Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 København K, 25.0.02
I am a scholar-practitioner in peacebuilding and human rights with 20 years of practical experience from conflict affected contexts in Africa and Asia. With a foot in practice and a foot in research, and with experience of engaging with high-level policy-makers, grass-root NGOs, politicians, as well as bureaucrats, I aim to create linkages where they do not exist and develop ideas and processes that can strengthen collaboration on peacebuilding and human rights at the global level.
Experience in research: In 1998 I was offered a PhD at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Boston) and in 2001 at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DUPI; Copenhagen), and I pursued a total of two years of PhD studies with these two institutions. In 2014, Ole Wæver and I were successful in developing and obtaining funds from the Carlsberg Foundation for a research project on human rights and peacebuilding. The project, which was launched in 2015, includes three PhDs, three post-doc fellowships, several senior researchers, four international seminars with scholar-practitioners, three book publications, and a Special Issue for the Journal of Human Rights Practice on Human Rights and Peacebuilding. I play a key role in leading and implementing these activities. Within this research project I pursue my own PhD on the topic: “The struggle over power and dignity in every-day practices of inter-state engagement - What can the practices and mode of engagement of Nepali state representatives and donors/diplomats within human rights and peacebuilding mechanisms tell us about the struggle for power and dignity in conflict affected contexts and its implications?
Experience as a visionary entrepreneur: In all my endeavours in the areas of peacebuilding and human rights, I try to identify how I can contribute something important and different from what others are doing. I thrive in developing new ambitious ideas, projects and organisations together with people with innovative approaches and visionary outlook, and with a common agenda to make a difference in this world. In 2001 I established MIRO Global Consult which I led for 8 years, in 2009 I established a new Education Unit (later department) in the Danish Institute for Human Rights, in 2015 I developed and established (with Professor Ole Wæver) a 4 year ambitious research project on human rights and peacebuilding, and in 2016 I founded the Conducive Space for Peace Association.
Experience in leadership and management: As part of the management group of DIHR, I was a driving force in organisational, strategic, and programmatic development as well as strategic and diversified fund-raising. In my senior advisory roles I have always taken lead in facilitating decision-making processes and have carried leadership responsibility, including when serving as donor chair for different basket funds and government collaborations on behalf of the Embassy of Denmark and like-mined donors in Nepal. My style of leadership is strategic and visionary and upholds a complementarity between attention to process/ inclusion and a strong drive toward institutional results.
Experience in communication, advocacy and media: As head of the communication and education department (DIHR), I led the development of a new communication strategy including new types of political advocacy, innovative and inter-active communication channels to youth, etc. I am comfortable engaging in political advocacy in Denmark and beyond which I have done since 2001 through meetings with foreign and development ministers, discussions with parliamentarians (also those most sceptical to development cooperation and human rights), and lately in relation to the Taksøe process to develop a new Danish foreign policy.
Experience in fund-raising: During the past 25 years, I have mobilised support and funds for large projects with significant impact (for example EU funds for LGBT rights education in schools, ‘Tips og Lotto’ funds for campaign on ‘medborgerskab’ (citizenship, participation, rights) through student newspapers, UNDP funds for large study on informal justice systems, Danida Fellowship Centre funds for courses on HRBA, access to justice, and conflict transformation, funds from Ministry of Integration for developing education materials on ‘medborgerskab’, etc.). Within the last two years I have played a key role in mobilizing funds for two large programmes: A DIHR programme in Nepal (app. DKK 9 mill from Embassy of DK in Nepal) and a research project at University of Copenhagen and DIHR (app. DKK 10 mill from Carlsberg Foundation).
Experience in networking: Through my various positions, I have developed an extensive network among key decision-makers both in Denmark and abroad. My close contacts extend from the top of the UN bureaucracy (Assistant Secretary General) to the human rights and development practitioners in Mugu District in Nepal and Juba districts of South Sudan. In Nepal I insisted on knowing the conditions in the most remote areas of the country in order to be able to deliver sound advice and decision-making at policy level, sometimes requiring me to fly for two days and walk across the mountains for another three days. This gave me high legitimacy with my key partners in the Prime Minister’s Office and among civil society leaders, which was conducive to the collaboration and the results created.
Experience in strategy and programme development: Since early 2000s I have lead and facilitated programme development processes, first as a consultant then as manager of an implementing organisation and later as donor representative. My programme development experience includes support to FRESTA-Peace and Stabilisation Fund partner organisations in Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia (2003 to 2004), development of the peacebuilding component of Danida’s Good Governance Programme in Uganda 2006-2010 (2005), development of guidelines for MS Country programme strategies (2007), development of the human rights education programme at the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR)(2009 and 2011), support to Danida partners in Nepal in developing new programmes (2012-14), and development of Nepal programme of DIHR (2014 to 2016). Experience in strategy development include DIHR organisational strategy development (three rounds of strategy development between 2008 and 2015), DIHR education strategy development, DIHR communication strategy development, and broader strategy development efforts among development partners in Nepal in relation to human rights and peace support.
Experience in reviews and evaluations: Evaluation consultancies include evaluation of the Danish assistance to Kosovo (2003-4), review of Finnida human rights programme in Kosovo (2004), review of Danida Good Governance Programme in Uganda (2005), DFC impact assessment of 10 years of conflict transformation courses (2015-16), and quality advise on evaluation of UN Peace Fund Nepal (2016). In addition, I have functioned as the counter-part of the Embassy of Denmark in Nepal in relation to external reviews and evaluations of peace support to Nepal (including Joint Evaluation of the International Support to the Peace Process of Nepal 2006-12 and External Review of Nepal Peace Trust Fund 2013), and have participated in reviews of Danida partner NGOs, both Nepali and international, in remote areas of Nepal as well as in their headquarters.
Experience in training and broader capacity development efforts: During the past 18 years, I have developed and conducted a large number of trainings and training-of-trainers on conflict analysis, conflict transformation, negotiation, and human rights. The participants have been diplomats, local staff in partner organisations of Danida and other development agencies, Danish development and humanitarian organisations, etc. In addition, I have facilitated larger sharing and capacity development seminars for the World Bank and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As part of my engagement in Nepal, I developed a ConfIict Transformation Mainstreaming tool to be implemented by all programmes funded through the Embassy of Denmark in Nepal and I supported the capacity development of partners in its implementation. Also, I am teaching a Master’s course at the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, on Peacebuilding and Human Rights, and have conducted a number of research seminars with scholar-practitioners within the area of human rights and peacebuilding.