Our team and expertise

As a dynamic and joyful team, we flexibly combine our skills to develop goal-oriented solutions. Our team brings together people with different backgrounds and capabilities. We collectively speak 18 languages and have spent 90 years living abroad. Our team members move joyn-coop forward in an entrepreneurial spirit.

The entire team is trained in agile project management and regularly participates in customised training sessions, carried out by external and internal specialists, to foster their personal and professional development.

Christina Kükenshöner

Managing Partner

Christina Kükenshöner is co-founder and managing partner of joyn-coop where she focuses on driving sustainable development with agile approaches.

Christina is very passionate about the Sustainable Development Goals and has made it her mission to assist companies, development finance institutions and foundations to pursue the SDGs in their activities. She has been involved in over 90 projects and has extensive expertise in helping clients with structuring funds and programmes, especially in fragile and complex settings.

Christina is an experienced process facilitator and has trained as an agile coach to assist clients in making their organisations more flexible in adapting to complexities and a rapidly changing environment.

Prior to founding joyn-coop, Christina served as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and as a senior project manager for Financial Cooperation at KfW Development Bank. She holds a master’s degree from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Christina is a mother of three and enjoys playing the trombone and the piano.

Dr. Christiane Ströh de Martínez

Managing Partner

Dr. Christiane Ströh de Martínez is co-founder and managing partner of joyn-coop. She is passionate about truly participatory approaches and creating spaces for deep listening and energetic co-creation within joyn-coop and in other organisations.

Throughout her 15 years in development cooperation, Christiane has evaluated, designed and accompanied development projects across Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. She brings her expertise in participatory methods, co-creation and strategy development to leading change processes, both as a moderator and process facilitator. Her sectoral focus is on inclusive finance, local economic development, inclusive agri-business and sustainable small-scale farming.

Before founding joyn-coop in 2011, Christiane worked as a free-lance consultant in development cooperation and served as a visiting professor at several German universities, teaching a wide range of development-related subjects. In her PhD thesis in economics, she conducted research on inclusive financial sector development and microfinance. She further holds a Diplom degree (master-level equivalent) in International Economics and Latin American studies. Christiane is fluent in German, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Christiane loves to spend time in nature with her family and friends – and bring home fresh leaves for her guinea pigs from her outings.

Rosa Eckle

Senior Consultant

Rosa Eckle is a senior consultant at joyn-coop with more than 13 years of experience in development cooperation. She is passionate about supporting new partnerships and development organisations with a change agenda – always with the aim of increasing impact on the ground. Her thematic focus is the provision of basic social services with a focus on education, skills training and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Most recently, Rosa accompanied a one-year partnership process between KfW and UN organisations which aimed to streamline processes for more efficiency and impact in joint projects.

Before joining joyn-coop, Rosa was a project manager at KfW Development Bank, where she acquired first-hand experience of German Financial Cooperation’s sectoral approaches, working principles and procedures. Rosa holds an MPhil Degree in Development Studies from Oxford University and a bachelor’s degree in Economics and History from SOAS University. She completed her studies with a postgraduate training at the German Development Institute in Bonn.

Rosa enjoys sports, particularly African dancing, and interacting with different cultures.

Dr. Helke Wälde

Senior Consultant

Helke Wälde is a passionate development expert, with close to 17 years of experience in international development cooperation and research. In her work, she draws on extensive economic knowledge and a wide variety of working experiences in fragile environments, as well as numerous knowledge management methods in order to shape and manage participatory and sustainable projects in developing countries. Her second professional passion is moderation and facilitation. She brings people together in complex and complicated situations and facilitates networks, discussions and solutions.

Helke is a trained banker with experience in consulting for investments and financing in commercial banks as well as a studied economist. She holds a PhD degree in the field of financial markets with special focus on credit rationing and microfinance from Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz and has gained experience in both research and teaching. Over the past ten years, Helke worked for KfW development bank as senior country manager and portfolio manager in different regions of the world, focussing on fragile contexts. Helke is a German native speaker and fluent in English, while also working on improving her French skills. Furthermore, she has basic knowledge of Russian and Arabic.

