Maria Flinder Stierna
Role: As an ODI Fellow with the Tanzania Institute of Education in Dar-es-Salaam, I am an economist and EdTech Advisor to the Ministry of Education. I work on the institute’s research portfolio and the Hub’s activities in Tanzania.
Background: I have previously worked in education with UNICEF Malawi, where I led the design and roll-out of a pilot and was involved in emergency response and planning. Before that, I had worked mainly in project management, fundraising, and communications (e.g., UNICEF, FAO, Transparency International) and held a Master’s in International Management (CEMS). However, an urge to quantify the impacts of the projects in Malawi led me to then specialise in causal methods during my MSc in Economics (NHH) and pursue work in development research at the University of Oxford and training in experimental methods with J-PAL/MIT. I have worked several years with the Refugee Economies Programme, researching the socioeconomic lives of refugees and their hosts in East Africa. This research encompasses welfare outcomes, humanitarian programming and self-reliance, entrepreneurship, social cohesion, mental health, and gender – most of which, in some way, is connected to education. I’ve also been teaching quantitative methods at Oxford, which in return taught me that I genuinely enjoy teaching!
Fun Fact: I’m forever curious about the capabilities of our bodies and minds and thus semi-addicted to trying/learning new things – a recent example being trapeze flying…