Naoko is a partner based in South Africa. She has extensive experience advising multi-sector partnerships to build inclusive business in sectors such as energy, agriculture, digitally-enabled services and finance. She regularly collaborates with Dalberg’s design, research and data analytics colleagues on market scoping, partner identification, customer research, financial modelling, strategic planning. She also supports corporates entering new markets, and advises multilateral donor agencies and governments on developing and evaluating industrial policy, investment promotion, and sector policies.
Naoko’s recent work includes advising DigiFarm, an award-winning multi-partner digital platform reaching over 1 million farmers, from initial customer research to partnership facilitation, go-to-market planning, and organizational reviews over the past 5 years; supporting a number of multinational corporates and investors to conduct multi-country opportunity scoping studies in agribusiness and energy sectors in Africa to identify high-priority countries, as well as screen potential partners, as well as carried out due diligence for investment; conducting strategic evaluation of innovative programs such as the World Bank’s Lighting Africa Program, IFC’s Conflict, Affected States in Africa Program, and AGRA’s Market Access Program. She has also led many gender-focused engagements as co-lead of the firm’s Gender Practice; carrying out a number of country assessments of gender financial inclusion for UNCDF, supporting Sasakawa Peace Foundation developing its Theory of Change for $100 Mil Women’s Empowerment Fund, developing Girls Economic Empowerment report with Standard Chartered Bank.
Prior to Dalberg, Naoko worked for the International Finance Corporation, where she held positions at the Independent Evaluation Group and the Investment Climate Advisory Services. Naoko holds an MA in Public Administration in International Development from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and is a US Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). She is fluent in English, French and Japanese.