Helke is the mother of two teenagers and enjoys reading, riddles, and art. To keep balance in her life, she loves to meditate or explore nature.

Corinna Strohbach

Senior Consultant

Corinna Strohbach is a consultant at joyn-coop. She is passionate about financial sector development and combatting climate change.

Her work includes project development as well as conducting conceptual studies and evaluations for key actors in German development cooperation. Corinna is experienced in data analysis and is adept at breaking down complex facts into clear visualizations. Moreover, she enjoys moderating workshops and facilitating processes in diverse cultural settings. Her sectoral focus is on financial sector development, employment promotion and food security/nutrition. Since 2018, Corinna is also a certified trainer for microfinance action learning games.

Before joining joyn-coop, Corinna worked with a regional GIZ project in Asia, supporting the introduction of inclusive insurance. She holds a master’s degree in International Development Studies from Philipps University Marburg and bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Human Geography from Goethe University Frankfurt.

Corinna is enthusiastic about sustainable living and travelling by trains. She enjoys all kinds of racket sports.

Caroline Gruber


Caroline Gruber is a consultant at joyn-coop with a focus on francophone Africa. She is passionate about seeing people grow and developing approaches that strengthen their skills.

Caroline’s areas of expertise comprise vocational training, health, livelihoods and rural development, facilitation of Financial Cooperation with NGOs and regional organisations as well as private-public cooperation. In these areas, she conducts feasibility studies, conceptual studies and evaluations. As an integral part of her work, Caroline facilitates workshops and uses participatory methods to enable stakeholders to contribute their insights and perspectives. While her regional focus is on West and North Africa, she has also gained experience in East Africa and Southeast Asia.

Prior to her work at joyn-coop, Caroline worked with GIZ supporting rural livelihoods in central Vietnam. Caroline holds a Master Degree in International Relations from the Political Science Institute of Aix-en-Provence (France) as well as a Master Degree in political science from the University of Freiburg (Germany). She is a German and French native speaker.

Caroline comes from a family of gastronomes and loves to discover new culinary highlights in countries she travels to.

Prathima Nalabolu


I am Prathima, working at joyn-coop since November 2020 as a consultant. At joyn-coop, I truly appreciate the collaborative & supportive work culture and exposure to international projects.

I am passionate about working on forest conservation through participation of local communities, creation of sustainable livelihoods to ensure income & food security and challenging gender roles in my society. I have previously worked as a consultant with the Ministry of Rural Development in the conflict zone of central India to legalize the rights of indigenous communities to manage their ancestral forests. Additionally, I established local supply chains for forest and agricultural produce. Using participatory techniques to map the forest boundaries of local communities on one day and lobbying with Government agencies the next was a unique and rewarding experience.

In my free time I travel for food, culture & nature and continue my eternal struggle to master the German language.

Merindah Loessl


Merindah Loessl joined joyn-coop as a consultant in 2021, passionate about working towards a more equal and sustainable global society.  She has worked on different development topics such as social protection, health, gender, or food security. She thoroughly enjoys working with data and different evaluation methods.

Before joining joyn-coop, Merindah completed various internships at different organisations, including GIZ, economic research institutes, and the German Embassy in Colombia. Recently, she worked as a Carlo Schmid Fellow for the IPC-IG, an international organisation focusing on social protection and South-South cooperation. Merindah holds a double Degree in Development Economics (M.Sc.) and Economics (M.Com.) from the University of Göttingen and the University of Stellenbosch. She completed her undergraduate Studies in International Economics (B.Sc.) with a regional focus on Latin America at the University of Tübingen. Merindah grew up in Australia and has lived in Mexico, Colombia, and South Africa and is fluent in German, English, and Spanish.

In her free time, Merindah likes to be outdoors in the nature where she enjoys hiking and running. She also loves to travel and dive into other cultures and learn new languages.

