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.
Ruth N Musila, Ph.D. (Research/Knowledge Translation Scientist)
Dr Ruth Musila is a seasoned Public Health Specialist with a keen interest in maternal and child health, and pharmaceutical policy development. Prior to joining AFIDEP, she had 8 years experience in both academia and the public sector, in high and low-income settings, conducting primary and secondary research with a view to improve access of health care and health outcomes using quantitative and qualitative methods. Ruth has extensive experience in conducting systematic reviews of the literature, knowledge synthesis and translation into recommendations, in order to support the development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and health policies for the national health services of the UK and Kenya. As such she has had key roles in communicating research to diverse, non-academic audiences including policy makers. Ruth earned her Bachelor of Pharmacy (First Class Honours) (1997) and PhD in Pharmacy (2003) from the University of London. Her core interest lies in knowledge translation / research utilisation with a view to develop evidence-informed policies and programs that will help steer countries towards achieving improved health outcomes.
James Mbugua Ciera, Ph.D. (Research/Knowledge Translation Scientist)
Dr James Mbugua Ciera is a Research/Knowledge translation scientist at AFIDEP. Prior to this appointment, he was a post doctoral fellow at African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) where he spent one and half years working in Education and Urbanization programs. James has a PhD is Statistical Sciences from University of Padova (Italy); Msc in Applied Statistics and Biostatistics from Limburgs Universitair Centrum (Belgium). In his PhD dissertation he worked on reproductive health, where he developed a flexible and fast Bayesian method to estimate non-linear curves obtained from basal body temperature (bbt) data. James has interest in application of statistical models in maternal and child health, reproductive health and researche involving poverty dynamics. In terms of statistical data analysis, he has interest in models involving linear and generalized linear models, longitudinal data, data imputation methods, application of Bayesian methods in estimating non-linear models.
Rose N. Oronje, Ph.D. (Senior Policy and Communications Specialist)
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 Centre (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.
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. She 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. Prior to joining AFIDEP, she was Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at I Choose Life Africa (ICL).
Juliette J. Mutheu (Science Communications and Policy Specialist)
Juliette is a Science Communications and policy Specialist at AFIDEP. She has a wealth of experience and expertise in Science Communication. She worked at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust before joining AFIDEP where she was a Training Fellow in Science Communications. Between the completion of her MSc training at Imperial and rejoining KEMRI-Wellcome Trust, Juliette took a short-term position as Science Writer at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Okinawa, Japan. Among her numerous achievements, Juliette has published a few papers in journals and various web-based outlets, she is the co-founder of the Kenya Science Cafes, and has given presentations in a number of international conferences. Juliette earned her first degrees in Biomedical Science and Epidemiology and Population Health at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and an MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College London, UK. Juliette's passion in Science Communication comes from a satisfaction of engaging the media, policymakers and the public in scientific evidence and its role in development.
Eunice Mueni Williams (Assistant Research Officer)
Eunice has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health. She has over three years research experience, with specific experience in conducting systematic reviews of health care interventions, field data collection and analysis using STATA/SPSS packages and report writing. She has also undertaken training in research methods, and has extensive understanding of the GRADE process of appraising the quality of evidence of primary research studies. She has also conducted meta-analysis using the Revman5 tool provided by the Cochrane Collaboration. Her research interests lies in maternal and child health. Most recently she was part of a team that synthesized evidence which informed the revision of the Ministry of Medical Services’ guidelines for neonatal and child care.
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.
Harrison Njamba (Information Technology Specialist)
Harrison holds a B.Sc. in Information Science from Moi University. He has worked with various organizations as an IT specialist, computer programmer and database manager. His main interests are in computer hardware, networking and programming. At AFIDEP, he leads projects related to Information Technology, computer programming and database management.
Alan Kawamara (Webmaster)
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 Reource 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.