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Supporting Pastoralism and Agriculture
in Recurrent and Protracted Crises

Our team

Leadership team

Mark Redwood, Consortium Executive Director,  Cowater, Ottawa, Canada

Mark Redwood - SPARC Executive Director.

Mark is an executive leader with over 20 years of experience in research, management, and leadership.  Prior to his current role as the Consortium Executive Director of SPARC, Mark led the Water, Climate and Environment group at Cowater International. Until 2015, Mark was the Programme Leader of the Climate Change and Water initiative at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). In this post, he led the centre’s research activities focused on poverty reduction, livelihoods and climate resilience.

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Mauricio Vazquez, Research Lead, ODI, London, UK

Mauricio Vazquez - SPARC Research Lead.

Mauricio is the Head of Strategic Partnerships for the ODI Global Risks and Resilience programme, where he designs and works across different multi-stakeholder initiatives to build resilience and drive sustainable change in complex settings. Before SPARC, Mauricio served as the Knowledge Manager of the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) knowledge and policy hub at ODI.

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Polly Ericksen, Pastoralism and Livestock Research Advisor, International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya

Polly Eriksen.

Polly leads the research programme on Sustainable Livestock Systems at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), where she works at the interface between research and development in the areas of agriculture, food systems and global environmental change with a focus on dryland ecologies.  Her research includes evaluating trade offs between different goals of sustainable agricultural production (social, environmental); analysing the impacts of climate change on food security, and sustainable livestock production.

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Jon Kurtz, Fragile and Conflict Affected-States and Implementation Research Advisor, Mercy Corps, Washington DC, USA

Jon Kurtz.

Jon is the Senior Director for Research and Learning at Mercy Corps, where he leads the agency’s research and impact evaluation efforts to drive strategic learning in fragile and conflict-affected environments. His research concentrates on identifying how humanitarian and development action can best contribute to reducing conflict and strengthening resilience in crisis-prone contexts. 

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Rebecca Nadin, Risk and Resilience Adviser, ODI, London, UK

Rebecca Nadin.

Rebecca is the Director of the ODI Global Risks and Resilience programme. Rebecca leads a multi-disciplinary team of analysts to pioneer policy-driven research working on the nexus between new and emerging risks.  She specialises in climate, political and geopolitical risk assessment to reduce vulnerability, build resilience and drive transformative and sustainable change.

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Management team

Taylor Martin, Programme Manager, Cowater, Ottawa, Canada

Taylor Martin.

Taylor is a Programme Manager with over six years of experience in research and project management. She specialises in climate change adaptation, gender and social inclusion and disaster risk reduction, having worked across Africa, Asia and the Middle East for various clients. These include the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, World Bank, Global Affairs Canada, Mercy Corps, and the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

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Pauline Njiraini, Fund Manager, Cowater, Nairobi, Kenya

Pauline Njiraini.

Pauline is a senior grants management specialist with over ten years of experience leading and overseeing the implementation of the grants management cycle for various donor funded programmes.  Before joining SPARC, Pauline was the Senior Grants Specialist for the USAID-funded Kenya Youth Employment and Skills Programme. 

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Communications team

Mairi Dupar, Communications and Engagement Lead, ODI, London, UK

Mairi Dupar.

Mairi is a Senior Technical Advisor in the Global Risks and Resilience Programme, with particular expertise in climate risk management and adaptation to climate change. She currently focuses on providing technical advice to colleagues in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America on enhancing ambition and social inclusion in climate policies and programmes, on reducing climate-related loss and damage by strengthening weather and climate information services, and anticipatory early action.

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Research team

Steve Wiggins, Senior Research Advisor, ODI, London, UK

Steve Wiggins.

Steve has been researching agricultural and rural development in Africa and Latin America since 1972. His work focuses on rural markets - particularly for smallholders in Africa, the operation of rural labour markets, the rural non-farm economy and the application of market analysis to crises of food insecurity. His work has formed the basis for policy recommendations on pro- poor market development.

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Colette Benoudji, People and Societies Team Lead, ODI, Chad

Colette Benoudji.

Colette is currently based in Chad and was the lead for the Gender and Social Inclusion stream of work under the Building Resilience to and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme. She has a Master’s degree in Science of Education from Lumière University Lyon, France. She is a founder of Lead Chad, a Non-Governmental Organisation that aims to tackle climate change with local communities, and youth and mothers’ organisations by running projects focused on local development, such as adult ecological literacy with solar stoves, and carrying out research and capacity building.

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Augustine Ayatunde, Natural Resources and Ecologies Team Lead, International Livestock Research Institute, Dakar, Senegal

Augustine Ayatunde.

Augustine is a principal scientist in the sustainable livestock systems programme at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). He has more than 20 years of experience in the participatory testing and evaluation of livestock-related strategies for the sustainable intensification of crop-livestock systems in West Africa, the evaluation of feed resources in the Sahel, and the evaluation and monitoring of natural resource use in (agro)-pastoral systems including conflict management. His areas of expertise include ruminant nutrition, evaluation and monitoring of natural resource use in pastoral and agro-pastoral systems, and assessing the vulnerability of pastoral and agro-pastoral systems to climate change and variability. He also specialises in participatory assessments of the multiple causes of conflict over natural resource use, livestock-based risk management, and coping strategies to reduce the vulnerability of pastoral and agro-pastoral systems to climate change in East and West Africa.

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Fiona Flintan, Politics and Governance Team Lead, International Livestock Research Institute, Rome, Italy

Fiona Flintan.

Fiona currently holds a position jointly funded by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Land Coalition (ILC), leading the Rangelands Initiative for the International Land Coalition. In this position, she works with government stakeholders to enable policy for rangelands and pastoralism, as well as providing technical advice on rangelands initiatives in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.  Her research explores building resilience and adaptation to environmental change; securing access to and sustainably utilising land and resources; and reducing human insecurities, vulnerabilities and inequities.

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Carmen Jaquez, Economies, Markets and Livelihoods Team Lead, Mercy Corps, Oregon, USA

Carmen Jaquez.

Carmen is a livelihood and market systems expert who specialises in dairy and livestock economies in pastoralist, agro-pastoralist and peri-urban production systems and marketsheds. She has worked in livestock and agriculture systems (production, input and output markets, value-addition) across East, Southern and West Africa since 1995.  Working primarily as a programme implementer and technical advisor, she specialises in data-based decision making for improved livestock productivity and addressing market inefficiencies in the delivery of safe and nutritious animal source foods to diverse consumers. Her background is in natural resources management and animal health, and she has almost two decades of direct field experience. Her work focuses on the nexus of human economic development and well-being, livestock production and ecosystem health.

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Simon Levine, Pastoralism and Crises Lead, ODI, London, UK

Simon Levine.

Simon specialises in livelihoods and vulnerability analysis, land rights, and in early response in humanitarian crises.  Before joining ODI, he spent many years working for Non-Governmental Organisations in Mozambique, Cambodia, Tanzania and Burundi, and as a consultant based in Uganda for nine years.

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Katharine Vincent, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Team Lead, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Katharine Vincent.

Katharine is a climate change specialist with more than 20 years of experience working in gender analysis and research on vulnerability, adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), and climate services. She is active in the academic environment, currently holding a visiting Associate Professorship at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and acting as an author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports and Special Report on Climate Change and Land.

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