Research Faculty


Associate Research Professor


  • M.A. Addis Ababa University
  • B.A. Addis Ababa University
Firew Kefyalew is an Ethiopian with over 30 years of experience in program/project development/management, capacity building, teaching, research & documentation, counseling, and leadership in multi-cultural environments. He received a B.A. degree in Educational Psychology from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, in 1985; and a M.A. in Educational Psychology from the same university in 1994. He also holds a diploma in organization development consulting (2000).
Earlier in his career, Firew has served as secondary school Guidance and Counseling Officer in Asmara, Eritrea (1987-1990) and in Addis Ababa (1991-1993). He has also worked with the Department of Applied Psychology, University College Cork, Ireland in the Ethiopia and Rwanda field offices assuming progressive roles where he finally became the Director of the Ethiopia Field Office (1998). For six years (1998-2004), he was the Program Development Officer of Rädda Barnen (Save the Children Sweden) in the Southern Sudan Program. He continued to work in Southern Sudan (2004-2006) as Project Officer for UNICEF mainly tasked with child protection in returns and reintegration. Returning to his home country, he served the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) as Country Director from 2007 to 2015. Since July 2014, he was given an additional role by IIRR as Africa Region’s Program Advisor mainly tasked with promoting capacity building, research, and documentation in Africa.
Firew was the East Africa Region Academic Director of Future Generations University (USA) where he also held a faculty position as Assistant Professor of Participatory Action Research and Project Management (2015-2017). Firew is active in voluntary professional activities: Chair, Leadership Forum of CCRDA (2013 to date); board of trustee, Future Generations (2016 to date); President of the Ethiopian Psychologists’ Association (2007 to 2012); International Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care (2005 to 2010); Instructor, National University of Rwanda (1997); and Life Member, Society of Friend of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (1996). He is also an International Fellow (2009) of Ford Motor Company 92 nd Street Y, elected based on the merit of demonstrated leadership skills.
  • Facilitator, editor, and resource person for books on reproductive health (Learning Our Way Out), Ethiopian Women in Peace Building and Conflict Resolution, Pastoral Land Use and Tenure in Ethiopia, Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction, and Value Chain Development (2007 to 2012)
  • Learning and Earning: How a Value Chain Learning Alliance Strengthens Farmer Entrepreneurship in Ethiopia. Firew Kefyalew, (con); John Belt; Wim Goris; Sorsa Debela, (con); Eva Smulders, (con) (2012)
  • Notes on Promoting Youth Participation (April 2004) (Unpublished)
  • The Child Soldiers of Northern Bahr el Ghazal: A Demobilization Experience (April 2004) Save the Children Sweden – Co-editor
  • Education as A Tool For Child Protection: Save the Children Sweden’s experience in southern Sudan (unpublished)
  • Children’s Rights in Southern Sudan: A Situation Analysis. (June 2003) Southern Sudan Program, Save the Children Sweden (Published) – Editor
  • Youth Education: The southern Sudan Experience. (April 2002) Southern Sudan Program, Save the Children Sweden (Published) – Editor, contributor and designer of cover page
  • Firew Kefyalew, Hirut Teferi (2000) Report from the regional seminar on the training of peacekeepers And the co-operation between humanitarian and military organizations
  • Firew Kefyalew, Kirk Felsman and Hirut Teferi (July 2000) Unaccompanied Refugee Minors from Southern Sudan: Preliminary Views on Coping and Long-term Adaptation. A paper presented at the XXVII International Congress of Psychology. Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Hirut Teferi, Kirk Felsman and Firew Kefyalew (July 2000) Research with Unaccompanied Refugee Minors: Ethical Dilemmas in the Field. A paper presented at the XXVII International Congress of Psychology. Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Prevention Strategies for Street Migration: An Ethiopian Perspective (June, 1998)
  • Family Reunification for Unaccompanied Minors in Rwanda (1998) with Giorgia Doná, Charles Kalinganire, Bernardine Mukakizima, and Felix Muramutsa,
  • Present level of public knowledge and understanding of the problem of street children in Ethiopia. A paper presented at the Urban Childhood Conference, Trondheim, Norway (June, 1997) and at BEARCO workshop in Kampala (July, 1997)
  • Research Methods in Human Sciences. A teaching material prepared for the National University of Sciences, Faculty of Education Sciences, Rwanda (November, 1997)
  • The Reality of Child Participation in Research. Global Journal of Childhood. Vol. 3, 1996: 203 – 213 [published]
  • Responsibility Behavior Compared Between Home-reared and Institutionalized Children (MA Thesis, 1994)
  • The Role of Vocational Training in Conjunction with Integrated Education. (1993) [In Amharic]
  • Conflict Generating Factors between High school Teachers and Directors. A national prize-winning paper. (1989) [In Amharic]
  • The Study Habit of Blind Students in Addis Ababa University. (B.A. Senior Essay) Addis Ababa University. June 1986, Addis Ababa