About Us

    Who are we and what do we represent? Who are our consultants and how could you be involved in what we do? Check out our history, mission, vision, consultants, advisory board and other useful information.

    What is CCoLA?

    CCoLA is a foundation that promotes collective learning and action. Our interdisciplinary team consists of inspired, innovative and highly qualified consultants experienced in

    • Community building;
    • Inter- and intraorganizational learning;
    • Academic research;
    • Project management;
    • Business and organizational development;
    • Communication;
    • Process facilitation.

    Our dynamic structure enables us to provide high-quality, efficient services. We have gained firm foothold with the aid of our worldwide partner network. CCoLA is registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce as a foundation.

    Historical Background

    CCoLA was founded in April 2013 by Joseph Seh.

    Joseph used to work at PSO, an association of Dutch development and humanitarian organisations aimed at promoting capacity building in developing countries, program manager and later as knowledge manager in the field of Migration and Development. After the dissolution of PSO in 2012, together with some enthusiastic colleagues & partners (Bruno Fon, Anthony Ong’ayo) with whom he facilitated collective learning within the development sector. The value added of CCoLA arose out of the need to continue the work on collective learning, knowledge development and community building that was  led by Joseph within PSO.

    The primary idea to start CCoLA was to create a place where communities, networks and cooperatives could learn from each other; a place where communities’ inspiring practices are promoted; a place where communities’ managers share and exchange their practices. By providing the room to communities to learn and to take collective actions, CCoLA as a community consultancy itself has the ambition to promote the learning and the social business enterprise culture in its internal human resources, organizational system and procedures.

    Vision and Mission

    Our Vision
    CCoLA envisions communities that have the capacity for and commitment to collective learning and action. These communities are resilient and benefit from sustainable development. In these communities, social structures and institutions provide the satisfaction of basic human needs such as subsistence, security, identity, understanding, and participation.

    Our Mission
    The mission of CCoLA is to promote, support and facilitate community-based collective learning and action. We work to create new knowledge about the benefits of collective learning and we further emphasize effective, efficient &  collective action in addressing community or organization challenges. We believe that collective learning and action creates ownership of social change processes.


    CCoLA is governed by 3 main organs: the Board, Advisory Board & Pool of Consultants.

    Our target group


    Our definition of ‘community’
    The communities that CCoLA works with are identifiable groups of people who share common purposes and needs and aspire to organize for collective learning and action. This could be a geographical community (neighborhood, village, city, state); a community of practice or learning; or an identity- or interest-based community.

    Contact us in case you are
    • A community, network or cooperative active in a specific field;
    • A professional or researcher interested in communities and collective learning;
    • A community manager with the wish to create a learning and action community.

    Our Services

    CCoLA partners with communities by:

    • Providing experts who coach and train communities;
    • Developing tools and training modules on collective learning for communities;
    • Facilitating the design, implementation and evaluation of collective learning – resulting in collective action;
    • Facilitating intra- and interorganizational learning and development;
    • Lobbying and promoting collective learning and community building;
    • Facilitating knowledge exchange between communities;
    • Providing up-to-date resources on collective learning and community building;
    • Conducting research on collective learning and communities.

    Our partners

    The organisation for internationalisation in education

    Building flourishing communities

    African Studies Centre
    (ASC Leiden)

    Netherlands-African Business Council

    Wilde Ganzen

    i Plus Solutions
    universal access to essential medicines

    The Municipality of Kribi, Republic of Cameroon

    Centrum Media & Gezondheid
    communication for social change

    Association Guinéenne pour le Développement de la Santé, Conakry – Guinea

    Youth & Women Community Development Training Centre, Uganda

    Wageningen University

    Our legal information

    The Centre for Collective Learning and Action (CCoLA) is registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce as a non-profit organisation.

