Erhiawarien headshot

Leland Fellow

Mercy Erhiawarien

7th Class, 2013-2015

Policy Placement: ONE, Washington, DC

Mercy worked within ONE’s Agriculture and Inclusive Growth Policy Team. Her work included contributing to the development of  priorities for the 2015 African Union Year of Women’s Empowerment (AU YWE) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) campaigns by identifying key challenges to women’s and girl’s empowerment and to meeting the hunger-related SDGs.  She provided support to ONE’s global campaign and advocacy activities through the development of evidence-based policy analysis for agriculture, food and nutrition security, and inclusive growth issues.  Mercy also assisted ONE’s Africa-based teams to monitor the implementation of the 2014 African Union Malabo Declaration funding and policy commitments.

Field Placement: ONE, Johannesburg, South Africa

Mercy Erhiawarien worked with the ONE Campaign in Johannesburg, South Africa, supporting the African Union’s Year of Agriculture and Food Security. As ONE’s Agriculture Partnership Coordinator, Mercy liaised with ONE’s national partners in its anglophone target countries (Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya) to identify common objectives and key opportunities for policy engagement, and helped to organize farmer forums and policy events that advocated for national commitments to prioritize smallholder farmers. Mercy supported the formulation of policy recommendations through a consultative process with farmers, farmer organizations and civil society and drafted policy documents to support high level engagements with policy makers. Mercy also assisted with campaign logistics and social media communication.

Pre-Fellowship Education/Experience:

Born in Nigeria, Mercy grew up in the United States where she currently resides. She has volunteered overseas in Uganda and most recently Togo. She has experience working with non-profit organizations, including Food for the Hungry, the Institute of Security Studies and InterAction. In South Africa, she worked with a grassroots advocacy organization, Equal Education, advocating for policy to ensure access to equal and quality educational resources and facilities for South African children. More recently, she worked with the District of Columbia’s Mayor’s Office on African Affairs, collaborating with other staff to provide access to health resources for the District’s diverse African residents. Mercy also has a keen interest in African development and enjoys participating in organizations committed to African-led capacity building and development. Mercy has a B.A. in International Development from Queens’ University in Ontario, Canada and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.