Prof. Nicholas Awortwi has been the Director of the Institute since 3rd June 2019. He holds a PhD Cum Laude (with Distinction) in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University in the Netherlands. He is a professional development planner and an expert in local governance with 20 years of experience in research, teaching and advisory services on decentralization and local governance, public policy and development management, social protection and inclusive development.
Prior to this appointment, Prof. Awortwi was the Director of the African Governance Institute based in The Hague, Netherlands and also works for The International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University; The Hague Academy for Local Governance; The Dutch platform for Inclusive Development at the African Studies Centre of Leiden University; and a visiting lecturer at F.H.R Lim A Po School of Public Administration & Governance in Suriname.
From 2012 to 2016, Prof. Awortwi was the Director of Research at the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) in Nairobi, Kenya. He has led international studies on decentralization, public services provision, empowerment and accountability, urban governance, inclusive growth and employment creation in many African countries including Botswana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, Mozambique, Benin, and Uganda.
From 2004 to 2012, he was a Senior Lecturer in Development Management at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University, The Netherlands; and a visiting Lecturer at Urban Management Centre, Hanoi Architectural University, Vietnam. He has supervised over 60 Masters degree theses of students from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe and as external examiner for PhD candidates at Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex; University of Manchester, and University of Tilburg.
During the period as a Senior lecturer at the ISS, Prof. Awortwi was also the Director of three Dutch Government capacity building projects on higher education on ‘Good Governance and Public Administration’ in Mozambique; ‘Community Mobilisation for Socio-Economic Development’ and ‘Mainstreaming Social Development into Justice, Law and Order Sector’ both in Uganda. In all these programmes he revised and developed new certificates, Bachelor and Masters degree programmes in governance and public policy and management. Working with researchers and policy practitioners, Prof. Awortwi has conceptualized, built and implemented a community of practice involving researchers and policy actors working together to ensure that appropriate and negotiated policy actions and uptake occur either through programmes, legislation, policies or administrative and other forms of civic actions in Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria.
Prof. Awortwi has been one of the leading authors of decentralization and local governance, public-private partnerships, and social protection issues in Africa and provided expert analysis and advice to international organizations working in Africa such as the UNDP, UNCDF, World Bank, Commonwealth Secretariat, and Netherlands Development Cooperation. He has more than 40 peer-review publications in internationally refereed journals and books. His latest books “Non-State Social Protection in Africa. Governance below the State” and “Politics and Public Policy & Social Protection in Africa were published in 2018 by Routledge in London & New York. He is married with three children.