Milena Bacalja – Senior Expert, Gender and Social Inclusion
Milena is a Senior Expert in Gender and Social Inclusion (GESI) at Integrity, based in London. She supports on project design and implementation as well as leading Integrity’s GESI related strategic thinking. Milena works on several key projects including the UK’s Prosperity Fund and third party monitoring for the World Bank on the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund.
Milena is a skilled professional with over 10 years of experience in gender-lens investing, women’s economic empowerment, and public health. She is a seasoned GESI expert having worked across the public and private sector to improve social outcomes for women, girls and other marginalized populations. Having started her career in the international development sector, she possesses strong expertise in programme management particularly designing, implementing, and evaluating large cross-country development programs in low-income settings. She is also an experienced researcher, with a focus on qualitative research methodologies demonstrated through her work with public and private partners across diverse fields. In recent years, Milena has been applying her skillset to the field of gender-lens investing, social finance, and impact investing including providing strategic gender advice, technical assistance and research support to investors, governments, and businesses in emerging and developed markets. Milena is also the Co-founder of the Menstrual Health Hub, and in her spare time helps lead the social impact business which is dedicated to improving innovation, investment and impact around menstrual health.
She has a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University, a Masters in International Development from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and an MPhil in Multidisciplinary Studies from Cambridge. She has contributed to several publications including as author and sub-editor of the Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies (2020) and Criterion Institute’s Investing with an LGBTIQ Lens: Rethinking Gender Analysis Across Investing Fields (2020).