Communities in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) understand the complex causes and consequences of their social and economic exclusion. The development community's structure, where outsiders are "experts" and locals mere "beneficiaries," excludes local and sub-national actors from accessing the development funding marketplace purportedly created to serve excluded groups.
As a result, too many development interventions to promote social inclusion struggle to show lasting results, while generating long-term unintended negative effects for communities. Training communities to compete for and effectively apply development funding to interventions they design is the key to righting this imbalance.
Nzoku Consultores is an advisory and research firm that partners with local, sub-national, and international organizations to tackle the root causes of ineffective social inclusion programs in Latin America and the Caribbean.
What We Do
We build the capacity of NGOs, CBOs, and sub-national governments in LAC to access and execute international development funds.
We assess and support activities to strengthen NGOs' and local governments' project design and management capacity.
We design short-, medium-, and long-term funding strategies; write grants and proposals; and provide trainings on project and monitoring and evaluation plan design for submission to international funding agencies.
We conduct project management training workshops and provide one-on-one technical support during project execution.
We support international and LAC regional organizations in carrying out research on social and economic inclusion of and health disparities for African descendants and Indigenous Peoples as well as that of women, girls, boys and men in LAC and among Latinx populations in the US, Canada and Europe.
We conduct in-depth interviews and focus groups for studies of social and/or economic inclusion, development with identity and health disparities.
We design and conduct both experimental and non-experimental impact evaluation studies as well as other cross-sectional and longitudinal studies on issues of social and economic inequalities and health disparities.
What We Stand For
“Nzoku” (said “uN-zoh-koo”) means “elephant” in the Central African language of Lingala. Elephants form deep family bonds and live in tight matriarchal family groups. They are extremely intelligent and have memories that span many years. Like our namesake, we are wise, inclusive, practical and perceptive.
Nzoku’s mission is to join with communities to ensure the delivery of tangible, sustained development results in LAC. We aim to render ineffective the systemic and technical barriers that local communities experience in trying to develop themselves effectively, efficiently, and on their own terms.
Who We Are
Adria N. Armbrister Makouangou, PhD
CEO & Principal Consultant
Adria is an international development and global health expert. She has over 15 years of experience in project management of social initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean, social science and public health research, and policy analysis.
Adria spent more than eight years serving governments across Latin America and the Caribbean as a Social Development Specialist for the Inter-American Development Bank. She is currently a lecturer in global health and gender and human rights at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University in New York. A native English speaker who is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, Adria began Nzoku Consultores to disrupt the international development machine. She is based in New York, USA and Lima, Peru.
The Nzoku Team
We draw from an extensive team of development experts.
Our affiliated consultants have expertise in:
Institutional capacity building and assessment
Private sector MSME development
Indigenous Peoples’ development with identity
Social and economic inclusion of African descendants
Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH)
Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)
Primary and secondary education
Preservation and promotion of arts, culture and language
We work in:
- Brazilian Portuguese