Meet the Transfer Project Team

Sara is based at FAO’s Regional Office for Africa, Ghana. Prior to joining FAO, Sara was a Social Protection Specialist at UNICEF Ghana. She has worked throughout Africa and her technical expertise covers many topics, including M&E, impact evaluation, rural poverty reduction and economic development. Sara holds Masters’ in Business Administration and in City and Regional Planning from UNC.

Gustavo is the Senior Evaluation Advisor for MEASURE Evaluation & Associate Professor at UNC. He is a health economist with experience in program impact evaluation, household & facility surveys, & socioeconomic measurement. He has provided technical assistance to social & health programs worldwide. Previously he was Director of the Centre for Evaluation Research & Surveys at Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health.

Clare is an Associate Professor of Health Behaviour at UNC. She is a social scientist with expertise in qualitative and mixed-method research in diverse settings, including Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. Her research examines social and structural influences on health and health behaviours, particularly HIV. Dr Barrington has a Ph.D. in International Health from Johns Hopkins University.

Garima is an Economist in FAO's Social Protection team. Previously she worked as a senior impact evaluation specialist with OPM, focusing on health, nutrition and behaviour change sanitation programs in India, and as an Associate of the Clinton Health Access Initiative. Garima also worked on the evaluation of cash transfer programs in Ghana, Zambia and Zimbabwe as part of the Transfer Project. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from UNC.

Averi is a doctoral student in the Department of Public Policy at UNC. She has supported the Transfer Project's impact evaluations in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Ghana. She is interested in research on poverty alleviation programs, human capital attainment and gender issues. Before coming to UNC, Averi worked with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) in Odisha, India.

Essa is an Innocenti consultant based in Ethiopia and is an Assistant Professor at the department of Agricultural Economics, University of Gondar, Ethiopia. Essa works at the intersection of education, health, labour markets, and behavioral economics. Currently, Essa is coordinating research activities on the Integrated Safety Net Programs (ISNP) impact evaluations in Amhara and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He holds PhD in Agricultural Economics from University of Bonn.

Cristina is a candidate in a Ph.D. programme in Development Economics. Her research interests include social policies, poverty, risk-coping strategies, households investments, migration, agriculture, and south-south cooperation. She has experience in evaluating the impact of social protection programmes and policies on households and individuals. Previously, Cristina worked with the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (UNDP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Silvio is specialized in impact evaluation, productivity and efficiency analysis. He has significant experience in the design and analysis of impact evaluations of social protection programs and rural development interventions. As part of the Transfer Project, Silvio studied how cash transfers affect livelihoods of beneficiary households, their productive activities, labour allocation, risk management, and food security and nutrition.

Kaku’s research examines poverty reduction strategies through household enterprise development, analysing how household enterprises react to various kinds of external shocks and policies. He brings that experience to UNICEF Innocenti to map out heterogeneity in household vulnerability, as well as to analyse the impact of cash transfer on vulnerable household resilience to shocks. Previously, he was a Research Fellow at the University of Florence and received his Ph.D in Economics from University of Trento.

Benjamin is Leader of the Strategic Programme to Reduce Rural Poverty at FAO. He has extensive experience in social protection, social policies and agricultural economics. He has previously served as Deputy Director of the Agricultural Development Economics Division at FAO and he was team leader of the From Production to Protection project. Benjamin holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from UC Berkeley.

Susana is a project manager based at UNC. She holds a master's degree in health behaviour from UNC. Her interests include quality improvement, healthy aging, healthcare transition for adolescents, social support networks, and social justice issues. Susana has a background in public health and medical anthropology. Prior to joining the Transfer Project she worked at the School of Nursing and the Department of Pediatrics at UNC.

Maja leads the qualitative impact evaluations of cash plus programmes in Ethiopia and Mozambique. She joined UNICEF Innocenti from FAO, where she led the analytical and policy-related work on gender-sensitive social protection, and ‘cash plus’ programming in rural development contexts. She has previously conducted research for DFID, Save the Children, and UN Women on poverty, maternal and child health, and child-sensitive social protection.

Valeria assesses the impact of cash transfers in Sub-Saharan Africa on children’s schooling outcomes and participation in child labour, working with evidence from Tanzania in particular. She also supports examinations on the effects of Malawi’s Social Cash Transfer Programme on children’s participation in economic activities and household chores. She previously worked as Research Associate for the German Institute for Economic Research.

Ashu is Lawrence I. Gilbert Distinguished Professor in the Department of Public Policy at the UNC and is a human resource economist specializing in household behaviours in developing countries. He has over 20 years’ experience assessing impacts of government poverty alleviation programs in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. He previously served as Chief of Social Policy and Economic Analysis, UNICEF Innocenti.

