Martin Atela, PhD.

Programme Manager, Research & Policy Uptake, PASGR

Dr Atela, PASGR’s project lead for Utafiti Sera, is a research scientist specialising in knowledge translation and evidence uptake in the areas of Public Health & Primary Care, health systems and policy, accountability and empowerment, social policy and development and mixed-methods approaches to complex research.

Martin is the manager of PASGR’s Research and Policy Uptake programme, providing intellectual, strategic, and operational leadership to ensure PASGR’s research contributes to strengthening African social science research and supporting regional policy and governance needs. Since 2017, he has provided thought-leadership for PASGR’s innovative evidence-to-policy programme – Utafiti Sera, working with partners to transform the programme from an idea to a thriving globally recognised African-led evidence-informed decision-making approach by designing and supporting over ten active communities of practice to enhance evidence uptake and use in over 10 African countries.

Martin is passionate about African-led evidence uptake for policy and practice. He is the Uptake Director for African Cities Research Consortium and the project Director/PI for a MasterCard Foundation-funded research and uptake project on Youth Aspirations and Resilience. He is leading over 14 diverse teams of senior and middle-level African researchers delivering context and policy-relevant demand-driven research across 12 African countries. In addition, he has supervised and mentored over 20 graduate students in universities across the continent, led graduate curriculum development/review in several universities as well as supervised research work for senior military staff at the National Defence College, Karen.

He has served in several high-level technical working groups including: steering committee member Action for Empowerment and Accountability international research programme led by IDS Sussex; Member, DFID/UNICEF Independent Expert Group (IEG) on Maternal and Neonatal Health, Kenya; Member, Kenya National HIV/AIDS Research Priorities Technical Working Group;  Member, East African Community, HIV/AIDS Research and Knowledge Research Priorities Technical Working Group; as well as a Beacon Scholarship Home Mentor. 

He holds several international prestigious awards such as the Gates Cambridge, The European Commission Fellowship, The Shell Centenary Leadership Award, among others.

Martin earned his PhD in Public Health and Primary Care from the University of Cambridge, UK. He holds an MSc Multiple Degree in International Health from the Universities of Copenhagen, Denmark, Amsterdam, Netherlands and Queen Margaret Edinburgh, UK as well as an MPhil in International Relations (Health Security) from the University of Cambridge, UK and an Advanced Diploma in Health and Human Rights from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. He has specialist training in Survey methods from the LSE, UK, Systematic reviews and meta-analysis from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa and is currently completing Leadership training at Harvard Kennedy School, in the United States.

Country experience: Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.