© 2019 Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed

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ABOUT

I am a researcher and writer

with extensive experience in women's rights and gender equality (research, analysis, design and implementation) across organisations and within large-scale development projects. My expertise has been developed through a range of consultancy assignments, management roles, and technical research pieces. 

I am currently a Gender & Development Manager (Research) at the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti. I was a Senior Technical Advisor on Women's Rights at ActionAid UK and a 2018 Africa Fellow in the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank Group. I previously worked at Social Development Direct (SDDirect) as a Technical Specialist on Women's Economic Empowerment. Prior to that, I was a Research Fellow in the Cities Cluster at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex. Before that, a Research Officer in the Gender and Sexualities Cluster (also at IDS).

A human geographer by training with qualitative and participatory research skills, in the last ten years, I have delivered assignments across a diverse scope of thematic areas: women's economic rights and women’s economic empowerment, the care economy (paid and unpaid), urban development and infrastructure, social protection, food security and nutrition, as well as sexual and gender-based violence, engaging with men and boys and youth empowerment.

 

I have provided research and consulting services for a range of donors, NGOs, international and national partner organisations, civil society organisations, Foundations, private sector companies, bilaterals and multilaterals. These  include ActionAid International, Commonwealth Secretariat, the Cities Alliance, DFID, FAO, Hewlett Foundation, IDRC, IIED, OECD, Plan UK, Shell Foundation, SIDA and the UN.

I have also designed and delivered seminars and lectures for undergraduate and postgraduate students, and designed and facilitated capacity building and training workshops. This includes training on gender sensitive indicators for the Commonwealth Secretariat, gender mainstreaming for UNOPS and research methodology workshops for researchers and practitioners in India, Lesotho, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria and Zambia. 

I have a BSc in Human and Physical Geography from the University of Reading, an MSc in Urbanisation and Development and a PhD in Human Geography and Urban Studies - both from the London School of Economics. My PhD, which was awarded a one-year Leverhulme Trust Award to conduct my fieldwork - explored the lives of male and female domestic workers in Lagos, Nigeria.


Beyond my work on women's rights, gender and international development, I run a literary blog, bookshy - to document African literature on the continent and the Diaspora and ABC - a website dedicated to African Book Covers. I was also one-third of Not Another Book Podcast. As the Founder and Editor of bookshy, I have written in numerous print and online publications, including African Arguments, Brittle Paper and New African Magazine. I have also been invited to moderate and chair talks with African writers at a number of international events including Africa Writes in London, England, Ake Arts & Books Festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria, and Writivism Festival in Kampala, Uganda.