Carolyn is the Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Public Policy, Education and Economics at Vanderbilt University. Her research focuses on human capital development, social welfare policy, program evaluation, and performance management, and she often works directly with governments and NGOs to improve policy design and program effectiveness and the impacts of economic and social protection investments.

Jacob’s research examines how social protection programmes implemented in developing countries and humanitarian contexts affect children and adolescents. Previously, Jacob worked as a researcher at the International Labour Organization and at the Paris School of Economics as a Marie Curie Post-Doctoral Fellow. He also worked for the World Bank as field manager on a study examining the effects of cash transfers in Malawi.

Alejandro is Senior Economist for the Social Protection team at FAO. He joined FAO from UNICEF, where he led work on social policy including child poverty analysis, public finance and social protection in South Africa and Tanzania. Alejandro has also worked with UNDP on social policy research and analysis, technical advice to governments, support to intergovernmental processes, and policy dissemination and influencing.

Lusajo is the qualitative principal investigator of the Adolescent Cash Plus Study in Tanzania. Her research interests include risky sexual behaviour among adolescents, Intimate Partner Violence, Violence against Children, HIV-related stigma, parenting and family interactions. Lusajo is involved in various international collaborations addressing adolescent sexual behaviour in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mari’s research focuses on labour markets, as well as empirical studies on migration, job satisfaction and productivity. She is also building a microsimulation model for Zambia. Prior to joining FAO, she worked with several research institutions in Finland and the UK, including the Labour Institute for Economic Research, Helsinki. Mari holds a PhD in economics from the University of Essex.

Angie has communications experience both in the private sector and international organisations. She previously worked in Communications at UNICEF Innocenti and within Private Sector Partnerships at the World Food Programme. Before joining the UN, Angie was a Strategic Planner in various creative advertising agencies in Dublin. She has a background in Business & Law and a Master’s Strategic Communication from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona.

Christine supports the Social Protection and Rural Institutions, Services and Empowerment teams in FAO. Prior to FAO, she was a foreign correspondent and television producer in Italy, covering politics, social issues and human interest stories for networks in the Middle East and Canada. Christine has also worked for Global Television in Montreal and in advertising.

Doug is a philosopher who conducts research on the ethical dimensions of public policy. His research centres around clinical and public policy research ethics, justice and health inequality, and the ethics of welfare policy. Doug provides ethical guidance on the design of policy research. He is available for consultations on ethical issues related to policy experiments.

Marlous has supported the qualitative and quantitative evaluations of the Ghana LEAP 1000 project. Her research interests include the impact of social protection policy on human capital accumulation and community, and intra-household dynamics. She previously was a social and economic policy consultant at the UNICEF Innocenti. Marlous is currently a predoctoral trainee at UNC.

Flora is a social protection and gender expert based in Tanzania. She leads “Women and Social Protection Tanzania”, through which she consults for many organisations, including UNICEF, FAO Tanzania and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Flora led impact evaluation of Tanzania’s national social protection programme on gender and youth and is currently leading a design of a gender action plan for the programme.

Luisa’s main research interests include social policy and social protection, evaluation of cash transfer programmes, child well-being, poverty and vulnerability analysis, and the economics of gender. She has field experience in Zambia, South Africa and Bangladesh. She holds a Master’s in Development Economics and previously worked with ODI, IDS, DfID.

Ana is an Economist for the Strategic Programme to Reduce Rural Poverty at FAO. She has extensive experience in rural development, social protection, gender and women’s empowerment issues. She has contributed to several initiatives in FAO, including the From Production to Protection project. She oversees FAO’s work on policies and strategies for rural poverty reduction and analytical work on rural poverty and livelihoods.

Frank is a Statistician and Demographer by training, and has worked on several Transfer Project impact evaluations, including Ghana, Malawi and Zimbabwe. His research focuses on household production and expenditure decisions, determinants of household mobility and the intersections between demography and socio-economic wellbeing. Frank holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from UNC and was previously a Research Fellow at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, Ghana.

Noemi is Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics, University Ca’ Foscari of Venice and an Economist at FAO. She conducts impact evaluation analysis of social protection and agricultural interventions. She is research fellow at the UCL Centre for Global Health Economics, research fellow at the Centre for Economic and International Studies at University of Tor Vergata, and Adjunct Research Associate at the Centre for Health Policy, Stanford University.

Tia is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University at Buffalo (State University of New York). Her research examines impacts of social policy on population health, including health-seeking, mental health, gender-based violence, and reproductive health. Prior to joining UB, Dr. Palermo was a researcher and social policy specialist at UNICEF Innocenti. She holds a PhD in Public Policy.

