Fred Merttens is a Senior Consultant in OPM's Social Policy Programme. He holds a master's degree in Contemporary History and Politics from Birkbeck College, University of London. Fred works on the economics and politics of social policy sectors such as health, education and social protection. He specialises in the evaluation of social protection, social policy, and poverty reduction programmes. His areas of expertise include quantitative and qualitative research, survey design and management, and impact evaluation. He has worked for a range of donor, government, and NGO clients in Africa, the Middle East, central Asia and eastern Europe, including DFID, SIDA, UNICEF, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. Currently, Fred is involved in the monitoring and evaluation of four large cash transfer projects: in Kenya in the DFID-funded Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP), which targets food-insecure households in four districts in the northern arid lands; in Kazakhstan in the BOTA Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, aimed at preschool children, pregnant mothers and disabled children; in Lesotho in the UNICEF-funded Child Grants Support Programme targeted at households caring for orphans and vulnerable children; and in Uganda in the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment Programme, aimed at tackling chronic poverty in the country. These projects all involve implementing large quantitative panel surveys in complex environments. Fred is also currently involved in developing the monitoring and evaluation framework for the Food Stamp Programme in Mongolia as part of the Asian Development Bank's Food and Nutrition Social Welfare Project, as well as in phase two of the Kenya HSNP, which involves the design of the scaled-up HSNP. Fred has an array of experience of a number of different projects and contexts, performing a variety of analytical, managerial and research roles. These include a situation-analysis of children and women in Egypt for UNICEF, an evaluation of the World Bank’s Fast Track Initiative in Education, supporting the development of the Social Protection Strategy for UNICEF Mozambique, and an evaluation of the Joint Assistance Strategy for Zambia on behalf of the donor group of 16 cooperating partners.