Our Team many drops on water
P:N's organizational philosophy is to maintain a small and efficient roster of experienced professionals and to draw upon this roster on a project-by-project basis. This roster is composed of qualified and experienced individuals, all of whom have demonstrated ability and field experience. P:N normally adopts a team approach in its assignments, and endeavors, wherever possible, to provide gender-balanced services. We believe the application of more than one mind to the task enhances the quality of the product.

To learn more about our staff and consultants, click on the names below:

Philip Cox, Executive Director

Area of expertise: planning, leadership, diversity/multicultural education, organization change

Philip Cox specializes in performance management of international and Canadian social development. He applies participatory approaches to monitoring and evaluation; and to training in results based planning, management and reporting.

Since 1990, Phil has evaluated more than twenty-five separate projects in health, income generation, vocational training, water and sanitation, institutional strengthening and community development. Phil's approach is to engage project stakeholders as co-evaluators, rather than subjects. "The most successful evaluations, allow people from many walks of life to exchange views in an environment of trust and in the knowledge that good reflection can lead to better results."


Wayne Bobrosky, Operations Manager/Associate Consultant

Area of expertise: education, private sector development, strategic planning, project management

Wayne Bobrosky has over fifteen years of direct experience in the areas of Business, Social Services, Education, and Project Design and Management. He has worked with a variety of groups both in Canada and around the world, having lived and worked in the Czech Republic, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and The Bahamas. Besides holding an MBA, Wayne has bachelor degrees in Political Science and Social Work as well as professional teaching certification (province of AB).
Recent projects include: work on the Community Development Learning Iniative (CDLI) sponsored by the United Way/City of Calgary and Calgary Foundation; and multiple program evaluations for the Coalition for Equal Access to Education.


Stan Benjamin, Founder and Former Executive Director


Areas of expertise: policy, program and project planning and management; monitoring and evaluation; human resources development, education and training; urban and regional planning; urban management and policy development; low income housing and urban services; institutional organization and delivery systems; and community organization and development.

Stan’s 40 year career has spanned work in North America and abroad: in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and former Soviet Union. He spent 8 of these years living and working in Tanzania, Thailand and Indonesia.
While the majority of his consultancies have been CIDA funded, he has also undertaken assignments for numerous other development organizations including the World Bank, various United Nations agencies, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as several NGOs and faith-based agencies.

He has undertaken a total of 67 assignments in: policy, program and project planning and management; monitoring and evaluation; human resource development, education and training; urban and regional planning; urban management and policy development; low income housing and urban services; institutional organization and delivery systems; and community organization and development.

Based on his numerous and diverse project and program level exposure, Stan has developed special expertise in RBM-based planning, monitoring and evaluation.


Brenna Atnikov

Brenna Atnikov
Areas of Expertise: developmental evaluation, community engagement & development, collaborative change initiatives, participatory strategic mapping, community economic development

Brenna believes strongly in a conversational approach to community change efforts. She has extensive experience with facilitation and using Art of Hosting practices to convene multi-stakeholder conversations that lead to collaborative, systems-change initiatives. Brenna is skilled at supporting these groups in identifying, planning and taking action on matters important to them. 

Through developmental evaluation, Brenna partners with organizations and collaboratives to make sense of their community change efforts in order to achieve greatest impact. 

Denise Buchner, Director

Area of expertise: health systems, education, disabilities

Denise has worked with community-based projects locally and internationally for the past 19 years.  She is a recent PhD graduate in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Calgary.

Her thesis work was a qualitative study of health and disability in Laos.  In 2006, Denise spent six months living in the rural village of Phatang, Laos with two of her children where she collected data on village experiences with health and disability. In 2008 Denise won a SSHRC award to support this research. Previously, Denise completed a MA degree at UBC where she studied cultural interpretations of Deafness in Swaziland.

Denise's research interests include international health systems, community development, cultural interpretations of health and disability and international / development project evaluation. Denise is currently a sessional instructor at UofC - teaching community development in community rehabilitation at in the department of Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies.

Denise has extensive experience working with many community-based organizations (many of them dealing with disability issues)
across Canada and internationally.


