dr. (Otieno) AO Ong'ayo


Dr. Otieno Ong'ayo (Antony) is a political scientist by training. His main research interests are in the areas of politics of development, migration and development, Diaspora transnationalism, diaspora politics, civic driven change, civil society state relations, digital citizenship, digital culture and society.

His current research at ISS examines the contribution of transnational practices of diaspora organizations to development in the countries of destination and origin (‘here and there’) at the local and national government levels).  He is also involved in the Diaspora politics research within the research project- ‘Transnational political engagement of African Diaspora communities’ which examines how Diaspora communities have (self-) organised transnationally between various countries of residence to influence local policies. The project is linked to other research groups namely: Vital cities and citizenship; Civic Innovation Research Initiative (CIRI), Governance, Law and Social Justice.

Besides his research work, he is also involved in the supervision of master’s students in the Migration and Diversity MA track, Human Rights, Gender and Conflict Studies: Social Justice Perspectives (SJP)Major as well as Governance, and Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies (AFES).

He obtained his PhD (Development Studies) from Tilburg University Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences), a master's degree in Political Science (cum laude) with a specialisation in Politics and Development, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science (cum laude) from Stockholm University, Sweden. He undertook a postgraduate study in Management of Health and Psychosocial Services in the developing countries at Uppsala University Sweden and holds a Diploma in Labour Studies and Management (with distinction).

Prior to joining ISS, he has undertaken research in the fields of Migration and Development, Diaspora engagement and participation; Globalization, Accessibility, Innovation and Care (GAIC) (at Tilburg University, School of Humanities) and extensive fieldwork in China on China-Africa relations. His experience in migration and development policy research include an EU funded research project (DIASPEACE) focused on Diasporas and Peace building in the Horn of Africa countries of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia (2008-2009); A study on institutional building cooperation between African Diaspora organisations and Governments in their countries of origin covering five countries (UK, Ghana, Nigeria, Germany and USA (2009). Since May 2016 he sits in the Commission on Development Cooperation (COS) of the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs to the Dutch Government (AIV). At the local government level, he has been involved in diaspora engagement policy initiatives in the municipality of The Hague on co-implementation of municipal policies on integration and participation within the initiative -Inclusive Policy-making based on Shared Solutions (Inclusieve Beleidsvorming op basis van Gedeelde Oplossingen)

He taught courses on The Changing World of International Relations and Human Rights at Amsterdam University College and a course on Digital Culture and Society at Tilburg University. He also taught theory and practice of development at the University College Utrecht. From 2013 he was adjunct lecturer in the Department of International Relations at Webster University, Leiden (teaching graduate courses on politics of development, African area Studies, International Relations, International Organisations and Social Science Research Methodology).

International Institute of Social Studies

Visiting fellow | Academic staff unit
Kortenaerkade 12, 's - Gravenhage


  • Otieno Ong'ayo (2020) - Migration & Covid-19: Impact migration aspirations in the African context
  • Otieno Ong'ayo (2020) - Acceptance of Digital Tools for Health Access from a governance perspective: The case of Kenya and Ghana
  • Otieno Ong'ayo (2020) - Digital participation and citizenship. A pillar to Leaving No One Behind
  • Otieno Ong'ayo (2020) - Digital Governance: The role of political, institutional and policy context
  • Otieno Ong'ayo & H Hintjens (2019) - Rejected and destitute asylum seekers as actors: reflections on ongoing experiences and negotiating agency in the UK and the Netherlands
  • Otieno Ong'ayo (2019) - Migration and local governance:  Reality, theory and practice: Local solutions for movement of refugees and migrants
  • Otieno Ong'ayo (2018) - How is regional protection being shaped and what are the critical issues?
  • Otieno Ong'ayo & Kees Biekart (2018) - CDC and African diaspora communities in The Hague
  • Otieno Ong'ayo (2018) - Diaspora Transnational Political Engagement and civic-driven change
  • Otieno Ong'ayo (2017) - Peacebuilding from a gender and development perspective

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