Winnie Mitullah

by Admin on 5 November 2009

MEDIeA project:
Women and e-media in participatory local governance in Kenya

Winnie V. Mitullah is an Associate Research Professor of Development Studies based at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Nairobi. She has a PhD in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of York, UK. Her PhD thesis was on Urban Housing, with a focus on policies relating to low income housing. Over the years, she has researched and consulted in the areas of provision and management of urban services and related policies, institutions and governance and the role of stakeholders in development. Her focus in these areas has included an examination of policies, and institutional dynamics in relation to local level development, including assessing the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in development.

Professor Mitullah has worked in the public and the nonprofit sector. In her public work, she established the Social Services coordination Unit within the Ministry of Local Government in Kenya under a Ministry of Local Government/ UNICEF contract. This assignment exposed her not only to researching, planning and monitoring but also to actual implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programs. Professor Mitullah has researched, collaborated and consulted with/for a number of Government Ministries, UN and other local and international agencies as well as national and international NGOs.

While she is a political scientist, her location in a multi-disciplinary development studies institute has exposed her to several disciplines and work in teams examining issues of development using multiple lenses. She has done research, publishing and consultancies on local governance, including urban development. In the area of communication, she has mainly focused on the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for development, small-scale enterprises (SMEs) and local governance.

Professor Mitullah is actively engaged in boards, commissions and networks that contribute to development. Currently she is the Vice Chairperson of the Kenya African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the out-going Chair of the UN-HABITAT Advisory Board of the Global Research Network on Human Settlements (HS-Net). She is the chair of the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO Social and Human Science Program Committee and of the Board of the Centre for Law and Research International (CLARION), Kenya. She is a member of a global initiative promoting women working within the informal sector, Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) and of the Board of the Foundation for International Training (FIT) based in Canada. She is a Commissioner in the Kenya National Commission on Gender and Development.

For more information, see official homepage.


Mitullah, Winnie (2006) “Local Political System of Nairobi” in Helen Charton-Bigot and Deyssi Rodriguez-Torres (eds.) Nairobi Contemporain: Les paradoxes d’une ville fragmentee. Nairobi: IFRA.
Mitullah, Winnie, Morris Odhiambo and Kichamu Akivaga (2005) Management of Resources by Local Authorities: The Case of Local Authority Transfer Fund. Nairobi: CLARIPRESS.
Mitullah, Winnie (2005) “Local Level Governance in Kenya: A Review and Critique of Key Issues” in Bujra Abdalla (ed.) Democratic Transition in Kenya: the Struggle from Liberal to Social Democracy. Nairobi: ACEG/DPMF.
Mitullah, Winnie (2004) “Participatory Governance and Poverty Alleviation in Local Authorities: Lessons and Challenges” in Journal of Regional Development Dialogue [RDD] Vol. 25, No 1, Spring.
Mitullah, Winnie, Nazneen Kanji and Carla Braga (2002) Promoting Rights in Africa: How do NGOs make a difference? London: IIED.