Sarah Middleton-Lee


I am an Independent Consultant based in the UK. I have 20 years’ experience of supporting organisations - working in the fields of gender, human rights, HIV and sexual and reproductive health - at the global level, in developing countries and in my local city.

My skills include:

  • Policy analysis, good practice research and writing.
  • Strategic review, planning and evaluation.
  • Multi-sectoral consultation and facilitation.

My expertise focuses on the:

  • Rights, needs and participation of women, girls and marginalised groups, including people living with HIV and sexual and gender minorities.
  • Role and value-added of civil society and communities in multi-sectoral responses to health and development at all levels.
  • Practical gender transformative and human rights-based approaches to programmes and policies, especially to address complex issues such as gender-based violence.

Note: Examples of my written work can be downloaded from the links provided.


Led a project focused on gender-based violence against sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people and people who inject drugs. Worked in partnership with key population networks and consultants. Activities included: development of detailed Annotated Bibliography of training and programming resources for each population; researching and writing of a Technical Paper; and facilitation of e-consultation and webinar.

Led a literature review on 14-17 year olds who sell sex in the Asia Pacific region – exploring programming and policy responses to protect them from harm and uphold their rights to SRHR services. Made recommendations for action by governments, programmers and donors.

Designed and facilitated a 2-day consultation among communities living with/affected by HIV, TB and malaria on the Global Fund’s new strategy and funding model.

Wrote a report, based on a study by researchers in South Africa, on HIV counselling and testing in sport for development programmes (such as football tournaments) in Eastern and Southern Africa. Analysed the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of strategies and made recommendations for good practice.


Co-implemented a comprehensive evaluation of the Comic Relief’s 10-year, £44 million HIV programme – assessing the impact of 90 grants in Africa. Developed methodology for qualitative analysis and wrote case studies, including through visits to grantees in Uganda and Malawi.

Led 5-yearly reviews of involvement of civil society, including people living with HIV and key populations, in the governance of UNAIDS - the only UN agency to include NGOs on its Board. Carried out literature reviews and stakeholder interviews. Presented results to Board in Geneva.   

Co-implemented a comprehensive evaluation of Comic Relief’s Investment Grants Model – providing core funding to NGOs, totalling £45 million in 2001-12. Implemented multi-method approach, including partners’ meeting. Made recommendations to strengthen grant-making.

Designed and facilitated a 2-day international meeting in Marrakech, bringing together people living with HIV to mobilise and plan action on a Global Advocacy Agenda.


Wrote a training guide for governments and civil society on integrating human rights-based approaches into national strategies, combining international commitments and best practice strategies with participatory activities.

Wrote a training module for regional workshops on the integration of HIV/SRH in South Asia, targeting family planning organisations and with participatory activities to share experiences.

Wrote a report on how stigma affects women living with HIV more, less or differently. Based on results of People Living with HIV Stigma Index in Bangladesh, Dominican Republic and Ethiopia.

Researched and wrote policy briefs on HIV/SRH integration for key populations and specifically for people living with HIV, people who use drugs, sex workers and men who have sex with men. Documented case studies from India and worldwide, identifying lessons on programmes/policies.

Researched and wrote report on how marginalisation, vulnerability and gender affect adolescents’ access to SRHR services and commodities. Recommended actions by international donors/policy-makers, governments, programme managers and advocates.

Wrote report of a survey of 28 partners in 19 countries, identifying progress on gender transformative programming/advocacy and contextualising the work within global good practice.

Conducted a Rapid Review to assess the past strengths/weaknesses and future directions of the Code of Good Practice. Used a variety of methods (desk review, stakeholder interviews, database analysis, etc.) and made 10 recommendations for the UK Consortium’s role as Host Organisation.

Evaluated CSAT’s global and 7 regional Hubs coordinating strategic information and technical support for civil society engaging with the Global Fund.

Facilitated a 1-day international meeting of technical and advocacy experts to identify key components for global/country advocacy strategies on health financing for universal coverage.

Designed a participatory training guide on integrating MNCH/Community Systems Strengthening into HIV proposals to the Global Fund. Piloted guide by co-facilitating workshop in Johannesburg.


Led a comprehensive Strategic Review of GNP+, reaching 1,160 stakeholders through 46 interviews, 10 focus groups and a global e-survey of people living with HIV. Analysed data, wrote report (recommending strategic directions and priorities) and presented results to GNP+ Board.

Implemented a literature review and interviews (with staff and UN co-sponsors) to assess past strengths/weaknesses of UNAIDS partnerships and explore the current/future partnership environment. Developed a framework for a UNAIDS Partnership Strategy for 2011-15.

Wrote over 15 country summaries of results of implementing a rapid assessment tool on SRHR/HIV linkages. Also served as the rapporteur for an international meeting of partners from 25 countries to share strategies and lessons on implementing the tool.

Wrote status report on advocacy priorities relating to paediatric HIV/AIDS for presentation at the Children and HIV Symposium, Vienna. Summarised updates from global level and six sub-Saharan African countries, recommending action by stakeholders on policy/implementation bottlenecks.

2009 and before:

Designer and Lead Facilitator of the three-day 2009 Forum in Vietnam, involving over 400 senior level representatives of governments, academia, pharmaceutical companies and civil society.

Wrote ‘Make or Break: 2010 – A Pivotal Year for Scaling up SRH/HIV Integration and Accelerating Progress towards MDGs 5 and 6’. Documented results of initiative in 10 sub-Saharan African countries and recommended actions by policy-makers, such as donors and governments.

Designer and Lead Facilitator of the three-day 2008 forum in Senegal, with over 500 participants from across regions/ stakeholder groups debating issues and developing recommendations.

Lead Facilitator of a series of multi-sectoral consultations in Uganda, Mozambique and Geneva to gain stakeholder perspectives and input on findings of Five Year Evaluation.

Lead author of paper for UNAIDS Board on enhancing the meaningful involvement of civil society in governance. Implemented research, analysed findings and developed recommendations.

Wrote an international advocacy guide on HIV prevention for girls and young women. Developed messages to enhance access to gender and youth-friendly SRHR services.

Led development of report cards on HIV prevention for girls and young women in 12 countries. Designed methods, supervised consultants and led ‘country conferences’ to develop actions.

Examples of UK and Brighton-based consultancies 2002-2005:

Researched and wrote evaluation of Brighton’s LGBT Community Forum, interviewing a range of stakeholders and making recommendations for future strategic directions.

Led an assessment of the involvement of service users in the management of HIV services. Facilitated interviews and focus groups with stakeholders and developed an action plan.

Led an audit of services for marginalised groups (including people with mental health problems, refugees and older people) in 15 Neighbourhood Renewal Areas of Brighton. Designed the research criteria, managed the compilation of data and wrote the final report.

Co-author of ‘Get Involved’ - practical guide for LGBT people to become active citizens, for example by volunteering as councillors, magistrates and school governors.

Long-term contracts and staff positions

Aug 2007 – Aug 2008
Head of Team: Policy (maternity cover)

International HIV/AIDS Alliance

Feb 1995 – Feb 2000  
Inter-Regional Programme Coordinator

International HIV/AIDS Alliance

July 1994 – January 1995: Emergency Press Officer, Actionaid (Rwanda)

December 1992 – September 1993: Researcher, Mashambanzou AIDS Centre(Zimbabwe)                                     

December 1990 – November 1992: Press Officer, Greenpeace

August 1988 – November 1990: Assistant Press Officer, Amnesty International


For more information or to make an enquiry please contact me on: Mobile: + 44 (0)7763 304849 E-mail: