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Transformative Civil Society Action: Development Practitioners' Talk


CSSG webinar 6 aug

When: Thursday 6th Aug; 2-3pm (IST)

Registration: email for registration. 


Chaired and hosted by DSAI Civil Society Sudy Group Convenor Dr Nita Mishra.


  • Talent ‘Ntombi’ Nyathi, development activist, South Africa
  • Sharanya Nayak, development activist, India
  • Mark Cumming, development activist, Ireland 

Mark Cumming brings together his life-long interest in community service, volunteering and international development in his role as Head of Comhlámh. As the Irish association of returned development workers and volunteers, Comhlámh supports people in their journey of working for social justice locally and globally.  His early formative career was in Human Resources with International and Irish owned industry. He worked as a volunteer youth and community worker in Kenya and later worked for several years in recruitment and selection for the Agency for Personal Service Overseas, an agency of Irish Aid. He spent 13 years with Trócaire (Caritas Ireland), across a range of governance and human rights programming, evaluation and policy/advocacy functions in Ireland and the Global South. He is passionate about the place of Development Education in international volunteering. He is a board member of Forum and the Irish Fairtrade Network. He has a Masters in Development Studies. 

Sharanya Nayak lives and works with adivasi communities of southern Odisha since 1999. Before that she worked as a sub-editor with New Indian Express but soon she realised she did not like a desk job and wanted to send more time with people in the villages. She joined ActionAd, a British funding agency, and moved to Bolangir district tower with dalit and adivasi migrant workers and then moved to Malkangiri in 2001 to work with adivasi forest communities. Since then she has worked with adivasi communities across Rayagada, Malkangiri and Koraput on issues ranging from land, forest, language and culture. She quit her job in 2015 and moved to a farm in an adivasi village 10 kms from Koraput town. She farms there along with two other adivasi families and continues her engagement with adivasi communities on issues around forest, farming, language and culture.  

Talent ‘Ntombi’ Nyathi, is a feminist an international grail woman, political economist, and development practitioner whose activism is grounded in the more than 27 years of working in the development of Zimbabwe.  Ntombi, as she commonly known has worked at both national and global level in Community Development initiatives for the government of Zimbabwe and with global institutions such as the World Bank and the European Union. Ntombi’s activism is underlined by her ability to bridge development theory, demonstrated in her capacity as an Executive Director of Training for Transformation a global training program based in South Africa.

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