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About Us

The project was created and is being led by Dr Romina Istratii, who is a decolonial researcher and practitioner with over a decade’s experience in developing people-centred, religio-culturally sensitive gender and development interventions.

Dr Istratii is responsible for directing the research, sensitisation and knowledge-exchange activities and for fostering productive and trust-based relationships with partners, collaborators and stakeholder communities. Dr Istratii is supported in the management of this ambitious project by Dr Natalia Paszkiewicz, who acts as part-time project manager. 

The immediate team also includes a project manager in Ethiopia, Mr Benjamin Kalkum, and acommunity-based researcher in the UK, Ms Aysha Ahmed.

Previous staff include Ms Estela Papagianni and Ms Haben Abraha Hill, who acted as project managers, and Dr Linda Mshweshwe, who acted as postdoctoral researcher. 

Aksum University, Aksum, Ethiopia (terminated due to force majeure)

St Frumentius Abba Selama Kessate Berhan Theological College, Mekelle, Ethiopia (terminated due to force majeure)

Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Diversity Resource International (DRI), Brighton, UK

Ethiopian Orthodox Church Development and Inter-Church Aid Commission (EOC-DICAC), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

EMIRTA Research, Training and Development Centre (እምርታ), Ethiopia

Universities of Bristol and Sheffield, UK
The UK-based components of the project are supported by two co-investigators: 

Professor Parveen Ali, Division of Nursing and Midwifery, Health Sciences School, The University of Sheffield, UK

Professor Gene Feder, Centre for Academic Primary Care, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, UK

The project is also supported by internal and external mentors, whose role is to mediate training, and support the PI with professional development. They are:

Dr Erminia Colucci, associate professor in visual and cultural psychology, Middlesex University, London, UK

Dr Lisa Fontes, senior lecturer in interdisciplinary studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA

Professor Lindiwe Dovey, professor of film and screen studies, SOAS University of London, UK

The project has additionally been supported at different times by independent specialists, who include theologians, translators, psychology trainers and  project assistants in specialised capacities. 

Mr Elias Gebrselassie, theology graduate of Holy Trinity Theological College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;  MTh student at Agora University, US (virtual)

Ms Selamawit Reta, theology graduate of Holy Trinity Theological College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; MTh student at Agora University, US (virtual)

Ms Liya Desta, MA student, Food Security Centre, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Mr Yheys Yohanns, theology graduate of St Frumentius Abba Selama Kessate Berhan Theological College, Mekelle, Ethiopia

Mr Henok Hailu Ayele, deacon and psychology counsellor, College of Health Sciences, Department of Psychiatry (Black lion Hospital), Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ms Beza Birhanu, LLB graduate of Unity University; Attorney and consultant in law, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Dr Haile Gezae, Instructor of Tigrigna at Addis Ababa University,  Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Mr Fresenbet G.Y Adhanom, Bsc in Computer Engineering, Data Analyst; MTh Student at Agora University, US (Virtual)

Ms Yeshihareg Abebe, Political Science and International Relations graduate of Addis Ababa University; Journalist and Researcher, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ms Etsegenet Hailemekeal, BA in Organizational Leadership, Minor in Business Administration & Certificate in Communication at the University of Cincinnati (USA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Mr David Pottrell at Peak Design Agency in the UK for developing the current website (contact at:

Mr Daniel Desta Hluf at DDN Advertising in Ethiopia for developing the visual identity of the project (contact at:

Ms Rachel Duncan at Duncan Proofreading in the UK for supporting the proofreading of online project publications (contact at:

Mr Yared Tadesse in  Ethiopia for developing artwork used in research and awareness-raising (contact at:

An Advisory Board that meets biannually advises the PI and the immediate team with strategic direction, as well as monitoring the project to ensure that it achieves maximum impact according to the definitions and needs of each study context and stakeholder group. The board members come from diverse sectors and specialisations, career levels, nationalities and faith traditions. New members are invited as the project expands in the project countries. A list of current members is provided below:

Professor Nancy Nason-Clark
Professor Emerita, Department of Sociology, University of New Brunswick; principal investigator of the RAVE Programme, Canada

Ms Mandy Marshall
Director for Gender Justice, Anglican Communion Office; co-founder and previous co-director of the charity Restored, London, UK

Ms Huda Jawad
Faith and Community programme manager, Standing Together; co-chair of End Violence Against Women Coalition, London, UK

Ms Safa Ali
Counselling psychologist in professional training, School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester, UK

Mr Mahmood Ashal
PhD candidate, religious studies, Lancaster University, UK

Dr Yaa Asare
Director, Diversity Resource International (DRI), Brighton, UK

Ms Feven Araya
Programme coordinator, Non-State Actors Coalition (NSAC), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Mr Nahom Kiros
Teaching and research assistant, Orotta College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Community Medicine, Asmara, Eritrea

Dr Kristin Aune
Senior research fellow within the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University and leads the Faith and Peaceful Relations Research Group, Coventry, UK

Mr Frezer Benti
Executive Committee member of EOTC Association of Theology Graduates; MA Student of Philosophy at Addis Ababa University,  Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Mr Hulluf Weldesilassie Kahsay
Senior Programme Manager at Peace and Development Center (PDC); former Deputy Secretary General of the Inter-religious Council of Ethiopia (IRCE), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ms Wossen Kifle
Programme Development and Partnerships Manager at FORWARD, UK