Who We Are

The Centre for Transitional Justice and Development (CTJD) is a non-profit organization established to conduct and disseminate policy-oriented research on Transitional Justice, Human Rights and Development issues.

Our Mission

Our Mission is to enhance knowledge in the fields of Transitional Justice, Human Rights and Development in order to inform and advise policy makers, international organizations, media and civil society in general and to promote the exchange of ideas and best practices, in the belief that truth and justice can foster human development.

Our Values

Independence: We conduct our research and analysis independently from our donors and/or from any other external influence in order to preserve the highest level of objectivity and impartiality.

Respect for Diversity: Our activities are conducted with the utmost respect for different cultures, attitudes and beliefs. Our research is free from prejudice of any kind and we are keen to challenge the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

Integrity and Transparency: Any public or private economic support that we receive will be openly reported and the outcomes of our research will be made publicly available.

Our Work

Our Centre produces high quality, rigorous and independent research on Transitional Justice, Human Rights and International Development, with particular emphasis on post-conflict and post-authoritarian situations.

Moreover, we actively promote the creation of collaborative networks with national and international institutions in order to encourage debates and discussions and to facilitate the sharing of ideas, knowledge and experiences from the field.

Finally, we also offer professional training and provide consultancy.

Research Areas

Transitional Justice

Transitional Justice is a growing field within policy making and an academic discipline which examines the way societies emerging from authoritarian rule or civil conflict deal with a legacy of gross violations of human rights.

The main transitional Justice mechanisms include both judicial and non-judicial mechanisms such as: Criminal Trials, Truth Commissions, Reparations, Institutional Reforms, Vetting and Memorialization.

According to the United Nations definition, Transitional Justice comprises “the full range of processes and mechanisms associated with a society’s attempt to come to terms with the legacy of large scale past abuses, in order to ensure accountability, serve justice and achieve reconciliation.”
(The rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict societies. Report of the Secretary-General, UN SC, UN Doc. S/2004/616, 23 August 2004).


Development is a multidisciplinary area of research and policy making that deals with issues related to poverty, inequality, socio-economic and cultural transformation within a country. Due to the complexity of the concept and its manifold definitions, our Centre embraces the definition of Development, intended as “Human Development”.

The United Nations defines Human Development as: “a process of enlarging people’s choices. The most critical of these wide-ranging choices are to live a long and healthy life, to be educated and to have access to resources needed for a decent standard of living. Additional choices include political freedom, guaranteed human rights and personal self-respect”.
(Human Development Report no. 1, 1990).

“Human development, as an approach, is concerned with what I take to be the basic development idea: namely, advancing the richness of human life, rather than the richness of the economy in which human beings live, which is only a part of it.”
(Amartya Sen, Professor of Economics, Harvard University Nobel Laureate in Economics, 1998).

Why Transitional Justice and Development?

Transitional Justice has become a broad interdisciplinary area of research and policy making that, in the last twenty years, has acquired a primary role among scholars, policy makers and practitioners, dramatically expanding its boundaries and embracing various disciplines including Development.

Our Centre aims to explore the relevance of Transitional Justice to other academic disciplines, focusing in particular on the possible links and relationships between Transitional Justice and Development. Until now, relatively few papers and studies on the interaction between Transitional Justice and Development have been published, which means that this is a largely underexplored area of research. Therefore, we believe that it is extremely important to undertake more research and analysis in order to inform and orient public policies on these matters.

Furthermore, many countries attempting to deal with massive human rights violations committed in the past also face huge economic and social challenges due to the existence of inequality, discrimination and extreme poverty.

While, in theory, Transitional Justice measures can contribute towards improving some of these developmental challenges in a number of ways, further research is needed to explore whether or to what extent they can have any real impact on development. This is why scholars, policy makers and practitioners need to engage in deep debate on the importance of the inclusion of justice and human rights considerations for development.

Pablo de Greiff, currently Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, identified the relationship between transitional justice and development as one of the strategic topics of interest for his mandate, given the relevance of the rule of law and human rights to the achievement of development. He argues that: “serious human rights violations leave in their wake conditions that hamper development, including a weak sense of entitlement and deep social mistrust, in addition to undermining basic capacities constitutive of human development”.
(Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, UNGA/A/68/345, 23 August 2013).


Anita Ferrara, Jacopo Villani and Enrico Sangiorgio are the founder members of the CTJD, in the positions of President, Vice-President and Executive Board Member respectively.

Anita Ferrara

Anita Ferrara obtained a PhD in Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, in 2012. Her main research interests include: Human Rights, Transitional Justice, Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and Post-Conflict Reconciliation and Reconstruction. She has been a Graduate Teaching Assistant at SOAS and has given several lectures for the SOAS MA/LLM Course on “Justice, Reconciliation and Reconstruction in Post-Conflicts Societies”. She has previously worked for United Nations Agencies as OHCHR and UNDP, in the fields of Human Rights and Governance, in Chile and Botswana. Anita obtained a Master in Human Rights and Conflict Management from the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa in 2004.


Authored book:
Ferrara Anita. 2015. Assessing the Impact of Truth Commissions: The Chilean Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Historical Perspective. London, UK: Routledge. To find out more please visit: www.routledge.com

Edited book:
Imma Guerras, Guadalupe Mira-Duarte, Kyle Dandelet and Anita Ferrara (eds.). 2004. Compilation of CESCR Concluding Observations for Latin American and Caribbean Countries, (1989-2004). Santiago, Chile: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and United Nations Development Programme (UNOHCHR-UNDP). Available at www.ohchr.org

Jacopo Villani

Jacopo Villani is a development/humanitarian practitioner. Jacopo has ten years’ field experience on Development and Humanitarian projects, in the areas of management, coordination and evaluation, in Ethiopia, Uganda, Honduras and Colombia. He has worked for International NGOs, including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), where he has acted as Head of Mission and Field Coordinator in the sectors of Emergency Nutrition, Internally Displaced People (IDPs), Mental Health and Access to Primary Health Care. He also obtained an MSc in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, in 2008. His main research interests include: Theories, Policies and Practices of Development, Humanitarian Assistance, Civil Society and Post-Conflict Reconstruction.

Enrico Sangiorgio

Enrico Sangiorgio is currently Vice President of Corporate Development for Evofem Inc.. Since 1998, Enrico has held different management roles in the Healthcare industry, working mainly in Italy, the UK, South Africa and the USA covering both private and public sector. In 2008, he obtained a Masters Degree in Globalization and Development at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. His research interests are: Globalization, Economic Growth, Global Health and Entrepreneurship with special reference to Southern Africa, Middle East and South East Asia.


If you would like to get involved in the activities of the Centre and wish to disseminate your work and ideas, please contact us.

We highly welcome the submission of works related to the centre’s research, in the forms of policy papers and briefs, reports and studies, commentaries, interviews, discussion papers and field notes.

We are particularly interested in disseminating research outputs that represent different viewpoints, including civil society, scholars, practitioners and policy-makers.

If you wish to support CTJD’s research projects and activities make a donation.

Your contribution will help us enhance knowledge in the fields of Transitional Justice, Human Rights and International Development and to strive for a future where truth and justice can foster human development.