Researchers & Experts
Prof. Dr Rolf Werning
Research Director - Leibniz Universität Hannover
Prof. Dr Rolf Werning’s research focuses on inclusive education, school development, teacher education and inclusive transition. He led research projects founded amongst others by Federal Ministry of Education and Research and Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony. He is the speaker of the interdisciplinary research network “Early Childhood Education” and a member of the “International Forum on Equity and Inclusive Education”. He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and books. In the last years he was a member of different expert commissions on teachers’ education in Germany and head of the evaluation Committee “integrative education” in Canton Aargau, Switzerland. His role in the refie project is that of research director.
Research Coordinator - Leibniz Universität Hannover
Myriam Hummel studied Special Education and Educational Science in Germany and Norway. During this time she conducted a qualitative study on access to education for children with disabilities in Tanzania and worked as research assistant at Ludwigsburg University of Education. A special education teacher by training, Myriam Hummel gained experiences teaching at a school for students with and without special educational needs. Ms. Hummel acquired and implemented technical assistance projects in the education and TVET sector on behalf of EU, GIZ and other bi- and multilateral donors as consultant at a German consulting company for international cooperation. In this context she conducted numerous short term missions, mainly in the area of educational management and teacher training in Central America, Africa and Asia. In the refie project Myriam Hummel is in charge of steering the research process, coordinating all activities and communication within the team.
Prof. Alfredo Artiles
Senior Research Advisor - Arizona State University
Dr. Artiles is Associate Dean and the Ryan Harris Professor of Special Education at Arizona State University’s Fulton Teachers College. His scholarship aims to advance policies, personnel preparation programs, and inclusive educational systems in multicultural contexts. His grants have been funded by the U. S. Department of Education, the Spencer Foundation, the University of California’s Linguistic Minority Research Institute, and the Motorola Foundation, among others. Dr. Artiles directs the Equity Alliance and was Vice President of the American Educational Research Association. He has been an advisor to numerous projects and agencies around the world, such as Harvard University’s and UCLA’s Civil Rights Projects, the National Academy of Education, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation. He serves on President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. His latest book is Inclusive education: Examining equity on five continents (Harvard Education Press, 2011, with Kozleski & Waitoller). Prof. Artiles is senior research advisor for refies Guatemalan country study.
Prof. Petra Engelbrecht
Senior Research Advisor - University of Canterbury
Prof. Engelbrecht’s research focuses on equity in education, the implementation of inclusive education and teacher education as well as research capacity in higher education. She has led and is still leading international research and knowledge exchange projects funded by various international agencies on equity and the implementation of inclusive education as well as teacher education in various countries including Malawi. She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and books and has for example edited four books on inclusive education in the southern African context. Her role in the refie project is that of senior advisor.
Apart from her academic activities, her life-long interest in human rights issues has also led her to memberships in important international organisations such as the UNESCO-UK Working group on Education for All, 2010 – 2011.
Prof. Engelbrecht is senior research advisor for refies Malawian country study.
Dr Ursula Maria Esser
Senior Expert - Education
Ursula Esser holds a PhD in linguistics, focusing on language policy and –psychology. She is experienced in the field of quality development and pedagogical diagnostics. Since 1998 she is involved in international cooperation, mainly in the field of educational planning and –reform. In 2008 she founded the Institute BEB, offering capacity building, monitoring and evaluation in the education sector. At the University of Wuppertal she is involved in evaluation and research activities within teacher training.
Senior Expert - Communication and Knowledge Management
Carolin Bothe-Tews holds a Diploma in Geography from the University of Heidelberg. She has almost 20 year of experience in communication and knowledge management in development cooperation. For GTZ/GIZ she worked on the communication and information aspect of various projects in field of agriculture and environment and was seconded to the FAO Headquarters as deputy project manager for INPhO, the ‘Information Network on Post-harvest Operations’. Currently Carolin Bothe-Tews is supporting a multidisciplinary project (www.espa-assets.org) at the University of Southampton, UK. For refie she is working as the communications and PR senior expert.
Marta Caballeros Ruiz
National Team Leader Guatemala
As a Community Social Psychologist, Mrs. Caballeros has worked in applied social research in her country Guatemala. Her experience has been mainly related to social development in educational, intercultural, and racism issues. She has coordinated international research projects carried out by international agencies and has been part of international research teams. Within her own country, she has also coordinated local research teams. She has been a professor at Universidad Rafael Landívar and was responsible for coordinating and institutionalizing an educational project for supporting campuses in different regions. She worked for the Vice-presidency where she was responsible for the creation of the first School of Government for public servants. She has been involved in her country as part of an international movement that strives to eradicate poverty around the world.
