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Salamander Associates

About Salamander Associates

Set up in August 2009, Salamander Associates is an umbrella for highly experienced consultants providing services including research, writing and training on HIV, gender, sexual and reproductive rights and GIPA.

Please scroll to the bottom of this page to learn about our current Associates.

We believe that working collectively brings enormous advantages to any consultancy project. Working through a team approach, we are able to tap into a wealth of different experiences, knowledge, skills and expertise. Our Associates and contacts have a wide international geographical and linguistic coverage. We are able to work in English, French and Spanish fluently.

Salamander Associates strongly support the principle of GIPA (Greater Involvement of People living with HIV and AIDS). We ensure that for each project, the team includes people living with HIV and HIV negative consultants, working together on an equal basis. We are also firmly committed to mentoring as a part of our work, and aim to include new activists and consultants wherever possible.

For further information, please contact:

Alice Welbourn
alice at salamandertrust dot net

Some of our completed projects: (for more please see the projects and news pages)


Ethical Considerations for an integral response to human rights, HIV and violence against women in Central America. Paper commissioned by the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Commission of Women. Written by Marijo Vázquez and Fiona Hale. 2011. Project Coordinated by Dinys Luciano Ferdinand, of Development Connections, which is an Official Salamander Trust Partner.  This report was originally published in Spanish.


Violence against women living with HIV:A background paper. Paper commissioned by Development Connections, an Official Salamander Trust Partner, as background to the three modules of an international online discussion forum on violence against women living with HIV, co-hosted by Development Connections, UNWomen and the International Community of Women living with HIV/AIDS. Fiona Hale and MariJo Vázquez (Published March 2011).

This paper is also now available in Spanish.


Violence against women living with HIV:Definitions and data . Recorded presentation introducing the first module of an online discussion forum on violence against women living with HIV, co-hosted by Development Connections, UNIFEM and the International Community of Women living with HIV/AIDS. Fiona Hale (October 2010).

Violence against women living with HIV: Projects and programmes. Recorded presentation introducing the second module of an online discussion forum on violence against women living with HIV, co-hosted by Development Connections, UNIFEM and the International Community of Women living with HIV/AIDS. MariJo Vazquez (October 2010).

Violence against women living with HIV:Strategic issues. Recorded presentation introducing the third module of an online discussion forum on violence against women living with HIV, co-hosted by Development Connections, UNIFEM and the International Community of Women living with HIV/AIDS. Alice Welbourn (October 2010). To read the text of this spoken presentation you can also click here.

Women's Networking Zone, Vienna, International AIDS Conference 2010: joint coordination of the Women's Networking Zone within the Global Village at Vienna 2010. Luisa Orza (February - July, 2010). 

Beyond the evidence base: Rights and Justice for Women – will the Vienna AIDS Conference make a difference for women? Coordination of a Town Hall Session and panel discussion at the Women’s Networking Zone, XVIII International AIDS Conference 2010, Vienna. Panellists: Alice Welbourn, Ida Susser, Shirin Heidari, Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Jill Gay, Laura Ferguson. Fiona Hale (July 2010).

Women, stigma and HIV: A review of the published literature 2005-2010. Commissioned by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Fiona Hale, MariJo Vazquez, Alice Welbourn, Emma Bell (February – June 2010). To read more about this work and the published report, click here.

Developing an Accountability Framework for Civil Society representatives to the Global Fund, UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board, UNITAID, International Health Partnership + and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations. Commissioned by International Civil Society Support (ICSS). MariJo Vazquez and Fiona Hale. (September 2009 – February 2010). Click here to hear this work referenced at the International AIDS Conference, Vienna 2010 (1h19 into the video).

Progress on Women and HIV since Beijing. Discussion piece commissioned by the World Health Organization for the online forum and report for Beijing +15 on the Platform for Action on Women’s Rights (see: Alice Welbourn and Fiona Hale (December 2009).

Violence against women as an obstacle to HIV treatment, care and support. Commissioned by UNIFEM/Development Connections. Moderation of a module of the online course on “HIV, violence and empowerment of women” with over 100 participants around the world. Included production of a reading list, introductory paper, online recorded lecture, and daily moderation of participant discussions. Belinda Tima and Fiona Hale (August – September 2009). Download powerpoint here.

