Winnie V. Mitullah is a Research Professor of Development Studies at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) and UNESCO UNITWIN Chair.
I hold a PhD in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of York, UK and my PhD thesis was on Urban Housing, with a major focus on policies relating to low income housing. Over the years, I have researched and consulted in the areas of governance, in particular in the area of provision and management of urban services and the role of stakeholders in development. My focus in these areas has included an examination of policies, and institutional dynamics in relation to local level development, including that of devolved governments, Micro and Small Enterprises [SMEs], public and Non Motorised Transport (NMT), gender, youth and media. I have worked in both the public and the nonprofit sector.
My research and teaching at the University of Nairobi began at the end of 1987, when I was employed as a Junior Research Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS). Overall, I have researched, taught, consulted and collaborated with a number of academic colleagues and institutions, Government Ministries, UN and other local and international agencies, notably: UNICEF, UN-HABITAT, UNDP, UNDESA, UNIFEM, UNEP, World Bank, EC, DFID, FIT, USAID, DANIDA and both national and international NGOs as reflected in my CV. The collaborations have included research, evaluations, project development, write-ups and facilitation of related processes. In the area of research, I have built a large research network and funding agencies across the globe, which is reflected in the research projects and funding I have been able to attract to the University of Nairobi. Most of these projects also provide for student scholarships and exchange programmes for academic staff.
Currently, I direct two major IDS research programmes, one, AFROBAROMETER Governance Surveys covering 36 African countries and another, African Centre for Public and Non Motorist Transport (ACET) covering three African countries, and collaborating with scholars from Kenya, the African and other regions.
Besides these projects, and other on-going small projects at the institute, at the UON management level, I have been a member of a number of committees, including UMB Committee on Intellectual Property/Creativity Awards, Committee on alignment of UON Policies to the Constitution of Kenya 2010, Senate Representative in the Board of Post Graduate Studies for two terms, Task Force on Structure of the Graduate School and College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) Restructuring Committee. In terms of engagement in development and policy work, I currently chair the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO Social and Human Science Programme Committee and member of the following initiatives: African Urban Research Initiative (AURI) hosted at the University of Cape Town, Global Urban Competitive Project (GUCP) hosted at Bucknell University, Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), a global foundation, Scientific Committee member of Urban Development Institute (UDMi), and a member of Women in Informal Employment Globalising and Organising [WIEGO] hosted at Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, USA.
I have coordinated various local and international task forces, committees and working groups, including being a member of the Kenya Government Task Force on Devolved Government that structured the County Governments by developing devolution policy and drafting of relevant legislations. Other positions previously held include: Vice Chairperson, Governing Council of the Kenya African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM); Commissioner, former Kenya National Commission on Gender and Development; Chair of the UN-HABITAT Advisory Board of the Global Research Network on Human Settlements (HS-Net); member of Board of the Foundation for International Training (FIT) based in Canada; member of Task Force on the Kenya Review and Harmonization of the Legal Framework on Education, Training and Research; member, Kenya Housing Policy Review; member, Appraisal of the Implementation of the HABITAT Agenda and Social Sustainability Promotion; and Vice Chair former Ministry of Labour and Human Resource Development Task Force on Micro and Small Enterprises.