Our staff



Jarso Mokku, Chief Executive Officer

Jarso has over 20 years of experience of senior programme management in the region, in various organisations including the Agha Khan Foundation, Action Aid, and the Pastoral Communication Initiative.  A respected elder from the drylands and with extensive experience of governance, voice, education and food security programming, Jarso has a wide range of skills in drylands development and advocacy.  He has a Master of Arts Degree in Development Studies and now taking a distance learning course for his PhD on Programme Management. Jarso was recently elected the Chair of the ASAL Stakeholder Forum and is the Acting Coordinator for the Pastoralist Parliamentary Group Secretariat.

Vanessa Tilstone, Monitoring, Learning and Communications Manager

Vanessa has over 25 years of development experience, with international NGOs, governments and the UN including 10 years working on drylands issues in the Horn Africa. She has particular expertise in knowledge management, monitoring and evaluation, strategy development, facilitating multi-stakeholder learning processes, communication, advocacy and influencing and networking.  She was Country Director with Help Age International in Ethiopia, Program Director with Mercy Corps in the Republic of Georgia and has been a Monitoring, Learning and Communication advisor with CARE, REGLAP and DLCI.  She has Masters Degrees in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics and International Relations, Political Economy and Conflict from the University of Reading and her first degree was in Statistics with Economics from the University of St Andrews.

 Dorina Prech, Communications Officer

Dorina has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, with a concentration in Diplomacy and Peace and Conflict Studies from the United States International University, Africa in Nairobi. She previously worked as the Communication Assistant for REGLAP and is the Communication Officer for DLCI.  She has overseen DLCI’s website and knowledge management databases and supported the production of DLCI communication materials including the annual journal and briefs.  She has an extensive knowledge of dryland development and the key actors in the region and a keen interest in peace-building, gender and community voice.  She was selected as a trainee at Mediators Beyond Borders International’s Peace Institute of young women in peacebuilding in Istanbul, Turkey and Belfast, UK.


DLCI employs communication and administration interns from dryland areas for capacity building support. People with interest in pastoral livelihoods, policy, applied research, administration, gender and diversity and looking to develop a career in development are particularly encouraged to apply. The applicants must at least have a first degree in a relevant subject. The intern must be confident, have a good command of English both written and oral, and knowledge of and passion for ASAL issues. The internships last for 6 months with no extension and attract a small stipend. Interested applications are encouraged to submit their CV and cover letter to info@dlci-hoa.org



Safia Abdi, Chair

Safia Abdi was born to a nomadic pastoralist family in the arid northern part of Kenya. She holds Master of Arts degree in rural sociology and community development from the University of Nairobi. Safia currently works with Transition Authority, a public body charged with the responsibility of facilitating and coordinating transition from centralized to devolved system of government in Kenya. Safia also worked in development and humanitarian assistance with a range of international not-for-profit Organizations for over 10 years, mainly targeting marginalized groups and minorities through provision of strategic financing and organizational development. Safia has extensive experience in areas of governance, decentralization, drought cycle management, disaster risk management, resilience, climate change adaptation, conflict management and gender. She has represented the Transition Authority and Civil Society Organizations at a range of national and international fora and presented papers on the above mentioned sectors and issues.

Monica Naggaga–Kizito, Vice Chair

Monica Naggaga has 15 years of experiences in good governance programming, organizational management, campaigning and communication, policy analysis, fundraising and grants or contract management, drought management and emergency response. She worked for 12 years with Oxfam GB in different capacities in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the United Kingdom, including as the Programme Coordinator for the Regional Learning and Advocacy Programme – REGLAP, DLCI’s predecessor. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom.

Omeno Suji, Secretary

Omeno Suji holds a Master‘s of Arts degree in Development Communication and undergraduate degree in Education and Business Administration. He has undertaken research and used participatory approaches in different development contexts in various countries in Africa including Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya, Niger and Zimbabwe. He is the Director of Beryl Consultants and specializes in facilitation skills, monitoring, documenting and disseminating learning from community programmes targeting governance, food security and resilience to drought and climate change. He is a published expert in Participatory Impact Assessment (PIA) and other participatory methodologies.

Carol Nyagah, Treasurer

Carol previously worked as the Finance and Administration Manager of DLCI and Associate Director – Grants, Finance and Fundraising in Farm Concern International. She has an MBA degree in Financial Management from Africa Nazarene University. She also has over 16 years of experience in financial management with donor projects as well as in developing, monitoring and reporting on budgets.

Achiba Gargule, member

Achiba has over 10 years’ experience in the program development and capacity building.  He is currently doing a Phd at Berne University in the dynamics of pastoral development and has a Masters in International Political Economy from the University of Newcastle, and a BA in Land Economics.  He previously worked as a Food Security and Resilience Specialist with the Australian Agency for International Development and with REGLAP as a Policy and Advocacy Advisor as well as with a range of government and non-governmental organizations.

Michael Ochieng Odhiambo, member

Michael was a founding member of DLCI and has over 20 years’ experience and expertise in policy research and analysis especially in natural resource management, with particular focus on land, common property, pastoralism, and environment. He also undertakes evaluation of projects related to these core areas. He has conducted land, natural resource, pastoralism, conflict and policy related assignments including training, consultancies, programme and project evaluations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan. He has done these assignments for the African Union, FAO, UNDP, the World Bank, Oxfam, Norwegian Peoples Aid, Norwegian Relief Council, IWGIA, Cordaid, the European Union, DFID, USAID, LWF and a host of national and regional NGOs in Eastern Africa.