Everyone strives to make a social impact in their own way. I chose to devote myself to crafting and promoting truly international educational experiences that amplify the voices of changemakers from all backgrounds. Learn more about my contributions and hear from some of my collaborators and mentees over the years making an impact in fields ranging from political science to public health.
Access to quality, international, lifelong, and affordable education is limited. Many things shape the quality of education including an active pedagogical approach, highly qualified instructors with the necessary support to flourish, and resources for learners to take their work to the next level. Also, we often learn in place (e.g., a school or university drawing from the local area or country) meaning that we learn with people who are just like us socio-economically and culturally. And, although we talk about learning being a lifelong journey, we often seek out intensive educational experiences only during certain phases of life, mainly through formal degrees. Finally, quality educational experiences are sometimes cost-prohibitive, which lessens accessibility. This accessibility piece is important to amplify the voices of all and to provide lifelong educational experiences. Recognizing these challenges and associated opportunities, I founded the Leaders of Africa and Leaders of Africa Institute in 2019.
The Leaders of Africa and Leaders of Africa Institute offers intensive and real-time learning opportunities in advanced research, data science, and technology development. The Institute contributes to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 4 quality education and SDG 8 economic opportunities.
To date, the Institute has welcomed over 700 Scholars and Fellows from over 35 countries with scholarship support of over 1 million USD. Scholars come from diverse fields including political science, social science, anthropology, public health, education, environment, agriculture, economics, data science, engineering, and business. Drawing on acclaimed faculty worldwide, the Institute offers several flagship programs, including the Research Methods Program and the Data + Design for Development Program. All programs advance capstone projects that are likely to secure equitable livelihoods.
The Research Methods Program is the flagship program of the Leaders of Africa Institute and offers instruction and mentorship in advanced quantitative and qualitative methodological techniques. The program cultivates cutting-edge research and evidence-based social innovation.
The program is structured around three courses: Advanced Research Design, Data Science and Quantitative Methods, and Survey Methods and Advanced Techniques. The Core Curriculum is complemented by workshops on machine learning, natural language processing, and design thinking. The program has resulted in over 50 publications in top-tier journals across social science, public health, environment, agriculture, education, and economics and over 10 large-scale grants for further work.
The Data + Design for Development Program accelerates data visualization projects, which distill data for broad audiences and advance social innovations. The program offers instruction in Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, Datawrapper, and Flourish alongside mentorship to build original data experiences.
The Multimedia Production Program recognizes that some people and voices dominate our everyday conversations on themes ranging from public health to politics. Podcasts and documentaries are quickly expanding mediums that provide a local and global audience. The Multimedia Production Program amplifies diverse voices and perspectives and provides a platform for reflection on some of the most important concerns and stories of our day.
Deborah is presently a Research Scholar in the Research Methods Program (2023) and a PhD student at Makerere University in Uganda. Her Capstone Project examines the creation and implementation of data-sharing frameworks for genomics research. The project is firmly at the intersection of science, research ethics, and public policy. Learn more about Deborah’s quest to develop and disseminate impactful guidelines that lead to a more equitable approach to sharing genomics research worldwide.
In the Research Methods Program, I have had the pleasure of working with some of the most talented researchers, practitioners, and academics from across the world. Most come to the program with a good idea for a research project and/or social innovation. At the Institute, we support the vision of the Scholars and provide them with the tools to advance their ideas. One of the features of the program is one-on-one collaboration. Here are just some of the wonderful Scholars that I have collaborated with in the program. I invite you to learn about their work and reach out for collaboration.
In the Research Methods Program, I have had the pleasure of working with some of the most talented researchers, practitioners, and academics from across the world. Most come to the program with a good idea for a research project and/or social innovation. At the Institute, we support the vision of the Scholar and provide them the tools to advance their idea. One of the features of the program is one-on-one collaboration. Here are just some of the wonderful Scholars that I have collaborated with in the program.