Molly Hageboeck Award for Excellence

In Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL)

We are pleased to announce the initiation of The Molly Hageboeck Award for Excellence in Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL), crafted to acknowledge significant contributions that resonate with Molly Hageboeck’s focus on practical, rigorous, and
impactful practices in international development.

The awards span three distinct categories

Innovation in MEL Methodology Award

Aim: Celebrate individuals, teams, or organizations that have pioneered or significantly enhanced MEL methodologies, contributing to the field’s evolution.

Eligibility: Global entities that have demonstrated innovative work in MEL methodology within the past three years.

Excellence in MEL Practice Award

Aim: Honor exemplary application of MEL in international development projects or programs, with a focus on practical, tangible impact.

Eligibility: Entities globally that have showcased outstanding MEL practices within the past three years, with demonstrable real-world impact and effective MEL integration.

Advancement in MEL Training and Capacity Building Award

Aim: Support promising proposals from local MEL practitioners in developing countries, focusing on MEL training or capacity building.

Eligibility: Local MEL practitioners with a minimum of two years experience and a proven community track record, having a viable proposal for a project to be implemented within the next two years.

Award Recipients

Savi Mull

Innovation in MEL Methodology

Mariana Xavier

Innovation in MEL Methodology

Lee Alexander Risby

Innovation in MEL Methodology

Nehal Ali

Excellence in MEL Practice

Brenda Bucheli

Advancement in MEL Training
and Capacity Building

Evaluation Criteria

Description: The novelty and originality of the methods, practices, or policies being proposed or showcased.


– Uniqueness of the approach/method.

– Advancement beyond existing methods.

Description: The anticipated positive effects on the MEL field or a specific community, reflecting on practical and sustainable benefits.


– Scalability and replicability.

– Demonstrated or projected benefits.

Description: The practicality, scalability, and the likelihood of successful implementation of the proposed method, practice, or project.


– Realistic implementation plan.

– Availability of resources.

Description: The extent to which the nomination or proposal embodies Molly’s emphasis on practical solutions, rigorous approaches, and impactful international development practices.


– Demonstrated commitment to practical solutions.

– Rigorous methodological approaches.

– Evidence of impactful outcomes.

We extend an invitation to individuals, teams, or organizations globally, who are vested in the advancement of MEL, to submit their nominations and showcase their contributions to the field.

Additionally, we are opening the floor for applications from seasoned professionals to be a part of the Review Committee, a cornerstone in ensuring a fair and insightful evaluation of all submissions, aligning with the award’s vision and criteria.

Key Dates

Commencement of Award Submissions and Review Committee Applications.

November 10


Closure of Award Submissions and Review Committee Applications.

January 22


Shortlisting Phase.

February 1 -March 1


Final Review and Selection.


March 15

Award Ceremony and Cocktail Reception.


April (TBA)

The Award Ceremony in April will serve as a platform to honor the awardees and acknowledge all nominees for their significant contributions to MEL. This occasion will feature insights from notable figures in MEL, a formal reception, and networking opportunities, providing a space for interaction and recognition within the community.
The event will be live-streamed for broader accessibility, and press invitations will be extended for wider coverage.

The Molly Hageboeck MEL Award aims to maintain a standard of recognition while encouraging future innovation in MEL. Through this initiative, we aspire to create a narrative of continuous advancement in Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning.

Engage with us on social media using #MollyMELAward and spread the word within your networks.

Review Committee

Lynn Carter, PHD

Senior adviser for governance and conflict

Awards Selection Committee Member

With more than 30 years’ experience, Lynn provides technical guidance to analytic and field projects tackling governance, conflict, fragility, and extremism. Having worked intensively in the Middle East and South
 Asia, she has strong skills in assessment and applied research, project design, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation.

Jill Tirnauer

Strategy + Evaluation + Impact Management Leader

Awards Selection Committee Member

Top-performing M&E leader with 15+ years experience directing design, collection, visualization, analysis, and reporting of data that enhance current implementation and future program design.