Other services:

In addition to providing external consultancy services, Salamander Associates also provide support to the Salamander Trust and associated projects.

This includes:

Current Associates:

Gill Gordon

Gill Gordon has over 40 years of experience in the development sector, and is a social development and health promotion specialist with particular expertise in gender, sexuality and community-based participatory approaches. She is currently working with The Salamander Trust and PASADA in Tanzania to develop an adaptation of Stepping Stones to support work with caregivers and children aged 5-14 years living with and/or affected by HIV. She worked with the International HIV/AIDS Alliance from 2003-2010 in HIV prevention and the integration of SRH and rights into HIV programming and policy. Her work focused on young people in and out of school, particularly in Southern and Eastern Africa and good practice in integrated programming. For example, she supported Marie Stopes International to measure their achievements in integrating HIV, sexual health and rights in their reproductive health programmes.

As a freelance consultant, Gill gained experience of using participatory methodologies, including visualisation and performing arts, for mobilising and supporting communities and groups at all stages of the project cycle. This supported them to analyse their local context and visualise their best futures and ways of reaching them, using personal, community and outside resources. Gill has been involved in the Stepping Stones programme from its inception, including training users, creating adaptations in Africa, Southern and SE Asia and monitoring and evaluation.  At the start of the HIV epidemic, Gill worked with International Planned Parenthood Federation, and contributed to establishing a broad sexual and reproductive health strategy which integrated HIV and AIDS and assisted Family Planning Associations to put this into action. Gill is the author/co-author of several popular books and learning materials including ‘Choices - a Guide for young people’.

Fiona Hale

Fiona Hale lives by the sea in the North East of England with her partner and six year old daughter. She is an independent consultant working on HIV, gender and women's rights. From 2003-2008 she was the International Network Manager of ICW (the International Community of Women living with HIV/AIDS). Prior to that, she led a team which developed and facilitated processes to create spaces for community groups in the UK to influence policy-making on issues of concern to them. She also spent 6 years with ActionAid's Latin America and Caribbean regional team. She speaks English, Spanish and French.

Sue Holden

Sue lives in the North West of England with her partner and two children.  She has been working as an independent consultant for the past 13 years, mainly undertaking writing, training and evaluations with NGOs on mainstreaming HIV.  She is the author of publications on gender, alternative sexualities, and responding to HIV in workplaces and through development work (all available at Before becoming a consultant Sue worked for ActionAid in the UK and Uganda, and was Project Coordinator for the Stepping Stones training and adaptation project back in 1998.  She has a Masters Degree with High Distinction in Development Studies from the Flinders University of South Australia, and spends her spare time cycling, singing and playing saxophone.

Florence Kilonzo

Florence has eleven years' experience of working for the public sector and non-governmental organizations' programs.  A widely experienced trainer in Stepping Stones, her specific skills are in community health, HIV and AIDS, community development work, participatory community  development approaches, and capacity building and community mobilization. Florence has training in community nursing, family planning, HIV and Aids, the trainers' course on Stepping Stones, and as a facilitator for health and development. Florence also has wide experience in supervision on food aid distribution (including food-for-work), emergency operations, community needs assessment in emergency settings and work that promotes community capacity development in primary health care, HIV and Aids, savings and credit programmes and micro-enterprise development. Florence was co-author of  "Stepping Stones Plus", the supplement to the original manual. You can view Florence talking about her experiences with Stepping Stones in Kenya here.

Kato Nkimba

Kato Nkimba is an independent consultant and researcher currently attached to the Development Education Consultancy, based in Kampala, Uganda. Effectively from April 2013, Nkimba will be supporting the Stepping Stones with Children Adaptation Project in Tanzania as a home-based Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) Consultant for two years.

Since 2003, Nkimba has actively devoted much of his time in development/humanitarian work ─ researching primarily in the areas of child rights, child protection, and child participation on behalf of International and National NGOs operating in East Africa. Nkimba has as well played lead and/or associate roles in education and peace building research activities, in which child rights, gender and HIV and AIDS among other thematic areas have featured as cross cutting (rights) issues. Most of the research assignments have employed participatory approaches, involving both adult and child stakeholders. Apart from carrying out research, Nkimba also provides capacity support (training) as well as engaging in evidence-based disseminations and advocacy around children’s rights.  

