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Introducing NextGen RH CoP’s New Advisory Committee Members: Rising Stars and Experts in AYSRHR

Almost 1.2 billion people across the world are young people (ages 15-24), so there has never been a more critical time to focus on the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents and youth than today. Ensuring that the needs of the youth population are met is important to achieving improvements in reproductive health globally. Working with youth leaders who are AYSRHR experts in developing responsive solutions is necessary to make lasting change.

Leadership Structure within the CoP

Since it was launched in 2022, the NextGen RH Community of Practice (CoP), which is led by youth experts from Africa and Asia, has convened 4 general meetings with CoP members. The meetings have been platforms to learn about different topics such as applying behavioral science to AYSRHR programming, youth-led innovations in AYSRHR, and youth access to SRH information. Advisory committee members worked to identify the topics and experts for these meetings.

We recently included 11 new committee members to the CoP advisory committee, and a new youth co-chair. We’re excited for these vibrant members bringing in their expertise towards a collaborative CoP for young people. 

The youth co-chair works in partnership with the coordinating organization co-chair (currently the Knowledge SUCCESS KM Regional Officer for East Africa, Collins Otieno) with support from the CoP coordinating team to lead the CoP and coordinate the Advisory Committee. 

NextGen RH Advisory Committee Members

The youth-led CoP is headed by two co-chairs, one CoP Coordinator, one Communications Lead, and one Youth Technical Advisor in collaboration with 18 advisory committee members. The structure of this team of trailblazers creatively addresses considerations of representation and voice.

The NextGen RH Advisory Committee is a group of youth experts who run the CoP. They are motivated to share their experiences and advocate for evidence-based sexual and reproductive health interventions, providing technical support to AYSRHR knowledge sharing. 

Role of Advisory Committee Members

Since March 2022, AC members have actively participated and engaged in monthly meetings organized by Knowledge SUCCESS and the youth co-chairs. The engagement involves:

  • Improving pre-planning.
  • Collaborative activity design.
  • Conducting design exercises.
  • Exchanging materials with AYSRH organizations.
  • Seeking input for CoP enhancement.

Members prioritize trust-building through activities and WhatsApp chats, fostering open sharing of experiences, challenges, and successes, promoting collaborative teamwork. View bios of committee members, including new members and the youth co-chair below.

NextGen RH Advisory Committee Members

(Hover over the photos and click “learn more” to read more about each member.)

Mariana Yunita H Opat

Mariana Yunita H Opat, Co-Chair

Collins Otieno

Collins Otieno, Co-Chair

Brittany Goetsch

Brittany Goetsch, CoP Coordinator

Dr. Genuine A. Desireh

Dr. Genuine A. Desireh, AC Member

Blessed Peter-Akinloye

Blessed Peter-AkinloyeAC Member

Danish Tariq

Danish Tariq, AC Member

Bisrat Dessalegn

Bisrat Dessalegn, AC Member

Dr. Rediet Negussie

Dr. Rediet Negussie, AC Member

Ebuka Nwafia

Ebuka Nwafia, AC Member

Innocent Grant

Innocent Grant, AC Member

Jose Mateo Dela Cruz

Jose Mateo Dela CruzAC Member

Simon Binezero Mambo

Simon Binezero Mambo, AC Member

Margaret Bolaji-Adegbola

Margaret Bolaji-Adegbola, AC Member


AC Member

Shilpa Lamichhane

Shilpa Lamichhane, AC Member

Mercy Bolaji

Mercy Bolaji, AC Member

Lucky Kaesha

Lucky Kaesha, AC Member

Michael Leo

Michael Leo, AC Member

Siti Khuzaiyah

Siti Khuzaiyah, AC Member

Siviwe Gaika

Siviwe Gaika, AC Member

Yewo Gondwe

Yewo Gondwe, AC Member

Erin Broas

Erin Broas, Communications Lead

Catherine Packer

Catherine Packer, Youth Technical Advisor

In 2024, we are looking forward to having more advisory commitee sessions, and creating content on key AYSRHR topics. If you are interested in joining the CoP, more information can be found on this page.

Innocent Grant

Program Director at Young and Alive Initiative, Tanzania

Innocent Grant is a Program Director at Young and Alive Initiative in Tanzania, a local and youth-led organization working to promote adolescents and young people's sexual and reproductive health. He is a gender specialist with a background in clinical medicine, and a self-motivated youth leader who is passionate about educating adolescents and young adults about sexual, reproductive health and rights. Innocent has more than five years experience in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights for adolescents and young people in Tanzania.His leadership and work in Tanzania has been recognized such that he was among the 2022 Mandela Washington Fellow, a prestigious leadership fellowship founded by President Obama for young African leaders and among the 2022 Phil Harvey SRHR innovation award winner. In the year 2023/24 Innocent is focused on building a sustainable digital media for reproductive health promotion called “Contraceptive Conversations” that has more than 10,000 subscribers, he is co leading a young and alive fellowship aiming at building new SRHR young leaders in Tanzania, co leading a gender transformative program for adolescent boys and young men in southern highlands of Tanzania called “Kijana wa Mfano”.