Shari Cohen

Shari Cohen head shotShari Cohen is a senior professional with over 28 years of experience in international development, with a strong focus on programming that contributes to theempowerment of women, young people, and men. Ms. Cohen values human rights-based approaches that contribute to the improvement of health, education and the overall well-being of families and communities to realize their individual and collective potential to create locally relevant, sustainable social change that enhances all aspects of society.  Her client list includes UN agencies, along with a wide selection of international NGOs, faith-based organizations, the CDC, and assorted bi-lateral agencies.   Ms. Cohen is highly experienced in multi-cultural, multiple-location programming including: research and assessment, program design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of short term projects and long term programs related to health, education, child protection, maternal and child health, and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health.   Although Ms. Cohen has a wide scope of skills and expertise related to the continuum of programming, her technical area of expertise is centered aroundhuman-rights-based social and behavior change communication (SBCC/C4D).  Using her vast field experience in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Latin America and the Caribbean, she has reimaged and redesigned new approaches to capacity building around SBCC and is the co-creator, along with Ms. De Windt, of Changemakers Experiential Learning Labs, a rights-based, experiential approach to creating deeper and lasting learning around SBCC principles and processes using creative learning approaches. Ms. Cohen has also designed several innovative social change-related tools including a rights-based Community Dialogue tool, as well as simple and practical approaches to using story-telling for social change.  She has been recognized by the MIT Media Lab’s Learning Creative Learning faculty as a leader in innovative creative learning approaches, and has been a featured storyteller and online facilitator for theLearning Creative Learning course.   With an additional sub-specialty in rights-based research, monitoring and evaluation, Ms. Cohen has proven expertise in coordinating and working with culturally diverse teams in multiple geographic locations; and identifying and incorporating locally appropriate, participatory approaches to maximize results and local ownership in all aspects of program/project development. Able to liaise effectively with government level decision-makers and community stakeholders, creating environments for successful dialogue on multiple levels. Expertise in design, implementation and analysis/evaluation of qualitative and quantitative research to identify root causes of program barriers. Uniquely skilled to provide on-the-job capacity building and team-building in both traditional and non-traditional settings.   Ms. Cohen holds both bachelor’s (BFA) and master’s (MFA) degrees in the communication arts, and speaks conversational Bahasa Indonesia and beginning Vietnamese.  She currently resides in San Diego, California.