Image of Courtney Tolmie

Courtney Tolmie

Senior Fellow

Courtney Tolmie is a leader in the field of transparency, accountability, and governance with over 15 years of experience designing and implementing research and programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America with international organizations.

Ms. Tolmie is the founder of Wonderlight Consulting, which aims to help committed, mission-driven organizations and social change-makers around the world – especially those fighting corruption and government overreach – ask the hard questions about how they can improve their work. Before this, she was a senior program director at R4D and led for the organization’s accountability and citizen engagement practice area. She continues to work in research as principal investigator for the Transparency for Development program, managing and co-leading the program design and research that seeks to answer the question of whether community-led transparency and accountability can improve health outcomes and in what contexts.

Ms. Tolmie has published three books co-written with colleagues. The first book, Lives in the Balance (with C. Griffin et al), is a large-scale study of how transparency tools are used worldwide. Her subsequent book, From the Ground Up (with S. Kosack and C. Griffin), collects 19 transparency case studies in health services initiated by small grants. The third book, Using PETS to Monitor Project and Small-Scale Programs (with M. Koziol), suggests ways of teaching analytical methods so that, for instance, an expenditure tracking tool (useful for fighting corruption) can be simplified and adapted for use in a rural African district by people without academic training.

Before joining R4D, Ms. Tolmie led research initiatives for several global nonprofit organizations and universities, including Women Thrive Worldwide, the University of Virginia and the University of Venda (South Africa). She also conducted independent research on the role of community health workers in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces in South Africa. She is currently a research fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Ms. Tolmie holds an MA in economics from the University of Virginia and a BA in economics from Bowdoin College.

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