EQI: Centre for Evaluation, Quality & Inspection header
EQI: Centre for Evaluation,Quality & Inspection




Prof Joe O’Hara


Joe O'Hara


Joe O'Hara is the Inaugural Professor of Education and a member of the School of Policy and Practice in the DCU Institute of Education. he is Director of EQI- The Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection and a member of the Centre for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Joe O'Hara is a Past President of the Educational Studies Association of Ireland was a  member of the The Teaching Council of Ireland from 2012-2016.

He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Personal Services Overseas (APSO) from 2002-2004 and represented Ireland on the Council of the European Educational Research Association from 2008 to 2013. Joe O'Hara was Head of the School of Education Studies, DCU from 2010 to 2016. He is a Director and Founding Member of the Irish Evaluation Network and Is a member of the Board of the Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland. Joe O'Hara is the President of the European Educational Research Association. 


Dr Martin Brown 

Dr. Martin Brown, is lecturer at the School of Policy and Practice and Research Director for the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection (EQI) DCU Institute of Education. Martin is a specialist in educational evaluation and assessment and has planned and led evaluations in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Europe and the Middle East; working for, among others, the Dept. of Education and Skills, the National Learning Network and the United Arab Emirates government. Martin has a B.Sc and H.Ed from NUI Maynooth and an M.Sc and PhD from Dublin City University. Research interests include: Assessment, Comparative Education, School Inspection, School Self-Evaluation, Programme Evaluation, Policy Influences in Evaluation, Inclusion in Education.

Martin also has a research interest in teaching and learning in digital environments having designed and developed online Teacher CPD programmes for the PDST and PDST Technology in Education on priority government initiatives such as School Self Evaluation,  ePortfolios for Teaching, Learning and Assessment and Research Methods for the Leaving Certificate Politics and Society Syllabus that is being introduced in September 2017. Current funded projects include:  co-Pi on the Erasmus+ Projects, Polycentric inspection of Networked Schools (PINS), Aiding Culturally Responsive Assessment in Schools (ACRAS) and Evaluation of Third level tutors use of ICT on the Island of Ireland (SCOTENS). Other funded projects include the development of online and site-based CPD modules on Evaluation for teachers in Ireland and Northern Ireland.


Academic Staff


Dr Shivaun O'Brien - Research Director EQI

Dr, Shivaun O'Brien is a lecturer in the DCU Institute of Education, School of Policy and Practice and Engagement Director for EQI.  She is a Director of School Placement for the B.Sc in Science Education, B.Sc. in PE with Biology, B.Sc. in PE with Maths and the Professional Master of Education (post-primary). She took up employment in DCU on a full time basis in 2014, having previously worked as a part-time lecturer for 3 years. She is a member of the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection and has expertise in school self-evaluation (SSE) and school improvement. She has managed a number of research projects involving the provision of supports for SSE in post-primary schools. She has expertise in the facilitation of SSE processes in educational settings. In 2015, she established the DCU Partnership for Learning Programme, which involves the coordination and provision of a wide range of CPD opportunities for teachers in Cooperating Schools. Currently, she is involved in researching data-use in Irish post-primary schools. In addition she is involved in the evaluation of the use of e-portfolios in schools.

She was qualified as a post-primary teacher and worked in mainstream for a number of years. Having completed a Masters Degree in Adult Education and Community Development she worked in many aspects of adult and further education and specialised in work with disadvantaged youth. For 10 years she worked as National Coordinator of the Quality Framework Initiative, a quality assurance system for Centres of Education, which she established and coordinated. She worked for Louth and Meath Education and Training Board as Education Development Officer for five years where she was part of the Senior Management Team. before taking up her position in DCU. During this period she had responsibility for setting up 3 new post-primary schools, coordinating the LMETB QQI quality assurance process, developing strategic plan for the VEC, coordinating European projects, establishing a Gaelcolaiste, facilitating self-evaluation processes in post-primary schools and delivering continuing professional development to various staff teams.


Prof of Educational Evaluation Gerry McNamara - Director of Engagement at EQI 

Dr. Gerry McNamara is a Professor of Educational Evaluation in the School of Policy and Practice, DCU Institute of Education and Co-Director of the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection (EQI) . From 1997-2007 he was Head of the School of Education Studies, DCU. He is course director of the Doctorate in Education , a taught doctoral programme in the field of educational leadership and evaluation.

Gerry is a specialist in educational evaluation and has planned and led many major evaluations at home and abroad, working for, among others, the Dept. of Education and Science, the National Centre for Guidance in Education, Leargas, the Equality Authority of Ireland, the European Commission, and the United Nations Development Programme.Gerry was a member of the Teaching Council of Ireland (2001/2002, 2004-2006),a co-founder of the Irish Evaluation Network, (2000) and was a member of the Council of the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society, (BELMAS) from 2008-2012.


Syeda Sarah Batool Gardezi

Syeda Sarah Batool Gardez is a Research Assistant at EQI where she is currently researching distributed evaluation and planning in schools as part of an Erasmus + Project.. Sarah received her Master in Evaluation Theory and Practice from the University of Melbourne and completed her M.Phil. at Beaconhouse National University. Sarah was Head of the department of School Inspection and Quality Assurance, in the City School Network in Pakistan. Previous to that role, Sarah was Evaluation Associate (Educational Services Private Limited, Pakistan), Associate Inspector (Dubai School Inspection Bureau) and an Internee at Education Review Office, Wellington. Sarah has worked in collaboration with the University College London and the University of Cambridge to develop context-specific school leaders and teachers’ CPD programmes. Sarah has a vast experience of inspecting schools, developing inspection frameworks, school support materials, managing school development endeavours.


Dr Aideen Cassidy