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Expert in Theory of Change

Dr. Yannick du Pont


Dr. Yannick du Pont, a leading expert in Theory of Change, is dedicated to catalyzing positive impact in international development and humanitarian efforts. Holding key roles, including a position on the Development Cooperation Committee at the Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs.

He is also the Founder of Spark, Amsterdam—an initiative empowering post-conflict societies through education and entrepreneurship. Dr. du Pont’s expertise in Theory of Change serves as a guiding force, aligning his diverse initiatives with a strategic vision for impactful transformation.


Dr. Yannick du Pont has dedicated his career to the intersection of international development, humanitarian aid, and social enterprise. Since 2001, he has served as the Director of the International NGO SPARK, a role he holds to this day. In this capacity, Dr. du Pont has been instrumental in shaping SPARK's mission to develop education and entrepreneurship, empowering young and ambitious individuals to lead their post-conflict societies towards prosperity. He has overseen the capacity building of local economic and educational institutions, particularly focusing on migration (refugees and IDPs), conflict, food security, and economic development. As the CEO of SPARK, he has been responsible for building relationships with Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), host governments, civil society organizations, and business communities. Dr. du Pont has played a crucial role in the development and execution of the SPARK 2030 Strategy, ensuring quality control of program design and brokering. His responsibilities extend to lobbying and building political support in host countries and the Netherlands, engaging with parliament, politicians, and senior stakeholders, as he is a member of the Development Cooperation Committee at the Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV). Over the last five years, Dr. du Pont has successfully mobilized and managed accounts exceeding EUR 100 million, allowing SPARK to operate in over 25 fragile states.

In addition to his role at SPARK, Dr. du Pont is an integral part of the core team at African Renaissance Partners, a social enterprise focused on impact investment. His role primarily centers around Business Advisory Services, where he supports entrepreneurs and innovators driving transformation in the Horn of Africa. Dr. du Pont is deeply integrated into foreign investor networks and the venture capital community, and his expertise led to an invitation to join by the founder and former Head of Corporate Strategy at IFC.

Dr. du Pont's commitment to humanitarian causes is further evident through his role as a member of the DIHAD International Scientific Advisory Board (DISAB). This board contributes to DIHAD, the largest annual International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference in the Gulf, bringing together key decision-makers and senior practitioners from the Middle East, Africa, and the private sector to address the needs of those affected by crises, disasters, and natural calamities.

Throughout his career, Dr. du Pont has served on various boards and committees, showcasing his dedication to social change. Notably, he was a member of the Board of Foundation Little Bitz, supporting refugees through innovative direct cash transfer solutions, and he continues to contribute as a member of the Advisory Board for The Centre for Theory of Change, promoting quality standards and best practices in international development, sustainability, education, human rights, and social change.

His engagement with the Foundation Max van der Stoel reflects his commitment to social democratic values of international solidarity within the areas of democracy, development, and dialogue. Dr. du Pont's multifaceted involvement also includes serving on the Steering Committee of the Knowledge Platform Security and Rule of Law, emphasizing his dedication to addressing security and rule of law in fragile and conflict-affected contexts.

Dr. Yannick du Pont's career trajectory has been marked by a rich tapestry of roles, including his time as Coherence for Development Coordinator of the Evert Vermeer Foundation, where he led projects, coordinated lobbying efforts, and established a new branch office in Brussels. His early career involved roles such as a researcher for the Netherlands International Relations Institute "Clingendael“, a lecturer at the East-European Institute of the University of Amsterdam, and an expert author for the European Platform for Conflict Prevention.

With a solid foundation in research and project coordination, Dr. du Pont has consistently demonstrated a passion for positive change and a commitment to improving the lives of those affected by conflict and instability. His extensive and diverse experiences have shaped him into a leader at the forefront of international development and humanitarian efforts.

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