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.
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.
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. Ruta is currently doing a DPhil at the University of Oxford, focusing on smuggling networks and migration routes.
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.
FRANCESCA PIERALLI CONSULTANT
Francesca Pieralli is a seasoned Humanitarian and Development professional. She has held Regional and Country senior management positions in the Horn of Africa, East and Sub Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, and she has consulted for several INGOs. By working in development oriented organizations in fragile contexts, she has developed the ability to look at complex protracted crisis through a nexus lens, and to design practical solutions to support the resilience of communities for more sustainable programming. Francesca holds an M.A in Migration Studies and she focuses on qualitative data analysis. She is passionate and experienced in participatory research methods that involve children and youths. Her mark is bringing the voices of children and other marginalized segments of the community into new approaches to displacement challenges.
JACOB SPRANG CONSULTANT
Jacob Sprang is a seasoned humanitarian and development aid professional. He has worked in various contexts across the Great Lakes Region, Northern Africa and the Middle East. His professional work focuses on monitoring and evaluation, as well as programme implementation. He has also conducted research on international law, global public health, and international aid and migration, focusing on quantitative analysis and quantitative modeling. Currently his main focus is on humanitarian accountability and developing participatory aid systems.
TIINA TURK CONSULTANT
Tiina is an M&E and Social Research Consultant with experience in complex large-scale humanitarian and development programs in South-East Asia and East Africa. She has expertise in formulating performance management and learning strategies for complex and high-profile programs for INGOs, UN and USAID, and in developing, conducting and analyzing research and evaluations that statistically articulate the impact of the projects. Her technical know-how has recently focused on migration but also covers areas such as rural and urban livelihoods, education and gender. Her professional passion is in social dynamics and social norms. Tiina has been honored with M.S in Social Research and Evaluation and with M.A. in Intercultural Communication. She has diplomas in Network Dynamics of Social Behaviours and in Social Norms Social Change from the University of Pennsylvania.