Innovative thinker with history of introducing novel approaches, tools, and technologies for M&E assignments among hard to reach populations.

Jennifer L. Mandel, PhD

Program and Project Management Professional with International Development, Gender, and M&E expertise.

Awards Selection Committee Member

Project Management: Extensive experience hiring, training and managing international and local teams of up to 50, and managing complex multi-project portfolios up to $12 million USD. Comprehensive knowledge of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and European Union (EU) rules and regulations.

Cindy Clapp-Wincek

Independent Consultant, Retired Director of USAID Office of Learning, Evaluation and Research

Awards Selection Committee Member

International development program evaluation expert with over 30 years experience in public private partnerships, conflict and high threat environments, hunger, policy reform, child labor & education, roads, irrigation, private sector, and world health issues. Proven team leader and manager, able to unify team with forward focus on goals and bring out best possible performance in individuals

Pamela Johnson

Chief Health Officer

Awards Selection Committee Member

Pamela Johnson is the founder of PSJ Advisors. Ms. Johnson has over 20 years of leadership experience in housing finance and risk management. She brings a unique blend of analytical and problem-solving skills to her engagements. She has been a champion of balanced and prudent risk management strategies and housing policies that protect and strengthen businesses, consumers and communities.

Larry Cooley

President Emeritus and Senior Advisor at Management Systems International

Awards Selection Committee Member

Larry Cooley founded Management Systems International (MSI), an international development consulting firm, in 1981 and served as its president until March 2015, when he transitioned to president emeritus and senior adviser. Before founding MSI, he worked at the World Bank, UN Development Programme, Practical Concepts, and as a Peace Corps volunteer. 

Gerald M. Britan

Independent International Development Consultant

Awards Selection Committee Member

Gerald M. Britan has more than 40 years of experience planning, managing and
evaluating international development programs, with particular emphasis on development
effectiveness, development learning, and development management. 

About Molly

Molly Hageboeck was I4DI’s MERL Director Emerita. Winner of USAID’s Excellence in Evaluation Award, Ms. Hageboeck was an expert in performance monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) system design and improvement, whose clients included USAID, the U.S. Department of Labor, multilateral donors (UNDP, UNCDF, UNECA), the Government of Zambia and multiple non-governmental organizations.

Ms. Hageboeck provided technical leadership for USAID MEL projects in Uganda, South Sudan and USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment. Her landmark reports, Meta Evaluation of the Quality and Coverage of USAID Evaluations, and Evaluation Utilization at USAID are highlighted on that Agency’s main evaluation webpage. Her evaluation of the U.S. government’s $5 billion investment trade capacity building through 35 U.S. government agencies highlighted “what worked” and led to a policy update as well as the creation of Project Starter, a comprehensive online MEL training resource for managers of U.S. government trade capacity and other technical portfolios.

In 2019 her two newest studies, Learning from Evaluation Syntheses, and Impact Evaluation: Critical Challenges/Promising Solutions were released. Ms. Hageboeck was an expert evaluation trainer, whose Certificate Program in Evaluation, pioneered at George Washington University, and taught most recently at Georgetown University, has been provided on site for non-governmental organizations and for USAID Missions worldwide.

Ms. Hageboeck earlier served as Chief of Staff at USAID. She is a long-term member of the American Evaluation association and served as the Executive Vice President of the consulting firm that developed the Logical Framework and facilitated its institutionalization in foreign assistance agencies worldwide. She held a Master’s in Public Administration from Princeton University.

Join Us in Celebrating Excellence in MEL – Become a Sponsor

We invite likeminded organizations to partner with us in sponsoring the prestigious Molly Hageboeck Excellence in MEL Award. This collaboration offers a unique opportunity to support and recognize outstanding professionals in the field of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning. 

Partner with us to honor the legacy of Molly Hageboeck and to inspire a future where decisions are data-driven and practices are constantly evolving for the betterment of our communities.

