​Our Team

We are a growing team of professionals committed to the vision and ideals of AKU and passionate about our role in translating IHD's mission into reality. Together we are making a meaningful investment in human development and laying foundations for the prosperity of tomorrow’s generation. Our team brings on board expertise from development, academia, research, communications, policy and administration making every day of our experiences exciting and rewarding.​

Prof Amina Abubakar Ally

Director

Prof Abubakar is a  full Professor and  Director for the Institute for Human Development, Aga Khan University (AKU).  She is a Senior Research Scientist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute/Wellcome Trust Research Programme and visiting Academic at the University of Oxford, Department of Psychiatry.

She is a trained Developmental Psychologist with over​​ 18 years research experience working in rural settings in Kenya within multidisciplinary teams. She is interested in both acquired and congenital brain disorders. Specifically, her research interests lie in a) quantifying the neurocognitive burden of early childhood diseases; b) developing culturally appropriate psychological measures for use in SSA and; c) identifying culturally appropriate intervention strategies for at-risk children in SSA.  She has more than 18 years experience developing assessment tools and describing the neurocognitive and mental health outcomes for children exposed to multiple risk factors. The neurodevelopmental tools and measures that she has contributed to developing have been used in more than 25 low- and middle-income countries. Her expertise in tool development is widely acknowledge and she has taught seminars, workshops and summers schools on cross-cultural test adaptation and validation in several countries including Kenya, South Africa, Spain, and Indonesia. Rea​​​d more

Research Publications:


Margaret Kabue

Manager

Ms Kabue is the institute's Manager. She holds a bachelor's degree in Sociology and Linguistics and a Master of Arts in Project Planning and Management from the University of Nairobi. She previously worked as a Project Manager for the ​​​C​hildhood Development in Marginalized Communities (CDMC) project at IHD. She has also worked with ActionAid, KANCO and Plan International in Programme management, capacity development and advocacy. Her interests are in programme management, research, and advocacy in the area of child and women rights.


Dr Anil Khamis

Resea​rch Faculty & Lead Researcher, AKU-wide SDG Mapping Project, IHD-Nairobi; IED-East Africa​​

Anil Khamis, PhD (​London) holds cross-entity appointments in education, global health, and human development at the Aga Khan University where he has been since 2018. He also holds a faculty position with University College London Institute of Education where he has been since 2001. He specialises in the education and international development with reference to the UN Sustainable Development Goals having worked in over 30 countries. His expertise includes marginalised and disenfranchised communities in hard to reach and conflict regions of the world.

Currently based in Nairobi, Anil is leading on AKU research, programmes, and activities with regard to the SDGs. He has over 100 publications including peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and international agency reports.​


Dr Vibian A​ngwenyi

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Angwenyi is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the institute. She holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Moi University and a master's degree in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her joint doctorate degree in global health under the Erasmus Mundus programme scholarship was pursued at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Netherlands), Barcelona Institute for Global Health (Spain), and the Institute for Tropical Medicine (Antwerp-Belgium). Vibian's research interests and expertise are in early child development, mixed methods research, health systems, and implementation science.


Dr Moses Kachama

Research Hub Manager

Dr Kachama, PhD Global Mental Health (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), is a manager at the institute supporting a research hub that seeks to develop, validate, and disseminate predictive models for poor outcomes among young Africans in two domains: Mental Health and Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. His background training is in Nursing from the University of Nairobi. He also holds a postgraduate diploma in Health Research Methods from Pwani University and MSc in Global Mental Health from the University of London. Moses is interested in understanding the burden of mental disorders among adolescents and young adults from low-income settings, and evaluating potential interventions for addressing mental disorders in this sub-population.  


Rachel Odhiambo

Data Manager

Ms Odhiambo is a Data Manager at the institute. She has a BSc in Computing and MSc in Medical Informatics​. Rachel has dealt with data for more than 15 years at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research ​Programme​ and Aga Khan University in various projects. She has authored one paper and co-authored several Journals. Her main interest lies in working with data and being able to ensure that it is properly generated to produce meaning as well as understanding child development from collected data interpretation.


​​Stephen Mulupi​​

Research Sp​ecialist

Mr Mulupi is a Research Specialist at the institute. Stephen holds a BSc Environmental Health degree (Moi University), an MSc in Public health (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and a Master of Research in Global Health (Lancaster University). He is currently in his final year of PhD at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Stephen's main interests include healthcare financing for Universal health coverage, policy and governance; adolescent sexual reproductive health and rights, chronic non-communicable diseases and health systems strengthening. 


