I have over 15 years of research, consultancy and project management experience in the international development and urban development sectors working for NGOs, academia, and consulting for the United Nations, international donors and governments.
My international experience includes working in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Italy, Liberia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Philippines, Republic of Ireland, Uganda, United Kingdom, Zambia, Zimbabwe. I lived in Kenya for nearly four years, working and researching in the informal settlements of Nairobi as a project manager for an NGO, consultant for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and as a research associate at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Nairobi.
I have been involved in the process of the World Social Forum and in grassroots campaigns focusing on the social, economic, and environmental rights of people living in informal settlements and civil society initiatives based in the global South around the issue of illegitimate debt.
I was involved in the DFID-funded participatory research initiative Participate: Knowledge from the margins for post-2015 to bring the perspectives of those who live in poverty or who are highly marginalised into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I have also conducted multi-country participatory research for CAFOD and authored the COMPASS 2015 report presented during the UN General Assembly in 2013. I have also done some work for CAFOD to systematise lessons learnt from ongoing experiences and processes of involving people living in poverty into policy-making. The report provided suggestions for the implementation of the SDGs agenda. More recently, I facilitated participatory learning processes for the national implementation of the SDGs agenda.
I have founded the Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre in the post-Ebola context and I am now part of the management board.
I am the Chair of the board of Catalytic Action, founded by former DPU students to design and create learning and play spaces for women, men and children affected by conflict or disaster. I have used participatory design of infrastructure to address vulnerabilities in areas affected by mass displacement in Lebanon.
I have conducted policy-relevant research in partnership with NGOs, especially with the Humanitarian Affairs Team at Save the Children UK.