Research and Consulting

What we do

We are passionate about inclusive international cooperation, in which postcolonial structures are broken up, and we work together on a future worth living for all people.

Our approaches are inspired by current debates around intersectionality and decoloniality, and we cherish diversity, equality, inclusion and belonging. 

Our work is divided into three areas.

Studies and evaluations

We carry out program and project evaluations with feminist-participatory approaches, scientific studies, and analyses on various topics and we make you a part of it.

Organizational development

We support you in the context of feminist-oriented change processes within the framework of your organizational structure and culture, develop diversity and intersectionality strategies and advise you on their implementation.

Trainings and feminist facilitation

We train you and your team in areas that touch upon our core topics. We also moderate trade fairs, conferences, team retreats or workshops with feminist and anti-discriminatory methods.

How we work

Our work is characterized by feminist-intersectional approaches. This is reflected in our methodology and the way we cooperate with our customers and in our network.


Methodologically, we work with intersectional-feminist approaches inspired by post-colonial, decolonial and feminist theories. This means, among other things, that we place a special focus on anti-bias approaches, participation processes and inclusion as well as bottom-up processes.

With our clients

We want to provide more than just a service for our clients. We are interested in a meaningful exchange and collaboration, as well as a common project building In practice, this approach always looks different, therefore, we offer tailored services that combine both your interests and our work methods. However, it is important that everyone is involved in the process in order to be effective together.


In our team, we treat each other as equals and encourage all perspectives. Although responsibilities are clearly defined, we have flat hierarchies and appreciate different opinions. For this reason, we always prioritize working in tandems.

Sustainability is particularly important to us. Wherever possible, we avoid travelling by plane, we prioritize using public transport and we mostly work remotely. This is our way of minimizing our carbon footprint. In those cases when it is essential to be on site, we work together with like-minded, locally based, and feminist consultants, trainers, and evaluators. 

Where we work

We work all over the world – and we do a lot of it from home. In recent years, we have participated in projects that took place in the following countries and regions:

About FEIN

FEIN is the story of the friendship between Alena, Sheyma and Samantha, who have supported, empowered and listened to each other in their decolonial (un)learning processes over the years.

Across multiple migratory movements, different intersecting educational and professional development paths, and different professional experiences and experiences of discrimination, a space for growth, power-sharing, and empowerment emerged.
The idea to found a feminist-intersectional consulting society out of this space and to accompany organizations through consulting, training and research on their paths to power-critical and discrimination-sensitive (international) cooperation was born.

Since August 2023 we are active under the name FEIN and thus bundle our knowledge and experience – together with many other great people we count to our close network.

… is to foster an equal international cooperation and peace work in which people and organizations work together on globally relevant issues and social change in a discrimination-sensitive and prejudice-conscious manner.

We contribute to realizing this vision through power-critical and multi-perspective counselling services, based on intersectional-feminist approaches.

We are an intersectional-feminist organization whose self-image incorporates, and goes beyond, gender-sensitive approaches and gender equality. Our work is based on the values of inclusion, intersectionality, solidarity and multi-perspectivity. Our values guide us both in the way we work with clients, and in the way we work as a team. We follow these values when selecting our customers, the design possibilities within individual assignments, and the potential social impact of the offers.

Our mission is to change international cooperation from the inside out to achieve more inclusion and equal cooperation – one mission at a time.

Consultants play a crucial role in international cooperation: they impart knowledge, moderate processes and plan and evaluate projects and programs. If international cooperation continues as it is, our business must stand out with more innovative and inclusive approaches.

We have actively made the decision to be a for-profit organization because it allows us to work independently, without the often-complicated administrative requirements that are placed on associations in Germany, and to fully concentrate on our work with our customers.

Our Team

Our main team consists of four people:

Sheyma Arfawi is a trainer and consultant specializing in anti-discriminatory work environment and language. She is an organizational consultant for organizations in change processes in the areas of diversity and inclusion.

Key Topics: anti-discrimination, diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), post- and decolonialism, language, education. 

Dr. Alena Sander is a social scientist in feminist and development studies at the University of Louvain (Belgium). She is also a trainer, evaluator and facilitator, as well as the co-founder of FEIN. 

She once worked in international cooperation as a seconded expert and finally left it to write her dissertation on the topic of power relations and resistance in North-South cooperation. This subject is still fascinating for her, even after graduation.

She loves working with people who are sharp thinkers, are able to see outside the box, open to new perspectives, and dare to ask uncomfortable questions.

Key topics: anti-sexism, women’s rights, gender justice, social change, civil society, and cooperation/partnership.

Dr. Samantha Ruppel is a social scientist at the German Institute for Development and Sustainability (IDOS) and co-founder of FEIN. She focuses on peace and conflict research, as well as networking and partnership. 

Previously, she worked in intercultural cooperation, which led her to questioning power imbalances and postcolonialism. In her PhD, she addressed the latter topic and focused on civil conflict management between partnership and power imbalance.

Samantha enjoys working with people who are open to new methods and ways of thinking, and who willing to reflect on themselves and their work.

Core topics: locally anchored peace processes, power imbalance and partnership, local ownership, ethical issues. 

Lucas Steinbach studied political science and international security. His focus is on international peacekeeping operations and the use of military force in the latter. In addition to FEIN, he also works as a public speaker for the Kolping Network for Refugees, and gives workshops and seminars on the topics of refuge, discrimination, racism, and dealing with prejudices. 

Lucas enjoys working with open-minded and interested people who critically and controversially engage with existing power dynamics and are willing to question and deconstruct them. 

Key topics: peace operations, cooperation and equal partnership, critical approaches to international cooperation, displacement, and migration

Ruqia is a policy analyst, who specializes in conflict studies and socio-economic development with a gender focus. Currently pursuing her second master’s degree in public policy, Ruqia has a broad skill set that includes managing and implementing various projects focused on enhancing women’s access to justice and services, raising awareness about gender-based violence, and bridging the gap between formal and informal justice sectors to promote gender equality.

Ruqia enjoys working with individuals who embrace and value diversity, exhibit open-mindedness, and foster an inclusive environment.

Key Topics: intersectionality and inclusion, sustainability, women’s empowerment, gender, peace, and conflict

Our network

Our network is constantly growing: Since we value multiple perspectives and love a breath of fresh air, we collaborate with external researchers, activists, experts, policy advocates, and more.

Our current network includes people from all over the world – most of whom, like us, work with different power-critical approaches in a diverse set of fields.

We have already successfully implemented projects with all the people listed below, and recommend working with them, even independently from us.

Vera Wedekind
Ons Othmani
Nguyen Phuong Thuy
Grace Orao
Asimwe Nestory
Damian Mboya
Nancy Bangura
Karen Nohn Domah
Sofiia Shevchuk


Here's what people we've worked with have to say about us:


Many of our projects and studies, as well as almost all our scientific publications, are available for free:

What to Expect from Kenya’s New “Hustler” President William Ruto, 2022

The Role of Local Leaders in the Peace Processes in Liberia and Sierra Leone, 2022

Inclusion on Paper but not in Practice, 2021

A Participatory Approach between Local and International Actors, 2021

A Way Forward for the Tigray Conflict, 2020

How Social Media Challenges Governance – the Case of Nigeria, 2020

Solidarity and Nairobi’s Informal Sector in Times of COVID-19, 2020

Social Science Research in times of Covid-19. Elephant in the Lab, 2020


Lust bekommen, mit uns zu arbeiten – oder einfach nur eine Frage? Kontaktieren Sie uns gern über unser Kontaktformular: