International fellows

Our International Fellowship scheme seeks to further strengthen the ways in which IIED works as an international organisation. The International Fellowship is an opportunity to publically recognise the contribution made by a small number of people around the world with whom we have been working, or with whom we plan to work. This award is by invitation only.

We hope that the International Fellowship awards will also offer an opportunity to develop a more sustained and systematic relationship with the Institute and our five research groups in future. We would hope to host Fellows at IIED for short periods in order to create the conditions for new ideas and activities to flourish, within a framework of mutual learning, and respect.

List of our current International Fellows, including a short biography.

Florencia Almansi

Florencia Almansi is the programme coordinator in the International Institute for Environment and Development - Latin America (IIED-LA). Her main areas of work are related to urbanization and planning, and habitat improvement in low-income settlements, specializing in the areas of land tenure and micro–finance.

Florencia is in charge of the micro–credits program established in 1996 by IIED – AL to promote low income communities to improve their housing. She is the urban consultant for of the Programa de Mejoramiento Barrial – PROMEBA II (Neighbourhood Improvement Program), which aims to complete urban infrastructure and land regularization in order to give land tenure to its residents. She is also the lead researcher for a vital programme on viable services for natural resource management in Latin America. She is an active member and promoter of the Forum for Organizations working on Land, Housing and Infrastructure of the Province of Buenos Aires and the Movement for Urban Reform for Argentina.

Florencia initially trained as an architect, holds a Masters Degree on Social Policies from Facultad Latinoamericana en Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) and is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree at FLACSO.

She previously worked as a consultant on housing and tenure for the Secretary of Housing and Land of the Municipality of Lomas de Zamora, Metropolitan Buenos Aires, and worked on research at the School of Architecture of the University of Buenos Aires. She has published several articles on themes related to land tenure, urban reform and access to basic services.

Florencia works primarily with the Human Settlements Group at IIED.


Cynthia Brenda Awuor

Cynthia Brenda Awuor works as an Advisor on community-based adaptation to Climate Change for CARE’s Adaptation Learning Programme in Africa. Her areas of interest are climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation in Africa.

She is part of a team that assembled CARE’s Toolkits on climate change adaptation. Cynthia conducts training on integration of climate change adaptation into development projects, and on the development of community-based adaptation projects among CARE country teams in east and west Africa. She is also engaged in advocacy on climate change adaptation at national to international levels, and is a member of the Kenya Climate Change Working Group.

Cynthia previously worked as a Research Associate for the Stockholm Environment Institute and as a Research Fellow for Climate Change in the Energy and Water Security Programme at the African Centre for Technology Studies. She was previously the East Africa fellow of the Capacity Strengthening of Least Developed Countries for Climate Change. She holds a Master of Philosophy degree in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge, and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree from Kenyatta University.

Cynthia works primarily with the Climate Change Group at IIED.


Hernán Blanco

Hernán Blanco is currently an independent consultant focussing on sustainable development, social responsibility and organizational developmentm and is part of the Green Economy Coalition. His general interests include the analysis of sustainable development and the improvement of public policy, particularly the design and setting up of multi-actor dialogue processes for participatory research projects on issues related to sustainable development.

He was Executive Director and Founding Partner of RIDES research centre, Chile (2004-2008), an internationally well-recognised institution working in Chile and Latin America, on issues such as trade and environment, access to environmental information, public participation, conflict management and climate change related issues. Prior to RIDES, Hernán worked for the CIPMA research centre for five years as an Associate Researcher. He also worked for the EULA Centre, at the University of Concepción, for six years as a full-time researcher, lecturer and consultant.

Hernán has recently focused on

  • the MDGs in Latin America

  • public participation and conflict management

  • organizational development

  • mining and social & environmental responsibility in South America

  • and ecosystem assessments.

Hernan works primarily on Governance at IIED.

Chris Busiinge

Chris Busiinge is currently the Head of the Information Unit at Kabarole Research and Resource Centre (KRC). He is a graduate of Environmental Management from Makerere University and has an MA in Ethics and Development studies from Uganda Martyrs’ University in Uganda. His thesis was on the social and economic impact of donor aided projects. He has seven years of work experience in Peace Building and Governance with Kabarole Research and Resource Centre and is currently heading the Information unit.