    Registration number (KvK Nr.): 57717710

    Bank account number: NL 83 RABO 0146730364

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    Anti-Spam Policy Read More

    Our Board


    Director: Joseph Seh Junior


    Joseph has a special eye for the human side of organizations and prefers personal attitudes, knowledge and skills as a starting point for interventions. Joseph is known to be committed and enthusiastic about his work, congenial and community-oriented; a visionary and innovative thinker, capable of seducing people out of their daily habits into working together. He masters the art of rallying support for his projects and activities, both inside and outside an organization.

    After an impressive career at Cordaid and PSO (an organization concerned with capacity building in developing countries) in the field of migration and development, Joseph founded CCoLA in early 2013. It is due to the skills acquired over several years in the sector that he has quickly  built CCoLA into a flourishing organization with a pool of dedicated consultants. As the head project management and chief consultant for CCoLA, he fulfils his ambition to help communities become successful, lively and thriving.

    Interim Secretary: Lucie Timmers


    Lucie’s career is characterized by its diversity and has a quite an adventurous side to it as well. Starting out as a temporary employee in an administrative function, she developed her skills as an executive secretary and later as a freelance secretary while studying psychology. After working for many years in the medical and non-profit sector (eg. The Dutch Heart Foundation), she changed the course of her life and went to work in the field of commercial sailing, at first as a sailmate and later as a skipper. However, psychology continued to attract her attention, so she completed her studies at the University of Leiden in 2006.

    Her thesis, a study on illness perceptions in dialysis patients, led to a publication in “Health Psychology”, a leading academic journal of the American Psychological Association. Since 2006, Lucie has been working at the psychotrauma department of PsyQ, a national mental health institution.

    Treasurer: Eric Ntchao Nounga

    final-400x250-300x188Eric Ntchao Nounga was born in Cameroon where he graduated with a Bachelor in Economic Policy, then moved to the Netherlands and further completed his academic endeavour with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in addition of four years Business Administration brought to completion with a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA). Over the last 10 years, Eric has worked as a financial professional in various tasks and since January 2013 as Financial Controller Iberica and France for Lely Industries in Maasluis.

    Recently Eric started to work with various institutions involved in the development and the promotion of good practices in developed countries and CCoLA fits perfectly into that perspective with the organisation’s commitment to collective learning and action. As member of the board, Eric’s main objective will be to bring a steady and reliable financial structure into CCola in order to professionalise and sustain the organisation to better faced the challenges ahead.

    Our Consultants


    Expert Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding: Davin Bremner

    davin6-400x250Davin Bremner has 25+ years experience in conflict transformation and peacebuilding and has lived in the Netherlands since 2005. He was involved in community conflict resolution and all aspects of the South African political transition, including the South African Peace Accord structures while living in South Africa from 1990-95. He facilitated an action-research project on conflict prevention in post-Soviet Georgia from 2000-2003. He has been a facilitator, mediator, trainer or researcher in Sierra Leone, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, the Basque Country of Spain, Georgia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Moldova, Azerbaijan and researched UN peacekeeping missions in Cyprus, Croatia and Bosnia.

    He advised the United Nations Environment Program on conflict sensitive implementation of environmental assessment in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. He has taught undergraduate and graduate university courses on conflict resolution in the United States, United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

    Senior Consultant Migration & Development: Antony Otieno Ongáyo


    Antony Otieno Ong’ayo is a consultant with Centre for Collective Learning and Action (CCoLA) since its establishment in 2012 and is responsible for Policy Research and Development.

    Otieno Ong’ayo is a political scientist by training and has been a Researcher at the International Development Studies, Utrecht University where he undertook research in the fields of Migration and Development, Diaspora engagement, and participation; Conflicts and displacement in Africa and Civil society engagement in China-Africa relations. He taught courses on The Changing World of International Relations at Amsterdam University College and a course on Digital Culture and Society at Tilburg University. Since 2013 he is an adjunct lecturer in the Department of International Relations at Webster University, Leiden where he teaches the following courses at the graduate level: Research Methods and Perspectives; Politics of Development; Theories of International Relations; Political Inquiry; International Organisations; International Non-Governmental Organisations; Africa Area Studies.

