Guest Contributor Profile
Maria is one of our Northern Ireland based Associates with over 20 years’ experience working in community regeneration in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties of Ireland. Maria is a Director with LOCUS, a Belfast based research and local regeneration consultancy specialising in community and economic regeneration support services.
Her expertise includes supporting community based organisations to engage effectively with their local community. This work has included programme managing the International Fund for Ireland’s Community Leadership programme for 5 years, engaging with cross border community groups to develop their regeneration skills and capacity.
Maria also works with Local Authorities, supporting consultation and engagement processes to inform strategic development, for example with respect to programmes such as Rural Development, Peace and Reconciliation, Policing and Community Safety and Community Services.
She is actively involved in evaluation and review of publicly funded initiatives and developing effective engagement processes to ensure a robust evidence base to inform impact analysis, informing policy and practice. She has considerable expertise in research and evaluation methodologies including survey design and analysis, focus group facilitation and stakeholder interviews. Her experience has included analysis and assessment of interventions targeting a diverse group of beneficiaries including young people in care, NEET young people, youth at risk, older people, women returners, minority ethnic population, people with disabilities and health conditions, the unemployed and those in entry level jobs, disadvantaged communities, rural communities, schools and the business sector.
Maria has one son and enjoys pilates and attempting to play golf (badly) in her spare time. Maria is a member of the Board of Governors of her local primary school.