Dr. Cherie Enns

Cherie Enns

Cherie Enns is a senior associate professor at the University of the Fraser Valley. She teaches a range of courses such as urban planning, development, urban social geography, and climate change. Cherie is the Internship Supervisor and Funding Coordinator for the East Africa Internship Program and works closely with a variety of East African organizations including Ardhi University, Aga Khan University, and the East African Institute.

Cherie is the creator and developer of Eminus Academy, a free e-learning platform for youth in developing contexts in collaboration and partnership with UN Habitat Youth Division, UFV, and Eliademy. Her consulting firm, Cherie Enns Consulting, focuses on community planning, environmental design, technology applications, and other social sciences.  The firm promotes action research and community-based innovation through consultation, facilitation and results-based evaluation, assessment, and project management. The firm’s current focus includes housing development, homelessness, professional training and age (8 to 80) friendly and sustainable environments.

Dr. Wilbard Kombe


Wilbard Kombe is a Professor of Urban Land Management, and Director of the Institute of Human Settlements Studies; Ardhi University, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. His current research and projects focus on land management, governance of informal urbanization; governance of water and sanitation in peri-urban areas; measuring service delivery versus the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Environmental Planning and Management.

Professor Kombe has worked with several cities in Tanzania to promote good governance as well as accumulated extensive international experience consulting with the UN-Habitat, the World Bank, DANIDA, Sida etc. He has published extensively in local and international journals as well as authored and co-authored books in the fields of urban governance in poverty; enhancing service delivery and partnerships and land management. He has also participated in and coordinated various multi-disciplinary research projects undertaken in Tanzania and in several other countries in the East African region as well as sat in various research advisory boards.

Dr. Alex Awiti


Alex O. Awiti is the Director of the East African Institute, a policy research, analysis, capacity building and public engagement platform of the Aga Khan University. He is also an Assistant Professor and leads the undergraduate science curriculum design in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; a curriculum founded on the principles of knowledge integration and systems thinking.

Awiti began his research, academic and policy career 17 years ago at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) where he established the spatial decision support lab to provide research and technical backstopping for ICRAF’s global programs. Awiti and colleagues pioneered the application of spectroscopy for diagnostic surveillance of soil health. His paper, “Soil Condition Classification using Infrared Spectroscopy” published in Geoderma was nominated as one of the best six papers in Pedometrics in 2008.

As one of very few resilience experts in Africa, Awiti sits on the Board of the Resilience Alliance, a research organization comprised of international interdisciplinary scholars. Awiti also chairs the Africa group of scientists who provide technical support to the Africa Group of Negotiators on agriculture and climate change. Awiti is the Africa editor for Environmental Development, the Transdisciplinary Journal of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE). As a public intellectual he writes a weekly newspaper column and maintains a blog and an active twitter account.

Dr. Nathalie Jean-Baptiste

Dr. Nathalie Jean-Baptiste is a Senior Research Fellow at Ardhi University; she currently leads the City Lab Dar es Salaam and the Climate Change and Environmental Risk Research at the Institute of Human Settlement Studies. Her current research focuses on vulnerability assessment and climate-related risks in low-income countries and the relationship between infrastructure, people, and the environment.

Dr, Jean-Baptiste’s work focuses on infrastructure systems at risk in low-income countries, urban transformation, and co-production of knowledge under conditions of rapid change. She has ten years of research experience in Africa, Europe, and Latin America on urban development and planning. Her international experience bridging science and practice particularly in mainstreaming adaptation and risk reduction in local development plans which includes a people-centered approach to waste management in Mexico and Australia as well as risk assessment and adaptation in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Tanzania. She is associated with the University of Technology of Darmstadt, serves as a board member of the International Association People-Environment Studies and has taught and presented her work extensively worldwide.

Stephen Otieno


Stephen Otieno is a trained urban planner with post-graduate education in environmental planning and management. He is a research fellow at the East African Institute of the Aga Khan University. Under supervision of the Director, he is coordinating the implementation of the Urban Food Systems Project in East Africa which seeks to address one overriding issue: feeding people living in cities while minimizing the ecological footprint of their food procurement systems.

Prior to joining AKU, Stephen was a program researcher at the African Conservation Centre where he developed a vulnerability and adaptation framework to rank the adaptive capacities of the Amboseli and Kilimanjaro landscapes to climate change. He has also worked with the Global Climate Adaptation Partnership – UK and the Department of Early Warning and Assessment at UNEP. In 2012, he was a visiting research scholar at the faculty of Environmental Studies, York University – Toronto. Stephen is currently pursuing his PhD at the University of Nairobi on “Environmental impacts of different food systems in Mt. Kenya region”, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.