Dr. Agnes Meroka
Dr. Agnes K. Meroka is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a lecturer at the University of Nairobi, School of Law. She is a board member at the Africa Co-ordinating Center for the Abandonment of FGM (ACCAF). Dr. Meroka holds a Ph.D in Law and an LL.M in International Development Law and Human Rights, both from the University of Warwick, and an LL.B from the University of Nairobi.
She researches and writes on gender and the law; law and development; and human rights law. She also trains communities on the need to protect the rights of women and girls and promote gender equality.
David Otieno Ngira
David currently teaches Human Rights, Law & Development and Legal Theory at Mt. Kenya University. He is a former Commonwealth Scholar and holds a BA (Honors) degree from Kenyatta University and a Masters in law (LLM-International Development Law and Human Rights) from the University of Warwick in the UK. David is also pursuing a PhD in Law at the University of Utrecht under the Supervision of Prof. Ann Stewart (Warwick) and Prof. Barbara Oomen (Utrecht). Prior to joining Mount Kenya University, David taught Gender and Human Rights at Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. He has also served as a human rights researcher in the Talai-Kipsigis Land Compensation Claim, an on -going compensation claim (by G.T Chambers and J.Bosek advocates) against the British government for colonial injustices against the Kipsigis and Talai communities.
David has previously worked with the Children Legal Action Network (CLAN) as a program manager where he co-ordinated the legal representation of abused children by clan lawyers and pro-bon advocates. Throughout his stay at CLAN, he represented the organization in the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Human Rights Partners Forum and the Nairobi Child Protection Team. David was also part of the caucus convened by Plan International to look into the weaknesses in the laws relating to child sexual exploitation. He has also worked with the Collaborative Centre for Gender and Development, Women’s Empowerment Link and Carolina for Kibera (CFK) on children rights, women rights, community empowerment and men’s involvement in women rights protection. He was one of the pioneer members of Africa Unite-Kenya Chapter, a UN Secretary general’s campaign against gender based violence. He has also served as a researcher in the IDRC funded research projects on Challenges Facing Young Women Leaders in Kenya (convened by Kenyatta University, Women’s Empowerment Link and National Gender Commission) and ‘Violence in Transition Periods in Kenya’ (convened by the Collaborative Centre for Gender and Development).
I have been working with international development/ humanitarian sector since 1994. My first professional work started with M S Swaminathan Research Foundation focussed on mangrove conservation in Orissa state, India, ensuring local communities participate in it as a key stakeholder. And we managed to convince the state forest department to assume a similar outlook in their management of mangrove forests. Learnt the value of coordination, team work and power of soft advocacy and lobbying while working in this role. And I also pursued my Ph D on mangrove ecology at the same time. In December 2000, I joined Oxfam GB as a Programme Officer and worked with the Eastern India regional office covering various roles in natural resource management, livelihood and food security, humanitarian response and disaster risk reduction.
In April 2006, I joined the International Rescue Committee as the programmes director for Darfur response. I then travelled to IRC- Chad and IRC- Ethiopia for about 9 months as programmes director roles on short assignments, before moving to the IRC Kenya programme. In 2011, I took charge as the Somalia Country Director with IRC and managed it for 2 years.
I then joined the Norwegian Refugee Council as the Regional Programme Director for Horn of Africa, Djibouti and Yemen regional office, based in Nairobi for a year. NRC is a tremendous organisation and a trendsetter on humanitarian response. Starting June 2014, I joined HelpAge International as the Regional Director and now cover the Africa region. HelpAge works for an unique issue, to work towards a better world for older persons, where they have a dignified and secure life.