​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 starting today. Our team brings on board expertise from development, academia, research, policy and administration making every day of our experiences exciting and rewarding.​

Dr. Amina Abubakar Ally


Dr. 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 more than 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. Read more

Margaret Kabue


Ms. Kabue is the Institute Manager at IHD. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology Linguistics and a Master of Arts in Project Planning and Management from the University of Nairobi.  She previously worked as a Project Manager for 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

Post Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Angwenyi is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Institute. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Moi University, a Masters 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.

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 and Aga Khan University in various projects. She has authored one paper and co-authored several Journals. Her main interest is working with data and being able to ensure that it is properly generated to produce meaning. Understanding child development from collected data interpretation.

​​​Stephen Mulupi​​

Research Sp​ecialist

Mr. Mulupi is a Research Specialist at the Institute where he supports the implementation of the “Child Development in Marginalized Communities" project in informal settlements of Nairobi. Stephen holds a BSc Environmental Health degree (Moi University), an MSc in Public health (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and a Masters of Research in Global Health (Lancaster University). He is currently in his final year of Ph.D. 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

Project Coordinator 

​Ms. Marangu leads the Scaling Up Playful Parenting Project co-funded by UNICEF and Aga​ Khan Foundation USA. S​he was previously a Research Associate at IHD, conducting research on early childhood development, child poverty and protection. Joyce is currently pursuing a doctorate at Stellenbosch University, and has previously been awarded the AfECN Fellowship​is a social and economic development professional with specialization in child development and wellbeing.  She is currently engaged in research on the impact of cash transfers on the wellbeing of vulnerable children and their caregivers.

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 in Global Health and Development from University College London (UCL). Her research interests and expertise are in qualitative research, health systems research, particularly human resources for health, and psychosocial well-being in Africa. 

Esther Chongwo

Research Officer

Ms. Chongwo is a Research Officer 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 in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Esther has 3 years of experience in doing research aimed at understanding the impact of diseases on child neurodevelopment. She has a keen interest in child neurodevelopment, positive youth development, and mental health.  

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. 

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 workedon adolescent mental health research, where his interests lie.

Eunice Njoroge

Research Assistant

Ms. Njoroge is a Research Assistant at IHD. She holds a BSc. in Food Nutrition and Dietetics from Kenyatta University. Her interests are maternal and child nutrition, implementation science and policy advocacy towards strengthening health systems. She aspires to advance education through a Masters training which will equip her with prerequisite skills in research related to ECD.​

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 the KEMRI-Welcome trust while doing her Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research Methods and she has also worked at the Ministry of Health. She's passionate and keen to strengthen maternal and child workforce's capacity and foster a multisectoral approach to sustain integrated service delivery, thus promoting holistic children's growth. 

Eunice Ombech

Community Mobilizer

Ms. Ombech is a Community Mobilizer at IHD. 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 children's developmental outcomes and ECD research that informs policy change. 

Kepha Obulemire 

Field Enumerator

Mr. Obulemire is a Field Enumerator at IHD. He holds a BEd in Early Childhood Education, and currently pursuing a Masters of Arts in Project Planning and Management at the University of Nairobi.  Kepha has a keen interest in men involvement in ECD, and developing his career in implementation research in the field of ECD. 

Mercy Mokaya

Field Enumerator

Ms. Mokaya is a Field Enumerator at the Institute. She has 6 years of experience in supporting Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) functions for several programs focusing on integral child wellbeing. Her has a BEd in Early Childhood Education and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Project Planning and Management. Her interests are in the area of child welfare, participating globally in processes of formulating policies that promote child rights and helping in developing work-plans to ensure that these policies are implemented. 

Brenda Nzioka

Project Assistant

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

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 in the areas of Development Communication.