09 June 2020
UNITLIFE fights chronic malnutrition by supporting innovative interventions in countries most affected by the disease. To help it choose among the many great initiatives on the ground and ensure value for money, UNITLIFE has created an independent Technical Review Committee composed of leading experts in nutrition and related fields.
The Technical Review Committee experts are experienced professionals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to fighting malnutrition throughout their careers. They may work as independent consultants or be affiliated with a relevant related institution. During calls for proposal, they get together to assess the strategic value, technical soundness and potential for impact of projects submitted to UNITLIFE against predefined criteria. Funding decisions are based on their recommendations, ensuring a fair, transparent and independent process.
UNITLIFE launched its first pilot call for proposals “Chronic Malnutrition Prevention in Niger” in June 2020. Niger is a country where almost half of children under the age of 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition. The call aimed to select one pilot project combatting chronic malnutrition in an innovative, sustainable and integrated manner. Three leading experts generously offered their time to join UNITLIFE’s pilot Technical Review Committee and together recommended an exciting project to be launched in October 2020.
In the coming months, UNITLIFE will issue a call for interest to join the Technical Review Committee. Lessons-learned from this year’s exercise will inform the final committee set-up. The pilot project in Niger was assessed and recommended by the following Committee members.
Mr Cheikh Tidiane Sarr is the Coordinator of the African Leaders for Nutrition Initiative, an African Union – African Development Bank partnership which goal is to influence and generate innovative investments towards nutrition and food security that will build a foundation for productive human capital in Africa. Mr Sarr has over 40 years of experience in food security, nutrition, agriculture and rural development in Africa with various organizations, including the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Bank, USAID, CORAF, the International Monetary Fund, the Islamic Development Bank, and the Saudi Fund. He worked for a decade in Nigeria as the Chief Technical Adviser in the National Programme for Food Security. His career includes 16 years at the African Development Bank, first as a Project Officer, and then eventually as Division Chief, Deputy Director and Director in various departments (Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Computer Services Department; and Human Resources Department). Mr Sarr started as a farm manager in Senegal. He is an irrigation engineer by training.
Mr Thomas Yanga has over 40 years of experience in food security and related fields, including 20 years of service with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). He served as Country Director in Burundi, Secretary to Executive Board and Chief Interagency Affairs, Deputy Regional Director for Southern and Eastern Africa, Regional Director for West Africa, and Director of the Interagency Partnership Division. From 2014 to 2016, as the WFP Representative to the African Union, he coordinated the implementation of the “The Cost of Hunger in Africa”, a multi-country study estimating the economic and social impacts of child undernutrition. Mr Yanga started his career as a civil servant in the Ministry of Agriculture in Cameroon.
Ms Priscilla Wanjiru is currently working as an External Partnership Officer at the African Union Commission, in the Department of Social Affairs (Health, Nutrition and Population Division). Before that, Ms Wanjiru worked as a Programme Policy Officer at the United Nations World Food Programme, implementing among others the Cost of Hunger in Africa Study Series. She has also previously worked with the UN Women and the Ministry of Gender in Kenya. She has a post graduate degree in Development Management from the University of London (SOAS) and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Maseno University, Kenya.