Eliya is the Executive Director and founder of the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) whose mission is to inform African public policy and planning with research evidence.
Prior to 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 Urbanisation and Wellbeing Research Programme.
Eliya has over 20 years’ experience in developing and managing research, capacity building, and policy engagement programmes 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 programmes; 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 policymakers on the topic across Africa.
Eliya holds a Ph.D. in Demography from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters degree in Population and Development from the Australian National University, and a Bachelor of Social Science in Economics and Applied Statistics from the University of Malawi.