The Karamoja Resilience Support Unit (KRSU) aims to increase resilience and economic development in the Karamoja Region of northeast Uganda. Its focus is on translating evidence into practice and fostering collaborative learning to strengthen policy environments and program impacts. KRSU activities investigate emerging trends, good practices, and promising strategies. We also identify gaps, challenges, and opportunities to improve pastoralist systems and livelihoods.
The KRSU is implemented by Tufts University’s Feinstein International Center, at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and the project is funded by USAID/Uganda and Irish Aid. The KRSU has offices in Kampala and Moroto, Uganda.
The KRSU framework emphasizes the exchange and uptake of evidence-based knowledge. It is meant to catalyze collaboration, mutual learning, and adaptation in order to tap into proven resilience-building strategies and technologies.
Mesfin Ayele has been a senior program manager with over 20 years experience in Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda, and previously worked for ACDI VOCA, Mercy Corps, FARM Africa, Save the Children, ACTIONAID, and CHF Partners. He has specific technical expertise in the design and management of food security, agriculture and pastoral development, market systems strengthening, disaster risk reduction, and institutional support programs with sound understanding of regulations and procedures, across a broad range of donors including USAID, DFID, EU, CIDA, Irish Aid, and the UN. Mesfin has good experience working with networks and joint forums to advocate for change and achieve results at scale. Mesfin holds an MA in Development Studies from Addis Ababa University, an MBA+ certificate on Entrepreneurial Leaders Program (ELP) from Portland State University, and a BSc degree in Animal Sciences from Alemaya University of Agriculture, Ethiopia.
Dr. Lotira provides technical support to coordination and evidence-based learning efforts of USAID implementing partners, implementing partners of other donors under the Karamoja Development Partners Group (KDPG) and to coordination efforts and policies implemented by the Office of the Prime Minister (Government of Uganda) in Karamoja. Raphael also provides operational and analytical support to reviews, studies and evaluations undertaken by KRSU.
Dr. Lotira has 18 years of experience in the design, technical, policy and management support to government and donor funded development and humanitarian livestock programs in the pastoral areas of East Africa and the Horn of Africa and has previously worked for GIZ-IS, Land O’Lakes, Farm Africa, VSF-Belgium and the Catholic Diocese of Torit. He has published various reviews, studies and evaluations on animal health, livestock marketing and pastoral livelihoods and resilience with a bias on the use of participatory methodologies.
Dr. Lotira holds an MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics and a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine, both from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. He also holds a PhD in the Social Ecology and Economics of Pastoral Livelihood Systems with special focus on pastoral collective livestock marketing, also from the University of Nairobi.
Gerald Atuhaire provides oversite and direction on financial and operational aspects of KRSU. He works to ensure compliance to donor regulations, Ugandan laws, and Tufts University policies and procedures. He has over eight years of experience in finance and operations management of large US donor funded programs including USAID and CDC. He has worked with organizations like Baylor College of Medicine implementing Health Systems Strengthening Project in Eastern and West Nile parts of Uganda funded by CDC, USAID/URC/RHITES EC Project. He has an audit background having worked for Johnson and Johnson Certified by accountants which helps him to incorporate risk-based approaches in his daily work. Gerald is a certified Public Accountant with an MBA and a Bachelor degree in Business Administration
Brian Kawuma leads the communication and learning activities at KRSU that include: strategic communications; media engagement; stakeholder relationship management; learning and documentation. Brian is qualified and experienced in strategic and development communication, and over the last 12 years he has worked with the private sector, Government of Uganda, local and international NGOs. Brian holds a Master of Arts Degree in Journalism and Communications and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science and Statistics from Makerere University.
Lomuria Vincent Ferry support coordination of KRSU activities in Karamoja. He holds a degree in Development Studies from Kampala International University and has worked for the five years in the field of development, particularly in Karamoja. Lomuria has garnered experience in the areas of land rights, rangelands management, conflict transformation, modelling community organizing and human rights. Through his work, Lomuria aims to elucidate the problems of regional development policy, government interventions, and aid programs in Karamoja.
Stella Nassuna manages the day-to-day general operations of the KRSU office in Kampala. She brings seven years’ experience in general office and projects management in the fields of administration, procurement, finance and reporting. She started to exercise her project management role in 2013 with the Karamoja Cluster Project under University for Peace-Costa Rica and Uganda Martyrs University-Nkozi funded by the Nationale Postcode Loterij. Stella holds a Bachelor of Commerce-Accounting degree from Makerere University, Kampala and an MBA from the University of Nicosia, Cyprus.
As a team member of KRSU, Patrick supports programme staff and consultants in all field-based-related logistics and movements, and assists in procurement processes and mobilization of research respondents. He also provides maintenance and safety of KRSU vehicles and transportation of authorized passengers and goods. Patrick has 10 years of experience in driving and has previously worked for various governmental, development, and humanitarian organizations in Karamoja sub-region, Western Uganda, and Northern Uganda. These include KRSU/USAID, Action Africa Help, Save the Children International, Makerere University Joint AIDS Programme, Action Against Hunger, Parliament of Uganda, and Golden Gate Construction Services Ltd. Patrick is a trained professional driver with driving permit class B, CM, DL and has a further training in defensive driving, fleet management, road safety, and personal safety and security.
Dr. Catley provides research, policy and analytical support to the KRSU and is the Principal Investigator for the project at Tufts. He has worked as a practitioner, policy adviser and researcher on issues in pastoralist areas of Africa since 1993 and supported the global Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) project as Chair of the LEGS Steering Group between 2005 and 2015. He holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh.
Elizabeth’s work focuses on the intersection between violent conflict and livelihood strategies and on how livelihoods shift over time in situations of chronic conflict or vulnerability. She is particularly interested in how people’s livelihood options—or lack thereof—lead to adaptations or choices that contribute to violence or exacerbate vulnerability. Her work focuses on differences by gender and generation, and she studies intra-household decision making and trade-offs, including how decisions that may be in the interest of the household as a whole may act against the well-being of certain members. She is very interested in rural to urban and circular migration, and different experiences of migration by age and gender. She has worked in the Karamoja region of Uganda since 2006, leading projects funded by multiple donors and with a wide range of organizations. Within Uganda she has also conducted research in the Acholi, Lango and West Nile sub-regions. Over the past twenty years she has also worked in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Turkey, and Zimbabwe. Elizabeth holds a BA from Wesleyan University (USA), a MA from the University of Cape Town (South Africa), and a MALD and PhD from Tufts University (USA).
Elaha Rahmani is the focal contact for all administrative and coordination functions for the KRSU II Project. She works closely with project coordinators in the field and with Tufts’ teams in the U.S. to monitor contract deliverables and ensure that the field programs receive the materials and funding they need to do their work successfully. Prior to joining Tuft’s University, Elaha worked on a number of USAID-funded development projects in Kabul, Afghanistan; She has carried out qualitative field research in Uganda, Tanzania, UAE, and Russia studying immigration policy, governance, and reform.
Karamoja Resilience Support Unit
Embassy Plaza 4th Floor (Office – D6)
Kabalagala, Ggaba Road
P.O. Box 6934, 00606