Meet the Team
Aïda Alassane N'diaye-Riddick
Aïda N’diaye-Riddick is the TaRL Africa Country Manager – Côte d’Ivoire. She is responsible for providing technical support to the Ministry of Education to scale up the TaRL intervention, following a successful pilot. She works with the Côte d’Ivoire team to ensure strengthened implementation, including planning training activities, monitoring and evaluation, and coordinating in-country partnerships.
Akeem Odewale is a Measurement and Monitoring Associate at TaRL Africa in Nigeria. In this role, he works with Kano State Government to design effective and robust monitoring and measurement systems and integrate them into existing structures. He provides technical support towards strengthening the capacity of government officials at all levels to understand and respond to data for better decision-making.
Anderson Dehi is a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) specialist. He works in collaboration with TaRL Africa’s central team and the Ministry of National Education, Technical Education and Vocational Training of Côte d’Ivoire to create a M&E strategy to be integrated into existing government systems and strengthen the government’s capacity in M&E as well as the use of data.
Andy de Barros
Andy de Barros is a Postdoctoral Associate at J-PAL, where he works with TaRL Africa and J-PAL South Asia. His research specialises in programme evaluation and evidence-based education policy. With TaRL Africa, he develops and implements new studies on the TaRL approach, focusing on those which can inform the programme’s ability to cost-effectively reach the most children.
Anne-Thora Vardøy-Mutale is the Education Manager for the “Catch Up” project in Zambia. She leads the VVOB team supporting the Ministry’s TaRL approach and provides overall strategic direction for the project, coordination and technical support to the Ministry of General Education on ongoing activities, monitoring and evaluation, learning, innovation and scaling of the programme.
Chavi Jain is a Senior Manager for International Collaborations at Pratham. She is the central team lead for the TaRL pilot in Borno, Nigeria and supports work in Ghana and Uganda. She works with local teams and partners on programme design, strengthening and management, and transitioning from pilot to scale. She is also responsible for measurement and mentoring innovation for TaRL Africa.
Devyani Pershad is the Head of Pratham’s International Collaborations unit. She leads technical strategy and approach, and manages partner relationships across several TaRL Africa countries. She is also responsible for building donor relationships and grant management. She further provides strategic oversight for TaRL in Côte d’Ivoire.
Esther Wamoto is the Chief Talent Officer for TaRL Africa. She leads the HR and recruitment function across Africa by collaborating with senior managers to provide expert counsel and ensuring the right talent is hired at TaRL Africa.
Fred Abungu is a Content Developer and Trainer at TaRL Africa’s central team, based in Kenya. His key focus is on reading and arithmetic across different contexts. He supports country and partner teams in testing and developing contextually appropriate materials and methodology, as well as training country and partner teams on the TaRL approach.
Gabriel Yakubu is a Mathematics Content and Training Associate with TaRL Africa in Nigeria. He contributes to the development of content for Math lessons, tracks facilitators’ classroom experiences and innovation and use of TaRL Maths methodology.
Hafsatu Hamza is a TaRL Advisor on the Nigeria team. She works closely with the state government stakeholders and partners to provide technical design and development leadership on TaRL.
Indresh Talsaniya is a Content Developer and Trainer at Pratham. He is the key support for literacy capacity-building of the government master trainers and teachers of Catch Up in Zambia, and also reviews programme implementation. Indresh supports literacy training of government staff and partner organisations across other countries in Africa.
Inyang Udo-Umoren is the TaRL Country Manager – Nigeria. As the country manager, she is responsible for providing technical support to TaRL programmes within Nigeria and across other African TaRL-implementing countries. She also strengthens monitoring systems while scoping for new TaRL opportunities.
Joyce Gatambia is the Executive Assistant for TaRL Africa and is based in Kenya. She is responsible for coordinating and managing the activities of the executive office through technical and administrative support to the Managing Director, as well as handling special projects in collaboration with the TaRL Africa team.
Kim Tichmann is a Senior Policy Associate at J-PAL Africa. She manages the Teaching at the Right Level website, works with the TaRL Africa team to build their communications strategies, and collaborates with the team and partner organisations to create online resources and platforms for learning about TaRL.
Kodjo Aflagah is a Postdoctoral Associate at J-PAL-Africa, where he works with TaRL Africa and DigiFI. With TaRL Africa, he works to develop innovations in mentoring, monitoring, and teaching.