Between 1999 and 2002, Nkimba worked at Makerere University (Uganda) as a Political Science Lecturer and Coordinator of the Masters Programme in Public Administration & Management and International Relations and Diplomacy.

Luisa Orza

Luisa Orza’s work over the past ten years has centred around gender and HIV, with a strong focus on the sexual and reproductive rights of women living with HIV; building the leadership and participation of women living with HIV; and, on participatory, community-led monitoring and evaluation. She was the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for the International Community of Women Living with HIV and AIDS (ICW) from 2004 – 2008, and during this time took the lead on organisation-wide M&E framework development; staff and member M&E trainings; numerous project M&E processes; and, several grassroots M&E tools developments, including Positive Women Monitoring Change, and the Namibia Young Women’s Dialogue Charter. Throughout these processes she has been deeply and consistently committed to promoting the rights of marginalized women, particularly those living with and affected by HIV and to supporting positive women’s organizing.

Since 2009 Luisa has been working as an independent consultant, building on her experiences with ICW to develop a deeper understanding of and interest in networks and networking as vehicles for women’s political organizing. She is currently Programme Coordinator for the ATHENA Network as well as a Salamander Trust Associate. She has been the Women’s Networking Zone Coordinator at Vienna 2010, Rome 2011, and ICASA 2011, and is supporting the WNZ coordination towards AIDS 2012 in Washington, D.C. Luisa has a Masters Degree in Gender and Development from the Institute of International Development at the University of Sussex. She currently co-chairs the UK Consortium on AIDS and International Development Gender Working Group.

Nell Osborne

Nell Osborne first worked as an intern for Stepping Stones in June 2011. However, she first came into contact with the Stepping Stones methodology whilst working with Plan Quito, on a voluntary basis, in Ecuador, in 2007. During her six months spent in Ecuador Nell volunteered with several charity organisations including the Casa “Maria Amor” in Cuenca, a refuge for abused women and their children. Nell attended the University of Birmingham to study English Literature and Cultural Studies. She graduated in 2010 with first class honours.  Since this time Nell has worked as a consultant with several NGOs, specialising in e-communications. She is currently working with Salamander Trust also in this capacity, in support of the Stepping Stones Community of Practice, the Stepping Stones website and the development of the new "Stepping Stones with Children" programme. Nell is fluent in Spanish and has a good working knowledge of French also.

Silvia Petretti

Silvia Petretti is a woman living with HIV and activist based in London UK. She is one of a handful of women in the UK who are living openly with HIV and she is deeply committed to challenge stigma and discrimination directed towards women living with HIV. In her role as Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Positively UK, Silvia has been leading on national work, supporting women with HIV around the UK developing self-help groups as well as providing support to drug using women and women in prison.  Since 2004, Silvia has been coordinating Poz-Fem UK: The National Network of Women Living with HIV, which aims to skill up women living with HIV to influence decisions that affect them, and has played a central role in producing the report: Women HIV and Sexual Health in the UK. Silvia has also contributed to the participatory research by drug using women in London: "Silent Voices". She is in the editorial team of Positively UK magazine and she contributes with regular articles. She also has her blog: The Diary of an HIV+ Activist -  Silvia has spoken on issues affecting women with HIV for many years at international conferences including IAC in Mexico 2008 and national conferences including BHIVA 2008. In 2009 Silvia was appointed to be on the Leadership and Accountability Programme Committee for Vienna 2010 and to be Community Representative on the British HIV Association Board of Trustees. 

Marijo Vázquez

MariJo Vázquez is Spanish and has worked as a translator, proof-reader and editor.  She loves communicating so everyday tries to improve her language skills.

After her HIV diagnosis in 1996, she trained and worked in counselling and group facilitation. She began by working in support group settings, later focusing on local and international training in gender and sexual and reproductive health and rights. She has represented the International Community of Women living with HIV/AIDS (ICW) and HIV positive women at international level, including being a delegate to the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board.  During her time as Chair of ICW (2005-2008), her focus was very much on increasing consultation, communications and accountability within ICW and its governing body.

Marijo has worked with Salamander Trust on several consultancies since 2009, including for IPPF, International Civil Society Support and WHO. She has recent experience of working in Latin America, SE Asia and the Middle East/North Africa region and she is currently involved with community competence through her work in The Constellation.