Expert Advisory Panel
The Expert Advisory Panel comprises of distinguished researchers and academics with extensive expertise in the research themes of the REF. They also bring experience of working in other regions in Africa that can provide comparable insight and help the REF deliver effective, timely and policy-oriented research. The members of the Panel are:
Cindy is Research Professor in Migration and Refugee Studies at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Her current research interests include: mobility in conflict; diaspora; humanitarianism; refugee protection; transnational civic engagement; and theorizing on societal transformation. She is particularly interested in methodological innovations that allow for critical and ethically conscious research engagement, through shared anthropology and multi-sited ethnography. Cindy is the author of Transnational Nomads: How Somalis cope with refugee life in the Dadaab camps of Kenya (Berghahn 2006). Her most recent publications include 'Governing mobility through humanitarianism in South-central Somalia' (Development and Change 2016) with Anab Nur, 'Migrants as agents of development: European diaspora engagement discourse and the essentialisation of diaspora roots'. (Ethnicities 2015) with Giulia Sinatti and 'Flight and Exile. Uncertainty in the Context of Conflict-induced displacement (Social Analysis 2015) with Katarzyna Grabska.
Dr Jeff Crisp
Dr Jeff Crisp has held senior positions with UNHCR, where he was Head of Policy Development and Evaluation, as well as Refugees International (Senior Director for Policy and Advocacy) and the Global Commission on International Migration (Director of Policy and Research). He has also worked as an academic, journalist and in the NGO sector. Jeff has first-hand experience of refugee situations throughout the world and has published, lectured and broadcast extensively on humanitarian issues. He holds a Masters degree and PhD in African Studies and Political Science from the University of Birmingham. He is currently a Research Associate at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, an Associate Fellow at Chatham House and Honorary Professor at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex.
Mary Harper is the Africa Editor at the BBC World Service. She has reported on the continent for the past twenty years, and has a special interest in the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia. She reports frequently from the region for BBC TV, radio and online. She is the author of Getting Somalia Wrong? Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State (Zed Books) and is writing a book about the Islamist group Al Shabaab. She has reported from many other African conflict zones, including Sudan, South Sudan, Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Algeria. She contributes to academic journals and writes for publications including The Economist, Granta, The Guardian, The Times and The Washington Post.
Mary is a Fellow of the Rift Valley Institute and the Mogadishu-based Heritage Institute for Policy Studies. She has conducted research on Somalia and other African countries for the United Nations, USAID, Small Arms Survey and other clients. She speaks on Somalia, piracy, the international media, migration and other subjects at conferences, workshops and other events organised by the British Houses of Parliament, Chatham House, Jaipur Literature Festival, NATO, Oxford University, MIT, Médecins Sans Frontières, Thompson Reuters Foundation, Yale University, the United Nations and others. She has degrees from Cambridge University and the School of Oriental and African Studies. She speaks English, French, Portuguese and Wolof. Website Mary Harper.
Edward Paice is Director of Africa Research Institute (ARI), an independent think-tank founded in 2007. Working mostly with local partners, ARI seeks to draw attention to good practice and innovation in Africa, while also identifying where new approaches and ideas might be needed. It has produced a number of publications focusing on the Somali Horn.
Nuur Mohamud Sheekh
Nuur has over three decades experience of working on forced migration. He is currently Senior Liaison Officer in the Office of UNHCR Special Envoy for Somalia Refugee Situation. Prior to this role, he worked for UN OCHA in New York, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre and was in the Thematic Team of the World Humanitarian Summit. He also worked with refugee community organisations in the UK. He has interest in rights of minorities, refugees and IDPs. He holds MSc from the School of Oriental and African Studies.
Takyiwaa is the director of the Social Development Policy Division, of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. She is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Before joining ECA, she was Professor of African Studies at the University of Ghana, where she also served as Director of the Institute of African Studies from 2002-2009.
She is a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and has also served as a member of several international, continental and national organizations and bodies.
She has published widely in the areas of African development; gender, women’s rights and empowerment; higher education; and contemporary African migrations.
Ambassador Prof Iqbal Jhazbhay
Ambassador Prof. Iqbal Jhazbhay is South Africa's former Ambassador to the State of Eritrea (2012-2016). Currently, he holds a Full Professorship at the University of South Africa and was the previous Director of the Unisa Centre for Arabic and Islamic Studies. He was awarded a PhD in International Relations from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and, studied Arabic and Islamic sciences in Cairo, Riyadh, Manchester and Johannesburg. His research interests include studies on Somaliland and Somalia, South African Islam, Sufism, Political Islam, South African foreign policy towards North Africa and the Middle East, international Relations and Islam. For the past four years and three months, he followed the literature on Eritrea very closely. He is the author of the book 'Somaliland: An African Struggle for Nationhood and International Recognition'.