Celebrating a life well lived

August 20, 2019

All of APHRC joins me in expressing immense sadness at the tremendous loss to our development community of Peter da Costa, a longtime friend and champion of evidence use as a driver of change.

As the Kenya-based representative of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Peter was a steadfast ally of APHRC, promoting us as not only a good investment but also as a leader in the continent’s pursuit of its own solutions to perennial development challenges.

Peter was especially passionate about data and data systems, and the need for countries to work more deliberately to turn statistics into data, and data into evidence. He believed in the power of numbers – and in the value of stories that turned those numbers into people. He was a true general in the data revolution, leading the charge for an Africa-driven approach to developing our own talent for data management and analysis.

Peter never backed down from a good argument or passionate exchange. He always had a recommendation of something he had just read that was critically important for my own scholarship or personal education. He believed in the power of ideas, and in the power of sharing those ideas.

He had a big heart, a hearty laugh and dazzling intellect that he used to encourage rather than intimidate. He will be sadly missed by APHRC and all who knew him, both for his presence and for his contributions to Africa’s intellectual development.

We send strength and comfort in this impossibly difficult time to his family and loved ones.


APHRC Executive Director,

Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi