Wednesday 14 June
Nairobi, Kenya

This panel session explored conflict resolution in Sudan, and the implications for Sudan’s political economy of excluding civic actors from policy and aid responses. The discussion also addressed lessons from the 2011 Arab uprisings for the Sudan conflict.

Listen to the full panel session

XCEPT · Panel Session 6: Civic Actors and Sudan’s Peace, Economic, and Humanitarian Processes


Matthew Benson – London School of Economics and Political Science

Dr Matthew Benson is the Sudans Research Director in the LSE’s Conflict and Civicness Research Group, and a lead researcher within PeaceRep. Matthew is an economic historian of Africa whose recent research identifies how colonial, rebel and state revenue raising practices in the Sudans contributed to states that work better for a minority in power rather than most people in either country. Matthew’s research informs academic, policy and practice-oriented debates and is shaped by his professional background that has mixed research with operational roles. Over the past 15 plus years, Matthew has held posts in South Sudan with Crown Agents and in Sudan with Médecins Sans Frontières. He has also conducted research on how to provide public services more equitably in conflict-affected societies with the World Bank, the Rift Valley Institute, the Overseas Development Institute, the Institute of Development Studies, and UNHCR. Matthew holds a PhD and MA from Durham University, an MA from the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex, and a BA from Tufts University.


Raga Makawi – London School of Economics and Political Science

Raga Makawi is a Sudan researcher in the LSE’s Conflict and Civicness Research Programme, where her work is supported by the Peace and Conflict Resolution Evidence Platform (PeaceRep). Her current research looks at the ideological undercurrents of the new civic formations in the aftermath of the 2018 Sudanese revolution. She is also an editor at African Arguments. Raga is currently pursuing her MPhil in African Studies from Oxford University.

Deen Sharp – London School of Economics and Political Science

Dr Deen Sharp is a visiting fellow in Human Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Deen is an urban geographer focused on the Arab world, writing extensively on the urbanisation of violence and conflict, and social mobilisation. He is the co-editor of Beyond the Square: Urbanism and the Arab Uprisings (2016), Open Gaza: Architectures of Hope (2022) and Reconstruction as Violence in Syria (forthcoming) and has published in several scholarly journals and books. He moved to Khartoum, Sudan in April 2022 .

Kholood Khair – Confluency Advisory

Kholood Khair is the founding director of Confluence Advisory, a think tank in Khartoum that works on policy research. Kholood also hosts and co-produces Spotlight 249, Sudan’s first English-language political discussion and debate show aimed at young Sudanese. Kholood has over a decade of experience in research, aid programming, and policy in Sudan and across the Horn of Africa. She has also written analysis pieces for several international publications and has provided analyses for different research and policy institutions. Kholood holds an MSc from Oxford University and an MSc from the School of Oriental and African Studies.