María José López Alvarado, MSc

Research Assistant, HIAS

María is a psychologist with specialization in Social and Community Psychology. She has a master’s degree in Gender and Development with experience in management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of community projects. María is a professional highly committed to community development, protection and recognition of human rights with emphasis on human mobility. Throughout her professional career, she has had the opportunity to work in several research and development projects in some provinces of Ecuador. In these activities, her role has been mainly data collection and information analysis, which has allowed her to have a close contact with the population and a vast experience in field work. She is motivated to be a professional with the ability to support social transformation from a horizontal vision, respecting the dynamics and particularities of the communities she works with. She is proactive, organized, and has leadership, team coordination, teaching, and teamwork skills.


Professional Expertise


Human rights/international law, Psychology, Social work, Social and behavioral sciences


Displaced population health, migration/refugee issues, Gender-based violence and intimate partner violence, Stress and coping

Methodological Areas

Community engagement and CBPR, Efficacy/effectiveness trials, Human-centered design/design thinking/innovation techniques, Program evaluation, Qualitative methods, Research evaluation methods, Social network analyses, Theory of change/logic models

Strategies expertise

Community engagement, Decision supports, Intervention scale-up, Partnership development

Intervention Expertise

Anti-stigma interventions, Psychosocial skills

Partnership Expertise

Community-based organizations/coalitions, International NGOs