This page is optimized for a taller screen. Please rotate your device or increase the size of your browser window.


Principal and Head of Governance Practice, Abt Britain

Tom Wingfield is Abt's Senior Adviser for Governance.  He has over 18 years of experience leading the design and delivery of governance reform projects in Asia and Africa. This includes a decade of experience in senior team leader roles responsible for staff of up to 17 persons and project budgets of up to £200m. His technical specialties include subnational governance and decentralization; democracy, elections, and open societies; governance and service delivery (health, water and sanitation, access to justice); public sector reform; anti-corruption; change management; thinking and working politically; adaptive management; and portfolio and program monitoring, evaluation, and learning.

Alongside Abt’s Global Governance Lead (Graham Teskey), Tom leads the governance practice at Abt, with responsibility for developing strategy, nurturing the team and delivering a growing portfolio of projects in different aspects of governance. He leads a pipeline of reputational capital and thought leadership products in different aspects of governance. He is Project Director for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)-funded Good Governance Fund in Ukraine; Senior Adviser to an innovative portfolio-level Monitoring Evaluation Learning Facility in Nepal, which is testing FCDO’s country strategy; and Senior Governance Adviser on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Governance Help Desk, where he is preparing a Technical Guide on Governance.

Before joining Abt, Wingfield was a senior governance adviser to the UK FCDO, where he held a range of senior leadership roles, including leading governance and service delivery teams in Nepal and Cambodia. He has been at the forefront of aid reform and improving development impact through learning and adaptation in fragile and conflict-affected countries. This included co-leading FCDO’s (then DFID) ‘better delivery’ reforms and the Smart Rules in 2014-15. He also established an innovative partnership with FCDO Nepal, SOAS University of London, and Yale University that tests UK country strategy with independent research.


  • Subnational governance, decentralization and federalism
  • Democracy, open societies, elections, civil society strengthening
  • Public sector reform, governance and service delivery (health, water and sanitation, access to justice), capacity building, change management and organizational development
  • Transparency, accountability and anti-corruption
  • Thinking and working politically, adaptive management, portfolio and program MEL, strategy testing

Key Projects:

Live projects

  • Project Director, Good Governance Fund (Ukraine), FCDO-funded
  • Strategy Adviser, Nepal Portfolio Monitoring Evaluation and Learning Facility, FCDO funded
  • Senior Governance Adviser, DFAT Governance Helpdesk with recent consultancies including: 'Effective Governance - Technical Guide for Australia’s Governance Programming'; Pivot of Governance Programs in Myanmar post-coup; Design review and recommendations subnational governance in Nepal

Previous projects I have been responsible and accountable for in DFID:

  • DFID’s new Operating Framework (The Smart Rules)
  • Nepal Local Government and Community Development Program
  • Cambodia Program to Support Deconcentration and Decentralization
  • Uganda Deepening Democracy Program
  • Uganda Anti-Corruption Program
  • Justice and Security Research Program
  • Secure Livelihoods Research Program


  • Guest Post, From Poverty to Power, ‘DFID is changing its approach to better address the underlying causes of poverty and conflict – can it work?’, 9 October, 2014.
  • ‘Democratisation and Economic Crisis in Thailand: Political-Business and the Changing Dynamic of the Thai State’ in Edmund Terence Gomez (editor), Political Business in East Asia (London: Routledge, 2002).
  • ‘Myanmar: Political Stasis and a Perilous Economy’ in Daljit Singh (editor), Southeast Asian Affairs 2000, (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2000).
  • Burma Country Reports and Profile 1995; Nepal Country Reports and Profile 1990- 91; and Papua New Guinea Country Reports and Profile 1990-91 (London: Economist Intelligence Unit).
  • Contributor: Malaysia Centre for Independent Journalism (1999-2001), Oxford Analytica (1994) and Bangkok Post (1992)
Tom Wingfield