Meet the team #1 – Laís Bertholino Faleiros

In Plan Eval’s “meet the team” series, we invite you to get to know more about the incredible people who make up our dynamic team.

Our first guest is Lais Bertholino Faleiros, our Project Manager. She has a Masters in Management of Public Organizations and Systems from the Federal University of São Carlos and a degree in Public Administration from São Paulo State University. She is a specialist in Cost-Benefit Analysis and Social Return on Investment (SROI).

Lais joined Plan Eval in 2017, initially as an administrative-financial manager. Later, she transitioned into the role of a researcher and currently serves as a project manager. In this brief interview, she shares insights into her experience at Plan, highlighting the highlights and her expectations for the future.

  1. How did you start working at Plan Eval?

“I started my career at Plan in 2017 as an administrative-financial manager. I held this role for approximately a year and a half, handling administrative responsibilities. Then, an opportunity in the research area arose and I became a researcher. During this period, I worked on projects such as C&A and Caixa. These were the main experiences as a researcher.

Later, in 2019, I left Plan acted as a consultant on the Coca-Cola Institute project, where I conducted a qualitative assessment of their Youth Collective Programme. However, in 2021, I returned to Plan Eval as a project manager. Therefore, along this path, I went through different roles, starting as an administrative-financial manager, then becoming a researcher and, finally, assuming the position of project manager.

I noticed a significant transformation at Plan over time, to the point where I felt, when I returned in 2021, that I was joining a completely different company. This perception is due, in part, to the changes that occurred during the pandemic period. In addition, I was able to observe a significant increase in the company’s operations in Belgium.”

2. What is it like be a Project Manager at Plan Eval? What do you like the most?

“The most important point, I believe, is that it [my work] motivates me. Working with public policy and being involved with many relevant organisations around the world that seek to create change in society is something that I am passionate and that drives me. The work of the United Nations and governments, together with public policies, provides the opportunity to act in projects and programmes that bring systemic changes to society. This possibility of comprehensive learning on different topics, without the need to become an expert in just one of them, is one of the fascinating characteristics of the evaluation area, which I chose to dedicate myself to.

Another important factor is being a project facilitator. In addition to management, I believe that my role involves integrating different interests, which come from donors, funders, executors and evaluators. Dealing with reconciling these interests is an exciting challenge, even if it is not always easy. People management is also part of this universe, adding even more complexity to everything we do.

However, being a project manager goes beyond that, also involving understanding the needs of people, both in the evaluated organisations and the evaluators, and I feel rewarded when I successfully complete this mission. Being able to lead and manage people, understanding their demands, is rewarding and gives my work an even greater purpose.”

3. What was your first project at Plan Eval?

“My first project at Plan was carried out in partnership with Instituto C&A, involving data collection for the evaluation of cotton farming projects supported by Instituto C&A and Porticus in Northeast Brazil. This project covered three different states: Piauí, Ceará and Pernambuco. As the research coordinator, I had the opportunity to travel to train the researchers. It was an extremely enriching experience, as in addition to being responsible for coordinating the research, I also actively participated in training the team and conducting the evaluation.”

Lais facilitating the training of enumerators in Ceará

4. What project do you consider to be the most meaningful to you?

“The PPCAAM project was an incredible experience for me, as we went through several evaluation stages. We had the opportunity to carry out comprehensive qualitative research in addition to quantitative research. We also worked on developing indicators and reconstructing the theory of change. We carry out activities to disseminate knowledge, training and even a seminar. Now, we are about to publish a book about the project. I believe that this project is remarkable, as it covered a wide range of activities that we master. It is gratifying to be able to accomplish so many things in a single project.

Another standout project for me is “Children on the Move“. It is a new project, which is just starting and involves multiple countries in different regions. This is a very relevant and exciting project and I look forward to providing meaningful evidence to our clients.”

Laís and the PPCAAM team in Brasília

5. What do you consider to be the best part of working at Plan Eval?

“At Plan, one of the things I appreciate most is the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with people, including consultants, co-workers and clients. In addition, being a global company gives us great freedom to work with different people and clients. I also believe that building relationships and networks is a fundamental aspect of our work. That ability to build relationships is something I really value from my experience at Plan.”

6. Finally, what are your expectations of the future?

I hope that Plan Eval can increasingly spread its operations around the world and acquire experiences in increasingly diverse contexts. I believe this will enrich our evaluative capacity, not only in different contexts, but also when working with more diverse organisations. In this way, we will be able to build more educational assessments, with greater quality, equity and diversity.”

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