Amber is an Associate Adjunct Research Professor at UNC and a consultant with UNICEF Innocenti. Her work focuses on gender and development topics, including social protection, cash transfers, gender-based violence and women’s empowerment. She has led research and impact evaluations in over a dozen countries worldwide. Amber is the co-founder of NetGirls, a grassroots sports initiative for adolescent girls and young women in Eastern Zambia.

Pamela is based in Ghana and is part of FAO’s social protection analytical team, leading qualitative research in the Protection to Production’s impact evaluation throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Pamela has over 30 years’ experience with international organisations. She previously worked in FAO’s Investment Centre, partnering with World Bank, IFAD, African Development Bank among others, to design large-scale investment programmes which focused on targeting, gender and youth mainstreaming.

Leah supports large-scale impact evaluations related to children’s education and nutrition in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Bangladesh, among others. She is currently examining the role of social policy to improve health outcomes among children and adolescents in Tanzania, including outcomes related to sexual behaviour, mental health and violence. Leah is a PhD student at the Department of Public Health in Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam.

Ervin is an economist with the Social Protection team in FAO. He works on the generation of evidence and knowledge for policy support of social protection and agriculture. His work focuses on econometric program evaluation of cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa and cuts through topics related to labour and commodity markets. He also has experience in study design and survey implementation.

David is Vice President of international research and evaluation at the American Institutes for Research, overseeing a portfolio of over 20 research studies. He has served as the Principal Investigator or Co-PI on numerous studies on cash transfer programmes in Africa, contributing to real policy changes. He co-founded two non-profit organizations that help children in rural Zambia: Impact Network and Netgirls.

Nick is a Senior Economist on Social Protection team in FAO. He has a diverse research background covering multiple dimensions of rural economic development, food security, and poverty reduction. His current research on social protection focuses brings together socio-economic and climatological data to understand the roles played by social protection in addressing climate sensitivity and adaptive capacity in rural households.

Gelson is head and associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Zambia. Gelson has been working as a development researcher for more than 25 years. His research focuses on large-scale multi-wave impact evaluation studies, including on social cash transfer interventions in Zambia. As CEO of Palm Associates Limited, he has overseen more than 25 large-scale policy-related evaluation studies.

Nyasha is Social Policy Manager at UNICEF Innocenti. Her research has examined the impacts of social protection and agricultural programmes, adolescent health, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS. She previously served as Research Specialist at the United Nations University (UNU-MERIT) and Social Protection Specialist at FAO. She holds a PhD in Public Policy and Policy Analysis from Maastricht University.

Maxton is an Associate Research Professor leading the Poverty & Sustainable Livelihoods Programme at the Centre for Social Research of Chancellor College, University of Malawi. His research focuses on poverty and policy analysis, including social protection. He has led numerous mixed-method impact evaluations on cash transfer programs, including the Malawi social cash transfer program. Dr. Tsoka has a Ph.D. in Social Policy and Social Work at the University of York.

Elsa’s research interests lie in poverty and vulnerability, children’s health status, and the impact of social programmes on households and children outcomes. She previously worked on research projects for ODI, Scaling Up Movement, EU, UNRWA, USAID, and IDS on poverty dynamics, food security, nutrition, agriculture, social protection and education in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, India and Latin America.

Francesca supports impact evaluations on the integration of cash transfer projects with other interventions or services in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her research interests include household economic wellbeing, child sensitive social protection and child-rights based approaches. She holds an M.Sc. in Development Economics and has previously worked for the World Bank and Innovation for Poverty Action in Ghana, Kenya and Morocco.

Jennifer has worked on migration and social protection-related projects for several institutions including UNU-MERIT and World Bank. She has rich experience in designing, evaluating and analysing large scale household surveys. Jennifer’s main areas of interest include multidimensional poverty measurement, effects of migration and remittances, and impacts of cash transfer programs on outcomes such as food security, subjective well-being, and expenditure behaviour.

Natalia Winder Rossi is Associate Director and Chief of Social Policy at UNICEF. She leads the organization's work in Social Protection, Child Poverty and Public Finance for Children. Her previous positions include leader of the Global Social Protection team at FAO and Senior Social Protection Specialist at UNICEF’s Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa, where she led work on HIV-sensitive social protection and supported the development of a regional framework on social protection and resilience.

Paul Winters is Associate Vice-President, Strategy and Knowledge Department at the International Fund for Agricultural Development. From 2004-2015, he was a Professor of Economics at American University in Washington, DC. He has published numerous articles in the areas of impact evaluation, migration, cash transfer programs, rural development and smallholder agriculture. He holds a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from University of California, Berkeley.