Kaya Family.

We call the Open Institute the Kaya. Open Institute is our home and we have a very close and tight family

Jay Bhalla

Director, Founder and Trustee

Jay Bhalla is an innovation strategist and Open Data Advocate, who helped pioneer Kenya's digital revolution. He helped design the Kenyan government's 2006 ICT policy that kick-started the nation's innovation and digital startup culture, and played a leading role in shaping the Kenya Open Data Initiative (KODI).
Picture of Al Kags against a yellow background

Al Kags

Director, Founder and Trustee

I have a lot of passion for the idea of ``People Power`` and my career has been the pursuit of building systems and structures that give people the power to determine how their lives can be better. I am a writer, a poet and a stories enthusiast.

My job is to lead the team as we explore the most sustainable ways for governments and citizens to better engage and make live better.

Benjamin Charagu

Programmes Director

Benjamin works as the Programmes Director for the Open Institute in Nairobi, Kenya.

Amongst the various programmes that he oversees are the Ability https://ability.or.ke/, Open County http://www.opencounty.org/ and Extractives programmes. As a Programmes Director, he develops and implements the organization's programmes. He assesses needs and ensures that various programs objectives are met.

He is responsible for budgeting and community outreach. He collaborates with other teams to write grant proposals and manage large scale donations.

He reports to an executive and advices on the programme's progress.

He manages the departmental sub-functions within a broader departmental function.

He creates functional strategies and specific objectives for the sub-function and develops budgets/ policies/ procedures to support the functional infrastructure.

He has been responsible for establishing the Data scraping and wrangling division of the Open Institute organisation, as well as contributed to the creation of grass-roots data literacy training modules.

He is also the founder of East African Artists, whose focus is to give local musicians control of their products.

He believes that an informed person makes better choices.

Murage Munene

Technology Lead

Experienced in development of database driven web based solutions and content management systems (websites and intranets) using Agile methodologies; Android applications development; Database design, development and optimization; Social-media integration; Stand-alone Flash applications development; Online Business Processes Development and Project Management.

Nakaziba Musiimenta

Finance & Admin

I develop financial models and systems like financial policies, operations manuals, internal controls and collaborated on the creation of an ERP system. I use these models and systems to guide me in strategic analysis, budgeting, and forecasting, reporting and project management. I manage the admin team in creating a conducive workplace culture, employee management, health and safety and calendar management among others.

Kevin Kavai


My area of expertise include but not limited to:
- UI/UX web development
- Linux server administration
- I am proponent of FOSS and have been able to use and contribute to several tools. Some of the tools I have used comfortably are the CKAN platform (set up and deployment) and Open Data Kit for data collection using mobile phones to collect community data.

Prolyne Nancy


Media is my passion and every project I take on is tailored to your needs. I provide a personal approach to every project and a high standard quality to what we deliver here at the Open Institute. Packaging of our programme and the activities that we do at the Open Institute is my task.

Mbuvi Muli

Office Administrator

I ensure the office runs smoothly and efficiently

Felicia Mtoka


A creative and proactive individual who has keen eye for details. Enjoys meeting new people andforming close working relationships with those working with me. Organized and thrives in a team.


Conversant with python, React Native, Javascript, HTML and CSS.
Proficient in database technologies such as sqlite and MySQL.
Experience using React native to build applications.
Experience using HTML and CSS to build web functions.

Ivy Gathu

Programme Officer

I am a human rights and development professional with approximately 5 years’ work experience in programme management. I am passionate about community organising and building active citizen/netizen participation in Africa on women and social economic and cultural rights.

Esther Njagi

Data Fellow, Maarifa Centre

I love words, design, and technology. In my role I get to use all three to feed into a passion of mine: enhancing user satisfaction and experience, particularly in human-computer interaction. I believe the user is king, so I use data and analytics to tell stories, making it easy to consume for the end user.

My job is to funnel OI's support to the Council of Governors Maarifa Centre, to harness knowledge and best practices of different counties for better service delivery.

A picture of Jonah

Jonah Mngola

Programme Lead, Extractives

I am a lawyer by profession and I have worked in the extractives space for a number of years. I was one of the Co-Founders of the Strathmore University Extractives Industry Centre. My job is to find the ways in which citizens working in the extractives sector can become visible in the policy space and how they can sustainably contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals through their sector.
Picture of Crystal Asige

Crystal Asige

Programme Lead, Ability