Corin Chater, Chair, Board of Directors

Area of expertise: democratic and public sector governance, education, rule of law

Corin has worked in international development for over fifteen years. His expertise lies in program planning and performance management, monitoring and evaluation, community development, organizational assessment, and results-based policy development. Corin has carried out numerous participatory evaluations, reviews, and consulting assignments (individually, as Sector Specialist, and as Team Leader) for a wide variety of bilateral and multilateral donor and implementing agencies and NGOs including CIDA, the World Bank, UNHCR, UNICEF, OHCHR, OAS, and OSCE. Corin is an expert in public sector and organizational governance, human rights, democratization, and civil society capacity building. He has also evaluated projects and programs focusing on ICTs, education, health, rural development and micro-finance initiatives.

Corin’s international assignments have taken him to East and West Africa, South and South-East Asia, the Middle East, Caribbean, South America, and Russia. A proven facilitator and trainer, he has also designed and conducted training and mentoring sessions in Results-Based Management (RBM) for Canadian and international NGOs looking to access development funds. 

Currently a doctoral candidate in Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary, Corin’s research focuses on peace building and the evolution of civil-military policy development in Afghanistan.


Chandra Coomaraswamy

Area of expertise: gender, community development

Ms. Coomaraswamy is an International Development and Gender specialist holding a Master’s degree in Women Studies with extensive field experience.

In her capacity as development consultant she has contributed to VSO, Development and Peace, WUSC, FTO, CIDA, Asia Foundation and several other International development agencies in project evaluation, research, and gender mainstreaming projects, need assessments and community capacity building. She has also been volunteering with immigrant serving organizations on settlement programs in Toronto.

Previously, she has served in various management capacities with several International Development and humanitarian organizations such as the International Federation of the Red Cross/American Red Cross, World University service of Canada, Fredrich-Ebert-Foundation, and several others.  


Paul Cox

Paul Cox March 2010
Area of expertise: Monitoring & Evaluation, Rural, Agricultural and Regional Economic Development, Private Sector Development, Corporate Social Responsibility, Socio-Economic Impact Assessment

Paul Cox is a researcher and consultant with over 30 years of international and domestic experience in socio-economics, agricultural/resource economics, project management and business. He has an academic background in geography, agricultural economics and development studies (an interdisciplinary doctoral program in economics, sociology and political science), and has worked as a school teacher, a provincial government northern development officer, a socio-economist and economist for a major energy company and, since 1992, as a senior consultant.

Paul Cox has consulted for a wide variety of clients, including international financial institutions, government agencies, corporations, industry associations, municipalities and non-governmental organizations. He has experience using a broad range of applied social science research methodologies and has conducted field research in diverse settings in Canada and 30 other countries. Most of his recent project involvements have been in socio-economic and environmental impact assessment, regional economic development, institutional strengthening/capacity building and monitoring & evaluation (M&E).


Athena Elton

Areas of expertise: gender equality mainstreaming, project design and evaluation, community development, organizational assessment, corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Athena has over 15 years’ experience working in the social development field. Athena's expertise focuses on equality issues, especially gender equality mainstreaming, as it is implemented in international development organizations and the projects they design. Through years of practice and experience Athena has developed strong communication skills, and in-depth experience working with people collaboratively to ensure that the communities receive the maximum benefit from their social development projects. For over 12 years Athena has worked in international development on projects ranging from micro-finance projects for women in Bangladesh, to working on Parliament Hill encouraging and promoting a network of international parliamentarians fighting corruption through good governance practices. She has worked for CIDA, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), private foundations, and several NGOs.

Rob Enns

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Areas of Expertise: Team Building, Strategic Planning, Community Development,Participatory Leadership, Training & Capacity Building, Participatory Monitoring & Evaluation, Organizational Development

Rob has a passion for enabling people to work together to set their goals and achieve them. He has worked in numerous roles, including trainer, facilitator, coordinator, monitor and evaluator.

Rob has been involved in international development programs in Asia, Africa and Canada. Having lived in Bangladesh for over twelve years, Egypt for one year, as well as India, Ethiopia and Tanzania for various periods of time, he has a deep appreciation for the importance of developing trust and mutual respect with people in the host communities. He is proficient in Bengali and has taken steps to develop some understanding of other languages when appropriate.

