Mercy Awazi Abutsa
MPS Class of 2024, Global Development
- Grand challenge: Climate change, conflict and displacement in Africa; policy communication
- Where she calls home: Nigeria
- Connect: maa386 [at] cornell.edu | LinkedIn
Mercy Awazi Abutsa, from Nigeria in West Africa, is pursuing a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Global Development, where she is learning how to apply her knowledge and skills to simplify, democratize, and localize strategies for inclusive climate policy design and implementation in low-income countries. Her research aims to investigate how regional factors and climate framings influence people's response to adaptation projects in Northern Nigeria. Mercy is also an Einaudi Director’s Fellow with the Institute of African Development at Cornell.
Mercy is interested in understanding how climate change contributes to armed conflicts, poverty levels, food security, and livelihoods for rural populations in Northern Nigeria and Africa. She holds a bachelor's in mass communication from the University of Jos. In her studies, she learned approaches in development communications, which sparked her interest in development work.
Upon graduation, Mercy joined the Women Environmental Programme (WEP) in Nigeria, where she utilized her communication skills to advocate for climate and gender issues. She raised awareness through media advocacy and field research, working closely with rural farmers and vulnerable groups in the Northern region. In this role, Mercy gained valuable insight into international cooperation on climate change and explored thematic areas of adaptation, resilience, and capacity building which are some significant challenges faced by developing countries in Africa.
Mercy has actively participated in national and international workshops and conferences and supported consultancy projects with the UNDP that aim to address new challenges and opportunities in climate change and development.