Elizabeth (Eliza) Ngutuku holds a PhD in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS-EUR). Her PhD research explores children’s complex lived experience of poverty and vulnerability in Kenya, and she holds a Master of Arts degree specialising in Women, Gender, Development also from ISS-EUR. Elizabeth has over 20 years of experience, working on children and youth issues in the eastern Africa region, and her primary focus is on child poverty & vulnerability, social protection, youth activism, sexual and reproductive health & rights, and young people’s experience in conflict situations.
Her practice involves inter-disciplinary research on voice and lived experience at the complex interstices of representations in policies and practice. Her work investigates children and young people’s lived experience within the context of poverty and vulnerability, conflict, activism and citizenship claims- making as well as contestations on their sexual and reproductive health & rights. Elizabeth explores this voice and lived experience not as intersectional, but as an assemblage, complexly entangled with diverse structural processes, various processes of intervention and children and young people’s emergent agency.
As a scholar-activist, Elizabeth has been part of a movement that advocates for decolonising knowledge and leveraging local knowledge in development issues in Africa.
While a doctoral researcher, she was a fellow in the four-year capacity-strengthening project on sexual and reproductive health & rights in Uganda, a Dutch funded project led by ISS-EUR, 2016-2020. She was also a graduate teaching assistant in the ISS-EUR M.A course, Qualitative Interviewing in ISS-EUR. In 2020, she was part of the core faculty in the post graduate diploma course in Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights led by ISS-EUR and Makerere School University School of Public Health targeting African practioners and researchers. Elizabeth is also an associate in the Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights in the Makerere University School of Public Health in Kampala and its satellite centre in Lira University, Northern Uganda.
Elizabeth is a co-founder and previously the Executive Director of Nascent Research and Development Organisation, an institution working in eastern Africa which engages dominant knowledge in development processes. She is also a research mentorship advisor in Eider Africa; an organisation whose aim is to develop research leaders in Africa through mentorship.