Rakesh Rajani is the Head of Twaweza (‘we can make it happen’ in Swahili), a ten year initiative that connects information, citizen agency and public accountability in East Africa. He will give a plenary talk as part of the Open Data, Government and Governance programme at OKCon on Wednesday, 18 September.

Until 2007 he was the founding Executive Director of HakiElimu which works to realize equity, quality, and democracy in education. Rajani serves on several national and international boards, and has been a fellow of Harvard University since 1998, at present at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights. He has written and edited over 300 papers and popular publications in English and Swahili. Rajani studied at Brandeis and Harvard universities.

He advises on several boards, including Revenue Watch International, the International Budget Partnership (IBP), ONE, the Foundation for Civil Society in Tanzania (FCS), and the Hewlett/Gates Foundations initiative on Quality Education in Developing Countries (QEDC). As a fellow of Harvard University, he was most recently involved in its Joint Learning Initiative on Children and AIDS (JLICA). He has written or edited over 300 papers, popular publications, and op-eds in English and Swahili.

Rajani completed his university education at Brandeis and Harvard, graduating summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. His interests include the connections between information, imagination and public action; political economy of policy-making; and budget transparency and public engagement.

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