Mentors and facilitators


1. Anglophone Africa

2. Afrique Francophone/Francophone Africa

3. South Asia


1. Anglophone Africa:


Paula Fray

Paula Fray, an award winning journalist, has gathered expertise over the last 20 years in media, advocacy and strategic communication. Paula has held senior positions at Inter Press Services (IPS) and The Star newspaper (South Africa). Drawing on these experiences she now works as a consultant with organizations like Health-e, the World Alliance for Citizen Participation (CIVICUS) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Paula will be working with the following think tanks: Ethiopian Economics Association (Ethiopia), Ethiopian Development Research Institute (Ethiopia), Makerere Institute of Social Research (Uganda), Economic Policy Research Centre (Uganda).

Modupe Adefeso-Olateju

Modupe Adefeso-Olateju is the CEO of The Education Partnership Centre (TEP Centre), a consultancy firm that supports an array of education partnership projects. She possesses a combination of cross-cutting skills and industry experience gained from a decade of leadership in the profit and non-profit sectors, and years of research into private sector participation in education. Modupe leads on a range of donor-funded education sector programmes where she provides technical assistance to aid evidence-based policy making.

Modupe will be working with the following think tanks: Action Health Incorporated (Nigeria), Centre for Population and Environmental Development (Nigeria), Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (Nigeria).

Nicholas Benequista

Nicholas Benequista’s background is in journalism, social science research and international development. This has provided him with a wide-ranging skills, built during 14 years of professional experience. He has been a foreign correspondent in three countries, including as Bureau Chief for Bloomberg News in Mexico. Nicholas has also worked as a researcher and communication specialist for various think-tanks and organizations, including the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology and the Institute of Development Studies.

Nicholas will be working with the following think tank: Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis

Hastings Chikoko

Hastings Chikoko has s spent most of his professional life in different countries across the globe mobilising organisations and experts to finding solutions to the most pressing sustainable development challenges. He has a total of 18 years’ experience in areas such as communications and public awareness, sustainable development, programme management, environmental and multi-stakeholder diplomacy, partnership and stakeholder mobilization and organization management. He has facilitated projects in 13 of the 15 countries of the SADC Region and worked with an array of different organisations, such as the Malawi Mail, MBC Radio 1, MNet Africa Magic Television, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), DANIDA and SADC.

Hastings will be working with the following think tanks: Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Research Organization (Tanzania), Economic and Social Research Foundation (Tanzania)

2. Afrique Francophone/Francophone Africa (en Français/in French)

Valérie Gnidé Traoré

Valérie Gnidé Traoré est la Directrice exécutive de l’agence de campagne basée à Dakar qu’elle a créée en 2008. Valérie possède une vaste expérience en matière de plaidoyer et de campagnes. Elle a occupé le poste de chargée de campagnes internationales à Action Aid International (2007-2008), chargée du programme panafricain à l’Agence de Coopération et de Recherche pour le Développement (2006-2007), et responsable régionale d’information et de communication  du bureau de Oxfam America pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest (2004-2006). Elle a également travaillé avec Amnesty International et l’Institut pour la Coopération et le Développement International. Valerie a un Bachelor de l’Université d’Indianapolis et un diplôme du Centre d’Etude Diplomatiques et Stratégique de Dakar. Elle parle couramment le Français, l’Anglais, le Portugais et le Dioula.

Dans le cadre du programme d’appui TTI, elle est la coordinatrice de l’accompagnement pour tous les Think Tank francophones.

Abdou Salam Thiam

Abdou Salam Thiam (NIYEL) est titulaire d’un diplôme en journalisme et communication de l’ISSIC, Sénégal. C’est un militant chevronné qui a travaillé au Burkina Faso, Gabon, Burundi, Kenya, et Sénégal. Il est spécialiste des études diagnostiques, des analyses de situation et des stratégies à fortes incidences. Il a coordonné le premier lancement de la Campagne d’Oxfam « GROW » au Burkina Faso avec l’activité de mobilisation populaire les « Koudou du Faso ». Il a animé le cours sur la campagne dans la formation de ISS sur la gestion de la diversité.

Dans le cadre du programme d’appui ITT, il accompagne le CRES et le CEDRES. Comme activité phare organisée il a accompagné le CEDRES dans la préparation et l’organisation de la 7ème édition de la Semaine du Débat Economique (SEDECO 2013), qui a connu un franc succès avec une bonne communication de masse et une mobilisation du grand public de la capitale burkinabè.

Narcisse Nzi

Narcisse Nzi (NIYEL) est un planificateur méticuleux qui est très efficace dans la coordination et la mise en œuvre de campagnes. Il a été le principal formateur de plus de 700 volontaires pendant des événements de mobilisation populaire pour la campagne de la lecture RTI et la signature de la pétition Play for the Union au Malawi. Il a contribué à l’élaboration de plusieurs stratégies de plaidoyer et de manuels de formation. Il a une Master en Criminologie, et un DESS en marketing et stratégie.

Dans le cadre du programme d’appui TTI, Narcisse accompagne le Think Tank IREEP.


Thiendou Niang.

Depuis 2007, Thiendou Niang dirige le cabinet Afrique Communication. Cette agence de communication institutionnelle basée à Dakar est spécialisée dans l’élaboration de stratégies, la réalisation d’études et de sondages, la formation sur les techniques de communication et le marketing internet (référencement, médias sociaux). Il  a dirigé des travaux d’élaboration et d’accompagnement pour la mise en œuvre de stratégies de communication pour des institutions de recherche et de développement tels que : le Fonds Interprofessionnel pour la Recherche et le Conseil Agricoles de la Côte d’Ivoire (FIRCA), le Conseil Ouest Africain et du Centre pour la Recherche en Agriculture (CORAF/WECARD), le Programme de Productivité Agricole en Afrique de l’Ouest (PPAAO) , etc.