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Savi Mull

Innovation in MEL

Savi Mull has nearly 25 years of experience in evaluation practice, research practice and management of programmes and donor client relationships. She is currently Senior Evaluation Manager at Laudes Foundation in the measurement and evaluation practice, leading the design and execution of high quality, utilization-focused evaluations for formal learning opportunities to improve the foundation’s effectiveness. Her previous experience covers heading the M&E practice at the Global Development Network, working with the Global Fund to Fight Tuberculosis, AIDS and Malaria and with USAID funded regional programmes on education and anti-human trafficking, among others. Ms. Mull holds a MA in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University in India and a post-graduate diploma in social security from International Institute of Social Studies at the Hague. Outside of work, she is an avid aviation enthusiast and finds calm through meditation.

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Mariana Xavier

Innovation in MEL

Mariana Xavier is a Senior Evaluation Manager at Laudes Foundation since 2021, currently focusing on highly innovative and participatory evaluative approaches that are implemented across the organisation. Before this, she worked as programme manager on Labour Rights and Gender Justice issues in Brazil, at both Laudes and C&A Foundation. Her passion for participatory monitoring and evaluation can be traced back to her experience as M&E Coordinator of an InterAmerican Development Bank funded social program for at-risk youth in favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Mariana holds a MA in Social Development and Conflict Studies from the Geneva Graduate Institute. Outside of work, she enjoys photography, travelling and playing with her 3-year-old daughter.

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Lee Alexander Risby

Innovation in MEL

Lee Alexander Risby is Director of Effective Philanthropy (EP) at Laudes Foundation in Switzerland. Lee directs the organization in measuring, evaluating, and learning from impact. In his role, he also leads the foundation’s efforts to strengthen partners capacities and integrate gender, equity and inclusion across the programs. Previously, Lee led EP and Impact & Communications teams at C&A Foundation.

Prior to that, he worked in various evaluation positions at the Global Environment Facility at the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank, focusing mainly on assessing the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation, climate mitigation, ozone-depleting chemical phase-out, gender and governance programs in the global south and former Soviet Union. His career has taken him to over 35 countries, living in seven. Outside of work, Lee enjoys cross-fit and Olympic weightlifting with Priya (his wife), hiking and skiing in Switzerland and traveling less.

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Nehal Ali

Excellence in MEL Practice

Nehal Ali, an Egyptian professional currently residing in Tunisia, is a seasoned Senior Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning Specialist with a decade of diverse experience. Throughout her career, Nehal has been instrumental in driving Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning initiatives across various non-governmental and governmental organizations, both domestically and internationally.

Her expertise spans a wide range of thematic areas, including but not limited to women’s empowerment, child development, youth engagement, and entrepreneurship. Nehal’s dedication to advancing these crucial domains has significantly contributed to the success and impact of numerous projects and programs.

With a deep-rooted commitment to excellence, Nehal continues to play a pivotal role in enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of MEL practices, thereby fostering positive change and sustainable development within communities worldwide.

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Advancement in MEL Training
and Capacity Building

With a Master’s degree in Human Resources and Knowledge Management, complemented by postgraduate studies in Statistics and Information Management, Brenda Bucheli is an experienced Peruvian social psychologist specializing in planning, monitoring, and evaluation of development interventions, individual and organizational capacity development, information and knowledge management, and coaching. Over the past three decades, she has gained professional experience in the public and private sectors, both nationally and internationally, in a variety of technical and high-level management positions. Notable positions include Director of the NGO Pact Peru, President of the Peruvian Evaluation Network – EvalPeru, and Director of the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning for Sustainability Project – USAID MELS.

Her consulting skills are demonstrated by a portfolio of more than 60 contracts effectively implemented since 2005 throughout Peru and Latin America. She has been deeply involved in USAID projects for two decades, and her expertise covers diverse areas such as environment, climate change adaptation, nutrition, livelihoods, and rural development.

Brenda is actively involved in professional networks, having co-founded EvalPeru and the Latin American network, RELAC. She is the current General Coordinator of RELAC for the period 2024-2027. Since 2006, she has been contributing her expertise to graduate monitoring and evaluation programs at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.