AFIDEP - Who we are
Eliya Msiyaphazi Zulu, Ph.D. (Executive Director)
Eliya Msiyaphazi Zulu is the Executive Director of the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) whose mission is to inform African public policy and planning with research evidence. Before founding AFIDEP, he was the Deputy Director and Director of Research at the African Population and Health Research Center, where he also headed the Policy Engagement and Communications Unit and the Urbanization and Wellbeing Research Program. Zulu has over 20 years experience in developing and managing research, capacity building, and policy engagement programs on a wide range of issues including population change and sustainable development, family planning, adolescent sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS, urban poverty and health, child and maternal health, and policy analysis concerning Africa. He has been a Principal Investigator and participated in a number of international implementation research programs; published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, pro-actively promoted evidence-based policies, and served in many international development panels on issues pertaining to Africa. He is the immediate former-President of the Union for African Population Studies, served on the UK Royal Society Study Group that produced the 2012 report “People and Planet”, and he has served on many WHO Expert Panels, including the expert panel examining research evidence on the link between hormonal contraceptives and HIV infection. He is currently a member of the African Union Commission-led Steering Committee on the Demographic Dividend and he has represented the committee in making high level presentations and engaging with policy makers on the topic across Africa. Zulu earned his PhD in Demography at the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters in Population and Development from the Australian National University, and a Bachelor of Social Science in Economics and Applied Statistics at the University of Malawi.
Samson Wasao, Ph.D. (Director of Research Programs)
Samson Wasao holds a Bachelors’ degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi, a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and PhD in Rural Sociology, both from the Ohio State University, USA. He has a wealth of experience in research and development work spanning agriculture, reproductive health, environment and climate change. He has worked as development planner with Government of Kenya in Ministries in charge of national development planning and agriculture. During the past thirteen years, he has worked with the United Nations Development Programme-Kenya, as a national programme manager and technical advisor on two projects whose primary focus were on capacity building for sustainability and mainstreaming poverty reduction and environmental sustainability in the national and sub-national development processes to the Ministry of planning climate change and environment and natural resources. His experience and work emphasize the critical linkages between population, reproductive health and environmental sustainability.
Abiba Longwe (Knowledge Translation Scientist - AFIDEP, Malawi)
Abiba is a multidisciplinary social scientist working as Knowledge & Research Translation Scientist. Abiba has 4 years experience in policy-oriented research focussing on the linkages between reproductive health investments, poverty alleviation and socio-economic development in Africa. As a Population Reference Bureau Policy Communication Fellow, Abiba has skills of translating research into policy. Previously, Abiba has worked for International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT); International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Food for Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO) in Malawi. She also worked for DFID in Malawi as a Common Approach to Budget Support (CABS) Coordinator. She Possess a PhD in Management Sciences (Economics) from Radboud University, Netherlands. Abiba also holds BSc and MSc in Agricultural Economics from University of Malawi, Bunda College; Master Specialization Certificate in Environmental Economics and Policy Analysis from University of Pretoria, RSA; International MSc in Rural Development from Ghent University (Belgium) and Humboldt University of Berlin (Germany).
Rose is a Policy Analysis and Research Communications Specialist with ten years’ experience in research-to-policy analyses and communications. At AFIDEP, Rose’s work cuts across research and communication, including policy analysis research as well as designing and overseeing the implementation of research communication programs that aim to influence policy decisions and debates. Prior to joining AFIDEP, Rose had served as Communications Manager at the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) for nearly six years, and as Research Publications Officer at the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR) for two years. Rose has a PhD in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK. She also has Masters degree in Communications Studies, and a Bachelors degree in Information Science. Her interests lie in understanding the making of public policy and the role of research in policy-making processes.
Martin Atela, Ph.D. (Research/Knowledge Translation Scientist)
Martin Atela is a health systems strengthening specialist with a strong multidisciplinary research and work background in private and public institutions internationally. He has done health systems research at KEMRI-Welcome Trust research programme, development policy and research work at NEPAD East Africa Secretariat and Oxfam GB, and held a research fellowship at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has taught public health, international relations and public policy courses at university level in Kenya, UK, and Hong Kong, besides private consultancies. He holds a Master of Science multiple degree from the University of Copenhagen, Queen Margaret University Edinburgh and Vrije Universitet Amsterdam); MPhil and PhD in Public Health & Primary Care both from the University of Cambridge, UK. Martin is a Gates Cambridge Alumni with interests in health systems strengthening, mixed methods approaches, and the infectious diseases - state security nexus.