Dans ce cadre, Thiendou Niang apporte à IPAR des conseils et de la formation

3. South Asia

Bhathiya Kekulandala

Bhathiya Kekulandala is a post graduate in Biodiversity and Environmental Management based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. His academic and professional training is on Ecology, Ecosystems Services and Climate Change. He has been working with Practical Acton since 2007, now providing consultancy services to Practical Action Consulting UK and for their climate change project (which he also managed from 2010 to March 2013). In 2012, he became a member of board of directors for a local company, “Janathakshan GTE LTD”. Prior to his work with Practical Action, Bhathiya worked for International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Sri Lanka country office and remains involved in several research projects with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Australia and with Christian Aid/UKAID. Bhathiya also works with government agencies and is actively engaged in the development of several national level initiatives. In addition he collaborates with, and contributes to: Climate Action Network of South Asia (CANSA), Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN), Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) and is a member of IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM) and Sri Lanka Association of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (SLAFAR).

Shivani Bhardwaj

Shivani is an advocacy and gender mainstreaming specialist. As the program director of SAFP, she coordinates CWLR a global forum for women resource increase. SAFP is the core member of food and water security coalition of India and other civil society coalition like India Alliance for Child Rights.

With over ten publications she has researched on various thematic areas. A consultant and a trainer by profession she has developed training manuals on human rights, lobby techniques, gender equality and child rights.  She has worked with Norway Embassy as gender advisor and worked on projects supported by EU, DFID, GIZ , UN women, Plan International and Save the Children.

Gagan Sethi

Gagan is a development educator, OD expert and a Gender trainer. He has been consulting with SDC, GIZ, Christian Aid and other INGO’s and has facilitated feminist organization on Organizational change. As founder of Janvikas, he has helped set up several strategic organizations in the country i.e Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, Sahjeevan, Drishti, Centre for Social Justice, HID forum, Econet, to name a few.

He was appointed as member of monitoring group by NHRC to monitor human right violations during the Gujarat Earthquake & Communal Violence. He now focuses on governance and accountability of non profit, and was co chair of the Nation Planning Commission (NPC) drafting committee on volag policy for the 12th five year plan and an invitee to the Assessment & Monitoring Authority (AMA) of NPC that monitors progress of the Sachar Committee Report.


Faruk is policy influencer and technical expert in integrated natural resource management, livelihoods diversification, aquaculture and disaster risk reduction. Based on his strategic program management, research experience and knowledge management he has worked for 8 Asian countries to impact development practice and policy.

He has managed policy communication by repackaging evidence for various target audiences and negotiating stakeholders. He has managed donor, government relations and led regional level research in aquatic animal management and impact of climate change on food security and has authored book chapter, reports, article, working papers, policy briefs. He also worked for FAO on strengthening institutional capacity in disaster risk reduction of the government.

T N Anuradha

Anuradha is a development professional with core strength in development communication and knowledge mobilization, particularly translating research outcomes for program and policy influence. Presently, she is coordinating the POSHAN project for IDS, UK in India for evidence informed nutrition program and policy decisions.

She has over ten years of professional experience in knowledge management, collaboration and networking in the area of food & nutrition security, sustainable development and information and communication technologies. She also facilitated a community of practice of food and nutrition experts, supported development of an extension portal for the farmers and agriculture extension personnel.

Aditi Kapoor

diti is a public policy researcher, advocate and trainer with experience in evidence-based policy work, media and communication, programme management and building strategic partnerships across sectors, including with Parliamentarians, the media and the corporate sector. She specializes in financial inclusion, gender, environmental governance and climate change.

Her engagements  are incorporating gender components in State-level Action Plans on Climate Change, coordinating research on gender budgeting in adaptation, writing policy components of government plans and preparing manuals for women leaders in the Indo-Gangetic belt of Nepal, India and Bangladesh. She has also worked with grassroots organizations, national and international NGOs and as a full-time journalist of The Times of India.

Prem Bahadur Thapa

Prem’s work in the field of development has focused largely on facilitating and ensuring effective project cycle management involving; conceptualized ideas, planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and synthesis of learning linking with compliance at various levels (Government, Donor and Organisation).

His involvements in the field of development since last 15 years has also focused on facilitating policy advocacy in different sectors and themes through policy analysis, brief and advising including  different processes related to the “Push and Pull Approach”. He provides strategic support on policy formulation and facilitates policy processes; particularly in regard to the environment, food security, intermediary means of transport, energy and climate change and manages partnerships.

Susan Koshy

Susan’s work has evolved around bridging the “knowing-doing gap.”  Susan’s expertise is in facilitating convergent and divergent thinking, create choices, analysis and synthesis of ideas into meaningful patterns and a coherent story and finally experimenting competing ideas for impact.

Susan is an accredited trainer on Innovation By Design and a designer of thinking, interactions and systems.  She has completed her Masters in Philosophy in Health Economics. She has worked for GIZ, World Bank, Save the Children, Australian AID and CARE on institutional and sector reforms, service delivery systems, policy research and communication.

Anuj Dhoj Joshi

Anuj is an international capacity development expert and has served as an advisor to the in Nepal and as a organization development advisor for VECO in Vietnam. He has devised systems and monitoring tools for local, national and policy context.

Anuj has worked with National Rural Renewable Energy Programme and trained teams on business development, increasing farmers productivity and leading incentive based partner support. He has had a consulting career through which he worked on projects supported by European Union, US AID and UNDP