Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Humanitarian Innovation Initiative (HI2)
Photo of Meseret Kassahun

Meseret Kassahun

Meseret Kassahun

Assistant Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work, Addis Ababa University

Meseret Kassahun Desta holds a Ph.D from Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago. Her major research interests include gender equality and mainstreaming, women empowerment, urban services and governance, child protection, and human security. Currently, she is working on a research project that looks at the extent to which legislation and policy provisions are helping Kenya in preventing and responding to school related violence against children. Previously, she led a team of researchers and designed a “mixed methods” research to assess existing services, tools, and referral mechanisms for child protection in Ethiopia. She has relevant research experiences on urban governance, the role of CSOs in Ethiopia, and women empowerment and child vulnerability. As a consultant, she worked for CARE Ethiopia, DKT Ethiopia, Netherland Embassy, DFID, UN-WOMEN, UN-ECA, and UNICEF. Kassahun holds a Master in Social Work and B.A in Sociology and Social Administration from Addis Ababa University. Under the leadership of UN Women and the Donor Group on Gender Equality (DGGE), Kassahun carried out an assessment on the implementation of the “women in peace and security agenda” UN-Security Council Resolution 1325 in the humanitarian setting in Ethiopia. Kassahun also lead a study, which explored the economic and social insecurity of women in the Horn of Africa through analyzing impacts of conflict on women, their contributions to peacemaking, peace negotiations, and post conflict reconstruction processes using the contextual realities of the region. She also has ten years of work experience as program coordinator and manager in rural and urban development initiatives in Ethiopia since 1994.


  1. Meseret KassahunAssessment on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the humanitarian setting in Ethiopia. 2015
  2. Meseret Kassahun and Nathan Linsk. Pathways and Motivations for Raising Relatives’ Children Orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia. Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services, Vol 14, Issue 4, Nov. 2015, pp. 392-404
  3. Kassahun, M. Social support and stress of kin caregivers of orphaned children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Implications for practice and policy. International Journal of Social Welfare, 24: 388–398. 2015. doi:10.1111/ijsw.12145