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  • HS 801g - Proseminar
Raphael Onyango Obonyo's picture


Raphael Obonyo is a public policy specialist, youth expert and advocate at the national, regional and international levels. Mr Obonyo is renown especially for his extensive research and publications on public policy, governance, human rights and development. He is the author of Conversations about the Youth in Kenya, a book meant for a global audience that provides insights into the challenges affecting the youth in Kenya while borrowing possible solutions from around the world.

Mr Obonyo co-authored Youth Unemployment in Kenya – A Ticking Time Bomb, a publication that discusses the challenge of youth unemployment and how it can be solved. Additionally, he has co-authored a Youth Policy Guide for Kenya and a Citizens Participation Manual.

Mr Obonyo has served as the external adviser to the UN Habitat’s Youth Advisory Board, UNISDR’s Regional Office and Africa’s representative on the World Bank’s Global Coordination Board on Youth. He is the co-founder and a member of the Youth Congress of Kenya, a premier youth-led non-profit organization in Kenya.

In 2016, Mr Obonyo was named Best Communicator in Kenya, and the UN Persons of the Year. Also, in 2016, Mr Obonyo won the Exemplary Leadership Award in Kenya. Africa Union has named my Obonyo as one of the seven Youth ideators that advise the agency on youth development.

In 2015 Obonyo was named one of Africa’s Most Inspirational Youth. He was a finalist for the 2015 Business Daily’s 40 under 40 Top Men in Kenya. He is a nominee for the UN Nelson Mandela Award. In 2013, German Marshall Fund of the United States named Obonyo among the World’s emerging leaders.

Mr Obonyo is the youth representative on the steering team of the National Youth Sector Working Group in Kenya, and a member of the Technical Group on Kenya’s Youth Policy Review.

Obonyo has extensive knowledge and experience in public policy and project management. He has distinguished professional and managerial leadership, expertise and practical experience that he acquired from working in management positions with different organizations.

Mr Obonyo is an adjunct professor and a visiting scholar at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management where he teaches a ProSeminar on Youth Policy and Development.

He holds a Masters in Public Policy from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, United States, and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University of Nairobi’s Business School. He has worked for more than 8 years as a policy manager and adviser at the national and international levels. He has worked with a number of organizations including United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR),.

Obonyo has got in-depth knowledge and hands on experience in public policy, youth policy and development, international development, political economy, governance, non-profit and project management. He has distinguished professional and managerial leadership; expertise and practical experience that he acquired from working in management positions with various organizations. This has given him that global exposure needed when handling development issues at the national and global arena.

Mr Obonyo, applies leadership, youth development and empowerment lessons learnt from various countries across the world to tackle issues facing the youth across Kenya; national policy formulation, leadership and project execution that multi-sectoral approach needed to produce tangible results. This has won Obonyo distinction and respect as a leader and youth advocate.

Today, Obonyo is one of the leading experts on youth, in Africa and beyond. He has attracted the attention of the United Nations agencies, the African Union and the World Bank in addressing challenges facing the youth in Kenya, Africa and the rest of the world.

In his work in leadership, youth and community development; Obonyo has been instrumental in the formulation of several national and global policies, strategies and institutional frameworks. These include: National Youth Sector Working Group, Kenya’s National Youth Policy, Draft Disaster Risk Management policy, Housing Policy, Eviction policy, among others. He has also contributed to various continental and global think-tank pools on human development and planning tools for the youth in the face of postmillennial challenges



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