Rob has filled a wide variety of roles, from country director of an organization with over 200 staff members to the monitor of many different types of projects and organizations. He has seen CIDA from all sides (working in projects funded by CIDA, monitoring programs on CIDA’s behalf and evaluating CIDA’s own long-term programs in two countries) and has worked in programs with other international funders, so he is ready to help organizations build their programs and increase their efficiency in achieving the goals that are important to themselves and their funding agencies.

Jim Freedman

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Area of expertise: conflict resolution, peace and security, humanitarian assistance, governance, micro finance

Jim conducts applied policy research in the areas of conflict reduction and building stability in fragile states.

A reputable private sector is regarded as a critical factor and recent research has consequently been focused on helping extractive industry companies meet standards of social responsibility while simultaneously increasing their competitive position.

Equally important is the capacity of host governments to respond by improving their capacity for resource governance in the interests of stability and providing equitable benefits to the population. Jim has completed over 50 assignments in 22 countries.

Clients and partners include host governments, private enterprises, international organizations, donor agencies and civil society organizations.


Colin Funk

Area of expertise: facilitation, community development, business/organizational development

Colin has been associated with P:N since 2004. He is a renowned facilitator and program designer in the area of creativity and leadership development.

He has spent the last 20 years working as a facilitator, director and theatre producer throughout western Canada. He is a graduate of the BC Institute of Technology – Broadcast Communications (1981), and a graduate of the Vancouver Playhouse –Theatre Arts and Dramaturgy (1985).

Colin is the Artistic Director of Precipice Theatre. Since 1989, he has led the creation of unique leadership development initiatives that bring together the arts, ecology and business through the medium of Theatre.  

Colin has also held a number of positions at The Banff Centre as Arts Administrator, Program Coordinator and Creative Program Director of The Banff Centre’s Leadership Learning Lab.  

Colin currently works as a Creative Process Facilitator with the Reframe Leadership Consultancy in Banff, AB, and the Pacific Centre for Leadership in Canmore, AB.  


Louise Griep

Area of expertise: gender, organizational development, strategic planning

Louise Griep has an MA in Gender Analysis in Development, and has been consulting nationally and internationally in community and social development for the past 15 years, and instructing on-line and face-to-face courses for the past ten years. She has worked extensively with social justice non-profit organizations to conduct evaluations and research, provide training, and facilitate organizational development and increased impact in the community.

Louise has extensive experience with training in outcome measurement, community development in multicultural settings, appreciative inquiry and participatory techniques. She is committed to participatory project management, where analysis and decision making is inclusive of multiple participants and viewpoints. For the last five years, she has had a number of projects facilitating multi-sectoral strategic collaborations that capitalize on the strengths of each of the participants.


Dale Hildebrand

Area of expertise: Middle East studies, environment, human rights, community development

Dale has over 20 years of experience working in international development project management. His work in international cooperation projects has brought him to more than 30 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America, including his work in the Philippines for five years.

Dale has worked as an Executive Director and Manager in some of Canada’s leading non-governmental organizations where he has contributed to the design and implementation of innovative programs in the areas of human rights, ecological sustainability, and community economic development.

Currently the Principal of Hildebrand Consulting based in Toronto, Dale specializes in helping international development and environmental organizations to create results oriented programs, build capacity in southern NGOs and evaluate projects and programs. He has a B.A. from the University of Winnipeg and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto.


Noel Keough, Director

Noel Photo
Area of expertise: land use and urban development, institutional strengthening, energy, environment, water supply and sanitation, sustainable community planning, social economy

Noel has 20 years experience working in community development both locally and internationally.

His work has included local renewable energy assessment and design, sustainability education, community development, popular theatre, sustainability indicators design and technology assessment.

Through his unique experience Noel has been successful in building bridges between community groups and planning and engineering professionals.

Internationally, Noel has worked in Central America, Central and South East Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Locally, Noel has worked with community groups in Alberta, Newfoundland and British Columbia. 

Noel is also a co-founder and current senior researcher at Sustainable Calgary Society, a member of the National Working Group for the Canadian Index of Wellbeing and is Assistant Professor of Sustainable Design in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary.