Laura Poswell is Executive Director of J-PAL Africa and Acting Managing Director of the TaRL Africa team. In this role, Laura oversees strategy, work planning, board engagement and grant management. She is responsible for setting up the TaRL Africa team for long-term success, including hiring senior team members, ensuring team cohesion, and building partnerships with partners and donors.
Marion Paravicini is a Policy Associate at J-PAL Europe. She is based at the Ministry of Education of Côte d’Ivoire and supports the Ministry to adapt, pilot and scale the first Teaching at the Right Level intervention in francophone Africa. Together with a senior Ministry official, she has helped coordinate TaRL material development, M&E strategy, and training events in the field.
Meera Tendolkar is Director of Math Content & Training at Pratham and leads all numeracy instruction design, training and research at TaRL Africa. Meera builds the capacities of government staff and partner organisations to adapt and implement TaRL numeracy programmes across several countries in Africa, while reviewing programme implementation.
Nathalie Falle is an Administration and Finance expert on the Côte d’Ivoire team. She administers and manages the financial, human, and material resources for the Côte d’Ivoire team.
Philip Adigun is a TaRL Advisor in Nigeria. He provides technical and managerial direction for the successful implementation of the TaRL approach in the state. He builds and maintains effective relationships with key state partners and other relevant stakeholders and is collaborating with the state government to explore how the approach may be applied in the state.
Titus Syengo is TaRL Africa’s Managing Director. He drives the mission and strategy of TaRL Africa and oversees all programmes, ensuring scale up of the TaRL approach to millions of primary school children in Africa. He is responsible for building a collaborative, unified TaRL Africa team working effectively across multiple countries to achieve our goal of supporting education systems.
Vasant Makwana is a State Program Head at Pratham. As the literacy trainer in Nigeria, he is responsible for capacity building of master trainers and mentors in the government and partner organisations. He trains on TaRL literacy methodology and supports the creation and review of classroom activities and materials.
Victor Olajide is a Research and Learning Associate with TaRL Africa in Nigeria. Victor currently supports the design and management of research and learning on the TaRL pilot programme in Kano State, Nigeria. He also supports the dissemination of research findings with team members and other relevant stakeholders.
Vikas Varma is a Content Developer & Trainer at Pratham. He is the key support for math capacity building of the government master trainers and teachers to implement Catch Up in Zambia, and reviews programme implementation. Additionally, Vikas supports math training of government staff and partner organisations across several countries in Africa.
TaRL Africa Board
The following people serve in an advisory capacity on the Board.
Professor Abhijit Banerjee is co-founder and co-Director of J-PAL. He is a Professor of Economics at the MIT. In 2011 he was named one of Foreign Policy’s top 100 global thinkers. Abhijit served on the U.N. Secretary-General’s High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. He has evaluated TaRL programmes for two decades and advises the J-PAL Africa office.
Bala Venkatachalam is the Executive Director of Pratham USA. He was involved with Pratham’s programmes in India between 2003 and 2006 as National head of Operations and has previously worked across corporate finance, strategy consulting, and a technology start up as a co-founder. Most recently he worked with the Monitor Group in India where he was Engagement Manager and led a team to identify and develop new business opportunities in affordable urban housing.
John Floretta is Director of Policy and Communications for J-PAL. He works with policymakers and J-PAL affiliated researchers, and staff to disseminate lessons from randomised evaluations and promote evidence informed decision-making and scale-ups of successful social programmes. John was Deputy Director of J-PAL South Asia during 2011-2015, which included working closely with Pratham.
Madhav Chavan is President and co-founder of Pratham. After obtaining a PhD in chemistry from Ohio State University and serving on the faculty at the University of Houston, Dr. Madhav Chavan returned to India where he worked in the slums of Mumbai as part of the National Literacy Mission. In 1995, as a result of a UNICEF initiative, he co-founded Pratham to address problems of universal primary education in Mumbai.
Rukmini Banerji is CEO of Pratham, where she has been part of the leadership team since 1996. Since 2005, she has led the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER). In 2008 Rukmini was the inaugural recipient of the Maulana Abul Kalam Shiksha Puraskar Award conferred by the Government of Bihar, India. She is internationally recognised as a champion and expert of foundational learning.