Before joining IEG, Soniya Carvalho worked in the World Bank's central poverty units. She has led six major IEG evaluations, including those on Poverty Assessments, Social Funds, Fragile States, Millennium Development Goals, Monitoring and Evaluation Systems, and Poverty and Social Impact Assessments. In addition, she has co-led two evaluations on Learning and Results, and is currently co-leading the Data for Development evaluation.

Carvalho's in-country operational work includes that in Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Jamaica, Lao PDR, Nigeria, Philippines, Romania, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Zimbabwe. Her areas of specialization are evaluation methodology, managing for results, poverty, safety nets, and social funds.

She holds an M. Phil. in Development Economics from the University of Cambridge, U.K.