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Advisory Board

The Advisory Board acts as a sounding board for the Voice coordination and country teams. It provides advice on key components of Voice – including the methodology for the mid-term and final review and work with the various rightsholder groups – and it endorses the annual plans and budgets. In addition to these roles the inaugural meeting saw the Advisory Board adopt two new roles: an active contribution to the long-term financial sustainability of Voice as well as serving as Voice ambassadors to further Voice’s objectives regarding dissemination, awareness raising and credibility.

The Advisory Board meets twice a year to review progress of the previous year and endorse plans and budgets for the coming year. All minutes are available via this page.

The meeting minutes of the inaugural meeting of the Advisory Board held on 30 and 31 of August 2016 can be found here.

The meeting minutes of the extraordinary meeting of the Advisory Board held on 7th of February 2017 can be found here.

The meeting minutes of the third meeting of the Advisory Board held on 3rd of October 2017 can be found here.

The meeting minutes of the fourth meeting of the Advisory Board held on 19th of January 2018 can be found here.

The meeting minutes of the fifth meeting of the Advisory Board held on 15th of October 2018 in Bamako, Mali can be found here.  We have also created a photo story to share some impressions of a great week!

The meeting minutes of the sixth meeting of the Advisory Board held on 8th of February 2019 in The Hague, can be found here.

Advisory Board (Current members)

  • Caroline Kouassiaman

    Executive Director, Initiative Sankofa d’Afrique de l’Ouest (ISDAO) - West Africa

    Caroline is a queer, bilingual (English/French) African feminist of Ivorian and African-American heritage. She serves as the Executive Director of Initiative Sankofa d’Afrique de l’Ouest (ISDAO), a West African LGBTQI activist-led organisation working to build a more just and inclusive West Africa. Caroline’s work and activism have focused on bolstering and amplifying the work of women’s rights and LGBTQI-led activists, groups and organisations; supporting entrepreneurship skills development; managing research projects, and; expanding access to education. She has extensive experience in feminist and human rights centred grantmaking, including providing technical and strategic support in the development of ISDAO and as one of the founding advisors of the Queer African Youth Network (QAYN), the first queer women-led regional organisation in West Africa.  

    Caroline has lived in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Uganda. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree and a Master’s in International Relations from Syracuse University (USA). Caroline works for a world where LGBTQI persons – in their full and beautiful diversity – have the opportunity, autonomy and resources to live full, healthy and violence-free lives on their own terms. 

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  • Christine Kandie

    Founder and Director, Endorois Indigenous Women Empowerment Network - Kenya

    Christine is a mother, an accountant, a peace ambassador and an Indigenous, disabled woman leader in the Endorois Indigenous Community of Kenya. Over time, she has grown to be a strong human rights defender advocating for the rights of the Endorois community with a special focus on the rights of indigenous women and persons with disabilities both at a local, traditional, regional and international level. She is also a former Indigenous fellow of the year 2017 and most recently senior fellow cohorts deployed at the country office of Kenya from September to December 2020. The knowledge and skills learned in both fellowship programmes offered by OHCHR have given Christine a greater ability to stand for the rights of Indigenous women and persons with disabilities at the community and national level. 

    Christine is the founder and director of Endorois Indigenous Women Empowerment Network - EIWEN, a previous grantee of Voice. EIWEN advocated for land rights for Endorois women and was established in 2019.  

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  • Dumiso Gatsha

    Founder Success Capital Organisation - Botswana

    Dumi (they, them their) is proudly Pan African and unequivocally non-binary queer feminist working on eliminating the barriers between grassroots experiences and global policymaking. Dumi is the Founder of Success Capital Organisation; a youth, feminist-led, managed and serving organisation working on strengthening and safeguarding youth agency and autonomy in human rights and sustainable development whilst challenging power, privilege and patriarchy through intersectionality underpinning participatory research, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and advocacy.  

    A two-time masters graduate in Strategic Management and Human Rights & Democratisation in Africa, Chartered Global Management Accountant and PRINCE2 Practitioner with previous work in PwC, GIZ and Zurich Insurance and consulting for the V-Dem Institute, PMNCH, Sisonke Botswana, CIVICUS World Alliance, UNDP, Global Philanthropy Project, ILGA Africa and the Botswana Council of NGOs.  Dumi is the Vice-Chair of GenderDynamiX (RSA) and a standing International Member representative for Amnesty International among other voluntary advisory roles.

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  • Bart Romijn

    Executive Director of Partos, Netherlands / Chair Advisory Board Voice
    As from February 2014, Bart Romijn is Executive Director of Partos, the Dutch association for development cooperation, totalling 105 member organisations. Bart headed the association into its future scenario ‘Connecting for Innovation and Impact’. In a diverse range of organisations and initiatives, Bart is active on the subject of the Sustainable Development Goals, such as through his board membership of the Worldconnectors, the World’s Best News Campaign, and the soon to be established Steering Group of the Dutch SDG Charter. Between 2004 and 2014 Bart was Director at Warner Strategy & Fundraising BV, a private company providing organisational and revenue generating advice. Bart also founded and led (for fifteen years) AIDEnvironment, a social enterprise avant-la-lettre, active in the fields of development co-operation, biodiversity conservation and environment.

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  • Nidhi Goyal

    Founder and Director of Rising Flame - India.

