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Meet the Speakers and Panelists for the 2019 Annual Meeting for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action!

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Meet the Speakers and Panelists for the 2019 Annual Meeting for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action!

02 Oct 2019
The Alliance

The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action is pleased to announce a distinguished list of keynote speakers. moderators and panelists for the 2019 Annual Meeting. Speakers are presented here in the order they appear in the meeting agenda. 


Audrey Bollier, Co-coordinator of the Alliance

Audrey Bollier is the Co-coordinator for the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action, on behalf of Plan International. Audrey has 14 years of humanitarian experience, including almost a decade in the field of Child Protection in Emergencies in various contexts including Sri Lanka, Iraq and South Sudan. For the last three years, Audrey has worked on the Syria Crisis response in Jordan and subsequently at regional level as Child Protection Advisor.

Hani Mansourian, Co-coordinator of the Alliance

Hani Mansourian is the Co-coordinator for the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action, on behalf of UNICEF. Hani has worked with children and refugee populations in development and humanitarian contexts since 2000. He has worked with local and international NGOs as well as several UN agencies. Hani has participated in child protection responses in over a dozen humanitarian contexts.

Keynote panel: Humanitarian-development nexus

Anne-Sophie Lois, Plan International, Moderator

Anne-Sophie Lois is a committed humanitarian and human rights advocate. She worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Mozambique, South Africa, Indonesia and Geneva and authored two books on life stories of people who are internally displaced in Colombia and Georgia. She currently serves as UN Representative and Head of Office in Geneva, internal coach and mentor for Plan International. 

Katy Barnett, No Lost Generation Advisor

Katy Barnett has worked on development and humanitarian issues for over 20 years with organisations such as IFRC, CARE, RedR, Save the Children and UNICEF. After a short period in community development she went on to specialize in child protection in emergencies, eventually taking up the role of global-level coordinator for child protection within the humanitarian cluster system. She now coordinates the interagency No Lost Generation initiative. 

William S. Chemaly, Coordinator for the Global Protection Cluster

From 2017 to 2019, William S. Chemaly worked as senior policy advisor in UNHCR’s team on the Global Compact on Refugees. Prior to that, he was UN OCHA’s Deputy Head of the Regional Office for the Syria Crisis. William served as Representative of the Danish Refugee Council in Geneva, founded the Joint IDP Profiling Service, and has worked for UNHCR, OHCHR, CARE International and ILO. He is currently a visiting fellow at Feinstein International Center of Tufts University

Scholastica Pembe, Founder and Exec. Dir. of New Hope New Winners Foundation

Scholastica Pembe is a social worker professional specialized in gender and development work. She is certified in employability skills training and has worked as a street educator and a family reunification counselor at Amani Centre. Scholastica founded New Hope New Winners Foundation to help fight for children’s rights and empower vulnerable young women with employability skills. She is the Assistant Program Coordinator/ Social Worker at Africa Human Rights Network Foundation.  

Sabine Rakotomalala, Sr. Tech. Advisor, Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children

Sabine Rakotomalala has served as Senior Technical Adviser with the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children since 2016. She has over a decade of professional experience in the fields of violence prevention, mental health and psychosocial support and child protection both in humanitarian and development settings. Sabine has been involved in the World Health Organization, Terre des hommes, and UNICEF, the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Network and the development of the CPMS.

Matthew Scott, Senior Director of Fragile Contexts with World Vision International

Matthew Scott has spent 20 years addressing concerns such as disability issues, landmines, religious freedom, and peace and security. He has advocated for children's rights and other humanitarian themes with Ambassadors, Congressional Representatives, Members of Parliament, the UN, the World Bank, and the EU and has worked alongside local peacebuilders in Latin America, the Balkans, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and across Asia. He currently serves as Sr. Dir. of Fragile Contexts with World Vision International. 

Session 1: Operationalising child protection in the nexus

Ndeye Marie Diop, UNICEF, Moderator

Ndeye Marie Diop is based in Nairobi where she works for UNICEF Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa and provides technical assistance to 21 countries in her region. She has also coordinated Child Protection activities in the DRC (Eastern Zone) and in Dadaad (Kenya). Her previous experience with UNICEF includes responsibilities on children on the move and female genital mutilation. 

