Our current students come with a rich set of experiences and backgrounds. Students completing MA DEP (now called MA GDHP - Global Development and Humanitarian Practice) and staff interact, share experiences and learn from each other during the year. Read about our current students' experiences, our alumni’s reflections on the degrees and how the degrees helped them in their current work.

Simon Peter Okello MA DEP 2022-2023

Beneficiary of the 2022 Commonwealth scholarship

"Over the last 8 years, I have worked with both national and international organizations providing humanitarian assistance to populations affected by conflicts and climate hazards. Noting the complex nature of humanitarian work, I decided to seek an opportunity to further my career in this sector. The CENDEP, Oxford Brookes University offered this intriguing opportunity – a dream come true, thanks to the Commonwealth Scholarship. I completed my MA in Development and Emergency Practice. As a development and humanitarian practitioner, from one of the least developed countries, the MA has significantly shaped my career interests and helped build on my skills and ability to comprehend humanitarianism.

My experience studying the MA DEP has been incredibly exciting, and inspiring. CENDEP offered a great learning ranging from student interactions, sharing of practical and research experiences which introduced me to new perspectives of global issues such as climate change, refugee response and human rights. The course offered modules such as critical inquiry - which allowed me to dig deep into the humanitarian-development nexus from different viewpoints. Other modules including Forced Migration, Disaster Risk, & Climate Change, Programming, have immensely influenced the choice of my work to-date. Currently, I work for the International Organization for Migration – the UN Migration agency on a EU funded project aimed at strengthening Government institutions to address challenges of forced displacement and migration. On completion of the program, I am confident that the knowledge, skills, and experience gained will help me pursue my professional journey and build me to become part of the formidable force that will provide durable solutions to the crises in the world."

Simon Peter Okello
Simon Peter Okello

Reo Morimitsu MA DEP 2018-19

"My postgraduate education at CENDEP has been spectacular! Unlike other programmes regarding humanitarian studies, the course has a strong focus on the link between academic knowledge and practice. This helped me define the humanitarian work that I had been doing for years and cultivated my professional foundation to better contribute to alleviating human suffering with new insights. The learning environment was also great. I was lucky to be in such a warm, inclusive and multi-cultural atmosphere, which shaped me to see myself as a global citizen. And of course, Oxford is one of the best places to dive into the international community!"

Alumnus Reo Morimitsu
Alumnus Reo Morimitsu in Nepal

Angelo Gianturco Coletta

"I work closely with indigenous communities empowering programs in Venezuela, and while I completely love it, it can sometimes be frustrating given our lack of resources."

"Lessons and tools learned have spread throughout the organization, reaching not only co-workers and partners but even the served communities. With a new and broader perspective on the issues faced, we have been able to extend the reach of our programs and offer more assistance without any additional funding."

"The Humanitarian Action and Peacebuilding Masters course has boosted my confidence and reasserted the positive impact that locally-based NGOs have."

Alumnus Angelo Gianturco Coletta
Alumnus Angelo Gianturco Coletta

Basma El Doukhi

Basma El Doukhi is working as a Gender Adviser at the United Nations. From September 2021, she will be doing a PhD in Migration Studies at the University of Kent with a fully funded scholarship.

Basma El Doukhi gained a Chevening Scholarship to study MA Development and Emergency Practice at Oxford Brookes in 2019/20. She says: 

“I had a lot of professional experience but lacked academic experience to complement it, which I needed to progress with my career. When I saw the Master’s in Development and Emergency Practice at Brookes, I really liked the subject and list of modules but also the extra-curricular activities such as the Oxford Human Rights Festival. So I knew I could bring an excellent contribution from my experience, and get a lot of benefit from interacting with the professors and other students on the course. It was an extraordinary learning and reflective year and experience at CENDEP. ”

Basma El Doukhi
Alumnus Basma El Doukhi with Craig Simmons (Lord Mayor of Oxford, 2019/20) and Elise Benjamin (Lord Mayor of Oxford, 2011/12)

Leah Wainana MA DEP 2018-19

‘My experience at Brookes was amazing. The people there were warm, friendly, inclusive and welcoming. The lecturers were very engaging and supportive, I really enjoyed the thought-provoking sessions and real time examples and scenarios including the field trip to Lebanon, that helped me to better understand the situation within the humanitarian development nexus.

After graduating from CENDEP in 2019, I joined Humanity and Inclusion in Dadaab Refugee camp whereby I worked as a Project Manager in Inclusive Education supporting children with disabilities to access safe, quality and inclusive education. I worked with communities and partners to advocate for the rights of children with disabilities and breakdown the barriers preventing them from accessing essential services on an equal basis. Currently, I work as a Regional Project Coordinator at Save the Children implementing a project focused on children on the move aimed at strengthening national and regional child protection mechanisms. I enjoy working with the community and I am glad that through the MA DEP programme, I was able to build on the skills set required to promote high impact programming and empower community members to participate in all spheres of life as well as map out a clear career path for myself within the humanitarian sector.' 

Alumnus Leah Wainana
Alumnus Leah Wainana, 2018-19
Students on a field trip
Students on a field trip