People's Choice Award 2018

Evaluators' Bios

Based in Nairobi, Agnes Midi-Keita is the International Project Manager of ActionAid's 'Safe Cities for Women' multi-country project and campaign which works with grassroots women and partners across the globe to campaign and lobby governments to combat violence against women, promote women's rights and increase access to justice and gender responsive public services. Prior to joining ActionAid, she was the Regional Manager of Marie Stopes International- Kenya; advancing women's sexual and reproductive health and rights within the Coast region of Kenya. Agnes is a post-graduate student of Public Health and Health Policy from St. Georges Medical School, Grenada and holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Alberta, Canada. Agnes has engaged and continues to contribute to Habitat III, the World Urban Campaign and the Global Platform Right to the City as a technical expert on women’s ‘right to the city’, specifically amplifying the voice of vulnerable women and girls living in poverty and exclusion in cities and who are vulnerable to gender based violence (GBV).

Bertie Russell is a Research Associate in the Urban Institute (University of Sheffield), and works on ESRC Jam & Justice project and as part of the international MISTRA Urban Futures. He has a PhD from the University of Leeds focused on the politicization of scientific knowledge in the radical climate and climate justice movements. He has previously worked at the Universities of Leeds, Liverpool and Salford. His current research is concerned with coproducing participatory urban governance, he is working on a number of micro-research projects ranging from mapping solidarity economies to attempting to involve citizens in the development of progressive procurement policy. More generally, he is interested in the New Municipal movements that are developing on a global scale, and the possibilities for them to coalesce into some form of trans-local ‘movement’.

Beppe Caccia, holds a degree in Philosophy from the University of Padua, a Ph.D. in European and Euro-American Political Studies from the University of Turin, and is a scholar in the History of Political Thought. He works for several international research institutions and is currently a fellow of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung in Berlin. From 1997 to 2014 he was a City Councilor and from 2001 to 2005 Deputy Mayor for Social affairs in the City of Venice. He is a  member of the political-cultural Association “in comune” www.veneziaincomune.it (Venice). He is active in Italian and European social movements, like Blockupy international and NoG20 coalition, and is a Transnational board member of European Alternatives (www.euroalter.com). He participates in the www.euronomade.info independent research network and collaborates with "politicalcritique.org", a Pan-european online magazine and  “il manifesto” daily newspaper.

Based in Amsterdam, David Sogge works as an independent researcher and writer. As an associate of the Norwegian think-tank NOREF, he currently focuses on public control of transnational flows affecting societies on the global periphery. Professional activities since 1970 provided a basis for books and articles on the politics of foreign aid, and on Africa, particularly Angola and South Africa. Evaluative research assignments have taken him to Vietnam, Eastern Europe and countries of the former Soviet Union. Trained at Harvard, David earned his graduate degrees from Princeton and the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague.

Erick Gonzalo Palomares Rodríguez holds a Bachelors degree in International Relations from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente ITESO, Mexico; a Masters degree in Development, Innovation and Change at the Uniersity of Bolonga, Italy, and a Ph. D. in Government and Public Administration at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. He currently works at Aalborg University in Denmark, as assistant professor in Spanish and International Studies. He has worked in the public sector at the local government of Guadalajara, México, in various areas: the Office of the Mayor, the Political Affairs Office and the Municipal Youth Institute. He also has professional experience in electoral campaigns at local and national level in Mexico and Venezuela.

Lorena Zarate is currently President of Habitat International Coalition (HIC). She was previously regional coordinator of HIC-Latin America office (2003 to 2011). She studied history at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, in Argentina (her home country). During the past two decades, she has been involved in the elaboration and dissemination of the World Charter on the Right to the City, the consultation process to define the Mexico City Human Rights Program, and the Promoting Committee for the elaboration of the Mexico City Charter for the Right to the City. At the same time, she has been in close collaboration with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. She has published books and articles on issues related to housing rights, social production and management of habitat and the right to the city, and has participated as speaker on those and other related topics in more than 20 countries (in particular in the framework of the World Social Forum and the World Urban Forum). In 2013, she was awarded the John Bousfield Distinguished Visitorship from the Geography and Urban Planning Program at the University of Toronto. Since 2014, she has been part of the support team and co-coordinator of an international project to promote the Global Platform for the Right to the City.

Satoko Kishimoto is an activist researcher at the Transnational Institute, a research and advocacy NGO based in Amsterdam. She is Japanese and was active as an environmental activist in the youth environmental movement in Japan in the 1990s. She began working with TNI in 2003, at the time of the 3rd World Water Forum held in Kyoto, Japan. TNI organized a seminar on Alternatives to Water Privatisation, which was the starting point of the Water Justice Project. In 2005, the Reclaiming Public Water (RPW) Network was created with the contributors to the book 'Reclaiming Public Water'. The RPW network connects activists, trade unionists, researchers, community activists, and public water operators from around the world. She has served as a coordinator of the network ever since. More recently, she conducted  joint research on the trend towards remunicipalisation in the water sector and other public services and published the book Our Public Water Future: The global experience with remunicipalisation (2015) and Reclaiming Public Services : How cities and citizens are turning back privatisation (2017). In 2016, TNI  started the Public Alternatives project, for which she currently serves as a coordinator,  under the Economic Justice porgramme. Transformative cities is one of the initiatives of the Public Alternatives project.

Sonia Maria Dias is a sociologist by training and a garbologist at heart.  Active in the field since 1985, she has played a key role in helping to integrate social aspects into the technical planning of waste collection and recycling as a former city officer in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  From the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, Sonia has attained a Master’s of Human Geography on the role of local governments in strengthening waste pickers’ organisations in Belo Horizonte and a PhD in Political Science on the role of participation in solid waste management in Brazil. She is a waste expert at the Kitakyuschu University (JICA fellow). She is a member of the Waste and Citizenship Forum and has served as Latin American representative to the Collaborative Working Group on Solid Waste Management. She is a core-group member of the Observatory for Inclusive Recycling in Brazil. She is an Eisenhower Fellow. Ms Dias is interested in the links between poverty alleviation, the environment, informal employment and civic engagement, and on women´s empowerment.  She is a Waste Specialist at Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing – WIEGO.  She is a  probono associate researcher with the Women’s Centre for Research and Studies - NEPEM atthe Federal University of Minas Gerais. She is currently coordinating a research-action project on waste and gender.