    Read more

    Consultant Strategy Development: Bruno C. Fon

    Bruno has been a consultant with Centre for Collective Learning and Action (CCoLA) since its establishment in 2012. His academic background lies in Communication Management, having graduated from Utrecht University with an MA in International Politics and Governance. Over the last six years, Bruno has worked in the development sector, especially focusing on research, strategy and process planning. As part of Bruno’s research experience, he was instrumental in setting up the Thematic Learning Programme on Human Mobility and Development. This action research project, involving several countries, was aimed at collective learning in the field of migration and development.

    Over the last few years, Bruno has been at the forefront of event organizing, leading the production of conferences and seminars from conception to completion. He is the author of Global Governance and the Role of Non-State Actors: An Examination of Contemporary Challenges to International Relations Theory published by Lambert Academic Publishing (2012, Germany). At CCoLA, Bruno contributes his experience as consultant strategy & concept development.

    Senior Consultant: Mary S.Mangai

    Mary Mangai is a doctoral researcher at the Institute for Management Research, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands. She has a background in Economic Development and Policy Analysis and obtained two master’s degrees from the University of Jos, Nigeria and the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. Her economics background provided her the expertise on the problems faced by poor communities in developing countries and the successful reforms and policies needed to combat poverty and inequality in such settings. She has expanded her horizons with her Ph.D. research on engaging service providers and communities (urban and rural) in the improvement of service delivery in health-care provision, sanitation, and water resource management.

    There is an increasing disconnect between the complexity of the issues governments are facing in developing countries, what citizens are expecting and what government can actually do in practice. Citizens in Africa continue to voice out their frustration in their experience of poor public service provision and poor government performance.


    Consultant: Melvina Abrahams

    Melvina is a graduate of The Hague University of Applied Sciences and completed her Bachelor Degree (LL.B) in International and European Law with majors in Human Rights and Public International Law.  Her research explored issues such as forced marriage relationships, female genital mutilation, human and child trafficking as well as issues pertaining to sexual violence.

    As  South African, her heart is geared towards giving back to underprivileged communities. Through her professional career, she has been instrumental in organizing and facilitating different community projects such as projects focused on women empowerment, training teenagers in life-skills as an after-school care project as well as HIV/Aids training and education through tools such as drama and song.

    Consultant: Jean Séraphin Kepguep

    For more than 10 years and guided by his personal slogan, “let’s make the world a better place through inclusive business”, Jean-Séraphin has earned the reputation for providing skilled and practical guidance as a business consultant, supervisor in engineering solar energy powered products, as speaker and guest lecturer in various European and African universities and as coach in inclusive business and doing business in emerging markets. He is a recognized authority on engineering & entrepreneurial solutions for improving quality of life in remote communities.

    Embracing the core values of social entrepreneurship, innovation, and development, Jean-Séraphin is a 3-time nominee for Entrepreneurs without Borders competition and award winner of the year 2015 edition. He is an award winner of the ABNAMRO Summerschool Entrepreneurship 2009 and nominee of Accenture Innovation Awards with his invention: Solar Energy Sharing Station for last miles community.

    Consultant: Hakeem Gibril

    Hakeem Gibril is a healthcare professional with a background in laboratory medicine and a postgraduate degree in Medicinal Chemistry (Drug Discovery) from the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC). Over the years, Hakeem has worked in several roles in both pharma and biotech companies. He worked at  Genzyme Europe B.V.  with the future leaders’ onboarding program where he was first a Drug Safety Associate in Orphan Drugs (Gauché and Pompé diseases) and then later as a Clinical Research Coordinator (UK, Germany and Sweden ) for a phase III trial (951 patients) on Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

    Subsequently, Hakeem worked as Medical Information Officer (MIO) at Janssen Biologics – a Johnson & Johnson company with special focus on two therapeutic areas; Immunology and Gastroenterology. He was a therapeutic area specialist for the immunology franchise in charge of Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, Psoriasis, Osteoarthritis and Ankylosing spondylitis.