Murray Luft

Area of expertise: community development, adult education

Murray is a community development and education specialist with 25 years of diverse work experience in the social development field, both in Canada and abroad. He holds an M.A. in Sociology and a M.Ed. in Adult Education.

During his career, he has planned, managed and evaluated numerous international development projects and programs in the NGO sector, primarily in the Latin America region. Murray lived in Bolivia for 11 years and in the Dominican Republic for two, hence is fluent in Spanish.

Now based in Victoria, BC, Murray occasionally assumes domestic and international assignments with Plan:Net Ltd. Since 2002, he has conducted RBM training workshops for NGO clients in Peru, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico and
works with clients in Latin America and Canada

His special interests include faith-based development, popular education,
corporate social responsibility and community dialogue and participatory planning.


John Paterson


John Paterson has had a vast amount of management experience with non-profits and with organizations working internationally since 1980 when he worked in the Philippines and in Canada as the coordinator of an educational exchange program. John is fluent in French and in Spanish. Since an earlier teaching career in ESL, he has done overseas workshop design and training, including training of trainers, especially in microfinance and RBM reporting, and has facilitated board workshops here in Canada. John’s work on international projects and programs spans some thirty years. He has been Executive Director of five NGOs or not-for-profits and it is this management experience, including project planning and management, human resource management, and work with international partners, that he brings to his consulting.


Daniel G. Pugh

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Areas of expertise: humanitarian operations; coordination, programme/project management, field security, situation analysis, monitoring and evaluation, training.

Daniel Pugh has worked on international development projects and development education since 1990 and over the past 12 years on humanitarian emergencies spanning Asia, Africa and the Middle East. His focus has been on complex (man-made) emergencies where he has worked for iNGO’s in operations as a programme manager and for the United Nations as a Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer working on the coordination of assistance delivery primarily in insecure contexts such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gaza, Sri Lanka, Chad, Libya, Lebanon. Daniel has led monitoring/evaluation missions in Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Daniel is also a trainer with the Sphere Project (sphereproject.org) and gives workshops on Security in the Field. He also recently completed a Masters diploma in Transnational Organized Crime and the completion of a thesis on Child Trafficking in Lebanon is an ongoing endeavour.

Kendra Ramdanny

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Areas of expertise: public policy, program and project planning and management, environment, Aboriginal relations

Kendra has over 10 years of experience working in the corporate and non-profit sectors in the areas of public policy, environmental affairs, and Aboriginal relations. She is skilled at working with a diverse group of sectors and interests to develop positive and pragmatic policy solutions.

Kendra has consulted for a number of non-profit and corporate clients in the areas of environmental conservation, governmental relations, and community and international development. Kendra holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and a Master of Business Administration degree, both from the University of Calgary.

Kendra is the Principal Consultant with A Better World Consulting and can be reached at

Sheila Robinson

Area of Expertise: health policy and planning, program evaluation and results-based management

Sheila has over thirty years experience in global health and organizational capacity development spanning fieldwork, program planning, management and evaluation, research, training, and professional leadership.

She holds a B.Sc. in Nursing, an M.A. in Development Studies, and a Ph.D. in Community Health Sciences/ International Health Systems. She has extensive experience in health development programs and evaluation in Asia, and has also worked in Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, as well as Canada.

Her approach to capacity development includes assessing individual and organizational strengths and needs in light of strategic direction and internal and external contexts. She employs participatory methodologies for assessment, planning and evaluation.  

With P:N colleagues she has developed and continues to evolve innovative processes and tools for outcome-based management training and coaching in work with organizations.


Rebekah Seidel

Rebekah Seidel cropped July 2010
Area of expertise: Community Development and Engagement, Collaborative Initiatives and Collective Impact, Strategic Planning, Developmental Evaluation, Outcome Mapping, Gender

Rebekah Seidel (MSW, RSW), Director of creo, inc., has worked in community development based programs and projects domestically and internationally for over 25 years. This has included work in rural and small communities as well as urban centres in Canada, Central America, the South Pacific and Asia. 