Chris has a particular interest in development communication. In earlier work as editor at KRC he initiated a number print publications including magazines on peace and development and a journal compiling development stories, especially those about the work of KRC and its partners. Prior to his work at KRC he founded My Village Development Magazine, a grassroots magazine that publishes stories of development across the region and nationally.

Chris was part of our communications learning week in 2011 and organised a local community event in Fort Portal Uganda attended by IIED. He brings a strong mix of skills to our community of international fellows.

Jiří Dusík

Jiri holds a Degree in Water Resource Engineering from the Czech Technical University and specializes in the integration of SEA into regional development planning, land-use planning and socio-economic planning.

Jiri is a is the primary author of the EC Handbook on Strategic Environmental Assessments in European Union’s Cohesion Policy 2007-2013 and co-author of a manual for The Practical Application of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Protocol to the UNECE Convention on EIA in a Transboundary Context. He co-authored national SEA guidelines in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Indonesia and Vietnam and managed or advised on 43 pilot SEA projects in 19 countries (Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Belarus, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Iran, Mauritius, Laos, Indonesia, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Slovenia, Vietnam).

Jiri is a member of OECD/DAC task team on SEA and was a core team member for the UNEP Integrated Assessment and Planning for Sustainable Development Initiative. He is a lead author of the GTZ Training Manual on SEA which was endorsed by the OECD/DAC for a wide use in developing countries and of the EC -REC Environmental Imapact Assessment (EIA) Training Manual for South East Europe. He has lectured on EIA and SEA matters in over 30 countries and helped develop SEA capacity building strategies in Armenia, Belarus, China, Georgia, Indonesia, Moldova, Ukraine and Vietnam.

He served on the Board of the IAIA and in 2007 received IAIA Individual Award for an outstanding contribution to development of SEA capacities in Eastern Europe and South Asia.

Jiri works primarily on Governance at IIED.

Yarri Kamara

Yarri is an economist and international development specialist and her areas of expertise include small and medium enterprises, private sector development and non-timber forest products.

She has been programme manager for the Burkinabe consultancy firm, Initiatives Conseil International, in Ouagadougou since 2009, working with clients such as the World Bank, AFD, the European Union and UN agencies in West Africa and other parts of Africa.

From 2007-2009 she was Enterprise Support Manager for Tree Aid West Africa, Ouagadougou, a British NGO focused on the environment and rural development with interventions in Burkina Faso, Mali and Ghana. While at Tree Aid, Yarri participated in the Forest Connect initiative launched by the IIED and FAO; she was involved in the drafting of a toolkit for the facilitation of support to small and medium forest enterprises and served as a member of the international Forest Connect steering committee.

Yarri has also worked for the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) in Ouagadougou as Regional Knowledge Management officer for the West and Central Africa office, with a focus on encouraging capitalisation of experiences and exchange of knowledge in areas such as value chain development, local governance and natural resource management.

She has a Masters in Development Studies from Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, and a BA in Economics and French from University of Virginia, USA. She has also studied International Economics at Oxford University, UK, and Enterprise Development at the International Training Centre of the ILO, Torino, Italy.

Yarri works primarily with the Natural Resources Group at IIED.

Fawad Khan

Fawad Khan works on the evaluation of adaptation effectiveness, the economics of adaptation strategies, community based local adaptation planning, and exploring factors contributing to resilience.  His areas of expertise are the economics of climate change in South and South East Asia, community based adaptation, and monitoring and evaluation.

Fawad previously worked as an Institutional Development Specialist for the World Bank in South Asia, a Senior Coordinator on Monitoring and Evaluation for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and has 20 years’ experience as a development consultant.  He holds an MSc from the Faculty of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, a BSc from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Columbia University and a BA in Liberal Arts from Middlebury College.

Fawad works primarily with the Climate Change Group at IIED.


