About Us

The Centre for Humanitarian Change (CHC), is a humanitarian think-tank based in East Africa and specializes in addressing the challenges of effective assistance to people in fragile areas. CHC believes that the people adapting and applying the more effective aid projects should also be the ones influencing how others work.

Our History

The Centre for Humanitarian Change (CHC) is a Think tank founded in Kenya in 2014 to change the humanitarian system through gathering, developing, testing and sharing new methods of work that will make aid in East Africa more effective and cost-efficient. CHC brings together expertise, knowledge and understanding of fragile environments, specifically in nutrition, water and sanitation. CHC Founding Directors, Nancy Balfour and Peter Hailey worked together in Somalia in 2011 and through their many experiences in the region, questioned whether support provided to people in fragile areas is effective. CHC plays a critical role in to changing and adapting the humanitarian system through use of evidence and adaptive ways of working.

The centre covers multiple sectors and specialises in the capacity development needs of local institutions and service providers. The Centre undertakes a comprehensive body of research and studies contributing to the centre’s themes:

Identifying the characteristics of an aid model

Effective service delivery models for fragile areas

The role of local organizations in fragile areas

Translating evidence of what works into action

CHC also uses findings from multiple evaluations and reviews to contribute to the professionalization of local NGOs in humanitarian aid delivery. Through its extensive work throughout the region the centre is identifying good practice and recognising ‘champions’ to teach others throughout the region and beyond. CHC aims to turn innovative learning into local capacity and turn evidence into action.

What we stand For

CHC is driven by a focus on evidence, excellence and a spirit of innovation. CHC believes that those who are in practice in local organizations know better what works and should be at the forefront shaping policy. We also believe in using evidence to develop a humanitarian aid model that is responsive to changing needs.

Founding Directors

Nancy Balfour

CHC Managing Trustee and Senior Consultant

Nancy Balfour has an extended experience of more than 31 years in the design and management of development, relief and recovery projects.

Nancy is a qualified engineer who has specialised in delivering water and sanitation services in complex emergencies. Her early work with conflict affected communities in South Sudan in the 90s and early 2000s provided the foundation for a commitment to humanitarian support for people in fragile areas. She has held global and regional positions with the EC and Red Cross movement advising on humanitarian policy including humanitarian good practice, disaster risk reduction and inter-agency coordination. She has a strong experience in water management in the arid and semi-arid areas, pastoralist water development, disaster risk management and resource-based conflict. Her extensive experience on system resilience and humanitarian response coordination combined with technical expertise in WASH have provided Nancy with considerable capacity to support the strengthening of humanitarian systems and evidence-based programming.

Peter Hailey

CHC Managing Trustee and Senior Advisor

Peter Hailey has experience of nearly 30 years on the design, management, and research and evaluation of projects ranging across the development and emergency landscape. Peter is a Nutritionist and through his extensive experience of managing large scale emergency nutrition programmes in complex emergencies, he has developed expertise in a wide variety of areas. In particular, he has extensive experience in the design of nutrition information systems in emergencies. Since its inception in 2014 he is a member of the Famine Review Committee of the Integrated Phase Classification system and has managed large scale famine response programmes, and has deep experience of analysing and researching issues related to famine. Since creating CHC Peter’s many years of programme management with UNICEF and NGOs, principally in Africa, have allowed him to develop into being a thought leader on issues related to resilience, health systems strengthening and risk informed and shock responsive systems. CHC has learnt that What works to promote change in how aid works in fragile areas is to change how aid projects do not what they do. This has meant that Peter and CHC have built up considerable experience in using Adaptive Learning models and approaches to strengthening adaptive learning culture in aid organisations and Governments.

The Board


The Staff

Leah Mugo

Office and Projects Manager

Leah Mugo is a proactive Office Administrator with over 15 years’ experience coordinating office operations and activities in fast-paced, deadline-driven environments to secure its efficiency and functionality by developing and maintaining detailed administrative and procedural processes that reduce redundancy, improve accuracy, and achieve organizational objective.

She is enthusiastic about working in the Humanitarian sector and dedicated to supporting programs and management in finding solutions to provide, sustain and implement change; while learning and ensuring learning in all areas of the projects, programs and organizational level. She has Business Management qualifications from Strathmore University, and has been working with CHC since May 2016.


Our Work

Current Opportunities


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Contact Us

P.O Box 8-00606, Sarit Center,
Nairobi, Kenya.
888 Brookside Drive, No 9, Brookside, Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya.
Email: info@whatworks.co.ke