Property of Melyn McKay, do not reproduce without permission.

Property of Melyn McKay, do not reproduce without permission.


D.Phil. in Social Anthropology (2015 – 2018)                                                                           Oxford University, Exeter College, Alan Coltart Scholar (2015 – 2018), Dissertation under Dr. David Gellner, All Souls College.

M.Sc. in Social Anthropology (2014 – 2015)                                                                                Oxford University, St. Antony’s College, Graduated first in class with Distinction.

Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology (2004 - 2008)                                                                        Colby College, 3.9/4.0 GPA in Major, Graduated with Honours & Distinction.

Bachelor of Arts in Government ( 2004 - 2008)                                                                        Colby College, 3.72/4.0 GPA OverallGraduated with Honours & Distinction.

Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (June 2016 – Aug 2016)                                       University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA), Intermediate Intensive Burmese, A/B.      

Culture & Society Field Training(Jan 2007 – May 2007)                                                  School for International Training (Morocco), 3.7/4.0 GPA, Intensive Arabic (Spoken Darija/Written Fusha).


Independent Research Consultant          June 2014 - Current

Select Projects:

  • Author, ‘Buddhism and State Power in Myanmar’, International Crisis Group, (September 2017) Full Report Here.
  • Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Consultant, Phandeeyar Social Impact Fellowship (March 2017 – March 2018)
  • Endline Evaluation of intercommunal peace building program, ‘Local Resilience for Peace’ in Mandalay and Taungyyi, Myanmar (Feb 2016 – April 2016) – Research consultant, design of endline evaluation.
  • Design of Research Approach, ‘Promoting Sustainable Peace and Resiliency’ program in Kayah State, Myanmar (Oct 2015 – January 2016) – Lead consultant on the design and implementation of the evaluation of a multiyear peace and governance program funded by the European Union and implemented by Mercy Corps.
  • Evaluation of Danish Arab Partnership Programme (DAPP) for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs – MENA (July – August 2015) - Oversaw redrafting of four country-level reports and one master, synthesis report to document and evaluate DAPP achievements and results, produce lessons learned, and recommendations for future iterations of the DAPP and other Danish programming in the MENA region.
  • Conflict analysis for Norwegian Church Aid-Syria (February – March 2015) - Desk-based analysis of the conflict in Syria, especially areas targeted by NCA-supported programmes, primarily Latakia, Tartous, Damascus, and Homs Governorates. 
  • Formative research and baseline assessment for UNICEF / Search for Common Ground - South Sudan (June – October 2014) - Lead Evaluator on a baseline assessment of planned conflict and peace building programming in Juba and Minkamman, South Sudan. Responsible for: designing research approach including second phase research, a nationwide, regionally representative Knowledge Attitudes and Practices (KAP) survey, including sample size, strategy, logistics, etc.; recruiting, training, and managing local team (logistics, research assistants, translators); conducting ethnographic research (Focus Groups, Key Informant Interviews, Observation, Short Survey, Participatory Methods) in IDP settlements, UN Protection of Civilians camps in three sites.     
  • Endline Evaluation of youth conflict reduction programming in Chibitoke province, Burundi (ADRA) – Lead Consultant on evaluation of the youth conflict mitigation program on the Burundi/DRC border. Oversaw a team of 25 people to collect over 15,000 data points using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Provided bivariate analysis.
  • Social Media Training to Burundian Journalists (USAID) – Provided workshop training to Burundian journalists on social media platforms and strategies. Followed up with journalists one-on-one and in small groups in training/coaching capacity.                              

Integrity Research & Consultancy      Jan 2014 – June 2014

Methods Design and Quality Assurance Manager

Responsible for company-wide quality assurance and methods design, including rigour, conflict and community sensitivity. Oversaw project work in numerous conflict-affected geographies including: Nepal, South Sudan, DRC, Lebanon, and Syria.

 Select Projects:

  • Assessment of livelihoods programming for Syrian refugees in Lebanon (Save the Children) – Designed research approach, recruited and hired local team, worked with client to finalise research objectives and outputs.
  • Mapping emerging governance structures to inform humanitarian delivery and policy level dialogue in ‘liberated’ Syria (UK Conflict Pool) - Oversaw data quality and report production evaluating emerging structures for humanitarian delivery in Syria, contributed to report structuring to enable easy reading of complex evaluation results, provided feedback on applicable channels for humanitarian aid distribution and monitoring.
  • Media mapping in Syria (IMS) – Oversaw data quality and report production, research informed by the context of necessary alignment with armed actors and impact on journalistic integrity, identified opportunities for programming and intervention recommendations.

