Development Connect works with local and international associates whom we sub-contract for assignments on a “task-basis” based on agreed rates and costs which are outlined in a ToR with the estimated workload, timelines.

Alexander Valeton

Alexander Valeton

Alexander Valeton is the Creative Producer/Director of MediaHQ (, an independent media production company, based in Nairobi, Kenya with a branch in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Alexander has been working for over 6 years in East Africa in various positions and with many clients, varying from small NGO’s to multinationals doing large all-media (and Corporate Social Responsibility programs) campaigns, including behavioural change social media campaigns, and in depth documentaries. The range of activities can be described as “high quality media productions with a social impact, aiming to inform and create behavioral change”.

MHQ is a networking company with many media specialists (producers, researchers, and technical crews) residing all over the globe. In the Nairobi office MHQ develops and produces; the postproduction of projects is either done in Kenya or in the Netherlands. MHQ works with local crews knowing the situation on the ground, who speak the language and know the habits and customs, and to empower local talent.

Previously, Alexander has been involved in the development, production and directing for various (international) clients, companies and production houses, and worked on TV- series, info-tainment, edu-tainment, films, video’s and documentaries working with Dahl/Blazhoffski (Amsterdam), HTTV (Hamburg), Docdays (Berlin), Schipper (Hamburg) Kentalis (NL), KNAD (Nairobi), VPRO (NL) AVRO (NL) NCMH (Nairobi). View LinkedIn profile

Naomi Hoogervorst

Naomi Hoogervorst

Naomi Hoogervorst operates under ‘FREEM  Open Architecture’. She has over 11 years experience in architecture and urban development throughout the world. Since 3 years, she is based in Nairobi, Kenya, working as a consultant on various international sustainable urban development projects for The International New Town Institute, Placemakers, DASUDA and UN-Habitat.

She is specialised in developing and implementing participatory planning strategies to answer the need of inclusive cities, focused on integral urban planning, urban food systems and public spaces in complex contexts.

She is a strong team leader and player in multi-disciplinary collaborations working for and with national and local governments, NGO’s, the private sector, universities, urban experts (economists, sociologists, anthropologists, agriculture experts, engineers, etc.) and local communities. She has been an urban planner expert for UN-Habitat for the region and 3 towns in Gaza, Project leader for the New New Towns programme ‘Feeding the City’ at the International New Town Institute, project manager for the public space project ‘Making Cities Together in Kenya and urban expert for the Government2Government project on Regional Agro-Industrial Networks (RAIN) in 2 counties in Kenya.

At the HABITAT III conference in Quito (2016) she was selected speaker and presented on behalf of various international organisations and initiated an interactive workshop.,

Naomi Hoogervorst studied Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences at the Technical University of Delft (NL). During her work at renowned architectural offices and at an innovative construction company, she acquired knowledge about the complex relationships in architectural and urban design. In 2008 she set up her own practice ‘FREEM Open Architecture’ that works collaboratively on local and international projects. She co-founded Placemakers; an Amsterdam based interdisciplinary organisation that involves communities in public spaces as an entry point for sustainable inclusive urban development. View LinkedIn profile

Himanshu Dhungana

Naomi Hoogervorst

Himanshu Dhungana is software development consultant ( with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit industry. He partners with NGOs to design, build and maintain information systems that monitor, evaluate and effectively optimize its programs.

Himanshu loves building integrated digital solutions that increase the productivity of all stakeholders beyond what they thought was possible. He is passionate about the potential for mobile and cloud platforms, because of the almost limitless applications for those types of technologies: from offline mobile data management to educational and interactive web design.

Himanshu strives for scalable and sustainable data systems by making user-centered design choices and by taking an agile approach to software development.

He operates out of Dhaka, Bangladesh covering South-East Asia and East-Africa. View LinkedIn profile

Gregory Sikumba

Naomi Hoogervorst

Gregory Sikumba, a Zambian national, holds a PhD (to be awarded) and MSc in Animal Nutrition and Research Methods from Jomo Kenyatta University, Kenya, and has strong applied research skills and capacity in the rural agricultural development sector having worked in Zambia Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Namibia and Mozambique. Greg also holds a BSc Agriculture (Animal Science) from the University of Namibia.