Marie Monimart

Marie MonimartMarie Monimart has worked for 25 years in sub-Saharan Africa — especially in the West African Sahel countries, Madagascar, Central Africa and, for short periods, in Haiti and Cambodia. Her work is focused on gender issues related to equitable natural resources management, household livelihood security, and pastoralism. Marie looks at how to promote and advocate for a more effective and sustainable integration of gender issues and local societies' concepts and visions into poverty reduction.

Following a four year assignment (2002-2006) in Niger as a coordinator for the CARE Denmark programme, she is now involved in research on gender, land tenure and decentralisation issues in sub-Saharan Africa with IIED. She is also adapting facilitation trainings and basic tools to reinforce field partners and agents' skills in their day-to-day job within their communities to help marginalised people express themselves to those more powerful within their communities. She keeps a special interest on strengthening pastoral civil society — especially in terms of sustainable access to water and pasture and a better understanding of the crucial diversity of their mobile livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa.

Marie works primarily with the Natural Resources Group at IIED.

Diego Muñoz Elsner

Diego is a specialist in rural development and the role of small-scale producers. He coordinates the Global Learning Network on Small Producer Agency in the Globalised Market, a Southern-led learning group backed by IIED, the Humanist Institute for Cooperation (HIVOS) and the Bolivian research institute Mainumby. Diego has been advisor to the Bolivian minister of Production and Small Enterprise. Before that he was in charge of the UK Department for International Development’s rural development agenda until 2007 and has consulted for the Bolivian government, joined international working groups, and done fieldwork with private companies, state enterprise and NGOs. He is now Executive Director of Mainumby-Ñakurutú.

Diego has published two books with IIED: “Public policies and processes in the Bolivian Andes” Colección: “Policies that work” and “Small farmers economic organisations and public policies: a comparative study”. His other publications include, "Facilitando el acceso de pequeñosproductores a mejores mercados: Una experiencia de políticas en Bolivia" (Facilitating the access of small producers to better markets: An experience of public policies in Bolivia). “Lecciones aprendidas sobre innovación agropecuaria en Bolivia” (Lessons learned about agriculture innovation in Bolivia) and “Innovación tecnológica para los pequeños producotres” (Technological innovation for small producers).

Diego works primarily with the Sustainable Markets Group at IIED.


Daoud Tari Abkula

Daoud Tari AbkulaDaoud has been an independent consultant on pastoral development since 2006. Before this he acted as pastoralist advisor to IDS, DFID and UNOCHA. He is also a founding member of the Kenya Pastoralist Forum and Chair of the Pastoralist Thematic Group.

Daoud’s publications include ‘Dynamics of Pastoral Systems and Policy Options in East Africa and Ethiopia’ from MS-TCDC, Arusha (2010), and ‘Pastoralism: Governance, Production and Services’ from IDS, UK (2003).

Daoud works primarily with the Climate Change Group at IIED.


Virgilio Viana

Virgilio Viana Professor Virgilio Viana is one of Brazil’s leading experts on forestry, environment and sustainable development. He served as Brazil’s Secretary of State for Environment and Sustainable Development from 2003-2008 and is currently the Director General of the Amazonas Sustainability Foundation (FAS), an organization charged with the challenge of implementing the Bolsa Floresta Program, as well as providing the institutional framework to market environmental services of Amazonas’ forests. He is Professor of Forest Sciences at the University of Agriculture, Luiz Queiroz (on leave).

Professor Viana coordinated the Brazilian consultative process that led to the establishment of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in 1993. He was the founder and President of IMAFLORA, the first Latin American-based forest certifier. He also participated in the process of structuring a number of institutions such as the Center for International Research (CIFOR), and the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (FUNBIO).

He was President of the Brazilian Society of Ethnoecology (SBEE), President of São Paulo Forester’s Association (APAEF), Vice-President of the Association Brazilian State Secretaries of Environment, among several other positions. He has served as a consultant to institutions such as the World Bank, GTZ, IIED, CIFOR, WWF and Greenpeace.

Professor Viana received his forestry degree from University of São Paulo/ESALQ, a PhD in Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University and did post doctoral work on Sustainable Development at the University of Florida.

Virgilio works primarily on Governance for sustainable development at IIED.