    External Consultant: Simon Koolwijk


    Simon Koolwijk is a trainer/ facilitator in facilitating video storytelling. His work is focused on guiding groups, composed of different stakeholders, to make their own film for assessing impact, monitoring and evaluation. Simon has worked in more than 20 countries, mainly in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Sectors demanding Simon’s services are focused on local governance, environment, human rights development, agriculture, water-, health and sanitation and development of social infrastructure. Simon’s motto in life is: “If people discover their path to their passion, then miracles will come through!”


     External Consultant: Eefje Gilbert

    Eefje is a natural born solution finder. Her penchant for translation makes

    her capable to interpret intercultural, -linguistical, digital and physical technology differences in order to successfully implement new ICTs used in projects. She is convinced that co-creating products are able to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, or transform the lives of end-users. Eefje develops the overall methodology and new knowledge together with the end-users, who she sees as having superior knowledge of their own lives and possibilities. She is known to be pioneering and dedicated to having technology be meaningful for stakeholders. Colleagues describe her as having a strong imaginative mind allowing her to let people from different backgrounds become part of the innovation. More on Eefje? Read the full profile 

    Development aid expert: Karlijn van Arkel


    Karlijn’s professional & academic background is in international development and has worked in various countries in Africa and the Middle East to strengthen agricultural cooperatives and collective entrepreneurship.
    From 2014, she has been working in the Netherlands and has established social cooperatives in ten municipalities around the country through which people on social allowance benefits could try out entrepreneurship ventures.

    At the moment, she is involved as a free-lance project leader of a business incubator for enterprising newcomers in The Hague and has developed training programmes for newcomers to increase their chances in the labor market. In addition, together with Marco Redeman, she is the driving force behind Camping Undetermined (www.campingonbestemd.nl). The project is a 24-hour experience in fun places where area planners and area users interact in different ways to shape the ‘New Netherlands’.

    Karlijn’s strength is in recognizing and strengthening the potential of people and groups. She is pleased to contribute to the personal and professional development and does that in the role of coach, coordinator, and coach. Karlijn considers the values diversity, equality and recognition of own strength as important to her work & life.

    Consultant Project Development: Irish Verwey

    Irish Verwey is a professional who “thinks outside of the box”— an innovator, a “doer”, a “people’s person” who is skilled in the art of helping people find solutions to their challenges. Connecting easily with her clients, she is able to identify what needs to be done and then courageously and energetically equips people to achieve their goals. She is a rare combination of competence and compassion.

    A trained psychologist, she has held many managerial positions in the youth welfare system in Holland. Her particular areas of expertise are fostering diversity within organizations and addressing the needs of marginalized migrant young people. Building upon years of experience, she has held a number of workshops, training participants to become more sensitive to the complexities intrinsic to multicultural societies, teaching both individuals and organizations to become more inclusive and to embrace diversity. Irish equips both individuals and groups for positive change and growth.

    Consultant: Michael Odhiambo

    Dr. Michael Odhiambo is a legal anthropologist with extensive research and development work experience in Africa and Europe. He is a founding partner at Zuid-Noord Onderconsult, a human rights and development consultancy based in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

    Michael has previously led research (commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs) at the Netherlands School of Human Rights Research, Utrecht University School of Law where he investigated the impact of culture and traditional practices on the rights of women in Cameroon, Liberia, Senegal, and Swaziland. He holds a Ph.D degree (cum laude) in the ethnology of law from the Institute of Ethnology, University of Cologne, Germany, and an LLM from Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

    Michael was born in Kenya and has devoted his knowledge, skills, and experience to what he considers his life mission: the application of human rights approaches to the fight against poverty, inequality and all forms of oppression.

