Degan Ali 

Adeso (Kenya)

Degan Ali is the Executive Director of Adeso. She leads the organization’s development and humanitarian efforts to prevent, manage and overcome situations that adversely affect community wellbeing by developing skills for life and work; reinvigorating the economy; providing humanitarian aid; and influencing policy. She designed and oversaw the delivery of the first large-scale cash aid distribution program in Africa implemented by an NGO rather than a government agency. Under Degan’s leadership, Adeso has since pioneered and championed market based and dignified solutions to aid that have resulted in cash transfers becoming a standard aid response.

Degan is a regular contributor to the global dialogue on humanitarian action. Determined to speak her mind where lives are at stake, she has shared her informed views on issues as central to effective humanitarian and development responses as food and nutrition security information, famine, cash programing, and the importance of supporting private sector driven remittances. Degan has also been a Contributing Writer to articles for the Overseas Development Institute/Humanitarian Policy Group and the Global Food Security Journal.

Since 2014, Degan has been acting as a leading advocate for the empowerment of Southern NGOs; calling for a global network of NGOs ‘run by the south, for the south’, where the voices of local, national and regional southern actors can be heard.

In 2016 she was nominated for the Rockefeller Foundation Global Fellowship Program on Social Innovation. The program brings together diverse global leaders who come up with transformative solutions to problems that result in more resilient systems, communities, and people. 

Follow her on Twitter @DeganAli