I seek to work alongside people and communities to create and use knowledge for social justice.

I am committed to solidarity-based approaches, participatory and collaborative methodologies, and the generation and application of knowledge from Global South perspectives. My academic, research, and professional work are guided by values of social justice, equity, and human rights, including the rights of children.

Over the course of my career, I have been developing and managing strategy, programming, research, and evaluation in the areas of child rights, early childhood development, education, and the effectiveness of grassroots civil society. I have been fortunate to have had opportunities to work in multiple Global South and Global North contexts, including Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, and Canada.

As the Director of Programs & Learning at Firelight Foundation, I provide leadership for the strategic and impactful design, delivery and management, and learning and evaluation of Firelight’s initiatives, activities, and portfolio of grants in eastern and southern Africa. I provide thought and practice leadership at the Foundation in our efforts to embrace a solidarity approach to partnership with communities, shift power and strengthen the agency and capacities of community-based grantee-partners, and catalyze community-driven systems change. 

Please feel free to get in touch with me around shared research interests, discussions, professional opportunities, and more.

Sadaf Shallwani