    Consultant Inclusive & Sustainable Rural Development: Monica A. Onyango

    Ms Monica has a wealth of experience in inclusive and sustainable community development anchored on social research, education and participatory development initiatives. She is thus familiar with inter-disciplinary development packages on project management, building capacities, and participatory methodologies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Egerton University- Kenya and a Masters’ Degree in Development Studies from Erasmus University -Institute of Social Studies, The Netherlands, with a specialization in Agricultural and Rural Development.

    Monica’s extensive experience amassed from her interaction with both National and International development agencies. She has previously worked with Catholic Relief Services, World Vision International, Concern Worldwide, CORAT Africa, and Maseno University before venturing into freelance consultancy services.

    As a consultant, she has facilitated capacity-building initiatives to community development organizations, networks, coalitions and CBOs and government line ministries. She has been involved in the development of project designs, Strategic plans, project implementation support, assessments and participatory Monitoring and Evaluation processes paying specific attention to gender, HIV and AIDS and environmental issues.

    More on Monica? Read her complete profile

    Consultant: Clarisse Fouda

    Clarisse Fouda is a dynamic and diligent legal mind. She obtained her LL.M International & European Law from the University of Groningen. After accumulating a varied but rich experience in different areas (legal and communication activities), she now specializes in tax law and is a believer in the legal empowerment of individuals. The concept of collective learning in that regard is a revolutionary and innovative way of sharing knowledge. Within Ccola, Clarisse will focus on providing CCoLA with the needed legal information to materialize different projects and if need be recommend specialist external counsel.




    Project Officer: Alpha Boubacar Bah

    Alpha Boubacar Bah served as a project officer in 2015 at CCoLA. The position was created by the Guinean Association for Health Development (AGDS) and the Center for Collective Learning & Action (CCoLA) to facilitate the achievement of the organizational development objectives identified at the end of the capacity-building programme initiated by the two organizations.

    The tasks of project officer revolved around the following  pillars:

    • Organizational Advisor
    • Assist in steering and achieving the organizational development objective set by the AGDS following the various learning paths received
    • Design, prepare, structure and support the processes of change, anticipating their consequences on human, technological, financial and IT aspects
    • Organize from end to end the smooth running of the construction project of the medico community center of the AGDS

    Junior Consultant: Elizabeth Tretu


    Elizabeth Tretu has been a volunteer at Center for Collective Learning and Action (CCoLA) since June 2017 as Junior Consultant. Her academic background is in economics, management, and management study, completing her Bachelor’s Degree from Leiden University in December 2016. In her study, the influence of the economy in the social and financial fields was the central focus.  An important aspect of her professional aspiration as part of CCoLA is supporting projects with links to the social services and has to collaborate in designing policy proposals to address some of the challenges in the sector.

    In giving back to the community as well as for personal & professional development, Elisabeth has been volunteering with the Dutch Salvation Army (Leger Des Heils) as file manager with the responsibility of controlling & processing clients’ files.


    Our advisory board

     Lindsay Louis

    Lindsay Louis was born in Cape Town and grew up in Genadendal, South Africa’s oldest and most beautiful mailing station. In 2002 he began studying International Studies at Stellenbosch University. After completing his BA degree in 2007, he joined the Parliamentary Monitoring Group. In 2009, Lindsay Louis was admitted to a diplomatic diploma with a group of sixty young South Africans. In 2010 he was appointed to the Directorate of German, Northern and Baltic States. In 2011 he served at the South African representation in Switzerland, Finland and Norway, and in 2013 he became the third secretary at the South African Embassy in the Netherlands, including in charge of art and culture. He loves in-depth talks about politics, people, and culture.

    Do you want to be part of a growing network of consultants engaged in facilitating community collaboration? Putting your experience, skills, and expertise to building the effectiveness of organizations, their capabilities to achieve their objectives could constitute a great career experience.

