We are excited this week to welcome Candida to the Wasafiri team. She will be based in East Africa and working as our new Operations & Commercial Manager, helping us to grow the organisation and look after the delivery of much of our work in the region. Candida is a chemical engineer by training and has applied her skills to big corporates in the USA and start-up social enterprises in Kenya and India; and somewhere in between all that has found the time to compete in Ironman triathlons. She brings to Wasafiri a spirit of adventure, well honed professional skills and a love of excel spreadsheets.

On Monday June 8th we are hosting our first Change Lab in Nairobi. This free event will be held at Zen Garden, Spring Valley from 6-8pm.

The Wasafiri Change Lab will use real world case-studies, facilitated dialogue and peer-to-peer problem solving to help you develop your organisation’s approach to building effective partnerships in conflict affected regions. The Change Lab will give you a structured approach to exploring challenges and creating solutions in new ways, with new perspectives and new people.

The session will be lively, interactive and discussion based. Please bring to the Lab a real challenge you are working on and come ready to talk, listen, explore and collaborate.

A drink & bitings will be included so please RSVP to kate@wasafiriconsulting.com  to make sure we get enough food! – We look forward to seeing you there.

We are looking for someone excited to take a lead in growing our business; someone with a strong commitment to delivering change in Africa; a proven track record of leadership; an entrepreneurial spirit; and excellent people management skills. Ideally you will be based in Nairobi. Click HERE for more information and if you want to know more then please get in touch.

Download Change Perspectives – Wasafiri Insights 2014 For  some practical tips and ingredients on how to deliver change.

In the last year Wasafiri consultants have worked across Africa delivering change in diverse settings and on diverse projects. Working with private, government and NGO clients and across the continent we have tried, succeeded, failed and learnt new lessons about how to deliver change in Africa. ‘Change Perspectives’ is our new short report that shares  some of the practical insights we have gained.

What do a hotel developer, a community arts innovator, investment manager, a diplomat, several entrepreneurs and a lot of clever, interesting people have in common? They are all part of delivering change in Africa, all interested in creating public private sector collaborations and all came to our first ever Change Lab in Rwanda.

Thank you to all who came it was a lovely evening of interesting people, from diverse backgrounds and organisations exploring, sharing and learning about how the private and public sector can collaborate to deliver change in Africa. We will be doing another change lab here in Rwanda in the new year and bringing it to Nairobi too  – so let us know what topic would you like to see the next lab focus on?

We are delighted to welcome Nada Abshir as a new Consultant in our Conflict and Stability Practice. Nada is a specialist project manager with over a decade of experience working amidst complex political and development challenges in Africa and Asia. She is an expert in the areas of tackling conflict, strengthening stability and building effective institutions, with core skills in stakeholder engagement, advocacy, operational planning, communications and programme management.

Nada holds a BA in Politics and an MA in International affairs; and is a multi-lingual, culturally-sensitive, adaptable relationship builder, who has worked with organisations such as the UN, EC, USAID and US State Department.

Nada explains: “I have had the opportunity to engage this work from different vantage points; and have covered a range of issues including advocacy, human rights, child protection and public health research. The common thread in my work has been to support organisations to identify opportunities and challenges; and exploring with them how to create positive change from these processes.”

Hamish Wilson, Wasafiri Director and Principal Consultant, comments: “Nada brings a wealth of experience to our East Africa based team. Her understanding of how to deliver real change for people affected by conflict is deepened by her being Somali and she has worked extensively across the region. Not only that, she is a real professional and a delight to work with!”

Read more about Nada Abshir and download her CV on her page in Our People.

If you are interested in working with or for Wasafiri Consulting please contact our Head of Development, Dr Kate Simpson, on kate@wasafiriconsulting.com

We welcome Marcel van Driel to Wasafiri as a new Consultant in Organisational Development for the Public Sector. Of Dutch origin and based in Lusaka, Zambia, Marcel is a specialist in the practice areas of agriculture, effective institutions and governance, with core skills in project design and management, strategic planning, monitoring, evaluation and workshop facilitation.