Integrity Research & Consultancy                          Jan 2013 – Jan 2014

 Country Director South Sudan

Responsible for all South Sudan project activity include client management, local and international staff, legal compliance with South Sudanese authorities (including tax, visa, etc.), managed all in-country funds, business development, project and research design, quality, and delivery. Responsible for safety and wellbeing of staff; managed risk management and eventual extraction of project staff during outbreak of violence in December, 2013.

Sample Projects:

  • Labor Market Supply and Demand Survey (World Bank) – Designed methodologies, managed recruitment of field team, worked closely with the South Sudan Ministry of Trade & Investment to define objectives.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of UNDP/World Bank SPLA demobilisation campaign (World Bank) – Managed all in-country activities, liaised with clients, oversaw local and international consultants, quality assurance.
  • Evaluation of technical and financial proposals to provide governance programming on behalf of the Dutch MFA in South Sudan (Kingdom of the Netherlands) – Evaluated against EU criteria, applicability to South Sudan and prior knowledge of interventions in the Security and Access to Justice space.
  • Burundi Coffee value chain evaluation (TradeMark East Africa) – Project Managed team, client relationship, and deliverable quality. Recommendations of evaluation were presented to the Burundi Board of Trade and Investment for review and inclusion in policy decision.

International Conflict & Security Consulting         June 2012 – Jan 2013

Research Consultant

Village Health Works/Global Health Corps           June 2011 – Jan 2012

Director of Economic Development Programs

Responsible for project design, budget management, project management, and monitoring, for USAID-funded livelihoods program. Worked with women referred through psychosocial support program at the clinic, gender based violence advisory, to create women’s collectives. Designed and conducted a large market assessment for planning purposes. Hired local trainers and oversaw all skills training, procurement, and sales of co-operative goods. Established savings scheme for at-risk women. 75% of co-operatives were profitable within three-months; 100% in six months.


  • Visiting Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Mandalay (current)
  • Subcontracting Ethics: Mediating the commodification of ‘local knowledge’ in crisis and conflict"-  With Alissa de Carbonnel, MPP Blavatnik School of Government for the Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford, Volume VIII, no. 1 (2016): Special Issue on The Ethics of Anthropology in Emergencies.
  • Women and Myanmar’s “Religious Protection Laws" - Article with Dr. Mathew Walton and Dr Khin Mar Mar Kyi for the Review of Faith and International Affairs, Vol. 13, Iss. 4, 2015
  • “Why are women supporting Myanmar’s ‘religious protection laws’?”- with Dr. Mathew Walton and Dr Khin Mar Mar Kyi for East Asia Forum 9/9/2015
  • Religious Authority beyond the Nation, University of Manchester, Participant, April 2016.
  • Fieldwork Ethics in Crisis Conference, Wolfson College, Presenter, ‘Anthropology and Compromise: impacts of donor expectations and limitations on methodological innovation and ethical practice in conflict and fragile states’, June 2015.
  • Human Welfare Conference, Green Templeton College, Panel Speaker, May 2015
  • War and Peace at Oxford initiative, Member
  • Accessible Information: Working Towards Peace by Designing and Advancing Peer Based Sex-Education to Promote Healthy Choices and Better Understanding for Gao Zhong (High School) Students (China) – Worked in three areas to design peer-based education programs for Chinese high school students. Collaborated with Beijing University and Beijing Family Planning to implement Project made possible by generous support of the Davis Foundation. January – August 2008
  • Impact of micro finance legislation on rural women beneficiaries (Morocco) – Designed and implemented research to explore the impact of recent micro finance legislation on Moroccan women. Conducted Focus Group Discussions with beneficiaries (Arabic/French) and Key Informant Interviews with micro finance executives (Al Amana, Fondation Zakoura, Fondep, USAID, Bank al Maghreb) (English/French). January – June 2007


French: Advanced intermediate, near conversational/reading fluency

Arabic (Darija): Basic

Myanmar: Intermediate