We are humanitarians. - Meraki Labs works with people affected by displacement. Together we identify strengths, build capabilities and work to shape their own futures. We work at a grassroots level with people on the move.

About

Read more about who we are, how we operate, our values and guiding principles.


THIS IS OUR VISION

Migration is understood as a complex phenomenon, undertaken for a wide range of often interlinking reasons. Those who migrate irregularly are subject to particular risks, but have unique aspirations for their futures. International actors should work to understand and engage with this complexity in policies and programmes.

AND THIS IS OUR MISSION

We aim to ensure that the realities facing migrants and displaced people – specifically on underserved routes – are reflected in improved policy and programmes.


WE FIRMLY BELIEVE IN

1.
DISSEMINATION & ENGAGEMENT

We aim to support clients, not only by producing research, evaluation and program design, but by supporting wider organizational or systemic buy in to the results. Meraki Labs incorporates dissemination into project design; this includes live debriefs (in person or via digital means) where possible. Summaries designed for wider dissemination are also systematically produced. 

2.
PARTICIPATION

We believe that research, monitoring, evaluation and learning should involve active engagement with a range of stakeholders, from migrants and displaced people, to implementation teams, to management. We use participatory research methods where feasible. 

3.
TRANSPARENCY

We aim to provide feedback to our clients that reflect both opportunities and issues in a constructive way. We aim to be in regular contact to ensure that there are common expectations and visions; this regular engagement helps to support relevant results that account for local level specificities. 

4.
DO NO HARM & RIGHTS BASED APPROACHES

Do no harm and rights based approaches are an integral part of our approach. We are mindful that research and evaluation can expose populations to risk; as a result we do our work using an ethical framework. All staff working on a project are bound by a code of conduct and safeguarding mechanisms are implemented. At the analysis level, Meraki focuses not only on ensuring that rights holders exercise their rights, but that duty bearers are encouraged and supported to undertake their responsibilities. 

5.
FIELD-FRIENDLY APPROACH

We have over 20 years of field experience, including in deep field locations, implementing projects for a variety of donors. As such, we have a strong understanding of field constraints and issues. We structure our research and evaluations to place minimum burden on already overstretched field teams, while simultaneously giving them a voice. We also work to ensure that our recommendations are pertinent and applicable to field contexts. 


WHO WE ARE

RUTA NIMKAR
CO-FOUNDER

Ruta Nimkar is an experienced humanitarian and migration professional. She has held regional and country senior management positions, and has consulted for donors, UN agencies and NGOs. She has conducted field and desk based research on mixed migration routes and smuggling networks in Central Asia, the Horn of Africa and West Africa. Ruta specializes in qualitative data analysis, participatory research methods and mixed-methods research studies. Ruta has a particular focus on ensuring that research is linked to programming. This arises from long experience working directly with communities to develop new approaches to humanitarian and migration challenges.

EMILY SAVAGE
CO-FOUNDER

Emily Savage has worked in humanitarian contexts and conducted research on displacement and migration across the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, East and Southern Africa. She has held senior country humanitarian positions and has consulted for humanitarian and UN agencies. Emily has a particular focus on linking academic work to displacement and migration contexts to ensure that responses are nuanced and evidence-based. As someone who has worked in evolving crisis contexts, she understands that those implementing often lack the opportunity to re-evaluate approaches but have unique insight into these contexts. Leveraging and reframing local knowledge is her speciality.