Mohan Dangal, Child Nepal

Mohan Dangal is the Programme Director at Child Nepal and is engaged in civil society reporting to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. He was a coordinator for the shadow report of the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography in 2011 and a co-researcher for the supplementary report on CRC and the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict in 2014.

MariaSole Fanuzzi, Lake Chad Child Protection in Emergencies Specialist, Plan International 

MariaSole Fanuzzi is the Lake Chad Child Protection in Emergency Specialist with Plan International in Niger. Among her main duties, she oversees the quality implementation of the Child Protection in Emergency Regional Programme of Plan International in the Lake Chad Basin. She previously worked in East Africa in Child Protection and in Education in Emergencies with a focus on programming for adolescents and youth (South Sudan). 

Erica Hall, Technical Policy Lead, World Vision UK

Erica Hall is a qualified lawyer and advocacy expert specialising in child protection, gender and international criminal law. Erica has spent 15 years working for NGOs and the United Nations on child rights policy and programming in Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is a deployable expert on gender-based violence and international criminal law for the UK Government’s Stabilisation Unit and on child protection for Justice Rapid Response. 

Christina Mdemu, Child Protection Coordinator, The International Rescue Committee Tanzania

Christina Mdemu is a country technical lead for child protection and youth development with overall management of programming. She is a registered advocate with 9 years’ experience on human rights. She has worked with child protection programs on system strengthening and service delivery for both regional and International NGOs. Her passion is to protect the rights of  marginalised groups in the society, specifically women and children.

Sara Valerio, Regional Child Protection Advisor Middle East, War Child

Sara Valerio is a child protection specialist with over a decade of experience working in humanitarian contexts. Sara started working in Italy with children, asylum seekers and refugees in early 2000 before focusing on the Middle East region in conflict-affected countries. Sara supports competency building, program development and delivering War Child’s sector strategy in Syria, occupied Palestinian territory, Lebanon and Jordan. Sara was born in Italy and speaks English and Arabic. 

Brikena Zogaj, Child Protection and Participation, World Vision Middle East and Eastern Europe

Brikena Zogaj is a resource developer, leader and technical advisor who is passionate about human rights and safeguarding. She has worked in diverse contexts for child rights-integrated programs with foci on child protection, inclusiveness, gender, child participation and education. She seeks to connect stakeholders (including government, academia, civil society and donors) to mobilise human and financial resources for effective advocacy and evidence-based interventions. 

Session 2a: Strengthening child protection systems to address humanitarian protection concerns

Mark Canavera, Co-director, Care and Protection of Children (CPC) Learning Network, Moderator

At the CPC Learning Network, Mark Canavera coordinates research and advocacy efforts on children’s protection, care, health, and development in complex settings around the world. He spent many years working as a humanitarian aid and development worker in West Africa and has served in over 20 countries with a variety of agencies. His areas of focus include children formerly associated with armed groups, small arms control, girls’ education, and child welfare system reform.

Issa Abdourahamane, Child Protection Manager, International Rescue Committee

Issa Abdourahamane has been a Child Protection Manager with the International Rescue Committee since 2018. 


Davide Caliandro, Technical Unit Coordinator, Cesvi Libya

Davide Caliandro is an aid worker with over 10 years' field experience in both development and humanitarian contexts. For two years, Davide has been in Libya as Cesvi Technical Unit Coordinator providing strategic direction to Cesvi Protection programming in line with the Country Strategy and Protection International Standards. Since January 2019, Davide has also co-chaired the Child Protection Working Group in Libya.

Francesca Giordano, Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore - Université Paris XIII

Dr. Francesca Giordano is a researcher at the Resilience Research Unit and a Professor in Child psychology at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC). Francesca specialises in ecological resilience applied to emergency contexts, and she developed the psychosocial support model “Tutor of Resilience” addressed to staff working in Child Protection field. She is a trainer/capacity development expert and works as a consultant  for NGOs and other international organizations involved in child protection.  

Rhoda Nyakato, Child Protection in Emergencies Specialist, Plan International Tanzania

Rhoda Nyakato has over fifteen years' experience working in the child protection sector, 7 in humanitarian settings. She has provided technical oversight, management and leadership to child protection teams responding in refugee and development contexts in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda among others. Rhoda’s technical expertise includes quality case management programming; implementing durable solutions such as voluntary repatriation, resettlement, and cross-border reunification; and multi-level coordination. 