Marcel has worked as an advisor for Gesellschaft für international Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), seconded to the Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ); and the Government Service for Land and Water Management of the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Development and Food Quality (DLG).

He explains: “After obtaining a degree in Landscape Engineering, I worked for 7 years as project manager for land use and development. I worked on a feasibility and compliance study in Mali and was a planning advisor in Malawi. My work in Africa has made me knowledgeable about decentralisation and local governance – as well as allowing me to fulfill my passions for African nature and nature photography.”

Ian Randall, Wasafiri Executive Director and Principle Consultant, comments: “Marcel will be marvellous at helping African Governments with effective planning and the capacity to deliver real and sustainable results for their citizens.”

Read more about Marcel van Driel and download his CV on his page in Our People.

If you are interested in working with or for Wasafiri Consulting please contact our Head of Development, Dr Kate Simpson, on kate@wasafiriconsulting.com

Photo copyright Marcel van Driel.

What a magical three days of learning , sharing and talking round the camp fire! We have just concluded our annual Wasafiri retreat, which brought together a diverse group of Wasafiri consultants, clients, friends and partners, all of whom are working to deliver change in Africa. Over these three days we shared challenges and successes and together identified some of the key ingredients for creating successful change; and most importantly, how to deliver change in Africa.

The power and the magic were in the people who came. We had participants from a wide range of contexts, countries and sectors, including private sector, government, not for profits and civil society. All of who are African or Africa-based and passionate about the possibilities, opportunities and challenges that face Africa today. Together we shared and listened to stories of delivering change;

  • at a continental scale through Grow Africa;
  • of the BRACED initiative to build climate change resilience and what it really takes to create effective, multi agency partnerships that can work well together;
  • how to strengthen government institutions;
  • and the very real and practical challenges of working in fragile, conflict-affected countries such as Somalia.

And on top of all that we even managed a little singing and dancing to aid all the thinking!

From all this diversity emerged some strong and surprising commonalities about the ingredients for delivering successful change. Watch out for the forthcoming ‘Wasafiri Briefing’, which will offer a summary of the lessons we have learnt over the last year around what it takes to create successful change.

A big thank you to all those who came – I leave inspired about the possibilities and with a greater understanding of what it takes to deliver successful change in Africa.

We are excited to announce that Wasafiri’s own Hamish Wilson has contributed to a new e-book of stories from civilians working on the front lines in Helmand, Afghanistan. “Making Peace in War” has been a labour of love; and is a compilation from a wide range of characters – none of whom are professional writers  but who offer a rich mix of raw tales and insights.

Check it out here; Making Peace in War

Wasafiri is growing its agriculture practice supporting our clients with inclusive and responsible investment into Africa.

The sector needs multi-stakeholder collaboration to achieve its potential, whether at the level of specific investments, value chains, market systems or building a continental movement. Hence Wasafiri’s expertise in helping partners unlock opportunities together is in high demand, and we need to expand our network of great consultants who combine sector knowledge with the core Wasafiri skills for change delivery.

At the moment we have a specific and growing need for consultants who are:

  • Experienced in areas such as agribusiness, value chain development, private sector development, public-private partnerships, making markets work for the poor, impact investment, business planning, social-environmental impact assessments etc.
  • Knowledgeable of the African context, and ideally African or based in Africa.
  • Able to establish rapport and working relationships with a wide range of stakeholders – from smallholder farmers to Ministers and private sector entrepreneurs and investors
  • Great communicators, able to produce high quality succinct written reports, present a compelling case and share complex and sensitive messages with diverse audiences.
  • Excited to work within virtual teams, sharing ideas, supporting others, and communicating proactively whilst also working independently in a disciplined and professional manner
  • Pioneering, entrepreneurial and impatient about ensuring dialogue translates to action and results.
  • French speakers would be particularly welcome

If that sounds like you, then it would be great to hear from you. Please contact Kate Simpson for more information or to discuss opportunities. kate@wasafiriconsulting.com