Ricarda Bollmann

Head of Operations

Ricarda Bollmann is the Head of Operations of joyn-coop. As experienced financial controlling and reporting practitioner, she oversees the finances and internal processes of joyn-coop.

Over the course of her 15-year career, she has lived, studied and worked in Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Saudi Arabia. Her work for a variety of companies across the semiconductor and financial services industries has equipped her with extensive knowledge about various accounting and reporting requirements. Ricarda holds an MBA from Heriot-Watts University and an MSc in Area Studies (East Asia) from the University of Duisburg.

Ricarda enjoys her daily walks with her dogs.

Arsène Sawadogo


I am Arsène and I just joined joyn-coop for an internship of six months. I am originally from Burkina Faso where I completed a Bachelor Degree in Law and Political Science and a second Bachelor Degree in German Studies. Since March 2019, I have been pursuing a Master Degree in Political Science at the University of Greifswald. My main areas of interest are comparative regionalism (norm diffusion within and between regional organizations, the impact of such organizations on the democratic transition and consolidation of their member states) and development cooperation, especially its impact on the democratic consolidation of developing countries. I am passionate about learning foreign languages and watching quiz shows.

Christoph Renken

Senior Consultant

Christoph Renken is a senior consultant at joyn-coop with six years of experience in development consultancy.

Christoph’s work is focused on development cooperation in fragile and conflict-affected contexts, as well as refugee and mixed migration settings. He has extensive experience with approaches and procedures of German Financial Cooperation and, inter alia, worked as an implementation consultant for a KfW project in Uganda. Christoph regularly conducts conceptual studies, feasibility studies, peace and conflict assessments, and project evaluations. His passion for innovative approaches has led him to develop a methodology for rapidly selecting and appraising NGO projects, prepare strategic studies on engagement in fragile states, and conduct remote evaluations for inaccessible project areas with the help of online tools and local consultants. Christoph has also designed several funding mechanisms for regional organisations.

Before joining joyn-coop, Christoph worked in a GIZ sector project that advised the German government on transitional development approaches. He holds a magister degree (equivalent to master’s) in political science, law and comparative religious studies from the University of Munich.

Lina Ghosh

Senior Consultant

Lina Ghosh is a consultant at joyn-coop whose work focuses on organizational and programme development, in particular in contexts of migration, displacement and state fragility.

She has extensive expertise in process facilitation, where she employs agile and participatory methods and adapts them to participants’ organizational ranks, ranging from field workers to top managers. Lina has worked with a variety of organizations, including NGOs and think tanks. She has advised KfW Development Bank, the EU and various UN organizations.

Prior to her work with joyn-coop, Lina supported large private companies in the industrial and insurance sector as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. Thanks to her multicultural background and international study and work experience, she is fluent in German, English, French, Russian and Bengali and has in-depth knowledge of the post-Soviet region and South Asia. Lina holds a master’s degree in International Development and a bachelor’s degree in Social Science from Sciences Po Paris.

Lina has a passion for learning new languages and travelling to unusual destinations.

Bettina Bauer

Senior Consultant

Bettina Bauer is a senior consultant at joyn-coop. Her enthusiasm for municipal development and conflict prevention has brought her in touch with a range of multisectoral issues and approaches to development cooperation.

Bettina consults on subnational governance and municipal service provision, as well as international cooperation projects in fragile contexts and areas affected by displacement. She further specializes in violence prevention in urban agglomerations, and municipal development adapted to climate change. Her 15 years of experience in development cooperation in numerous African and Asian countries and profound knowledge of a variety of approaches and related procedures make her a valuable partner for finding solutions to challenges related to project management. Beyond studies, thematic assessments and evaluations, Bettina has been the author of numerous hands-on guidelines and issue papers for German Financial Cooperation.

