Our CHILD POVERTY EXPERTS
David Stewart is Chief of Child Poverty and Social Protection at UNICEF Headquarters in NY.
He is an economist with 20 years of experience at international and country level, including policy and programmes. David has worked on Human Development Report between 1999 and 2005, and joined UNICEF in 2005, where he worked on State of World Children Reports, policy advocacy, child poverty, social protection and public finance. In his role as Chief of Child Poverty and Social Protection, he leads UNICEF’s global advocacy on child poverty and social protection, including chairing the Global Coalition to End Child Poverty. David also oversees the development of UNICEF’s guidance and frameworks to address child poverty and strengthen social protection, and works on enhancing policy uses of child poverty measurement (both monetary and multidimensional) for social protection and beyond.
He is currently leading UNICEF’s Universal Child Grants initiative, exploring the practical approaches and challenges to implementing UCGs.
Fred Nyabera is the director of End Child Poverty, a multi-faith, child centered, global initiative of Arigatou International that mobilizes faith-inspired resources to end child poverty. As a social scientist and trained theologian, Nyabera’s interest is in development and peacebuilding work.
He previously served as pastor at the Nairobi Baptist Church and Karen Community Church respectively; and the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA), where he worked together with faith-based, civil society, government, inter-governmental and multilateral organizations to improve the wellbeing of communities in Eastern Africa by supporting accountable governance and promoting peace and security.
He holds B.A in Sociology and Anthropology; BD (MDiv equivalent); and post graduate studies in Conflict Transformation and Organizational Leadership.
Vidya is a Senior Research Officer in the Chronic Poverty Advisory Network at Overseas Development Institute.
She is a mixed-methods researcher whose work focuses on education and empowerment of women and girls in sustaining poverty escapes, and the role of armed conflict in creating poverty traps. Vidya has led various policy-oriented research projects and authored journal articles, book chapters, reports, and policy briefs on human development and poverty dynamics in South Asia, South East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East North Africa region.
She holds an MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge and a BA in Economics and International Relations from the American University of Sharjah.
John Cockburn is Scientific advisor with the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP) and Associate Professor at Laval University in Québec.
He completed a PhD at Oxford University (Nuffield College and the Centre for the Study of African Economies) in 2001 on child labour and schooling in rural Ethiopia and the poverty effects of trade liberalisation in Nepal.
John’s areas of specialization include child well-being, poverty/inequality analysis and CGE modeling. He has been providing training and technical support to developing country researchers throughout the developing world since 1990 and is an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Microsimulations.
Professor Jane Kabubo-Mariara is the Executive Director of the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP). She has been a long-serving Professor of Economics at the University of Nairobi, and previously served as Director of the School of Economics at the University of Nairobi. Jane is a member of the Central Bank of Kenya’s Monetary Policy Committee and has also previously served on the Board of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. She is a member of the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) Advisory Board and President of the African Association of Ecological Economists (ASEE).
Jane’s key research interests include Poverty, Labour markets and Income distribution issues, with emphasis on multiple dimensions of child poverty and youth employment, the Impact and Adaptations of Climate Change on Agriculture; and Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. She has previously consulted for the World Bank, IDRC, AERC, PEP, and CEEPA among other institutions.
She holds a B.A, M.A. and PhD in Economics from the University of Nairobi.
Olivier Thevenon is an Economist at Social Policy Division at OECD.
He is currently coordinating OECD work on child well-being and child poverty, and is responsible for the OECD Child-Well-Being Data Portal. He is also a member of the French Haut Conseil de la Famille, which advises the government on reforms to be undertaken in the area of family and child policies. He conducts research on child and family policies and its impact on child, fertility, and labour market outcomes.
He has contributed to the development of the OECD family Database, and to Babies and Bosses, Doing Better for Families, Closing the Gender Gap, Dare to Share, Preventing Ageing Unequally.
Dr. Keetie Roelen is a Research Fellow and Co-Director of the Centre for Social Protection.
She is a development economist by training and current research interests include the dynamics of (child) poverty, social protection and the linkages between child protection and social protection.
Keetie has worked with many international organisations such as UNICEF, FAO and Concern Worldwide, performing research and policy advice work in South East Asia, Southern and Eastern Africa and Central and Eastern Europe. She has quantitative and qualitative research skills and has designed and delivered lectures and training courses for Masters students, professionals, practitioners and policy makers. Her work has been published in the form of peer-reviewed journal publications and book chapters, working papers and project reports.
Yehualashet Mekonen is the Programme Manager of the African Child Observatory at the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), a pan-African centre for policy research and advocacy on children.
Mr. Mekonen has worked for more than 20 years in policy research, programme management and development of research tools and methodologies. He developed the Child-friendliness Index of African governments, a quantitative framework for measuring government’s performance in realising the rights and wellbeing of children. This composite Index is being used as an advocacy tool to promote greater commitment to children in Africa and beyond.
Mr. Mekonen is also the lead author of the African Report on Child Wellbeing series, a flagship biennial publication of ACPF that monitors the extent to which African governments are living up to their obligations to international and regional child rights laws. He has authored and co-authored numerous papers, articles and reports focusing on issues related to children. Before joining ACPF, Mr. Mekonen was the Team Leader of Researchers at the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia. As an Independent Consultant, he has also served several non-governmental organisations, UN agencies and private firms in undertaking surveys and data analysis on a range of social, economic and governance related issues.
