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


Are you interested in how to deliver change in Africa?

Then please come and join us for the Wasafiri Retreat – OPEN DAY
26 August 2014, Nairobi, Kenya

Join a group of practitioners, consultants and pioneers and use real examples and case studies to uncover and understand what it takes to deliver change in Africa.

The day will be a mix of discussions, presentations and peer consulting. By the end of the day you will have a greater understanding of the ingredients for delivering change – on a continental scale, in institutions and in the most difficult contexts (fragile states), and have had the opportunity to apply these lessons to your own professional goals.

Email Kate<at>wasafiriconsulting.com if you would like to join us or to request more information


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Wasafiri has been commissioned to advise NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) on how to strengthen its planning for, and response to, complex crises in fragile, conflict-affected regions.

The ARRC, based in the UK, is a high readiness multinational force headquarters designed to deploy quickly to support crisis management operations worldwide at 5-30 days notice. They understand first-hand how today’s conflicts are becoming more complex and mutating more rapidly. In response, NATO is itself evolving, becoming more agile, adaptive and integrated with their civilian and political counterparts.

With first hand experience at the sharp end of joint civilian-military operations in South Sudan, Afghanistan and most recently, in Somalia, Wasafiri is well placed to share lessons on what does and does not work in such complex, fragmented environments.

Over the next 6 months, we will work within the ARRC’s operations and planning teams, advising on coordination with civilian actors, understanding cultural, social, economic and political factors, developing approaches for community engagement and protection within the framework of international law.

Wasafiri’s Director Hamish Wilson has been invited by the UK Government to help facilitate an international conference to consider the future of stabilisation. Co-hosted with the Government of Denmark, and joined by representatives from NATO, the EU and the United Nations, the event, to take place in late June, will explore lessons and best practice emerging from contemporary stabilisation operations in Somalia, Mali, DR Congo, South Sudan and others.

In doing so, the event will examine how stabilisation has contributed to conflict prevention and resolution, and will seek to establish a common approach and shared principles for actors engaged in stabilisation.

Hamish has recently concluded a two-year assignment with the British Embassy in Somalia as Senior Stabilisation Adviser and is leading Wasafiri’s efforts to help improve the delivery of stabilisation approaches in fragile and conflict affected states.

Wasafiri has recruited Dr Kate Simpson to be our Head of Development. She will lead an expansion of our work delivering change in Africa, and establish our office in Nairobi. Kate comes from Impact International, where she headed up their Relief and Development Group and was a consultant on leadership development, organisational change and sustainability for Impact’s corporate clients. Kate holds a PhD in Geography looking at the ethics of international development, and has worked across South America and Africa. If you are interested in working with or for Wasafiri, please get in touch with Kate at kate@wasafiriconsulting.com.