Benjamin Hounsell is Head of Implementation Research at Samuel Hall and Affiliate Researcher at Strathmore University. He has over 15 years of experience as a researcher, technology entrepreneur, and development practitioner in low and middle-income countries, with a longstanding background in exploring the role of technology and innovation in the global south. Among a number of roles, Benjamin is currently Research Director supporting the British Council and the EU-TF on the Better Migration Management programme, where he leads the strategic development of innovative ICT-based awareness raising tools to better inform irregular migrants, across the Horn of Africa, of safer migration paths and alternative livelihood opportunities. Benjamin has authored multiple studies for organisations including UNICEF, UNHCR, UNDP, NRC, Terre des hommes, and the Humanitarian Innovation Fund. In his work, and as co-chair of the Techfugees Chapter in Kenya, Benjamin encourages collaboration between NGOs, multilaterals, academics, and entrepreneurs to develop digital services that better serve refugees and low-income communities. Benjamin holds a Ph.D. in Information Engineering from the University of Edinburgh and a Master's in Development Practice from Sciences Po, Paris. He has also earned multiple honours and awards for his entrepreneurial achievements, including the EBAN Most Investable Business Award, the Scottish Entrepreneur Award and the Enterprise Fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
RESEARCH & ONGOING WORK
GIZ, EUTF - BMM, Component 4: working with local civil society organisations to raise awareness and build community dialogue on alternative livelihood options, including safe migration within targeted locations in the East and Horn of Africa.
IOM, ACP-EU: Enhancing CSO Engagement in Remittance Research and Building Linkages with the Tech and Banking Sectors in Kenya and Somalia.
UNICEF / NRC: Evaluation of the Youth Education Pack (YEP) Programme in Somalia