Héctor Alejandro Canto Mejía
Héctor Alejandro Canto Mejía was born in Cunén, El Quiché, Guatemala. He studied Elementary School at Escuela Oficial Urbana Mixta, and Secondary School at Instituto de Educación Básica por Cooperativa. Both schools are located in Cunén. In order to become a teacher, he moved to Chimaltenango where he studied at Escuela Normal Rural “Dr. Pedro Molina”. In 2009, he graduated from Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (USAC) as a Pedagogue and in 2012 he completed a Master Degree of Leadership and Management in Education from Universidad Del Valle de Guatemala, he is studying at USAC, to be a Lawyer. He has experience as an Elementary and Secondary School teacher. Since 2012, he is a teacher for Escuela de Formación de Profesores de Enseñanza Media (EFPEM) from USAC in Sacatepéquez, Guatemala. He has collaborated as a trainer of teachers for the Ministry of Education in Chimaltenango. He is fluent in K’iche’ and Spanish, and is improving his English skills.
Magaly Menéndez recieved her teacher training in 1993 from the Instituto Normal Central para Señoritas Belén in Guatemala. She continued her studies at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala and graduated in 2000 with a science teaching degree focusing on biology and chemistry. In 2009, she began course work on Education Quality in the Paulo Freire Institute at the Free University of Berlin, Germany. She finished her bachelors in Pedagogy and Educational Administration from Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala. In 2012, she earned a Master’s in Education of Leadership and Management from Universidad Del Valle de Guatemala. Her Master Degree´s thesis topic was on the special education needs of secondary students. She has teaching experience in primary and secondary schools. Since 2006, she has been working in an elementary teacher training program at the Instituto Normal Central para Señoritas Belén.
Since 2005, Cristina Perdomo has been working in Education, specifically in the field of assessment and research. She worked in the Directorate of Educational Assessment and Research (DIGECUCA) from the Ministry of Education and USAID/ Education Reform in the Classroom. She has been responsible for designing instruments, planning and coordinating field work, training personnel, analyzing data, and writing reports. She has an M. Phil. in Social and Behavioural Science: Psychology and Society from Tilburg University, Netherlands. Currently, she is studying an online Diploma Program in Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Educational Needs and Inclusive Education. Her interests are research, evaluation, and special education.
Gerson Misael Sontay Tzarax
Gerson Misael Sontay Tzarax was born in Totonicapán, Guatemala. He has a B.A. in Pedagogy and Human Rights from Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (USAC) and a Master Degree of Leadership and Management in Education from Universidad Del Valle de Guatemala. He worked as a Secondary School teacher (2002-2008) and as a principal (2005-2010) in both the urban and rural area. In 2012, he worked as a coach for the National System of School Accompaniment (SINAE). Given his experience in the aforementioned topic, he worked in USAID/Education Reform in the Classroom project as a Pedagogical Supervisor Specialist (2013-2014). Moreover, he was an ICT teacher in the Programa Académico de Desarrollo Profesional Docente (PADEP/D) in 2013. At present, he is the coordinator of PADEP/D in San Martin Zapotitlán, Retalhuleu.
Priscila Franco was born in Guatemala city. She studied Business Management at Universidad Mariano Gálvez de Guatemala and she will obtain a Bachelor degree. She worked during 10 years as Financial Manager (1997-2007) and 5 years as Assistant Manager at Ministry of Education of Guatemala (2008-2013).
Dr Grace Mwinimudzi Chiuye
National Team Leader Malawi
Dr Grace Chiuye compliments her extensive classroom experience at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels with research and evaluation in a wide range of fields. She has been the lead researcher in literacy, girls' education, early childhood education and assessment of learning outcomes. She has supported numerous international consultants to provide local contextual knowledge on the education landscape in Malawi. Her work has provided opportunities to network with government, local and international NGOs working within and without education areas in Malawi. She is the Program Officer for the Timawerenga! literacy project, the Country Education Monitor for the Girls' Education Challenge initiative in Malawi. Dr. Chiuye chairs the Board of Trustees of the Creative Centre for Community (CRECCOM) and an active member of the EGRA National Coordination Committee and the National Network on Girls' Education. She will serve as the National Team Leader for Malawi on the refie project
Dr Elizabeth Tikondwe Kamchedzera
Dr Elizabeth Tikondwe Kamchedzera is currently a Lecturer of Special Needs and Inclusive Education, Deputy Head of the Department of Educational Foundations and Assistant Teaching Practice Coordinator in the University of Malawi’s Faculty of Education, Chancellor College. She has also taught Sociology of Education in the same Faculty and Theory and Practice of Education at University of Malawi’s Kamuzu College of Nursing. As a researcher and consultant, she has sufficient technical expertise to carry out the assigned work with her colleagues. Elizabeth holds a PhD in Education in the area of Special Needs/Inclusive Education from the University of Warwick, England; a Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Education from University of Strathclyde, Scotland; a Master of Education (Special Needs Education) degree from University of Manchester, UK, and a Bachelor of Social Science Degree from the University of Malawi. As an academic who combines theory, research, practice and publication, Elizabeth has published papers on special needs and inclusive education, practice and experiences.