Leana Podeszfa, Child Protection Officer, UNHCR

Leana Podeszfa is currently the Protection Officer (Child) for UNHCR in Kakuma, Kenya. She has previously worked for UNHCR in different areas of Protection in Burundi, Ethiopia and Pakistan. She holds an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Oxford. 

Mara Tissera Luna, Hungarian Helsinki Committee

Mara Tissera Luna is a sociocultural anthropologist and a Master in Public Administration graduate currently working at the Refugee program of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. She has conducted policy research and evaluation in several countries (Argentina, British Guyana, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Mexico, and the US), in particular on the protection of children living in institutions, of children deprived of parental care, and of unacommpanied minors during the 2014 “migrant” crisis in the Mexican-US border.

Session 2b: Strengthening child protection systems to address humanitarian protection concerns

Pia Vraalsen, Associate, Child Frontiers, Moderator

Pia Vraalsen's experience extends over fifteen years in child protection in complex emergencies, natural disasters and developing country contexts in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Her expertise includes participatory research methods, child protection systems mapping and assessment, situation analysis and programme assessment and evaluation. Pia is currently evaluating community-based child protection services for Syrian refugees in Turkey and child protection centres in Kenya. 

 Ann Carter, Osman Consulting

Ann Carter has over 25 years’ experience delivering and leading community-based child protection services in the UK. She currently manages a range of services for children for a national charity in the UK and undertakes monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian programmes, mainly in the Middle East. She has led monitoring and evaluations of programmes in Lebanon and Yemen. Ann also delivers safeguarding training to a range of staff in different settings, including schools.

Lucia Castelli, Sr. Child Protection Advisor, AVSI

Dr. Lucia Castelli is a pediatrician and child protection worker whose work in Uganda and Rwanda led to the development of AVSI's first psychosocial support program and manual for health workers. She is a vocal advocate for children and has presented before the UN General Assembly in Geneva. 

José Luis Hernández, Regional Associate Protection Officer (SGBV/CP), UNHCR

José Luis Hernández is based at the UNHCR Regional Legal Unit for the Americas Bureau in San José, Costa Rica. He is involved in the regional roll-out of UNHCR’s 2018 Best Interest Procedures Guidelines and the Regional Safe Spaces Network, which provides protection services such as cross-border case management and information management to vulnerable populations on the move. He has previously worked with UNHCR El Salvador, with UNICEF in South Sudan and as a Child Protection Officer at the UN Mission in South Sudan. 

Catherine Huser, Act - Church of Sweden

Dr. Catherine "Cathy" Huser has been involved in humanitarian action for more than 25 years, working in operations, policy and research. She has spent the past 10 years studying the impact of exposure to deadly violence on individuals and communities and how this can be reversed to support people to recreate peaceful and protective environments. Cathy's work with Act-Church of Sweden and Lutheran World Federation intersects with the capacity of refugees in East Africa to positively shift social norms and individual and collective behaviour.   

Guillaume Landry, IBCR 

Guillaume Landry is a child protection specialist with experience in more than 40 countries. He has been active in a number of major organisations, including UNICEF Quebec and ECPAT International (in Thailand). His work in West Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo have particularly influenced in his writing and teaching, both of which focus strongly on topics related to child rights and the African continent. Guillaume is Director General of the International Bureau for Children's Rights.

Irene Wali, Child Protection and Education Technical Specialist, Save the Children Kenya

Irene Wali leads the child protection and education program in Save the Children. She has previously worked at Terre des Hommes, Netherlands as the Regional Child Protection Technical Expert supporting Eastern Africa and Plan International as a Child Protection Adviser. She has 16 years of experience in child protection and an advanced degree in International Studies.

Session 2c: Strengthening child protection systems to address humanitarian protection concerns

Christina Torsein, Executive Committee Member, Proteknôn Consulting Group, LLC, Moderator

Christina Torsein is a senior development professional with twenty years professional experience, including over twelve years of field experience providing technical guidance to child protection programmes for UNICEF in Mali, Haiti, Palestine, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sri Lanka. Christina is currently on a supply arrangement of technical experts supporting Canadian international development assistance projects and programmes at Global Affairs Canada (GAC). 