Greg has over 8 years of international work experience with employment at World Vision, Marie Stopes, CARE/Kenya, WFP, DRC and CGIAR-ILRI. He has developed capacity development initiatives and facilitated and trained various NGOs to become better in data analysis, statistics and monitoring, evaluation and learning. He also published numerous articles like on The Role of Forages in Sustainable Intensification of Crop-Livestock Agro-ecosystems in the Face of Climate Change, and Intensification of smallholder livestock production through utilization of crop residues for livestock feed in Tanzania. Greg has been involved in the design of baseline studies and impact evaluation strategies while working for ILRI (MilkIt, East African Dairy Development project (EADD) and Africa RISING projects) and ICIPE (Sustainable milk value chain project).

Greg works with Development Connect on multiple assignments in Kenya and in Uganda, which involves Corporate Private Sector Agri Business work and Measurement, Learning and Evaluation Strategy and Implementation assignments. View LinkedIn profile.

Melody Mentz

Naomi Hoogervorst

Dr. Melody Mentz, the owner and founding Director of MelodyM Consulting (Pty) Ltd (, a research and evaluation consultancy operating from South Africa provides support to conceptualize and implement assessments and evaluations through offering innovative approaches to information gathering, data analysis and results communication. Since 2012 Melody has been working as an evaluator, engaged with various projects as a team member at a national, pan-African and international level. In these projects Melody has engaged hands-on in the full evaluation process, from conceptualization and design, through to implementation, to data collection, analysis and reporting. In these projects she has worked primarily from a mixed-methods, theory of change based approach. Fascinated by the thrill of pattern-seeking in data, Melody has vast expertise in analyzing (mixed-methods) data through the use of the latest analytical software and innovative technology applications. View LinkedIn profile.

Davel Patel

Davel Patel

Davel Patel offers 23 years of international development experience including eleven years specialism in Monitoring and Evaluation. In the last sixteen years, Davel has focused on the assessment and monitoring of capacity development in eight sectors including agriculture, governance, economic development and private, public partnerships.  She has been a Senior Associate of Capacity Development for UNDP since 2010 and undertaken large M&E capacity assessments with several ministries (Ministry of Environment and Energy, Maldives; Ministry of Education and Ministry of Planning, Laos). Her specialism in M&E has led her to public sector performance measurement and the use of technology to visualize and track changes in capacity at the organizational and institutional levels.  As an evaluator, Davel has used a wide range of qualitative research and quantitative methods to assess the progress and impact of capacity development interventions, she is grounded in the use of theories of change and complexity-based monitoring to support her clients think through and manage the change process.

Her client portfolio consists of UN agencies (e.g. IFAD, UNICEF, UNCDF, UNWOMEN, UNDP, UNEP and WFP), international NGOs (e.g. Save the Children, CARE International, Oxfam India) and donors (e.g. European Union, Department for Foreign Australian Trade and Swiss Development Corporation).

Davel remains highly committed to using gender analysis and planning as integral components to her work, whether it is supporting a small, localized project in Afghanistan or a regional South East Asia program reaching six countries. View LinkedIn profile

Youth Associates

Anouk de Vries

Naomi Hoogervorst

Anouk de Vries, a Dutch national, is currently doing a master in International Development Studies at Wageningen University (The Netherlands). She specializes in Politics and Governance and is also part of the selective so called Sustainable Development Diplomacy (SDD) track. In 2016, she graduated magna cum laude from the University College Utrecht (UCU), where she pursued a major in Development Studies and Political Sciences combined with a minor in History. Her bachelor thesis, ‘Jatropha Production in Eastern Africa: The Biofuel Hero or the Food Security Villain?’, focussed on the relation between biofuel production and food security in Eastern Africa. In the summer of 2016, she participated in the UCU in Africa program, where she gained many practical insights on a wide range of development issues. As part of the program, she was an intern at the WASH Alliance in Kenya, where she conducted research on the sanitation situation of pastoralist communities in Southern Kenya.

Her research findings will be published in the months ahead.

Anouk is interested in a wide range of issues related to topics such as health, food security, agriculture, WASH and nutrition. This wide range of interests, together with her analytical skills, and very clear and direct communication, helps her to connect different issues in development and understand the bigger picture. She is inquisitive, and very curious to further explore the interaction between academic research and policy making and project design, as she believes thorough (academic) research should be the basis for any development project or policy. View LinkedIn profile