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IDinsight announces new directors in East and Southern Africa

23 December 2021

Leonard Oruko and Linda Zuze join IDinsight in Nairobi and Lusaka, respectively, to bring data and evidence to leaders in the region.

Left: Linda Zuze, Director, Lusaka, Zambia. Right: Leonard Oruko, Director, Nairobi, Kenya.

December 23, 2021 — IDinsight announces the appointment of two new Directors who will join the East and Southern Africa team this month. Leonard Oruko will be based in Nairobi, Kenya; and Linda Zuze in Lusaka, Zambia. At the top of their fields, the new Directors will bring their deep social sector experience and expertise to support leaders in the region. 

Leornard Oruko is an applied economist with over 25 years of experience in development research and policy analysis. He has a PhD in Agricultural and Food Economics from the University of Reading. Prior to IDinsight, he was a Programme Director and Research Coordinator at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); a project lead on a regional initiative to promote farming in tse-tse fly infested areas at the International Livestock Research Institute, and a Research Advisor for the Department for International Development (DFID) in Uganda.

Leonard is a seasoned research professional who has contributed significantly to the agricultural policies across the region. He has authored numerous academic publications and policy documents. From 2015 to 2018, Leonard led an initiative on the use of DNA fingerprinting and respondent recall data in adoption studies. He brings a passion and deep understanding of agricultural policy from his work with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) and Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI).

“I have seen first hand how quality research and timely, contextual evidence impacts decision making and changes lives. I look forward to working with teammates at IDinsight –  supporting and contributing to life-changing policies and investment choices for the agri-food sector in the region.”

– Leonard Oruko

Linda Zuze is an economist with over 15 years of experience in policy research. She has a PhD in Economics from the University of Cape Town and her PhD was the joint winner of the 2009 Founder’s Medal for the best economics PhD in South Africa. Linda has worked and published extensively on topics that address inequalities in education, the labour market, and access to financial services.

Prior to IDinsight, Linda was a resident researcher for UNESCO, a university academic, a chief research specialist at the South African Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), an independent consultant and a research expert for Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ). In addition, Linda established a research consultancy, Chimango Research. Her work focused on strengthening links between research, policy, and practice to increase developmental impact. Linda has designed programmes to reverse the acute shortage of female researchers in Africa and also mentors emerging researchers. Linda has authored and co-authored dozens of peer-reviewed journal publications, policy briefs, and book chapters.

“Poverty levels remain unacceptably high in many countries, but the right policy choices can make a big difference. I’m excited to join the dynamic IDinsight team because each piece of evidence that we produce helps a decision-maker to choose well.”– Linda Zuze

“I am really excited to welcome Linda and Leonard to IDinsight. They each bring a wealth of experience, expertise, and networks in their fields, and are well-respected leaders in sectors that are a priority for us at IDinsight. I look forward to seeing the impact we’ll achieve together as we support evidence-based decision-making in the region.”

– Frida Njogu-Ndongwe, East and Southern Africa Regional Director