Laurent Chapuis, Regional Advisor, Migration UNICEF Regional Office Europe and Central Asia

Laurent Chapuis has spent 13 years in management and advisory roles in child protection and migration with UNICEF in Greece, the Middle-East and Cambodia. As Migration Regional Advisor, he provides strategic direction and technical assistance to UNICEF's dedicated refugee and migrant responses in the Europe and Central Asia region. Prior to UNICEF, he worked for ten years with rehabilitation services for women and children with disabilities with the Red Cross and non-governmental organisations in Cambodia, Palestine, Rwanda and Congo. 

Souleymane Dia, Ministere de la Sante et de l'action Sociale, Republic of Senegal



Natia Partsksalazadze, GSSWA

Dr. Natia Partskhaladze MD, MSc, MSW has 15 years of experience in the field of child protection and social service system strengthening, both at the policy and programming level. Currently Natia leads the Alliance’s work on mapping and assessment of the social service workforce in the countries of Middle East and North Africa, and the East Asia and Pacific. Natia is a founder and board member of the Georgian Association of Social Workers.

Katharina Witkowski, Plan International

Katharina Witkowski is a humanitarian aid worker with more than 8 years’ experience in emergency settings and conflict zones across Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Asia Pacific. From 2017- 2019 Katharina was based in Maiduguri, Nigeria as the Head of Emergency Response for Plan International Nigeria leading the implementation of Plan´s Lake Chad strategy. She is  currently the Team leader for West and Central Africa for Plan Germany.

Session 3a: Engaging faith actors for child protection

Limnyuy Konglim,  ICMC, Moderator

Limnyuy Konglim is the Head of the U.S. Liaison Office in Washington. She represents ICMC before major U.S.-based institutional donors, governmental and international agencies and conducts policy work on migration-related issues at the national level.  Formerly, Limnyuy worked as a humanitarian protection advisor and as a disaster operations specialist for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. 

Zoubeida Abou Assaly, World Vision Lebanon

Zoubeida Abou Assaly is the Child Protection and Advocacy Technical Lead at World Vision Lebanon and has 18 years' experience in child protection, child-friendly spaces, education in emergencies and advocacy. She has mobilized Christians and Muslims to address issues affecting the well-being of children. She believes that faith leaders, with the support of NGOs and governments, have the power to end violence against children in Lebanon.

Elisa Gamero, World Vision El Salvador



Amanda Rives, Sr. Advisor, Child Protection and Participation, World Vision International 

Amanda Rives represents WVI globally in selected networks, ensuring the organization effectively collaborates with partners and faith-based organizations, influences decision-makers, and contributes to the realization of children’s rights and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  She is currently seconded to the Middle East Region as Policy and Advocacy Director with the mandate to advance WV’s work to protect children on the move.  

Session 3b: Approaches to measuring child wellbeing and child protection risks

Haytham Othman, Children of One World, Moderator

Haytham Othman is a Syrian citizen who fled to Turkey during the Syrian Civil War. He was trained in business marketing and is the Co-founder and Research and Development Director of the NGO Children of One World (Bir Dünya Çocuk), which provides child protection services and advocacy in Syria and Turkey. Haytham was a panelist on the high-level discussion panel on grave violations against children in Syria at the 37th Human Rights Council meetings in Geneva.

Martha Bragin, Silberman School of Social Work, IASSW

Martha Bragin is Associate Professor at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, City University of New York, where she chairs the program on Global Social Work and Practice with Immigrants and Refugees. She joined the faculty after 25 years supporting duty bearers to address the effects of violence and disaster on children, youth and families. She represents the International Association of Schools of Social Work at the United Nations. 

Ronald Gutierrez, Family for Every Child

Ron Gutierrez has served as Clinical Director at Legal Services for Children since 2001, supervising the social work staff and coordinating the overall clinical services. Ron has extensive clinical experience serving children and families from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. In 1999, he began presenting on the topics of Latino Identity and Cultural Competence and has since spoken at numerous conferences and agencies.

Dicky Pelupessy, Crisis Center, Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Indonesia

Dicky Pelupessy is a lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Indonesia and a member of the Alliance’s Assessment, Measurement and Evidence Working Group. He worked closely with Center for Child Protection and Wellbeing at Universitas Indonesia as Technical Lead for Child Protection in Emergencies. Dicky was also one of writers who developed the UNICEF-supported Child Protection in Emergencies Toolkit in Indonesia.  

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