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Tara Patricia Cookson

logo Ladysmith and UBC's School of Public Policy
Director, Ladysmith & Assistant Professor UBC's School of Public Policy
Ladysmith and UBC's School of Public Policy
Canada

https://ladysmithcollective.com/

https://taracookson.com/


Tara researches social protection and care; development; & the gender data gap.

About the work

As a scholar-activist specialized in social protection and care, Tara sees a critical role for academic research in public policymaking. Her award-winning book, Unjust Conditions: Women’s Work and the Hidden Cost of Cash Transfer Programs, illustrated the gendered perils of defining ‘data’ too narrowly in one of the world’s largest anti-poverty programs. Tara is an Assistant Professor of Gender, Development and Global Public Policy at the University of British Columbia's School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. She is also the co-founder of Ladysmith, a feminist research consultancy that helps international organisations collect, analyse and take action on gender data. In this capacity, she has led data collection and communication projects for various clients, including UN Women, the International Labour Organization, USAID, and Facebook. Tara received her PhD from the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and holds an MA from the University of Toronto.

Impact

Tara’s scholar-activism is informed by the belief that women's everyday experiences should inform data-driven development. To this end, Tara’s research and consulting practice focus on three areas of work. The first is R&D of new data collection tools like Gender Data Kit (genderdatakit.org), applied policy research, and fundamental scholarly research. The second is research communication for advocacy through writing policy briefs and opinion editorials. The third is strategic advising for clients who may be new to feminist theories of change and want thoughtful guidance on how they can contribute to a more just and caring world. An example of this is Ladysmith’s new report, Building Alliances for Gender Equality: How the Tech Community Can Strengthen the Gender Data Ecosystem. Tara thrives in collaborative projects and is excited to find new partners through f<A+i>r.

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