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Jessica Ferne - CanWaCH (Canadian Partnership for Women and Children's Health). Ottawa, ON, CA

Jessica Ferne

Director, Global Health Impact | CanWaCH (Canadian Partnership for Women and Children's Health)

Ottawa, ON, CANADA

Leader in disaster response, international development, youth & women-led programming, and sexual health & rights



Jessica currently serves as Director, Global Health Impact, with CanWaCH (Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health). In this role, Jessica leads CanWaCH’s strategic efforts to strengthen Canadian monitoring and evaluation processes, capacity, and collaborations, in order to drive evidence-driven programming and decision-making, with the ultimate aim of improving the health and lives of women, children, and youth.

Prior to CanWaCH, Jessica served as Director of Programs for a Canadian-based humanitarian organisation, where she led an extensive global portfolio of emergency response and development programs. A passionate health rights advocate, Jessica has also worked in diverse senior program management, technical expert, research, and evaluation capacities in Canada and abroad, with a particular focus on humanitarian action, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and youth engagement. Her work has taken her to multiple countries across South Asia, the Middle East, Eastern and Southern Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Americas.

Jessica currently serves as President on the Board of Directors for the Ontario Council for International Cooperation, an international development and education network working globally for social justice. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (University of Toronto), as well as a Bachelor degree in Philosophy (University of Ottawa). She has completed post-graduate certificates in Advanced International Project Management (University of Toronto), International Policy Analysis & Strategic Planning (Carleton University), and Humanitarian Response (Harvard University).

Jessica is currently based in Ottawa, and speaks both English and French.

Industry Expertise (7)

International Trade and Development

International Affairs


Government Relations


Program Development

Health Care - Services

Areas of Expertise (15)

Monitoring and Evaluation

Adolescent Health

Non-Profit Leadership

Program Management

Public Health

Policy Analysis

Human Rights

Youth Engagement

Women's Health

Refugee and Human Rights Issues

Sexual & Reproductive Health

Disaster Management

International Development

Humanitarian Assistance

Data & Analytics

Education (5)

University of Toronto: Master of Public Health (MPH) 2010

Health Promotion, Women's Health

University of Ottawa: Honours Bachelor of Arts 2006


Carleton University: Executive Certificate 2017

International Policy Analysis & Strategic Planning

Humanitarian Academy, Harvard University: Certificate 2014

Humanitarian Response

University of Toronto - School of Continuing Studies: Graduate Certificate 2011

Advanced International Project Management

Affiliations (1)

  • President, Board of Directors, Ontario Council for International Cooperation

Languages (2)

  • English
  • French

Media Appearances (5)

Virus That “Knows No Borders” Sees Canadian Aid Groups Responding Both Locally and Globally as Financial and Humanitarian Pressures Mount

The Philanthropist  


Canadian non-profit staff who work with vulnerable communities around the world are urging the federal government to maintain international development and humanitarian aid and establish a stabilization fund to help them remain afloat during the crisis.

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'Our duty to help'

Metro News - Toronto  print


Group launches relief campaign for East Africa

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IDRF's Director of Programs Speaks about the Challenges and Needs of Nepal

IDRF  tv


Excerpt from full interview

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Toronto group wants to engage with young Muslims on disability issues

Metro News - Toronto  print


The challenges of living with disabilities know no religious boundaries. That’s why a Toronto group is hoping to engage Muslim millennials across the country, talking about how they can help bring down barriers so everyone can live with dignity.

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Ebola Response: Household Protection Kits

IDRF & GlobalMedic  online


Joint Disaster Response: Household Protection Kits Distribution

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Event Appearances (8)

Saviour Complex: Navigating Religion’s Messy History & Current Role in Development

International Development Conference 2017, University of Toronto Scarborough Campus  Toronto, Canada


Reflections on Moving towards the Sustainable Development Goals

Development Drinks, OCIC  Toronto, Canada


From International Volunteer to Career: Pathways in International Cooperation

Go Global Expo  Toronto, Canada


Responding to the Syrian Crisis - our work in Canada and abroad

When Art mets MSF  Toronto, Canada


Witness: Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration

Standing Committee on the Federal Government’s Initiative to Resettle Syrian Refugees to Canada  Ottawa, Canada


Needs of Syrian refugees resettling to Canada

Town Hall: Syrian Refugee Resettlement  Toronto, Canada


Rewriting the Script: Queer-Positive Health Care in Action

32nd Annual Guelph Sexuality Conference  Guelph, Canada


Sex Work and the Urban Environment

18th Congress on Women’s Health Issues  Philadelphia, USA