Rebekah has provided facilitation and leadership to planning processes, assessments and analyses, coalition building / collaborative initiatives, and program monitoring and evaluation. She has enhanced inclusion and participation with cross-cultural groups, marginalized sectors, regional bodies and networks (domestically and internationally), international organizations, and rural/remote/northern communities.

Community and organizational capacity building, inclusive participation, critical assessment and empowerment have been a major focus in Rebekah’s working methodology. seidelr@telus.net

Samira Smirat

Area of expertise: Gender, Environment, Community Development

Ms. Samira Smirat is an experienced social worker, community development professional and manager, with 18 years in the public and private sectors.   She currently heads Plan:Net Limited’s office in Jordan where she manages and participates in its main project activities.

Her primary professional experience is with the social and economic empowerment of low-income communities – in particular, women - using participatory development methodologies.

She has expanded her initial public-service work-experience in the housing and environment sectors into a much wider sphere of consulting, primarily with internationally funded development projects. Samira is an experienced community facilitator, monitor/social researcher and trainer of monitoring and evaluation methodologies (Results Based Management (RBM), Outcome Mapping, Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) and Appreciative Inquiry).

Much of her professional practice since joining Plan:Net (P:N) occurred within the context of gender and/or environment projects funded by international donors such as CARE International, GFA, IFAD, IDRC, and GTZ.


Bruce Smedley

Area of expertise: engineering, environment, energy, agriculture

Mr. Smedley specializes in industrial planning and development, in the context of matching business activity to local, regional, and national settings. Mr. Smedley offers a third party independent/ impartial technical and feasibility review of clients’ commercial developments.

Mr. Smedley has 35 years of experience in industry as a professional engineer and industrial development consultant. He has expertise in project planning, and management and completed projects in many industry sectors including the new and innovative, the often controversial, as well as the more complex and comprehensive; involving many stakeholders, foreign governments, major environmental, sustainable, and cultural issues, and multi-billion dollar commercial investments.

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Ivan Gyozo Somlai

Area of expertise: management, governance, institutional strengthening

Ivan is fluent in Nepali and holds a Master’s degree from Tribhuvan University (TU).  He has evaluated projects and offered results-based-management training all over the world.  He has honed the ability to adapt participatory evaluation methodologies cross culturally and to specific project needs.  

He has managed over 50 international contracts and projects in the health, management, education, natural resource, technical trades and tourism sectors. His prime focus is on improving capacities for sustainable change in less advantaged countries.

Ivan was on the founding Technical Sub-committee of the UN-recognized CIDES/Centro Internacional para el Desarollo Sostenible, based in Panama. As of September 2006, he is Director of Global Collaboration (http://globalcollaboration.blogspot.com/), through which he pursues international development consulting.

His preferred areas are rural health systems and services; participatory approaches to programme evaluation; multiculturalism; decentralization; governance; executive leadership training; alternative conflict mitigation; motivation of multidisciplinary/ intercultural teams; and ethnobureaucratic analysis. Ivan has also been Co-Coordinator of an international committee launching a university hospital in Nepal; and remains as Associate to the President of the World Trade University.


Jeannette Tramhel, Director

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Area of expertise: law, agriculture, environment, food security

Jeannette’s educational background includes a Master of Environmental Design from the University of Calgary, a LL.M. (International Law), LL.B. and a B.Sc. in Agriculture (Economics).  She has over twenty years of experience in conducting and managing projects in applied legal and policy research, accumulated during employment with two international organizations (UN and OAS) and the provincial and federal governments, while in private practice and teaching. Her skills are largely in communication, research and analysis, and project management.

Jeannette has a long-standing interest in international development that dates back to early experiences with Canada World Youth in Malaysia and as a CUSO volunteer in Tanzania. A passion for food justice and fair trade has inspired her career path, first in agricultural economics, then international trade law, and most recently, sustainable environmental design. As the recipient of a 2008 ECOPOLIS Graduate Research and Design Award from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Jeannette engaged three communities in the Philippines in a participatory design process for the integration of organic waste management with urban agriculture and has made a documentary film about the project.

She has been involved with proposal development and project evaluation with Plan:Net since 2010.

You can visit her website at: www.foodsecuritybydesign.com