability Inclusive Sanitation Infrastructure

Ananda Consult, ‘Indonesia Australia Partnership for Infrastructure’ (KIAT)

In 2018 I developed Gender and Social Inclusion (GESI) strategies for the concept notes of eight sanitation infrastructure projects in various cities in Java. This was part of planning work for KIAT infrastructure reform in Indonesia. funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Maternal and Child Health

World Vision Australia, ‘Women and their Children’s Health Project’ (WATCH)

In 2000 I documented and reviewed changes and issues in an AusAID health project in Jayawijaya regency, Papua province in Indonesia. At the time, this project was the longest bilateral project in Indonesia.

Better Mental Health for Disaster Response Workers

Project Manager, Emergency Services Foundation, ‘WorkWell Learning Networks’

Since 2019 I have project managed a State government funded program to support better mental health among Victorian emergency responders. This project:

  • builds evidence– drives studies and research to build understanding where there are knowledge gaps
  • shares knowledge – we run events and create and disseminate knowledge products to build awareness of the issues and solutions
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