Board of Advisors
IfE’s Advisors are democratically chosen to represent various perspectives and regions as we make decisions on our policies and actions.
Bhola Bhattarai (Nepal): Bhola Bhattarai is a development activist working in social and environmental issues since last 25 years in Nepal. He is currently Executive Director with the national civil society organization called National Forum for Advocacy, Nepal (NAFAN). He has been working with hundreds of civil society organizations and other community-based organizations to promote and strengthen the process of participatory democracy and governance. His basic role is to organize and mobilize marginalized communities to increase their access and control over public resources. He is also providing his support to Liberty College and CG Institute of Management (CGIM) as a Faculty member. Currently, he is associated with FHI 360 as an advocacy expert to mobilize civil society organizations in 34 districts in Nepal.
Daniel W. Wamalwa (Kenya): Daniel Wamalwa was trained in community development from the University of Eldoret (Kenya), and underwent an intensive training in community organizing by Community Organizing of the Philippines Enterprise (COPE). He worked with Medecins sans frontiers (MSF France and Belgium) in Nairobi’s informal settlements before joining Pamoja Trust, where he coordinated many multi-million water and sanitation projects funded by the European Union and DFID in Kenya’s informal settlements. He is currently working as Deputy Director and Head of Programmes at HECOF, an organization based in Kenya’s western region, supporting rural communities in terms of empowerment and advocacy issues. He will be serving in IfE’s Community Empowerment (COMET) coordinating committee, bringing in experience from both the urban and rural marginalized communities’ struggles against forces who benefit from their miseries to enrich themselves.
Deborah S. Rogers (US): Deborah Rogers has a PhD (Cultural Evolution) and MS (Ecology). She previously directed Technical Information Project – a citizen group providing public interest research and advocacy related to environment and development in the Northern Plains region of the US. She also taught at Oglala Lakota College – an Indigenous tribal college on the Pine Ridge Reservation; managed a multi-million dollar health disparities project working with Lakota tribes in South Dakota; and worked for the International Human Dimensions Programme of the United Nations in Bonn, Germany. As President of IfE, Deborah brings a commitment to developing IfE as a truly global network with broad-based and democratic decision-making.
Dillip Pattanaik (India): Dillip, a development catalyst, has been involved in the development mainstream for the last 17 years. Dillip has been associated with many national and international alliances, organizations and institutions, and has carried out many studies, projects and programs. He has been relentlessly pursuing research and action for upliftment of rural and isolated communities through various development activities, through achieving SDGs, and through promoting and disseminating affordable technologies. Reiterating his commitment to ensure gender equality, equity, peace and development, climate change, action for youth and enhanced access to information, he has gained experience at the grassroots level as well as recognition across the globe. He has had many articles, papers in various journals, conference proceedings and social media published about various successful case stories.
Elikia Amani Zahinda (DR Congo): Elikia has a Bachelor’s degree in environmental forestry engineering and is the General Coordinator of the Congolese Foresters Network (RCF-RDC). In 2009, he carried out an OIBT-funded research project entitled “sustainable management of community forests” at the World Forest Institute (WFI) in Portland, Oregon (United States), to be used to better conserve tropical rainforests in the eastern DR Congo. He worked for more than 15 years at PHARMAKINA-BUKAVU, and was chairman of the Board of Directors of the PLD (Pain pour Les Déshérités / Bread for the Underprivileged). For 13 years, the RCF-RDC has promoted the economic development of local communities and indigenous peoples through sustainable forestry, particularly around the Kahuzi-Biega National Park protected area. The RCF-RDC aims to fight against climate change, and to defend and protect the rights of vulnerable people and victims of social and economic marginalization, in particular indigenous peoples (Batwa). As an IfE Advisor, he intends to contribute technical support to the development of terms of reference for IfE chapters and work with IfE’s International Batwa Support Committee.
Elisabetta Rossi (Italy): Betta Rossi has a BS in Mathematical Sciences (Stanford-1981). Betta is from Italy, where she developed an early social and political consciousness participating in the student and feminist movements of the seventies. She also spent significant periods of her life in the US and in Sweden, gaining an understanding for differences in regional cultures and a sensitivity towards the experience of immigrant groups. She has been a volunteer study aid for underprivileged children in the local elementary school; was involved in campaigns to raise citizens’ participation and influence in local community life and government; and was among the founders of the Italy Equality Group – a small group of volunteers affiliated with The Equality Trust. She has been an active member of the Coordinating Committee of IfE’s Equity Action Collaborative. Betta commits special attention to the provision of a secure collaborating environment on the internet – the environment in which IfE’s various project teams can convene, discuss and elaborate ideas and strategies.
