CoST International Secretariat


The International Secretariat is responsible for the management of CoST and for supporting the participating countries by providing technical, managerial and administrative assistance.  The International Secretariat is hosted by Engineers Against Poverty.

Director: Petter Matthews is a senior international development and built environment specialist with over thirty years’ experience. He is the Executive Director of Engineers Against Poverty, an independent NGO that works with government, industry and civil society to fight poverty and promote sustainable development. His early career involved periods as a building sub-contractor and construction manager. He has worked for Government, international agencies and NGOs in many parts of Africa, Asia and Oceania. Petter on the Advisory Board of the ‘Engineering, Social Justice and Peace’ Journal.

Senior Policy Advisor: 
Dr. Jill Wells currently works with Engineers Against Poverty, a London-based NGO. Jill is a social scientist with many years of experience in research and development work focused around the construction sector. She has spent at least two years working in each of the main stakeholder groups – a private building contractor, a government Ministry of Planning, an international organisation (the ILO), various research and academic institutions, and most recently in an NGOs. 

Senior Policy Advisor: 
Soren Kirk Jensen comes from a background in international development and public administration and has for many years worked on governance issues focusing on transparency and accountability in the management of public finances. More recently he has specialised in public investment management and infrastructure governance. Soren joined CoST on a part-time basis in September 2016 after having run his own consultancy specialising in research, policy analysis, technical assistance and training on public financial management issues for almost a decade. He is currently leading on research around the value-add of the initiative for high-income countries. Soren is also an Associate Fellow at the Chatham House Africa Programme. Geographically, Soren has worked extensively in Southern Africa, especially in the Portuguese speaking countries in the region and previously he had a strong focus on Central America. Soren has published widely on political economy, PFM and taxation issues especially linked to the countries where he is specialised.

Head of Programmes: John Hawkins is a specialist in UK and international procurement policy and governance in the infrastructure sector. He has extensive experience in researching the interaction between infrastructure procurement and social development, and in developing transparent procurement and contract policy for infrastructure. Since 2008, John has played a central role in CoST, as Policy Adviser to the International Secretariat as the programme was piloted, as Programme Manager from 2011 - 2016 and now as Head of Programmes where he is responsible for strategic development and overseeing Member programmes. John joined the Engineers Against Poverty team in November 2011 to take on the role of Programme Manager. Before this he was responsible for knowledge creation and transfer in civil engineering best practice at the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Communications Manager: Charlotte Broyd joined CoST in October 2017 as Communications Manager. Charlotte has ten years’ experience working in communications related roles for a range of non-profits and with a focus on international development. Her primary role is to develop CoST’s communications strategies and communicate its programme output. Charlotte's background in international development covers child development and nutrition, climate change and promoting socio-economic rights. Her previous role involved managing a range of communications projects for the Equal Rights Trust, the Partnership for Child Development and Feedback Madagascar. Charlotte has worked on development projects in India, Kenya and Madagascar and holds a MSc in International Development from the University of Bristol.

Programmes Administrator:
 Elizabeth joined CoST in September 2017 and is the Programmes Administrator. Elizabeth supports the range of programmatic activities delivered by CoST. With three years’ experience in international development programmes, her core areas of focus are monitoring, evaluation and learning, research and reporting, logistics and project management. Before joining CoST, Elizabeth was a refugee caseworker for Safe Passage UK and Amnesty International Israel. On the ground, she worked one-on-one with vulnerable refugees and led campaigns for the implementation of refugee status determination and access to legal routes to asylum; managing workshops, monitoring progress against project objectives, managing budgets and supervising volunteers. Elizabeth has worked in Israel, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Greece and France. She holds a BA in Classics from the University of Oxford. 

Finance Officer: Sean Henderson is the Finance Officer at Cost. He joined the organisation in June 2016. Sean has worked in the not for profit sector in Belfast and London for over 13 years. He graduated from University College Dublin with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce. Before joining CoST, Sean worked with The Ireland Funds as Financial Controller and Events Manager for six years.
Date Published: 11 December 2013
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