LinkedInTobias Eigen

Tobias Eigen

Community Builder at Namati: Innovations in Legal Empowerment

Greater Seattle Area
Nonprofit Organization Management
  1. Namati: Innovations in Legal Empowerment,
  2. Kabissa - Space for Change in Africa,
  3. Nonprofit Technology Network
  1. Benetech,
  2. i-Scale - Innovations for Scaling Impact,
  1. University of Sussex
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Namati: Innovations in Legal Empowerment

Namati: Innovations in Legal Empowerment

Community Builder

– Present

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Techie with 20+ years experience working in Africa, Europe and North America. Persistent and adaptable problem-solver focused on technical, strategic and organizational solutions. Lifelong passion is to strengthen organizations working on meaningful social, political, economic and environmental issues by promoting and implementing effective use of technology.

Specialties: strategic planning, leadership, community management, project management, and training.


Community Builder

Namati: Innovations in Legal Empowerment
– Present (2 months)Greater Seattle Area

Energizing a community of grassroots justice legal groups through online and in-person learning exchanges.

Founder and Executive Director

Kabissa - Space for Change in Africa
– Present (15 years)

* Carry responsibility for governance, budgeting and strategy as well as managing volunteers and contractors.
* Secured funding from range of donors including GIZ, Ford Foundation, Open Society Initiative for West Africa, OSI Information Program, Lonely Planet Foundation, and Yahoo Employee Foundation.
* Transitioned organization into volunteer-run and stakeholder-supported networking platform after 10 years as nonprofit business providing online services and training (2010).
* Managed development and launch of innovative online networking platform using open source software (2008).
* Created and managed website hosting service tailored for African civil society organizations (until 2007).
* Developed Time to Get Online training manual and used it to run ICT training workshops for civil society organizations in Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco and Ghana (until 2006).
* Published leading African human rights e-mail newsletter Pambazuka News, in collaboration with Fahamu and SANGONeT (until 2001).
* Founded nonprofit with mission to help African civil society organizations put information and communication technology to work for the benefit of their communities.

Editorial Advisory Board for NTEN: Change (A Quarterly Journal for Nonprofit Leaders)

Nonprofit Technology Network
– Present (1 year 11 months)

Contribute to brainstorming calls on timely tech topics to cover in upcoming editions and tech leaders to invite to author articles. Contribute articles on my own pet topics such as Open Data.


Stiftung Kinder-Hilfe
– Present (15 years)

Stiftung Kinder-Hilfe was founded in fall 1999 by Jutta Philippi Eigen and her mother Else Philippi with an investment of DM 500,000. The Foundation supports socially disadvantaged children in poor countries through small but discrete and effective investments.

Developer Community Manager, SocialCoding4Good

(2 months)

Set up SC4G website and connected volunteer developers with participating humanitarian open source software projects.

Senior Steward

i-Scale - Innovations for Scaling Impact
(2 years)

Developed and implemented IT strategy to meet requirements for team collaboration, e-conferencing, event management, community website, and constituency relationship management. Stewarded Communications Community of Practice for leading Global Action Networks. Organized workshops in Stockholm, Geneva and Bonn.

Assistant to the Director
(1 year)

Coordinated change process for transforming organization into international network of autonomous centers contributing to the global justice portal. Performed feasibility study in collaboration with the British Council for NigeriaNet, a proto Web 2.0 site for human rights community in Nigeria. Led NGO consultative forum in Lagos and introduced project to Lagos-based donors. Wrote successful funding proposals to European Commission and Ford Foundation.


International Alert
(less than a year)

Set up resource center for journalists in the Press Union of Liberia and provided training on use of computers and Internet for reporting.


Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture
(less than a year)

Coordinated and monitored European Commission funded Internet capacity-building project for ten Nigerian human rights groups based in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Abuja and Kaduna.


Volunteers in Technical Assistance
(less than a year)

Assisted rural non-profit information center in Moramanga, Madagascar to develop a strategy for joining the Internet and utilizing it to serve the village community and environs.

Internet Specialist

UNESCO International Project on Technical and Vocational Education
(1 year)

Promoted the use of Internet to improve exchange of information and experiences in the international network of UNEVOC centers. Planned, launched and managed UNEVOC eForum mailing list which still thrives today. Developed and implemented strategy for publishing full-text documents on the web and CD-ROM.

Founder, Owner, Consultant

Kabissa Communications
(3 years)

Provided Internet strategy consulting for international organizations, including:

* Transparency International: introduced international nonprofit to Internet through strategy consulting, website development, and training.
* Afrovision TV News Exchange: assembled and tested turnkey e-mail systems in cooperation with the NY office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation for each of the consortium's 13 bureaux.
* Africare: regularly assembled and tested e-mail software on laptops and trained staff as they prepared to depart for missions throughout Africa.


West African Newsmedia and Development Center (WANAD)
(less than a year)

Investigated viability of computer network for news agencies in West Africa and introduced Cotonou staff to the Internet.

Network Administrator

USAID Famine Early Warning System Project (FEWS)
(2 years)

Developed and maintained a private e-mail network for field offices in a dozen countries across the African Sahel region. Provided training and tech support for field officers.


  1. English

    Native or bilingual proficiency
  2. German

    Native or bilingual proficiency
  3. French

    Professional working proficiency


Certified Scrum Product Owner(Link)

Scrum Alliance
– Present


Web 2.0 in African Civil Society(Link)

Kabissa / Marc Lindenberg Center

@ Ease with Email(Link)

United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS)

Adapting to change(Link)

ICT Update 39: Web 2.0
October 2007

Email: A viable alternative to the web?(Link)

ICT Update Issue 10: Rural Connectivity
January 2003

Email, a home for everyone on the web(Link)

ICT Update Issue 29: WSIS-2
October 2005


University of Sussex

Master of Arts (M.A.), Culture, Race and Difference

Dissertation title: The dilemma of national identity in German Romanticism.

Georgetown University

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), German and African Studies

African Studies senior thesis on Internet in Africa.

International School of Kenya

International Baccalaureate (I.B.)

Washington International School

7th - 11th Grade

Lafayette Elementary School

4th - 6th grade

Frankfurt International School

3rd grade

Lafayette Elementary School

Kindergarden - 2nd grade


  • Public Speaking
  • Information Technology...
  • Web Development
  • Social Media
  • Open Source
  • Open Data
  • International...
  • Non-profits
  • Nonprofits
  • Research
  • Leadership
  • Fundraising
  • Strategic Planning
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Capacity Building
  • Management Consulting
  • Policy
  • Governance
  • Communication
  • Web 2.0
  • Event Management
  • Data Wrangling
  • Strategy
  • Volunteer Management
  • Project Management
  • Training
  • Proposal Writing
  • Human Rights
  • Civil Society
  • Africa
  • Government
  • Politics
  • Economic Development
  • Community Development
  • NGOs
  • See 20+  See less

Honors & Awards

IICD/infoDev ICT Stories Competition Winner, 2002
Netsquared Tech Innovation Challenge Finalist, 2007
Netsquared FACT Social Justice Challenge Winner 2010

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