Paul Engel

Chair of the board

Paul G.H. Engel holds an MSc in Irrigation Agronomy and a PhD (cum laude) in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences from Wageningen University. During his professional life Paul has always been seeking to contribute to global sustainable and inclusive development, focusing his research and advisory work on the governance of knowledge, research and social innovation for food and nutrition security, policy coherence for sustainable development, agricultural and rural transformation and water resource management.  


After having conducted fieldwork in Africa and Latin America for quite some time, Paul directed international research on the social organisation of agricultural and rural innovation at the Department of Communication and Innovation Studies of Wageningen University. Together with his team he developed RAAKS, a practical multi-stakeholder approach and method to strengthen community innovation and resilience. His books and articles have been published in English and Spanish and he taught 'social organisation of innovation for water management and agricultural value-chain development' at the University of ConcepciĆ³n, Chile, where he still is a Visiting Professor.


From 2001 to 2015, Paul was Director of the European Centre for Development Policy Management, an independent foundation that works on improving international co-operation and relations between the EU member states and the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Currently, he is the owner of Knowledge, Perspective and Innovation, a small consultancy working to understand and improve the role of knowledge and innovation in development, policy and practice. Experience has taught him to have a keen eye for identifying and if possible, resolving the more structural and institutional impediments to innovation, in particular when the more vulnerable groups in society are concerned.


Paul has been chairing the Steering Group of the Dutch Food and Business Knowledge Forum since 2012, and as of September 2016 he is Chair of the Board of Both ENDS.


"Becoming a member of the board of Both ENDS to me is a logical step. I have known the organisation for a long time and I've always appreciated their work. But, more importantly, I very much value and support well-organised, pro-active 'counter balance'. Authorities and companies need well-informed, critical and outspoken civil society organisations to show them how to keep a sharp focus on long term development goals, alongside their own short term goals. This is exactly what Both ENDS does and I am very eager to support the organisation. I'm sure my knowledge can be of value for the organisation, especially my experience with facilitating transition processes in developing countries and Europe. Also I would like to focus on the most effective ways to generate knowledge and information and use it to realise Both ENDS' goals."

Paul Engel