Paula Orr, Technical Director


Paula is a Technical Director at CEP. She is a social scientist and has worked on sustainability and participation in the UK, Europe and South America since 1992. Prior to joining CEP in 2007, Paula worked as an advisor on social policy and social science at the Environment Agency (2000-2007). Paula is an experienced project manager and has contributed to numerous studies and evaluations for the UK Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Environment Agency and European institutions including the European Commission DG Environment and the European Environment Agency (EEA). Her areas of expertise include social and institutional issues associated with water management, including flood risk management; social impacts of environmental policies, processes and projects; community resilience; and climate change adaptation.

In recent years, Paula has been working on policy and process evaluation, evaluations of public dialogues, designing and running public and stakeholder engagement and social research. She has a strong interest in processes of learning and behavioural and institutional change, and has for example incorporated participative learning into many of the evaluation she has worked on. She has extensive social research experience, including designing and running surveys, focus groups, public dialogues and structured and semi-structured interviews. She has advised on the design of stakeholder participation and developed innovative dialogue processes, including on the social impact of offshore renewables. She regularly uses online surveys and focus groups to provide quantitative and qualitative evidence to support policy.

She has also been involved in developing and providing training and teaching, including several training courses with Imperial College on climate change adaptation and on knowledge brokerage as well as giving presentations and teaching modules on requirements for public participation in environmental decision-making.