​Joyce Marangu

ECD Hub Manager

​Ms ​Marangu is the Manager for the ECD Workforce Hub hosted by the Institute for Human Development. She was previously a Project Coordinator for the Scaling Up Playful Parenting Project co-funded by UNICEF/LEGO Foundation and the Aga Khan Foundation USA, and has held other research positions in the Institute. Her research interests include: early childhood development, child health and nutrition, child poverty and social protection. Joyce holds a B.A in Social Work from the University of Nairobi, M.A in Development Studies from Ruhr University Bochum in Germany, and an M.A in Development Studies from the University of the Western Cape. She is currently pursuing a doctorate at Stellenbosch University. She is also an Africa Early Childhood Development Network Fellow. ​


​Judith Tumaini

Project Coordinator 

Ms Tumaini is a Project Coordinator responsible for the day to day running of the Aga Khan University Women Leadership Academy based in Kenya. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology and an International Diploma in Administration from Cambridge College - Distance Learning. She has vast experience in psychological assessments for both clinical and research purposes and over 15 years’ experience in administration from KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research ​Programme​ Kilifi having been the administrative assistant in the Neuroscience Department. Her main interests are in providing mental health literacy (especially to young adults, women and caregivers), assessments, and facilitating timely referrals or interventions.


Esther Chongwo

PhD fellow

Ms Chongwo is a PhD fellow at the institute. She has a background training in Nursing and Public Health from Kenyatta University, a postgraduate diploma in Health Research Methods from Pwani University, and a master's degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is currently pursuing her doctorate studies at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Netherlands), where she seeks to understand the risks and resilience in children from arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya and Tanzania. Previously, she worked on a project aimed at developing measures of adolescent connectedness and character development in Kenya. Her interests are in early childhood development, mental health, and positive youth development.​

Beatrice Mkubwa

PhD fellow

Ms Mkubwa is a PhD fellow at the institute. She has a background training in BSc. Nursing from Moi University, a postgraduate diploma in Health Research Methods from Pwani University, and a master's degree in Implementation Science from the University of the Witwatersrand. Beatrice also has clinical research experience in understanding child neurodevelopment and health systems which she gained during her previous work at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme. She is currently pursuing a doctorate at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Netherlands). She has keen interest in child and adolescent mental health, neurodevelopment, implementation science, and mixed methods research.  

Paul Mwangi

Research Officer

Mr Mwangi is a Research Officer and Statistician at the institute. He has considerable experience in programming, data analysis, psychometric analysis, study designs and data management. Paul holds a BSc in mathematical sciences with Information Technology from Maseno University and MSc in statistics and data science (with specialization in Biostatistics) from Hasselt University, Belgium. Before joining​ the institute, Paul worked as a data manager at the Neurosciences unit of KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kenya and has co-authored over eighteen scientific articles in a peer-reviewed journal. He is passionate about data science and statistics geared toward improving health outcomes across the general population, especially in low-income settings.


Adam Mabrouk

Research Assistant

Mr Mabrouk is a Research Assistant at IHD. He is graduate of Kenyatta University- School of Public Health with a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Health. He is currently pursuing a MPhil in Public Mental Health at University of Cape Town. Adam's interests are in the etiology of mental disorders in society as well as conceptualization and prevalence of mental illness particularly among adolescents. ​​​


Sabina Odero

Research Officer

Ms Odero is a Research Officer at the institute for Human Development. She has background training in Environmental Science from Kenyatta University, a postgraduate diploma in Health Research Methods from Pwani University and a master's degree in Global Health and Development from University College London (UCL). Her research interests and expertise are in qualitative research, health systems research with a focus on ​human resources for health, and psychosocial well-being of health workers in Africa. ​

Paul Otwate

ECD Hub Government Liaison Officer​

Mr Otwate is the ECD Hub Government Liaison Officer at the institute. He brings a wealth of experience in the areas of Early Childhood Development and Education programming, education project management cycle, state and non-state stakeholder partnership building and management, education policy advocacy and influence as well as child protection and safeguarding essentials in programming. He holds a master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Kenyatta University with a specialisation in Literacy Skills development in children and a Certificate in Project Management and Development for Professionals as well as a Certificate in Safeguarding Essentials. He is also a member of the Early Childhood Network of Kenya and Women Educational Researchers of Kenya. Prior to joining the institute Paul worked with the Voluntary Service Overseas and Education Development Trust. He is interested in advancing pre-primary education policies to strengthen the instruction of literacy skills especially for children from less privileged communities in parts of Kenya and beyond. 

Susan Nyamanya

ECD Technical Assistant​

Ms Nyamanya is an Early Childhood Development (ECD) Technical Assistant at the institute with over 10 years experience in managing and coordinating ECD projects. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Kenyatta University and a higher Diploma in Project Management from the Kenya Institute of Management. She also has certification in Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) from the Humanitarian Academy and Science of Early Child development (SECD) certification from the Aga Khan University. Prior to joining the institute, she worked for the Aga Khan Foundation. Her interests lie in advocacy, programme planning and ​​​​management, monitoring and evaluation in the areas of gender and child development.


