Personal profile

Research interests

Dr. Otieno Ong'ayo (Antony) is a political scientist by training. His main research interests are in the areas of politics of development, migration and development, Diaspora transnationalism, diaspora politics, civic driven change, civil society state relations, digital citizenship, digital culture and society. His current research at ISS examines the contribution of transnational practices of diaspora organizations to development in the countries of destination and origin (‘here and there’) at the local and national government levels).  He is also involved in the Diaspora politics research within the research project- ‘Transnational political engagement of African Diaspora communities’ which examines how Diaspora communities have (self-) organised transnationally between various countries of residence to influence local policies. The project is linked to other research groups namely: Vital cities and citizenship; Civic Innovation Research Initiative (CIRI), Governance, Law and Social Justice. Besides his research work, he is also involved in the supervision of master’s students in the Migration and Diversity MA track, Human Rights, Gender and Conflict Studies: Social Justice Perspectives (SJP)Major as well as Governance, and Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies (AFES). He obtained his PhD (Development Studies) from Tilburg University Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences), a master's degree in Political Science (cum laude) with a specialisation in Politics and Development, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science (cum laude) from Stockholm University, Sweden. He undertook a postgraduate study in Management of Health and Psychosocial Services in the developing countries at Uppsala University Sweden and holds a Diploma in Labour Studies and Management (with distinction). Prior to joining ISS, he has undertaken research in the fields of Migration and Development, Diaspora engagement and participation; Globalization, Accessibility, Innovation and Care (GAIC) (at Tilburg University, School of Humanities) and extensive fieldwork in China on China-Africa relations. His experience in migration and development policy research include an EU funded research project (DIASPEACE) focused on Diasporas and Peace building in the Horn of Africa countries of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia (2008-2009); A study on institutional building cooperation between African Diaspora organisations and Governments in their countries of origin covering five countries (UK, Ghana, Nigeria, Germany and USA (2009). Since May 2016 he sits in the Commission on Development Cooperation (COS) of the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs to the Dutch Government (AIV). At the local government level, he has been involved in diaspora engagement policy initiatives in the municipality of The Hague on co-implementation of municipal policies on integration and participation within the initiative -Inclusive Policy-making based on Shared Solutions (Inclusieve Beleidsvorming op basis van Gedeelde Oplossingen) He taught courses on The Changing World of International Relations and Human Rights at Amsterdam University College and a course on Digital Culture and Society at Tilburg University. He also taught theory and practice of development at the University College Utrecht. From 2013 he was adjunct lecturer in the Department of International Relations at Webster University, Leiden (teaching graduate courses on politics of development, African area Studies, International Relations, International Organisations and Social Science Research Methodology).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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