Fabio R. H. Gama (Brazil): Fabio Gama is a Brazilian human rights lawyer, educator and writer, working to empower struggling communities so they can create skills and raise awareness to promote and defend human rights across the world. Fabio holds a master’s degree in human rights law from the University of São Paulo.
Gabriel Tripura (Bangladesh): Gabriel Tripura is a social development activist from the Bandarban Hill District, Bangladesh. He has his MA and EMBA, and is the founder of KOTHOWAIN (Vulnerable People’s Development Organization). He has been dedicated to development work for the marginalized, multi-ethnic minorities, and Rohingya refugee communities from student life onward, working on community development, human and Indigenous rights, emergency response, good governance, development and empowerment for women and youth, climate change, and so on, in collaboration with communities, NGOs and UN organizations. He worked in consultancy at the local and national level in Bandarban Hill District Council CHTDF-UNDP, ADB, JICA, HOPE 87 and SONNE International Austria, and also worked for CARITAS, MSF Holland, and ActionAid. He has participated in many trainings, workshops and seminars nationally and abroad. His interest as team member at IfE is in working towards the common goal globally.
Hawa Sidibe (Mauritania): Hawa Sidibe is President of the Association for the Development and Promotion of Humankind. They work to promote local development, tolerance, social cohesion and human rights. She provides support and advice on the process of democracy and human rights, and also on the local development process. In addition, she in involved in the study, monitoring and evaluation of projects, public awareness campaigns, and the management of social conflicts. Finally, she facilitates the translation of public awareness materials into the different national languages of Mauritania.
Jeanne Barrie (France): Jeanne has a Master’s degree in Peace, Conflict Resolution and Development from the UNESCO Chaire of Jaume I University in Spain, and a post-Master’s degree in Political Science, Geopolitics and Negotiation. She has been working in human rights and social justice, and she is the first French citizen to have published a study offering a new economic model based on the Gross National Happiness Index. She served as an international affairs journalist, research associate, communications officer, mediator, and linguist in various NGOs in Western Africa, the Palestinian Territories, Spain, France and the United States, partnering with the United Nations. Jeanne is currently serving as a Regional Communications Specialist and French linguist for Europe and Africa at Rotary International, a global charity that puts its efforts into protecting the environment, preventing diseases, developing local economies, saving mothers and children, and building positive peace around the world, especially in remote areas.
Meshack Mandlenkosi Mbangula (South Africa): Meshack Mbangula is the National Coordinator of Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA), which was formed in 2012. He is also the chairperson of the Ekurhuleni Environmental Organization (EEO). As a human rights defender, he has a passion for supporting communities against the injustices from multinational companies. His strength in organizing communities to unleash their potential to engage from the base comes from collective construction, which starts from a determined concrete position and uses methods that are dynamic – continue developing through information-sharing and implementation. He believes that shared knowledge can be the architect for communities to create their own destiny. He is prepared to learn from IfE and share information to improve and prepare for the rise of the institution, to carry forward the changes and transformation needed to help us lead better. “United we conquer.”
M. Wakilur Rahman (Bangladesh): Wakilur Rahman is a faculty member at Bangladesh Agricultural University, devoted in academic, research and policy forum to uphold the voices of marginalized. He has long experience in working with many development partners around the world. He was involved in the Field Hearings initiated by IfE. Rahman has been promoting ethical community engagement approaches towards sustainable community development. He is a fan of grass root initiatives, and bridges civic and scientific knowledge. He believes in united voices of farming communities, and thus has initiated a farmers’ community club in Bangladesh. Recently, he has been working on reducing gender-based agriculture wage discrimination. Dr. Rahman is the founder and chairman of the anti-drug campaigning organization (MANOB), advisor of a blood donation organization (BADHAN). Most of his work aligns with IfE, thus he feels proud to be working with IfE in reducing all forms of discrimination which prevail in society.