Violet I. Murunga (Research and Knowledge Translation Officer)
Violet has over six years of experience in research, monitoring and evaluation, and health planning in Kenya and the United States. Prior to joining AFIDEP, she was Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at I Choose Life Africa (ICL) where she was M&E on three SRH and HIV prevention projects targeting youth as well as managed and coordinated related research activities. She has extensive experience in conducting policy-oriented qualitative interviews on Family planning and other reproductive health issues. Violet has a Master of Public Health (Epidemiology) from Florida International University, USA, and a Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology) from University of Newcastle, Australia. Her interest lies in promoting the use of research to inform public policy.
Eunice Mueni Williams (Assistant Research Officer)
Eunice has over five years of experience in research, conducting systematic reviews of health care interventions, conducting policy-oriented qualitative interviews, and analysis using STATA/SPSS. She previously worked at KEMRI-Welcome Trust research programme, where she conducted meta-analysis using the Revman5 tool provided by the Cochrane Collaboration. She has extensive understanding of the GRADE process of appraising the quality of evidence of primary research studies. Eunice was part of a team that synthesized evidence which informed the revision of the Ministry of Medical Services’ guidelines for neonatal and child care. She also has extensive experience in conducting policy-oriented qualitative interviews on maternal and child health, Family planning and population dynamics. Eunice has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, Master in Public Health, and Master of Arts, Population Studies. She also has training in Monitoring and Evaluation of Population and Health programmes.
Nissily Mushani (Policy and Advocacy Coordinator - AFIDEP, Malawi)
Nissily Mushani is a Population and Development expert with 7 years experience in project design, research, policy analysis, and monitoring and evaluation of social development projects. She has worked in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, Malawi, in coordinating implementation of Nation Population Policy and sectoral population and development projects. Her work also entailed mainstreaming of population variables, gender, and HIV/AIDS in sectoral development projects; and appraisal, monitoring and evaluation of sector and national development projects and programmes. She has played a leading role in the design of project proposals, resource mobilization, and communication strategies. Nissily has been key in determining national development priorities; offering technical advice to other ministries on strategy and project formulation and design to ensure alignment to the existing overall national development government policy (MGDS). She has also developed and reviewed criteria for selecting development projects for government financing, in addition to selecting national projects for the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP). Nissily has a Masters degree in Economic Policy Management, from University of Zambia and a Bachelor of Social Science Degree in Economics, from Chancellor College, University of Malawi.
Jones Abisi (Policy and Advocacy Coordinator)
Jones is a Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, with a wealth of experience in facilitating research findings utilization into policy formulation and programming. Prior to joining AFIDEP, Jones worked as a Senior Technical Officer in the Applied Research Unit at FHI 360, a Non-profit International Organization in Nairobi for 2 years. He has over 6 years’ experience in program management at Kenya’s Ministry of Health Department of Reproductive Health. Jones has wide experience in health sector in Kenya and related social sectors. Among other things, Jones made technical contribution towards writing the National Health Account for the Reproductive Health (2009/2010) and the Maternal and Child health chapter of Kenya Demographic and Health Survey of 2003 and was part of the team that prepared the Kenya National Health Sector Strategic Plan II (2005/06-2009/2010). Jones holds a Master of Science degree in Collaborative Health and Social Care from the University of Salford in United Kingdom, a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Nairobi.
Diana Warira (Communications Officer)
Diana joined AFIDEP in April 2014 prior to which she worked at the African Population and Health Research Center as a Communications Officer. She has 5 years’ experience in communications having worked in various development organizations and media organizations such as Africa 24 Media and Kenya Television Network. Diana holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Science (Publishing and Media Studies major) from Moi University and Certificates in Mass Communication from Daystar University. She has a passion for multimedia production especially factual films and the linkage between research communication and policy influencing. You can follow her on Twitter @deewarira.
Edward Njenga (Finance and Administration Officer)
Edward Njenga has joined AFIDEP as Finance and Administration officer. Prior to joining AFIDEP, Mr. Njenga was working with RSM Ashvir, a firm of accountants which is based in Westlands, Nairobi. He has over four years experience in accountancy and audit fields. Mr Edward Njenga holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Accounting option) from Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi. He is also a Certified Public Accountant having graduated from Vision Institute of Professionals, Nairobi campus. He will oversee the finance and administration department at AFIDEP.
Esther Wangu Ngwiri (Administrative Assistant)
Esther Wangu Ngwiri, Administrative Assistant at AFIDEP, is a journalist by profession qualified from the Kenya Polytechnic University College. She has worked for several companies in the same post and has also written a number of News articles for the Kenya Times Newspaper Agency. Before joining AFIDEP, Esther was an Administrator at the Human Resource Practice Ltd.
Rose Chebet (Office Assistant)
Rose Chebet handles basic office logistics, oversees office cleaning, and provides clerical support to AFIDEP staff. She has been at AFIDEP since the opening of its Westlands office. She is a dedicated, hard working, and valuable member of the AFIDEP team.