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Commonwealth Perspectives: researcher profiles

Posted on 29/10/2012
By Martin Petts

The Commonwealth Foundation appointed researchers in each of the 14 countries.


Martin Tsounkeu
General Representative, Africa Development Interchange Network (ADIN) 

Africa Development Interchange Network (ADIN) specializes in development, poverty alleviation and promotion of people’s rights in a safe environment. ADIN works in close collaboration with UNDP and the Commonwealth Foundation on issues relating to Financing for Development and the MDGs. ADIN works for enhancement of the participation of people of the grassroots in democracy and governance processes as well as carrying their voices in global events. Martin Tsounkeu has wide experience as a development, corporate economist and a global Civil Society acivist.

The capitalization on the outcome of the project for the interest of the people at grassroots level is a major objective for our organization.  Our perspective is to build upon all possible synergies between our MDGs evaluation campaign, including the Cameroon National Civil Society Annual Follow-up Publication, and the “Breaking Point” process.


Judy Williams and Mary Charles
Director and Consultant, Grenada Development Community Agency

Grenada Community Development Agency – (GRENCODA) is a indigenous non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental development Agency committed to the development of Grenada’s rural communities. GRENCODA has had previous experience in this process through the preparation of the report “Breaking with Business as Usual” in 2005.

The MDGs address issues that are germane to GRENCODAs strategic objectives and form the centre piece of its programming. Issues like ending hunger and poverty, universal education, gender equality, environmental sustainability, combating HIV/AIDS and advocating for policy changes are among the main issues that we address through our programming at the community level. GRENCODA therefore brings a unique perspective drawn from actual experience with communities and families that are living with these challenges.


Ronald Mtonga
Executive Director, The Council for Non Governmental Organisations in Malawi (CONGOMA)
The Council for Non Governmental Organizations in Malawi (CONGOMA) is an umbrella body for NGOs in Malawi. It’s mandate is to represent the collective interests of all NGOs in Malawi, address their capacity gaps, advocate for conducive environment of operation and coordinate NGO efforts. Mr Mtonga has 14 years of experience in Civil Society governance, coordination and support work. He has managed several Research Studies for CONGOMA.
Through the national ownership and acceptance of CONGOMA as the only legally recognized NGO membership umbrella body in Malawi brings huge advantages to the project such as creating a forum and space for broad based engagement of partners and stakeholders on future of MDGs at national, Regional and International levels. CONGOMA is looking forward to being enriched by the lessons and insights from other researchers and partners globally on the direction of MDGs after 2015.


Dr. Asenati Liki Chan Tung
Lecturer, School of Government, Development and International Affairs – Faculty of Business and Economics

Dr. Asenati Liki Chan Tung’s research interests are in population mobility, gender and development, and socioeconomic and political change in the Pacific. Her previous research focused on Pacific brain drain, Samoan migration and commercial flower production, and work and mobility experiences of plantation-born women in Samoa.

The MDG project with the Commonwealth Foundation is a unique opportunity for Dr Chan Tung to engage the views and contribution of Samoan leaders and citizens relevant to the post-2015 Agenda. Her experience in social research, knowledge of Samoan society, and extensive Samoan network at both the national and community levels, will be critical in facilitating this work. It is likely that questions among the Samoan participants on how the MDGs translate meaningfully to the local development context and the people’s view on what a post-2015 Agenda should look like will be at the centre of debates.

Sri Lanka

Swarna Kodagoda
Executive Director, Alliance Lanka

Mrs Kodagoda has been the Executive Director of Alliance Lanka for 14 years. The organization has been involved with building capacity of other civil society organizations (CSOs) to work effectively on HIV/AIDS prevention and care including at risk and vulnerable populations. Mrs Kodagoda and Alliance Lanka staff with many skills and experience will bring to the project their expertise in identifying the correct and relevant stakeholders, collecting vital information through liaising with relevant organizations, analyzing and cross checking existing data, conducting consultations with relevant experts and groups, and compiling a very practical report focusing not only on the Millennium Development Goals  but also paying emphasis to the targets and indicators, and considering the situation in provincial levels.

Trinidad & Tobago

Calvin James and Subrena Self
Director and Researcher, Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development

During the time of Subrena Self’s studies of International Relations, she participated in a variety of research projects, which discussed issues of development in the Caribbean region. Ms Self thinks the decisions made within the global governance architecture should reflect a nuanced understanding of the unique circumstances of small states instead of a ‘one policy fits all’ approach which can be detrimental to the economic viability of small island states leading to the exacerbation of social and environmental problems. In this regard, Ms Self expects this project to highlight those special issues which are often lost in statistics and policies used by global governors. She hopes that Trinidad and Tobago’s development strategy will benefit from the valuable contribution and expertise of civil society organisations through this project and that the recommended policies and plans of action will influence national objectives and foreign policy.


Eva Magambo
Treasurer, Nakawa Cooperative Savings and Credit Society Limited (NBS)

Eva Magambo has 20 years of experience managing development programs with Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS), other NGOs and the Gender and Health Ministries. The Nakawa Cooperative Savings and Credit Society (NBS) was co-founded by Eva Magambo in response to desperate voices of women hard hit by urban poverty. It mobilises communities and acts as their advocate on development issues. NBS will contribute to the project through its research skills, experiential approaches in analysing development issues and its experience in socio-economic empowerment. It will demonstrate that the effective use of the minimal resources accessed by vulnerable communities results in socio-economic advantages as in goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and indirectly impact goals 7, 8. NBS will accelerate MDG advocacy at local, international scenes based on project results and utilize networks accrued from the project to accelerate achievement of MDGs.


McDonald Chipenzi
Executive Director, Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP)

Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) aims to broaden the scope for democratization process and focus on elections and electoral process, civic and democracy education, local governance and development, and human rights. McDonald Chipenzi has over 10 years of experience working as a teacher, urban planner, reporter, election monitor and civil activist and has wide contacts with political, economic, social and religious players in Zambia.

Some of the challenges in attaining the MDGs in Zambia have been the isolated approach taken by the previous governments. As a governance organization, the MDGs will be looked from the holistic approach which contributes to good governance and democratic consolidation. The hope is that after this project, FODEP will lay a good foundation for the development of a national advocacy and lobbying strategy.    


Commonwealth Perspectives: the post-2015 Millennium Development Goal agenda

For the Millennium Development Goals to be effective, they must be inclusive