Rivets Learning Inc. generates knowledge, manages projects and develops capacities incorporating community resilience to enrich the process of social, economic and human development. We conceptualise new ideas and projects, and design and deliver training programmes for multiple stakeholders. We catalyse policy dialogue and conduct people-centred field and academic research. We offer modern solutions and innovative techniques to our clients in public, private and non-profit sector in order to make development processes efficient and effective. The team at Rivets Learning possesses expertise in designing and managing social sector development projects and Corporate Social Responsibility programmes. We bring expertise and experience in institutional strengthening and management of public, private and non-profit sector organisations, conducting research, public policy analysis, community-driven group or individual enterprise development, and communication through culture and art.

Our team prides itself in having the demonstrated ability to work across Pakistan – all provinces, districts and administrative areas – besides other parts of the world.

Fellows & Associates

Zeeshan Noel
Zeeshan NoelDirector
Zeeshan Noel is a development professional and rights campaigner with expertise in project management, capacity building, emergency response planning, policy research and advocacy. He holds Masters degree in Political Science from Bahaudin Zakariya University, Multan and a post graduate diploma in Social Enterprise Management from Lahore University of Management Science (LUMS). He has worked on large governance, capacity building and emergency projects with DAI-Europe, National Disaster Management Authority, Strengthening Participatory Organisation and CIDA Devolution Support Programme. He has also consulted with Oxfam-GB, Community World Service Asia, Pak-US Alumni Network, Action Aid, Insan Foundation Trust and Mind Map Communications.

Zeeshan is the founding Director of Rivets Learning and leads in areas of Capacity Building and Project Management.

Harris Khalique
Harris KhaliqueSenior Fellow
Harris Khalique is the Director at Rivets Learning and leads a team of highly skilled professionals in the areas of research, training and project management. Over the last two decades, he has successfully led, managed and advised civil society organisations, private sector companies, government institutions and large-scale social sector projects in Pakistan. These include Amnesty International, Save The Children UK, UNDP, SPO and Oxfam. He has also worked across South Asia and Central and Eastern Europe. He regularly speaks at national and international conferences, to university audiences, think tanks and with media on the topics of culture, literature, education & scholarship, international development, global politics and South-Asian history. He has also participated in Track II dialogues between Pakistan and its neighbours. He has a master’s degree in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the N.E.D. University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi.

Harris Khalique is also a leading Urdu and English language poet, essayist and columnist. He is a recipient of the President’s Award for Pride of Performance (2018) – one of the highest civilian honours conferred by the state of Pakistan – and the UBL Literary Excellence Award (2013), both in the category of poetry. He is also a University of Iowa Honorary Fellow in Writing. With eight collections of verse, two books of non-fiction and hundreds of articles, essays and columns, he has published internationally and his work has been translated into several languages. Earlier, in the 1980s and 1990s, some of his poems faced censorship in Pakistan.

Safiya Aftab
Safiya AftabSenior Fellow
Safiya Aftab is a Development Economist and Policy Analyst who has worked extensively inconsulting and research. She is currently Executive Director of Verso Consulting. She holds an MSc in Economics from London School of Economics and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. She has also authored and co-authored many papers and publications on macroeconomics and poverty; migration patterns; as well as governance and social issues such as local government performance, modern slavery, and social exclusion. She has written for The Friday Times, Daily Times and Dawn Books and Authors.

Safiya Aftab is the Senior Visiting Fellow at Rivets Learning Inc. and leads in policy analysis and evaluations.

Fatimah Ihsan
Fatimah IhsanSenior Fellow
Fatimah Ihsan is a cross-sectoral gender and inclusion expert and policy researcher with about 20 years of experience in development sector and academia.

She holds a Master’s degree in Gender and Development Issues from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Bachelors degree in Journalism and Political Science from Radford University, USA.

She has worked extensively on developing gender strategies, evaluating development and emergency projects, conducting research studies and designing training programmes for international NGOs, academic institutions, government agencies and the UN in Pakistan, the US, Afghanistan and the UK.

She has worked, as both a full time employee and short-term consultant, with Action Aid, NEDA (the Royal Netherlands Embassy), Save The Children International, CIDA, Catholic Relief Services, Canadian High Commission, the World Bank, WACTION, FAFEN, JICA and UN Women.

She currently teaches at the Gender Studies Department at Quaid-E-Azam University, Islamabad, and is an Assistant Professor.

Fatimah is a Senior Fellow at Rivets Learning and leads research and capacity building programmes in the areas of gender, governance and accountability.

Robert Nieuwenhuijs
Robert NieuwenhuijsAssociate
Robert Nieuwenhuijs is an experienced Project Manager and M&E specialist. He has workedwith Dutch Government and Central Bank, rural support programmes in Pakistan, Ricoh Europe SCM and London West Training Services.He has an MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics.

Robert is an associate at Rivets Learning and provides support in M&E projects.

Dr. Noreen Khalid
Dr. Noreen KhalidAssociate
Noreen Khalid has worked with national and international development agencies for more than 15 years at senior management positions. She has worked with DAI, Oxfam in Pakistan and Nepal, SPO and Sach-Struggle for change. She has conducted numerous trainings, workshops and given lectures at Universities on issues such as stress management, leadership, and effective communication and management skills in Pakistan, Nairobi, Nepal and the US. Her main areas of expertise include Strategy Development, Gender and Peace building, Gender and Governance, Program Design and Management and Research and Advocacy.
Faisal Buzdar
Faisal BuzdarAssociate
Faisal Buzdar is a policy research professional in the areas local governance, education and modern slavery. He has worked with DAI, Oxfam-GB, PCHR (Parliamentarians Commission for Human Rights), Pakistan Coalition for education (PCE) and International Organisation for Migration in Pakistan and South Africa. He holds a Masters degree in Development Studies from the University of Melbourne and a Master in Anthropology from Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad. He has also taught Developmental studies at COMSATS and Bahria University in Islamabad.

Faisal is an associate at Rivets Learning and provides support in research and evaluation projects.

Bilal Naqeeb
Bilal NaqeebAssociate
Bilal Naqeeb is a senior M&E expert and Project Management specialist. He has 25 years of work experience with national, regional and international NGOs, management organisations and consulting firms including Adam Smith International, Management Systems International, DAI, Palladium Pakistan, Ecroys-UK, Loius Berger, South Asia Free Media Association and Strengthening Participatory Organization both as a full-time employee and consultant. He also specialises in donor liaison and reporting. He holds Master’s degrees in Political Science and Computer Science from the University of Punjab, Lahore and Preston University, Islamabad respectively.

Bilal is an associate at Rivets Learning and provides support in developing M&E frameworks, conducting project evaluations and quantitative researches.

Hammal Aslam
Hammal AslamAssociate
Hammal Aslam is an academic and researcher in areas of international relations, youth engagement, conflict pre-emption and regional politics. He holds an MSc degree in Comparative Politics from London School of Economics. He has worked with Oxfam-Novib, South Asian Forum for Human Rights, Idries Shah Foundation and SPO in Pakistan, Nepal and the UK. Currently, he teaches at Balochistan University of Technology and Social Sciences.

Hammal is an associate at Rivets Learning, engaged in policy research and capacity building initiatives.

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