    For more information and application, read the InfoSheet Advisory Board
    Advisory Board

    Our Interns

    Venkat Ambati

    Venkat Ambati currently pursues MA in International Relations at Webster University Leiden Campus. In addition, he is also pursuing Executive Certification in Management Orientation from the University of Virginia through online modules. He studied Life Sciences as part of his undergraduate studies. Venkat has had 9 years of work experience in Finance Service Sector working for a US based manufacturing company and has experience in Team management, Change management, Knowledge management, Project Management and Coaching & Mentoring.

    Venkat is LEAN & SIX SIGMA trained and certified & spearheaded digitization projects which involve robotics automation. He is also an active committee member of Education Committee at Amnesty International Student Group Leiden where they educate student group members and students from schools on human rights violations. As part of his internship at CCoLA, Venkat’s role will include understanding project management structures in the development sector towards systemizing the internal knowledge management systems and procedures of CCoLA.

    Interested in being part of our internship, mentorship or peer review programme? read more about the programme and the work of our interns:  http://projects.ccola.cc/facilitation-mentorship-peer-review/

    Tim van Wingaarden, Jodie Witteveen and Julia van Waard

    Our current interns, Tim, Jodie & Julia are students at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS). Julia and Tim are enrolled onthe  nursing study programme and  Jodie studies occupational therapy. They are all third year students at the institute. During their fieldwork in Ghana, they will be  conducting research on the nutritional status of children. The research will be conducted on behalf of the Ghana Poultry Network, also known as GAPNET. GAPNET is a local organisation focused on improving life standards of the local Ghanaian population through different projects.

    Interested in being part of our internship, mentorship or peer review programme? read more about the programme and the work of our interns:  http://projects.ccola.cc/facilitation-mentorship-peer-review/

    Betsie Limmen & Cas van Rooij

    Our  interns, Betsie and Cas conducted a research project in Sierra Leone with our partner organization, St John of God Hospital. Their internship was facilitated by the CCoLA Collective Coaching Team and staff at our partner organization in Sierra Leone. Both Betsie & Cas conducted their internship in the conetxt of their study programs at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

    Exercise therapy at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences: Betsie Limmen – http://www.amsterdamuas.com

    Public Administration at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences: Cas van Rooij – http://www.amsterdamuas.com

    Interested in being part of our internship, mentorship or peer review programme? read more about the programme and the work of our interns:  http://projects.ccola.cc/facilitation-mentorship-peer-review/



    CCoLA now accepts applications to our team. For students, possibilities could be explored with you and your institution as internship (research or job experience); junior consultant or volunteer. Applications to our Pool of Consultants are also open.




    Call for Applications – Internship (Graduate / Job placement)

    In general, the assignments for students vary according to the objectives of the institution, the students’ career plans, and CCoLA’s strategic objective. The assignments are designed with these three parties in order to provide the students with an excellent study, research and work experience.

    For more information please click here

    Call for Applications – Young Professionals & Practitioners

    The Volunteer Programme of the Centre for Collective Learning & Action (CCoLA) is aimed at providing interested professionals the opportunity of working in a growing consultancy. CCoLA is a community-consulting organisation providing top-notch support to various kinds oforganizationss, business and municipal authorities.

    For more information please click here

    Past vacancies

    These vacancies are completed, you can’t apply anymore.

    Offre d’emploi au Guinee


    Diaspora Humanitarianism

    Read more

    Social Cohesion in Europe

    Read more

    Partnership for Development

    Read more

    Migration Issues

    Read more

    Strengthening Communities of People of African Descent in Europe

    Read more

    Knowledge and Learning

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    Waste Management

    Read more

    Strengthening Health Systems

    Read more

    Contact Us

    For more information, please contact us.


    Get in touch with us!

    phone-outline +31 (0)6 28686492

    mail team.ccola@ccola.cc

    house-icon-png-white-32 Azaleaduin 17, 2318 XL, Leiden