Gideon Mbithi

Research Assistant

Mr Mbithi is a Research Assistant at the institute. He holds a BSc in Geospatial Information Science from Maseno University and a postgraduate diploma in Health Research Methods from Pwani University. He was previously based at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programe, where he examined the epidemiology and outcomes of traumatic brain injuries among patients admitted to Kilifi County Hospital. He is currently working on a research project that aims to assess and support mental health outcomes among adolescents in Kenya and Uganda. His interests are in global health and epidemiology.​


Millicent Makandi

Research Assistant

Ms Makandi is a Research Assistant at the institute. She holds a BSc in Nursing and Public Health from Pwani University. She was previously attached at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research ​Programme​ while doing her postgraduate diploma in Health Research Methods and has also worked at the Ministry of Health. She is passionate and keen to strengthen the maternal and child workforce's capacity and foster a multisectoral approach to sustain integrated service delivery, thus promoting holistic growth in children.


Ezra Too

Research Assistant

Mr Too is a Research Assistant at the institute. He has a bachelor's degree in Nursing and Public Health and a postgraduate diploma in Health Research Methods. He has previously worked on adolescent mental health research, where his interests lie.




Eunice Njoroge

Project Officer

Ms Njoroge is a Project Officer at the institute. She holds a BSc in Food Nutrition and Dietetics from Kenyatta University. She has worked extensively in the research and implementation of projects centred around early childhood development within urban informal settlements. She has also practiced as a clinical nutritionist. Eunice is passionate about championing for healthy communities through the optimization of maternal and child nutrition as well as food security programs. Her interests are in implementation science, policy and advocacy geared towards strengthening health systems.​


Anita Kerubo

Research Assistant

Ms Kerubo is a Research Assistant at the institute. She has a background training in Applied Statistics from Maseno University and a postgraduate diploma in Health Research Methods from Pwani University. She was previously attached at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research ​Programme​ where she worked on epilepsy-related data. Her current research interests are in adolescents’ well-being and their positive development. 


Peninah Wachira

Research Assistant

Ms ​Wachira is a Research Assistant at the Instutute. She holds a BSc in Environmental Health from Moi University and a postgraduate diploma in Health Research Methods from Pwani University. Previously, she worked at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research ​Programme​​ where she interacted with county health systems and worked with women living with epilepsy. Her interests are in mental health, vaccine research, mixed methods research, implementation science and general population health. 


Tabitha Shali​

Research Assistant

Ms Shali is a Research assistant at the institute. She holds a bachelor's degree in Nursing from the University of Nairobi and has vast experience in both hospital and medical research settings. Her key interests revolve around neurodevelopment in children, community mental health and health policy. ​



Eunice Ombech

Community Mobilizer

Ms Ombech is a Community Mobilizer at the institute. She holds a B.Ed in Early Childhood Education and is currently pursuing an M.Ed in Early Childhood Education at Kenyatta University. Her interests are in the areas of implementation science, family and caregiver programs that positively impact developmental outcomes in children and ECD research that informs policy change. 


Mercy Moraa

Project Officer​

Ms. Moraa is a Project Officer at the institute. She has a Bachelor of Education degree in Early Childhood Education and Master of Arts degree in Project Planning and Management. Her expertise is in Monitoring, Evaluation Research & Learning with a focus on maternal health and the integral wellbeing of children. She has worked with various organisations including Women Education Researchers of Kenya, Twaweza East Africa (Uwezo Kenya) and Research Triangle International. Mercy is interested in championing effective policy making initiatives and supporting developments of research-based interventions that promote child, maternal and adolescent well-being.​


Brenda Nzioka

Project Assistant

Ms Nzioka is a Project Assistant at IHD. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in Special Needs Education at Kenyatta University. Her research interests are in inclusion and mainstreaming of persons living with disabilities and ECD.​




Diana Anyende

Administrative Assistant

Ms Anyende is an Administrative Assistant at the Institute. ​She holds a master's degree in Communication and a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Media Studies from from the University of Nairobi. She also holds a diploma in Project Management from the Kenya Institute of Management. She has ​extensive experience in project management, administration, monitoring and evaluation, advocacy and research, communication and publication. Diana has worked with the Aga Khan University Hospital, Aga Khan Foundation East Africa and Pamoja Trust. She is interested in reading, writing and researching on a wide spectrum of developmental issues on human rights advocacy, media and communications.​


Maureen Ooko

Communications Officer

Ms Ooko is the Communications Officer at the institute. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies from the University of Nairobi and has worked in various multinational organisations where she has horned her communications skills. Her interests are in public relations and development communication.



Esther Peter

Administration &​ Communications Officer

Ms ​​​Peter is the institute's Administrative & Communications Officer. Esther has a master's degree in Development Communication and a BA in Public Relations from Daystar University. She has previously held positions at Syngenta AG as a Corporate Affairs Assistant- Africa and Middle East Region, and Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission at the Public Relations office. Her interests are in the areas of Development Communication.



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