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2020 Annual Report

Year in Review: Thought Leadership

Throughout the year, the Nuru team had numerous opportunities to advance our thought leadership across the sector. We are grateful for the various platforms we have been granted to not only share expertise in agriculture, security, and development, but continue advocating for the communities we serve.

Nuru team members Beth Atherton and Billy Williams joined with members of the ONE organization to advocate for policies that will expedite the end of extreme poverty. Making their voices heard on Capitol Hill, Beth and Billy met with US lawmakers to urge them to support a global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Nuru International Founder and Board Member Jake Harriman participated in Preventing Conflict: Global Hotspots 2020, a panel discussion hosted by World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana and Mercy Corps. The panel discussed the Global Fragility Act, where conflict prevention and peace building efforts will be critical in the next few years, and how US government and development agencies can reduce violence in fragile states.

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With the onset of COVID-19, many organizations around the world found themselves forced to work remotely, but with little time to prepare their teams for the transition. Having operated as a completely remote, distributed, work-from-home team since 2008, Nuru International partnered with Devex to help sector leaders adapt to remote work. Together, Nuru International team members Aerie Changala and Emily McLaughlin offered their top 5 tips for running a development organization remotely.

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Nuru Kenya and Nuru Social Enterprises presented virtually at OpEx Africa, Humentum Africa’s first online conference. In concert with Humentum’s mission to bring together international development organizations to share best practices, learn from one another, and collaborate on larger opportunities, team members Pauline Wambeti, Tom Kibet, and Fatuma Nyanjong shared an overview of programming efforts in rural livelihoods, financial inclusion, and preventative healthcare, focusing on the importance of pivoting when new challenges arise.

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After months of thoughtful planning, Nuru International announced a new chapter of leadership in September with the transition of founder Jake Harriman from his long-time role of CEO to a continued role on Nuru International’s Board of Directors. As the new CEO, Aerie Changala brings over a decade of work in international development, with several years of experience as Nuru’s Chief Program Officer. Aerie also brings a wealth of knowledge on topics related to violent extremism and African geopolitics, further positioning Nuru International as a thought leader at the nexus of security and development.

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Nuru International team member, Casey Harrison, was invited to discuss the collaborative work of the Agribusiness Market Ecosystem Alliance (AMEA) at the World Bank Group Digital Disruption in Agriculture Virtual Forum. During the event, he shared both Nuru’s leadership of the AMEA Agtech working group and the ways Nuru is discovering and deploying disruptive and appropriate digital technologies to accelerate and strengthen farmer cooperatives.

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Nuru Nigeria Executive Director Amy Gaman was awarded the Award of Excellence in Leadership and Humanitarian Services for her leadership in the field of development and dedication to mentoring and investing in Nigeria’s youth. This honor was bestowed by the Nigerian Achievers Awards from Glo May Specialities, which recognizes those who have both attained great accomplishments in Nigeria and inspired others to do the same.

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Pauline Wambeti, Nuru Kenya Executive Director, and Nuru Kenya were highlighted in the book What Transformation Takes: Evidence of Responsible INGO Transitions to Locally Led Development Around the World. The exit of Nuru International from Nuru Kenya is one of nineteen featured case studies in this book, marking the conclusion of the three-year USAID-funded collaborative learning project Stopping as Success: Transitioning to Locally Led Development.

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