Jacqueline Plaisir is Vice President of ATD Fourth World and a regional director for its projects in Africa.
Her experiences with people living in extreme poverty who faced the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, civil war in the Central African Republic, and other emergencies have informed her contributions to the World Humanitarian Summit, as well as her publications: Ravine of Hope, One Week in Port-au-Prince; Artisans of Peace Overcoming Poverty; Extreme Poverty Is Violence -- Breaking the Silence -- Searching for Peace; and a chapter in Child Poverty and Social Protection in Western and Central Africa, published by UNICEF and CROP.
She has also spoken at the Convergences World Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Alberto Minujin is a professor at the Graduate Program in International Affairs at the New School, with a special focus on topics related to social policy and children's rights.
He serves as Executive Director of Equity for Children and Equidad para la Infancia, The New School. He is a member of the Latin American Observatory (OLA). Until 2005, Professor Minujin was senior program officer for policy analysis in the Division of Policy and Planning of UNICEF Headquarters, New York.
Prof. Minujin is the editor and author of books: "Global Child Poverty and Well-being. Measurement, concepts, policy and action"; "Social Protection Initiatives for Children, Women, and Families: An Analysis of Recent Experiences" that focus in the experiences around the world on cash and in-kind transfers to poor families; and "Poverty and Children: Policies to Break the Vicious Cycle (2006)", that discusses concepts, measurement and policies related to children living in poverty.
Richard is the Livelihoods Global Sector Leader for World Vision International based in London, UK.
He is responsible for developing and implementing World Vision’s global strategy for economic inclusion work that addresses root causes of child poverty through the promotion of sustainable, market-based economic solutions to food production and consumption, livelihood development, financial inclusion, ultra-poor graduation, and responsible environmental and risk management. His role also works in close collaboration with WV’s microfinance arm, VisionFund International (VFI) in the promotion of responsible financial services for the extreme poor.
Prior to his 20 year career in World Vision Richard worked as an agricultural engineer in West Africa setting up post-harvest processing projects and small business development initiatives.
Diana Skelton is part of the National Coordination Team at ATD Fourth World–UK.
Her publications include How Poverty Separates Parents and Children: A Challenge to Human Rights, Best Practices in Poverty Eradication: Case Studies from the Field, and Artisans of Peace Overcoming Poverty. She has contributed chapters to Child Poverty and Social Protection in Western and Central Africa, Agree to Differ, Forging Solidarity: Popular Education at Work, and Childhood Explorer.
She is on the advisory executive council of the Women Economic Forum and a regular speaker at Horasis: the Global Visions Community. Previously, she served: on ATD Fourth World's International Leadership Team; as chair of the thematic dialogues on eradicating poverty, NGO Forum for the Millennium Summit; as chair of the NGO Committee on Families; and as Vice-Chair of the NGO Committee for Social Development.
Luke Harman is Senior Social Protection Advisor at Save the Children UK. Luke has been working on and researching international development for 11 years, with country level programmatic and policy experience mainly focussing across sub-Saharan Africa.
Luke holds an MSc and PhD in Development Economics from the University of London and among his publications, Luke was one of the key authors of the 2016 DFID-commissioned review on Cash Transfers: Cash transfers: what does the evidence say? A rigorous review of impacts and the role of design and implementation features.
He joined Save the Children in 2016 after working as a Researcher in the Social Protection Team at the the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). In his current role as Senior Social Protection Advisor he co-leads the development of Save the Children's global work on social protection, with a particular focus on child-sensitivity and promoting the case for expanding access among children and youth. He also provides technical and policy support to specific programmes, including the flagship Child Development Grant Programme in Nigeria.
Among various current initiatives, Luke has been developing training modules for Save the Children staff across the globe to be able to advance access to child-sensitive social protection in the countries where we work, including maternal and child grants.
Sola Engilbertsdottir is a Social Policy Specialist at UNICEF Headquarters in NY and has 13 years of social policy and research experience with UNICEF, with a specific focus on child poverty.
She has extensive experience working and living in the East Africa region, in Kenya she supported a decentralized social budgeting initiative and the development of the Kenyan social protection strategy. With UNICEF Rwanda she managed the first ever Rwandan multidimensional child poverty analysis and the evaluations of a child sensitive social protection pilot and an integrated ECD programme.
Sola provided research and policy advocacy support to over 50 countries participating in a Global Study on Child Poverty and Disparities, an initiative which ran from 2008 to 2011. She currently supervises UNICEF’s child poverty efforts, including support to UNICEF country offices and translating child poverty evidence into policy action. Prior to joining UNICEF Sola was a social worker in her native country, Iceland.
Sola holds an MPA from Columbia University.
Christian Oldiges is a Research Officer at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). He holds a Diplom (M.A. equivalent) and PhD in Economics from Heidelberg University.
During his studies and research in Development Economics, he spent several years in India, studying and working at the Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University, the G.B. Pant Institute of Social Sciences, Allahabad, the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), and the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Delhi.
Prior to joining OPHI as a Research Officer in August 2016, Christian has been working as a Teaching Assistant in Development Economics at Heidelberg University and as a Research Assistant for OPHI since 2011. During his doctoral studies, his research focus was on evaluating welfare impacts of India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and on designing the nutritional deprivation index (NDI). At OPHI, Christian undertakes micro-econometric research on the determinants of multidimensional poverty and is part of OPHI’s outreach team that supports governments in building national MPIs.