Before joining joyn-coop, Bettina worked as a freelance consultant and served as a visiting lecturer, teaching on the structural characteristics of developing countries and emerging economies. She has also served as a project manager at KfW Entwicklungsbank and holds a master-level degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of Potsdam. Bettina completed her studies with a postgraduate training programme at the German Development Institute. She is fluent in German, French and English.

Bettina is a mother of three, a passionate choir singer, and loves to please others with her homemade cakes.

Jannis Hussain


Jannis Hussain is a consultant at joyn-coop with a particular focus on issues related to political economy and climate change. He started working at joyn-coop in 2018 and has since contributed to research and analysis on a wide range of issues including state fragility, migration, and infrastructure planning. Jannis is especially interested in structural challenges at the intersection of development and the environment and the use of experimental and causal inference methodology in evaluations.

Prior to joining joyn-coop, Jannis completed internships and work placements at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations in New York, Allianz SE, and Kiron Open Higher Education, a social start-up enabling refugees to gain a tertiary education. He completed his MPhil in International Relations at Oxford University and holds undergraduate degrees in Politics and Economics (B.A.) and Psychology (B.Sc.) from the University of Munich.

Jannis loves environmentally friendly forms of travel and is always on the lookout for his next hitchhiking destination.

Sarah Stingl-Ellwein


Sarah Stingl-Ellwein joined joyn-coop as a consultant in 2021. She is passionate about urban resilience and systems thinking.

Prior to joining joyn coop Sarah worked at a tech start-up and as research fellow with the University of Groningen. She further completed internships at the European Commission (DG ECHO), the Munich Re Foundation and the Austrian Embassy in Jakarta. Sarah holds a joint Master’s degree in Humanitarian Action (Network on Humanitarian Action, NOHA) from the University of Uppsala and the University of Groningen, with a specialization in disaster analysis and intervention design. Prior to that she completed her undergraduate degree in International Development at the University of Vienna.

Sarah is a native German and Italian speaker, fluent in English and Spanish, and currently working on her French. When she’s not sitting in front of her laptop, she loves escaping to the mountains, travelling to new destinations and playing volleyball.

Alysa Khouri

Junior Consultant

Alysa Khouri holds an MSc degree in Environment & Resource Management from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). With her focus on biodiversity and ecosystem services, she seeks to mitigate environmental risks by fostering good practice for nature resilience. Her overarching objective is to work towards the Sustainable Development Goals, enabling social and environmental justice for all.  

As a former Public Relations Consultant, she has gained excellent interpersonal communication skills and adores engaging with relevant stakeholders from all over the globe.

She cultivated a deep understanding for exchange in multicultural settings throughout her studies and prior working experiences in sustainability consulting for private and public sector projects.  She also enjoys making use of participatory methods to explore valuable insights from partners for her projects.   

Alysa is a native German speaker, fluent in English and has a professional working proficiency in the French language. The Berlin-born consultant is currently based in Paris, France. When not working on projects for joyn-coop, Alysa enjoys discovering the vibrant gastronomic scene of her chosen hometown, organizing dinner parties with friends and listening to thrilling audiobooks taking her to places she one day wants to visit.

Rodrigo Avilés

Junior Consultant

I am Rodrigo, a young Salvadoran international development professional who recently joined the joyn-coop team as Junior Consultant, and I am currently studying a Master’s degree in Development Management (MADM) at RUB in Germany. My mother tongue is Spanish, I am fluent in English, speak some French and now I have the challenge of learning German.

I’ve been involved in development cooperation projects for the last five years on different issues including habitat, migration, forced displacement, climate change, food sovereignty, juvenile justice and others in Central America and Africa.

I am excited to be part of the joyn-coop team, as it allows me to contribute and learn from a multicultural and innovative team, which is committed to its work in different counties around the world. Furthermore, being involved with joyn-coop in development projects that also give me the opportunity to work for my home region motivates me enormously, both personally and professionally!

I enjoy traveling and getting to know different cultures, food and people. I am a coffee enthusiast that loves experimenting with different recipes and brewing methods.