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Established in 2015, HCDI originally came about as part of a long standing wish to use our education, experience and resources to contribute to the positive growth of community and society in the developing world. HCDI uses a collaborative, Baha'i inspired model that invites individuals, community groups and organisations from all backgrounds to work together to enhance local capacity and to create a better world. As part of our growth, we have been delighted to add a number of people, each of whom contributes distinct skills, abilities, energies, and insights. Together, we continue to reach out to other interested and committed individuals and groups, to create an ever growing movement for capacity development, collaboration and growth in Vanuatu.

Our Board Members

Kalip Roger serves as the Chair of the HCDI Board. He is a Teacher and Community Organizer on Tanna, Vanuatu. He has held strategic leadership positions in many different areas, including traditional community governance, awareness training, and new economic and community growth initiatives.


Dr. Astrid Kersten serves as the Executive Director of HCDI. Originally from the Netherlands, she had a long career in the USA as a university professor, researcher, writer and consultant, specializing in organizational development, human resource management, diversity management, and community dialogue.  She holds a Masters in Public and International Affairs, a Masters in International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, a Doctorate in Communication, and certifications in Human Resource Management and International Human Resource Management.


Dr. M.H Sidky is HCDI's Senior Research Analyst. He has worked in the USA as an academic, writer and researcher, with specialty areas in public administration, international relations and conflict management. He holds a Masters and a Doctorate in International Affairs and a Masters in International Cooperation & Humanitarian Aid.


Carren Bough is HCDI's Community Development Specialist and Board Treasurer. Carren grew up in Tanna, Vanuatu.She has extensive experience working with adults and youth in different countries, including Vanuatu, Mongolia, Canada, and Israel. She was trained in horticulture and and has a special interest in promoting community learning and growth. Carren manages HCDI's Hapi Jiken program. She holds a Masters in International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid.

Turan Sidky is HCDI's Secretary. He completed his Bachelor’s in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology at Wells College, USA, with a specialty in Social Justice and Community Activism. He did a Youth Year of Service at the Rowhani Baha’i School in Luganville, Espiritu Santo and continued international studies, education and community development work in the USA, Belize, and Vanuatu, and at the Institute for Global Prosperity and Antioch University.

Steven Bough is HDCI's finance capacity development specialist. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting and business management, and extensive experience in working with CSOs and educational institutions in managing finance and in developing financial capacity. 


Eileen Leo Tamata is a Teacher and a Business and Community Consultant, on Santo, Vanuatu. She has played a strategic role in the development of key economic projects, that promoted the material and social health of the community. She has worked extensively with children, youth and adults, promoting education, justice, participation and empowerment.

Morris Takalo joined the Board of HCDI as its agriculture and community development specialist. We were sad to lose Morris in 2018, but we feel he is still with us in spirit. Born on Nguna, Morris brought extensive experience working with specialty crops like fruit trees, kava and  coconuts as well as issues of biosecurity and worked in community development and accompaniment. 

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