Meet our team: Debrah Neema – Research Analyst, Kenya

Meet our team: Debrah Neema – Research Analyst, Kenya

I am Kenyan, and hold a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the United States University, Africa, where I studied peace and conflict, research methods in social sciences and minored in development studies. During this period my research papers addressed the nexus between the significance of good governance to national development; specifically in the case of Ghana. During my degree I obtained key skills in conducting academic and field research in fragile and unstable environments.

In 2012 I emerged top in an intensive qualitative training facilitated by Intermedia’s Research Survey Institute in Nairobi and was referred to Integrity not only to build my skills as a researcher but to assist in business development and operational management. The training programme was supported by Kenya Transition Initiative (KTI); aiming to address the gap in qualitative analysis in over 600 programs it has funded across the country. On the back of the programme we established a research group of Somali researchers; I am currently managing the group in my spare time. We are looking at undertaking small research projects to build our portfolio in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. I am excited by the opportunity to work regionally.

As a qualitative researcher based in a country that is home to hundreds of thousands of refugees, my research interests range from human rights among refugee and marginalised communities to issues surrounding violent extremism that could be used as a tool to put across communal grievances.

With Integrity I am currently working on an evaluation focusing on KTI’s Conflict and Violent Extremism programme, which is a 3 year programme implemented on the Kenyan coast and in the regions of Nairobi considered to be the hot spots for recruiting young people into radical and extremist groups. The work has brought to light some of the aspects that most stakeholders do not seem to know about. For instance, the role of the Mombasa Republican Council in the coastal region, the previously unknown role of women in extremism and in countering violent extremism as well as the role of the business community in Extremist activities. Currently I am with our team to conclude the KTI evaluation. We will in the near future be presenting our findings in a meeting with the KTI team and finalising the report thereafter.

I have sincerely enjoyed the field work and hope to work on similar studies in the future. I am particularly interested in areas around youth (refugee youth), governance, and peace and security issues within the region. Besides hopefully embarking on future research projects, I will also support the office with business and proposal development, field logistics planning and implementation as well as in report writing.

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