© EPES Mandala 2011

About Us

Who we are

Founded in 2004, EPES Mandala Consulting is a British company specialising in conducting evaluation and monitoring of policies, programmes and cooperation projects financed by such international institutions as the European Commission, United Nations, NGOs and various bilateral agencies. We work from offices in Mali, UK and USA with a central representation office in Brussels.


EPES Mandala’s roots go back to the 1991 democratic revolution in Mali and armed conflict in the Sahara. Its founders Robin Poulton, Ibrahim ag Yousouf and Tore Rose were involved in peace and disarmament work with the UN, lighting the first Flame of Peace in Timbuktu in March 1996 that celebrated the end of Tuareg-Arab rebellion. Since then EPES Mandala has been involved in demobilization, weapon collection, disarmament, security sector reform, sustainable peace building and a wide range of other development-related projects around the world.


What we do

EPES Mandala seeks to promote disarmament, peace and sustainable development through its experience, expertise, strong teamwork ethic, sharing best practice and lessons learned from the field. In 2007 we welcomed new directors specialised in child protection and gender empowerment: Michelle and Catherine Leila Poulton. Since then, the company has been actively involved in these two sectors, as EPES Mandala’s leading consultants have career-long experience in design, implementation and evaluation of programmes related to child’s rights and gender based violence in developing world contexts.  


Among the important African contracts we have completed in this specialized area are Liberia DDR and civil society (UNDP 2005); West African Security Sector Reform (Swiss DCAF research 2005); Somalia security strategy (2006 UN); Evaluation of IANSA (2007 DfID); Niger Delta peace and disarmament (2007 Nigerian govt); Technical Assistance for Regional Conference on Child Trafficking in Southern Africa (Mozambique, EC, 2009) ; Egypt, Children at Risks, Final Evaluation Mission (2009, EC) Somalia peace conference (2007 UNDP); Evaluation of ECOSAP (2008 EU and donor group); Ivory Coast Security Sector Reform (2008 UNDP); Djibouti peace agreement (2009 UNDP); SALW trafficking (2009 EU-IfS); CASA standards (2000 UN); Nigeria Arms and Drugs Trafficking (2010, EU); Burundi Justice Reform (2010 BCT-CTB); ECOWARN early warning (2010 Austria & ECOWAS); Algérie Appui institutionnel au Ministère Délégue Chargé de la Famille et de la condition feminine (2010, BTC-CTB); Nigeria civil society (2010 ECOWAS); APF & APSA evaluation (2011 EU); Niger Delta post-conflict rebuilding (2011 EU); Mali DDR war-prevention strategy (2011); Congo DRC Security Sector and Police Reform (2012 DfID). Meanwhile other contracts have been carried out by our experts on other continents.


How we work

EPES Mandala Consulting is currently working within the horizontal framework contracts (FWC) system put in place by EuropeAid Cooperation Office to facilitate the implementation of the external aid. The company is involved in LOT 7: Governance and Home Affairs within the FWC BENEF 2009 which is an instrument for fast and transparent recruiting of experts for activities in the sole interest of the countries/regions/entities/beneficiary of external aid programmes of the European Commission and LOT 1: Studies and technical assistance in all sectors within the FWC COM 2011 which is an instrument for fast and transparent recruiting of expertise/logistics within 3 lots of activities.


In 2010 we were selected as part of a consortium for the management of the Result Oriented Monitoring (ROM) missions in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries with the European Commission. This contract runs until 2013, adding to our ongoing framework contracts and recent work with the Belgian Technical Cooperation (2011) and DFID (2012).  Under this service contract, we have carried out Results-Oriented-Monitoring for the EU in 20 African countries from Namibia to Nigeria to Uganda and Somalia.


We are evaluation specialists and professional project managers who emphasise a cultural sensitivity and familiarity with the country/region in which we work. EPES Mandala uses best practices and strategies, with civil society partners ensuring broad stakeholder participation in the solutions. We believe that participatory methodologies are essential for program design, implementation and evaluation: all the more so in unstable regions with migrant populations.


Our team

Our operative management team is based in Brussels and includes 4 staff members:


Dr Robin-Edward Poulton, expert in SALW and Peace & Security Sector Reform is the founder and Director of EPES Mandala. He is running the US and the Bamako Office of the company. He has 30 years of experience in SALW and conflict management, peace building, disarmament, re-integration and security sector reform and is a Senior Fellow of UNIDIR.


Katerina Jelissejeva has a degree in Business Administration from Philipps-University Marburg in Germany with the special focus on Development Economics. Before joining our company, Katerina has been working in Germany, Spain and Belgium. She is in charge of all aspects of business development and project management of current contracts in EPES Mandala and frequently travels to the field conducting monitoring projects related to governance, child’s rights and LRRD.


Roberto Trevini Bellini joined EPES Mandala in September 2013. He has a Bachelor degree in International Relations and Human Rights and a Master degree in International Politics and Diplomacy from the University of Padua. He has experience in humanitarian assistance and development cooperation, with a focus on human rights, CSOs and socio-environmental conflicts, gained living and working in Venezuela, Spain, Ecuador, Bolivia and Belgium. He is in charge of business development and project management activities for ROM missions and Framework Contracts.


Liz Stones is specialized in security and international development; she works as professional consultant, monitor and lecturer in conflict and security issues, in addition to coordinating international conferences in security science and conflict anthropology. Liz is our public relations’ manager in London, responsible for EPES Mandala business development and network management.