    Nidhi Goyal is a disabled feminist activist from India working on disability rights and gender justice. She is committed to changing the lives of persons with disabilities, particularly women and girls. In the decade of her activism, Nidhi has worked with a range of national and global women’s rights, disability rights, and human rights organisations, including Point of View, Human Rights Watch, Sight Savers, and CREA. Her work on disability, gender, diversity and inclusion have made its way into many corporate offices and policy spaces. 

    She is the founder of Rising Flame, an innovative NGO dedicated to changing the lives and perceptions of women and girls with disabilities. In addition to being part of the Voice Advisory Board, Nidhi has been appointed to the UN Women Executive Director’s  Civil Society Advisory Group, has been invited to the multistakeholder steering committee of the Generation equality Forum, and has been globally elected to the Board of Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), where she is currently the President. In India, Nidhi has been invited to be a member of the core group on persons with disabilities and elderly persons by the National Human Rights Commission and also has been invited to the diversity and Inclusion task force by FICCI. 

    Nidhi is also India’s first female disabled stand-up comedian and uses humour to challenge prevailing notions about disability and gender. 

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Advisory Board (Previous members)

  • Ton Meijers

    Director Programme and Campaigns, Oxfam Novib, Netherlands

    Ton Meijers studied Irrigation and Soil and Water Conservation at Wageningen Agricultural University. From 1985 till 1989 he worked for the WUR as an irrigation engineer in northern Senegal, where he was involved in design and implementation of village irrigation schemes. From 1989 till 1991 he worked as a lecturer at the WUR Department of Irrigation and Soil and Water Conservation focusing at  organisation and use of village irrigation schemes and the involvement of users in the design process. From 1991 till 1994 Ton worked as an irrigation advisor for SNV Tanzania supporting the development, implementation, M&E of traditional irrigation improvement projects (organisation, gender, infrastructure, soil conservation) in 7 districts in Tanzania. Since 1994 he has been working at Oxfam Novib, in various capacities including a programme officer for West Africa, regional director for East and Southeast Asia. He was a member of Oxfam International’s Tsunami Fund Management Team and manager for the Oxfam Novib tsunami response in Southeast Asia. Ton was project leader for the development of ON's strategy and business plan 2011 - 2015 and the MFS subsidy request.  From July 2011 till July 2015 he was heading the Knowledge and Programme Management department. From July 2015 till September 2017 he managed the programme support and impact unit responsible for the knowledge hub governance and active citizenship, for country relation management, programme support, and impact measurement. In September 2017 he joined the Board of Directors as director programme and campaigns.

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  • Anke van Dam

    Strategic Policy Advisor, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands
    Anke has had an extensive career in the field of education, gender and development in several countries in Latin America. She also did research on popular education, intercultural and bilingual education and on empowerment programmes for women’s organisations. Since 2001 she has been working with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs in both The Hague as well as the Embassy in Bolivia. For the last two years she has worked as a Strategic Policy Advisor within the Department of Social Development focusing on inclusion within the overall new strategic framework Dialogue and Dissent of the Netherlands. Between 2008 and 2014 Anke was based at the Netherlands Embassy in Bolivia in a dual function: leading the Development Cooperation Department as well as the Education and Emancipation Expert. For the latter she worked closely with the Bolivian Ministry of Education and with local NGO’s working on gender, education and human rights Anke holds a Master’s degree in Educational Sciences from the University of Amsterdam.

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  • Edwin Huizing

    Director Hivos, Netherlands
    Mr. Edwin Huizing is a Dutch national leading the Humanistic Institute of Development Cooperation (Hivos) since 2013. Before assuming this post Edwin served as Director of the East and South Africa Sub regional Office of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA, 2010-2013), overseeing the implementation of UNFPA’s policy, programmes and finances as well as lead the UNFPA team in Eastern and Southern Africa to provide support to the Country Offices and their partners in advocacy, programming, technical and financial areas. Prior to joining UNFPA, Edwin served as Executive Director of the Dutch Council for Refugees, the largest Dutch Refugee-supporting NGO, from 2006 to 2010. During that period, he led and oversaw their change process integrating a more business oriented approach. He served as Country Representative of the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) in Mali from 1996-2001 as well as held several other posts with SNV in Mali, Niger and Botswana.

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  • Josephine Kulea

    Founder and President, Samburu Girls Foundation, Kenya
    A Samburu herself Josephine Kulea is the Founder and President of the Samburu Girls Foundation (SGF), a Kenyan NGO fighting against retrogressive practices in pastoralist communities. Josephine is a courageous youth activist and a nurse by profession addressing harmful cultural practices facing children in the pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya. As president of SGF, she rescues girls from female genital mutilation, child marriages and beading and takes all the rescued girls to boarding schools for education and safeguarding. She has a passion for what she does hence she has been able to venture into a field where not many people are bold enough to do. Her tremendous work has been recognised widely and has been awarded numerous awards including Unsung Hero 2011, Head of State Commendation 2012, Gender-Based Violence Champion 2013, UN Person of the Year 2013, Inspiring Woman 2014, Nominee for Transform Kenya awards 2014 and YALI Washington Fellow 2014, Vital Voices Lead Program 2015, African Union Youth Hero 2015 and was recently recognised by President Obama for her work during his recent visit to Kenya. She also received Honorary Doctorate Degree from DePaul University in Chicago. Her dream is to see children enjoying their full rights, and the eradication of the above harmful cultural practices through resource mobilisation to sensitise and educate the affected communities in Kenya and in Africa as a whole.

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