Najoua Bouraoui (Tunisia): Dr. Najoua Bouraoui is an ophthalmologist from Tunisia. She is currently the President of the Association for the Protection of the Environment and Sustainable Development of Bizerte (APEDDUB). She is also the Chair of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance’s Continental Executive Board, the National Coordinator of the Arab Network for Environment and Development (RAED), and the national Focal Point of the Global Network of CSOs for Disaster Reduction (GNDR). She is very passionate about children’s rights and is a member of the Tunisian Association for the Rights of the Child, Bizerte Section (ATUDE of Bizerte). Inchallah, she will bring to the IfE board a wealth of leadership experience and passion on environmental issues and sustainable development.
Pradeepta Kumar Nayak (India): Pradeepta Nayak obtained his Ph.D. in Development Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He possesses more than 20 years of experience in the areas of research, monitoring and evaluation; program planning and implementation, training and capacity building, documentation and publications in the themes of children, education, health, philanthropy, organizational and community development. Pradeepta worked as the Program Coordinator and, later, as the Executive Director with Sampradaan Indian Centre for Philanthropy (SICP). He was Senior International Fellow of 2013 at the Centre for Philanthropy and Civil Society, City University of New York, USA. Prior to joining SICP, he worked as Pedagogical Advisor and Village Director at SOS Children’s Villages of India. He also worked as Research Officer in the Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Program, an urban health project of the government of Delhi. Presently, Pradeepta works as a Research Analyst with the AMS Consulting Pvt. Ltd, and its Deputy Unit Head at Delhi. Pradeepta is interested in exploring the role of philanthropy in creating an equitable society.
Sharat G. Lin (US, India): Sharat Lin, PhD (Medical Physics), is a research fellow at the San José Peace and Justice Center and its former president. He was a co-founder of South Asians for Collective Action (US), a member of Jan Vigyan Samiti (People’s Science Committee, India), and helped organize contract laborers for Vikalp (Alternative, India). He writes and lectures on global political economy, labor migration, social movements, and public health. He has been on the front lines of some epic moments in history, such the aftermath of the Naxalbari movement in India, the Cultural Revolution in China, the beginning of the Lebanese Civil War, Palestinian West Bank and Gaza during the early years of occupation, Portugal after the 1975 bloodless revolution, Nicaragua after the Sandinista revolution, Egypt during the Arab Spring uprising in 2011-2012, and Kurdish areas of Turkey during the battles against ISIS. His recent investigations include election observing in Mexico and El Salvador, the tar sands of Alberta, and the political disaffection in the U.S. Rustbelt and Appalachia.
Sirjana Kafle (Nepal): Ms. Sirjana Kafle is known as a political and social activist, working with the university on academic research. She is an expert on anti- slavery issues, having 20 years of experience on human rights (focused on women and children), labor rights of modern days slavery survivors, and marginalized population of Nepal. She is skilled in designing and managing anti-slavery programs, managing multi-donor grants in a multi-cultural setting, and is an expert on gender, migration and women’s political participation. She has more than 15 years’ experience working at the policy level in foreign affairs and high-level advocacy.
Temitope Olaifa (Nigeria): Temitope Olaifa holds Master’s and PhD degrees in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She currently coordinates the Peace and Strategic Studies, and Security and Intelligence Studies Programmes of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria. Dr Olaifa was trained as an Early Warning Signs monitor by the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) Nigeria in 2009. She is a training consultant for ActionAid, Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action, West African Network for Peacebuilding, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (British Council) and the UNDP on Peace, Security, and Governance issues. Tope is a Monitoring & Evaluation expert and a community mobiliser. She collaborates with the Ministry of Commerce and Industries towards the welfare of indigenous land owners in mining communities under the aegis of the Federation of Nigerian Mining Host Communities in Nigeria. She hopes to apply her skills and experiences in the discharge of her statutory obligations as a member of the Advisory Board of the Initiative for Equality.
Williams Ngwakwe (Nigeria): Williams Ngwakwe studied geology at Kogi State University, Ayangba (BSc Geology), and environmental planning and protection at University of Abuja in Nigeria. He started as a social and human rights activist at university, and then did his compulsory youth service with the Delta State Ministry of Youth and Sport. He co-founded Concerned Youth Forum, an organization that focuses on empowering and mentoring of vulnerable youth and women. Williams is presently National Coordinator of Shacks and Slum Dwellers Association (SDA) of Nigeria, overseeing and coordinating the rights of slum communities to shelter and mitigating issues of forced eviction. He is also an IfE Field Hearings partner in Nigeria.