Degan Ali

Degan Ali

Executive director

Executive director of Adeso, Degan Ali has an impressive track record of more than 20 years of hands-on experience in strategic planning, organisational development, programme management, and business development strategies. Among other things, in 2003, Degan designed and oversaw the delivery of the first large-scale cash aid distribution programme in Africa implemented by a NGO rather than a government agency. Under her leadership, Adeso has pioneered and championed market based and dignified solutions to aid -globally allowing cash transfers to become a standard type of aid response.

Degan is a regular commentator on humanitarian action. She is not afraid to speak her mind when lives are at stake, speaking on a variety of  issues such as localization of humanitarian aid, food security and security information, the Somalia famine response, cash programming, and the importance of supporting private sector driven remittances. Most recently, Degan has been an active member of the leadership council for the Network of Empowered Aid Response (NEAR); a network of Southern NGOs with a mission to reshape the to-down humanitarian and development system to one that is locally driven and owned.

Twitter: @DeganAli
LinkedIn: Degan Ali


How can we prevent the suffering of millions? Fund local NGOs directly

Local and national NGOs are critical for effective aid, yet received 1.6% of total funding between 2010 and 2014

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A lifeline for families in Somalia is hanging by a thread

At a time where "resilience" seems to be the new buzzword on the tip of everyone's tongue, one of Somalia's most resilient systems – remittances – is hanging by a thread

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A deadly delay: risk aversion and cash in the 2011 Somalia famine

There is immense potential for cash transfer programming to provide humanitarian relief at scale in times of crisis

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Gobla Food Security Volumne 1 Issue 1 cover

Global Food Security, Volume 1, Issue 1

Risk-averse to risk-willing: Learning from the 2011 Somalia cash response


Cash Vouchers Should be at the Center of International Development

Talk Radio News, UN HQ New York, 14 November 2014


Conference sessions

Implement Session
Implement Header

We look at the challenges and reasons for making the World Humanitarian Summit's "Grand Bargain" a reality.



Mon, 03/20/2017 - 14:15 to 15:45

Can more diversity add value and agility to the humanitarian system? This session explores through the lens of three innovative case studies.



Tue, 03/01/2016 - 11:15 to 13:00