Professional background - Bryan Hopkins

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Professional experience

I have worked in the education and training sector since 1977, both internationally and in the United Kingdom. Working as an independent consultant since 1997, I have helped many international and United Kingdom public and private sector organisations with training and development issues.

For three years I was UNHCR's Senior Learning Solutions Officer at the Global Learning Centre in Budapest. My responsibility there was for managing the quality of training design and delivery. As part of this role I introduced new standard processes for training design and project management and provided both formal and informal training on all aspects of instructional design, training needs analysis and capacity building to colleagues throughout the organisation.

I have provided consultancy services to:
  • United Nations agencies, including UNICEF, UNHCR, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN Department of Peace-Keeping Operations (DPKO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • European organisations working in civilian crisis management, including Germany's Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF), Sweden's Folke Bernadotte Academy and Slovenia's Centre for European Perspective.
  • United Kingdom public and private sector organisations, including several major financial services and utilities companies.

This has given me experience working in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, the Gambia, the Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Thailand, amongst others.
Educational qualifications

I am currently studying for a PhD with the Open University, researching into how systems thinking principles and tools can be used in the evaluation of training.

I also have two M.Sc. degrees:
  • Development Studies from Imperial College, London (1980)
  • Systems Thinking in Practice, the Open University (2017).


In my personal life, my principal leisure activity is cycling,  and to mix business with pleasure I have undertaken two long distance bicycle rides to raise money for humanitarian causes:

  • May 2004, 1,600km from Land's End to John o'Groats in the UK for UNICEF
  • May 2012, 1,900km from Sheffield to Budapest for UNHCR's Syria operations (read the blog!)

I have also contributed to the BBC World Service and Radio 4's well-known radio programme, "From our own correspondent", talking about living in Budapest.

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