Lizzie W. Chiwaula
Lizzie W. Chiwaula is a research Fellow at the University of Malawi, Centre for Educational Research and Training based at Chancellor College. She holds a Master’s Degree in International studies obtained from the Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University, Japan in 2008 and a Bachelor’s degree in Education with credit from the University of Malawi, Chancellor College in 1999. She joined CERT in 2005 after working in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology as a secondary school teacher. As a research fellow she has been involved in a wide range of research and consultancy projects with different donor organizations such as, UNESCO/IIEP, UNICEF, FAWE, GIZ, JICA, VSO Malawi, Link Community Development, National Youth Council of Malawi, Plan Malawi, Civil Society Coalition for Quality Basic Education (CSQBE) and other institutions of higher learning such as Hiroshima University, University Sussex (UK), University of London (UK). Her work has mainly focused on basic education under the areas of pupil absenteeism, school attendance, Child Friendly schooling, Learner Centered Education (LCE), distance learning, assessment of student’s learning outcomes, evaluation of educational programs and policy issues. She also has special interest in inclusive education, teacher education and management, HIV/AIDS education, and among others.
Evance Charlie holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from the University of Malawi. He has 15 years experience in education, social, marketing and health related research. Since 2000 Evance has worked for ‘Centre for Education Research and Training’ (CERT - University of Malawi), ‘Centre for Social Research’ (CSR -University of Malawi), College of Medicine (COM - University of Malawi) and the University of Pennsylvania (UPENN), National Statistical Office, Epsilon and Omega Consultants, Concern Universal, Invest In Knowledge and J&F Consult. Before moving into education, social and health related research, he worked as sales executive for the specialised marketing division of COMSTAT. He has vast experience in both qualitative and quantitative data collection. Evance has been instrumental in the success of numerous research studies, notable ones being: Baseline Study and Termly Evaluations for Complementary Basic Education and Building Skills for Life, conducted by CERT; Strengthening Health Outcomes through Private Sector Initiative by Centre for Social Research; Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project by COM and UPENN.
Anderson Chikumbutso Moyo
Anderson Chikumbutso Moyo is a graduate of Political Science, Public Administration, Economics, Demography and Sociology from Chancellor College, University of Malawi. He has over five years of experience in social science, education and health research as well as programme evaluations. As of now he is working with Centre for Education and Training on research for inclusive education in Malawi where he is working as a research assistant. Anderson’s abilities have been demonstrated by working in poor environments, under hardships, during odd hours and under minimal supervision. Furthermore he has experience in National Human Development Report on inclusive growth 2014, HIV/AIDS studies, special needs early grade reading, youth reproductive health and health expenditure and utilization surveys as well as poverty and vulnerability studies. He is specialized in many qualitative and quantitative data analysis software including MAXQDA, NVIVO, EPPI-INFO, STATA, CSPRO and SPSS.
Christopher Chinkoka-Banda is qualified under Public Accountants Examination Council of Malawi. He holds a Diploma in Accounting and a Certificate in Financial Accounting which he obtained from Malawi College of Accountancy. He is the accountant for chancellor College CERT. Before joining Chancellor College, he worked with Bunda College as Senior Accounts Assistant (2003-2008) As from April 2008 to date is with Chancellor College as Accountant for CERT. Christopher has several certificates in accounting packages such as SAGE line 50, SAGE Acc pack ERP and Quantum payroll. He has worked successfully with various CERT Research Teams and this has contributed to the capacity of Chancellor College CERT to manage all project funds successfully. Selected projects include: National Early Childhood Development Monitoring and Evaluation frame work (National ECD M&E in 2011) sponsored by UNICEF. The Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) Stakeholders consultations (2012 and 2013) sponsored by USAID Malawi.