Our Team

The Action Against Hunger UK MEAL Services team is a pool of MEAL experts that provide services to both the Action Against Hunger network and external organisations including UN agencies, INGOs and NNGOs. We have extensive experience in conducting baselines, midlines, endlines, evaluations, assessments and learning exercises across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. 

Our team profiles can be found below. 

NICOLA GIORDANO
HEAD OF MEAL SERVICES

Nicola Giordano is the Head of MEAL Services in Action Against Hunger UK, providing operational support across the organization in managing and delivering key MEAL activities across many thematic areas. Nicola holds a Master’s in international development studies and is fluent in French, English and Italian. Nicola has over 10 years of experience working within the development sector as a MEAL expert, and has worked for CARE International UK, UNCDF in Rwanda, MicroSave in India and for the Italian Development Cooperation in Tanzania. In his work he has provided high quality technical assistance to organizational MEAL strategies, large-scale proposals, and evaluations. Nicola leads the MEAL Unit in the delivery and quality assurance of various assignments mainly related to cash-based programmes, social protection, climate change resilience and food security.

KEY COMPETENCIES: data and analytics languages; evaluations; MEAL training

ALEXANDRA RUTISHAUSER
HEAD OF NUTRITION

Alexandra is a multi-skilled registered nurse holding an MSc in Nutrition for Global Health from the London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Diploma in Tropical Medicine with 16 years’ experience in the field of public health nutrition in diverse settings across Africa and Asia. She worked for Doctors Without Borders, International Medical Corps and Save the Children and is now the Head of Nutrition for Action Against Hunger-UK.  Recognized for her technical skills, she is a guest lecturer at the LSHM, LSTM, Metropolitan and Westminster Universities, King’s College and the American University of Beirut. She is, amongst others, a member of the strategic advisory groups of the Global Nutrition Cluster and Infant Feeding in Emergency core group and co-chairs the Global technical Assistance Mechanism on Nutrition Information Systems. She also coordinates a group of researchers working on the topic of Kwashiorkor

KEY COMPETENCIES: strong technical skills; networking; gender and equity; team management of multi-disciplinary and multicultural teams; policy and representation; capacity building (LPI Certified Trainer)

 

HANNAH WICHTERICH
MEAL ADVISOR 

Hannah Wichterich is a Senior MEAL and Information Management Advisor, and experienced evaluation manager and evaluator. In this role, she has been the technical lead across different tasks, including delivering MEAL support to Action Against Hunger’s Cambodia, Canada, Sudan and Syria Country Offices, several self-assessments against the Core Humanitarian Standards between 2017-2020, and the development of adapted most significant change tools for Action Against Hunger Canada’s Gender-based violence and nutrition project. She was the lead analyst on a Link Nutritional Causal Analysis on Myanmar, for Save the Children and on a Multisectoral Food and Nutrition project’s knowledge increase assessment for Action Against Hunger Cambodia, and advises on reviews to MEAL systems. Hannah holds a Bachelor of International Business Administration, and speaks German and Spanish.

KEY COMPETENCIES: evaluations; qualitative research and analysis; MEAL training

FEDERICO ERCOLANO
MEAL ADVISOR

Federico Ercolano is a senior MEAL and information management expert in poverty reduction, health and nutrition, employment policies, social protection, food security and cash as well as WaSH. He holds a MSc in International development from the University of Bath and a Master’s degree in International Economics from the University of Turin. He has over seven years of experience working in the humanitarian and development sectors across sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia and Europe. His work has focused on managing and coordinating education, nutrition, food security and livelihood programmes, with specific interest in improving the quality of interventions. Federico’s specialisation lays at the intersection of MEAL and programme management in a varied range of projects, with a special emphasis on analysing the operational and strategical processes as well as M&E methodologies and organisational development. He has extensive evaluation experience with ex-ante, mid-term, strategic, final, outcome and impact evaluations with EU, UN Agencies, AFD, USAID/BHA, FCDO, Sida and other donors. 

KEY COMPETENCIES: operational analysis; data analysis; evaluations; programme management and quality

CHARLES MAUGHAN
MEAL ADVISOR

Charles Maughan is a MEAL Adviser at Action Against Hunger UK, specialising in humanitarian assessments and data analysis in humanitarian interventions. He has knowledge of quantitative monitoring and evaluation, data analysis and econometrics as well as qualitative and participatory techniques, and holds the Sundstrom Postgraduate Scholarship for talented mathematicians from the University of London. Charles has conducted field works in Bangladesh, Jordan, Nigeria, Liberia and Yemen. He also has extensive experience with data models, databases, analysing surveys, data collection. Charles managed evaluations and assessments for a wide-variety of high profile humanitarian organisations (including, but not limited to, UNICEF, UNHCR and WFP). He advises on quantitative analysis and solves problems related to sampling, evaluation design, coding and statistics.

KEY COMPETENCIES: quantitative analysis and econometrics; evaluation of cash transfer programming; MEAL training

MANUEL SORIA
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Manuel Soria is a Business Development Manager with experience across various roles in non-profit, public and private sectors. Manuel has achieved quantifiable improved business results through a focus on people, risk management, supplier relationships and customer service. His strong leadership and project management skills have enabled him to engage staff and suppliers in a demanding environment, motivating them to explore and take advantage of new income streams. Additionally, Manuel was a free tuition MBA Scholarship winner and is fluent in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian.

KEY COMPETENCIES: leadership; project management; risk management; supplier relationships

LENKA BLANAROVA
GLOBAL COVERAGE ADVISOR
LINK NCA TECHNICAL ADVISOR

Lenka is an expert in qualitative research with a rich experience in community engagement and accountability in humanitarian programming. She has conducted nutrition causal analyses (Link NCA) in Haiti and Ethiopia, and numerous coverage assessments (SQUEAC/SLEAC) in Burkina Faso, Chad, DR Congo, India, Madagascar and South Sudan. Lenka has also designed and piloted new community engagement strategies for multi-sectoral projects in rural and urban settings.

KEY COMPETENCIES: qualitative research; nutrition assessments; community engagement and accountability.

HUGH LORT-PHILLIPS
GLOBAL COVERAGE ADVISOR

Hugh is an expert in assessing the coverage of CMAM programmes and using routine programme data to improve service uptake. Working with Action Against Hunger since 2010, he has led coverage assessment field trainings (using SQUEAC and SLEAC methodologies) in Senegal, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Bangladesh. He also coordinated a multiagency project to increase uptake of the coverage assessment methodologies in nine countries in Africa and Asia.

KEY COMPETENCIES: CMAM coverage assessments; qualitative and quantitative data analysis; capacity building of survey teams (French and English)

PATRIZIA PAJAK
DATA ANAYLST AND RESEARCH ADVISOR

Patrizia Pajak is a Data Analyst and Research Advisor with expertise in the field of Global Health Nutrition. She holds a MSc in Global Public Health Nutrition from the University of Westminster and has experience in qualitative and quantitative data analyses. She has a strong research background having previously worked on multiple research studies in the NHS and academia, both in the UK and internationally. She has conducted statistical analyses on several survey data such as DHS, MICS and SMART and currently involved in the quantitative analysis for a Link NCA in Zimbabwe. Patrizia has also experience in research management, coordination and implementation. She is particularly interested in drivers of acute and chronic malnutrition, food security, IYCF and women’s empowerment. She speaks English, Italian, Polish and Spanish.

KEY COMPETENCIES: Qualitative and quantitative research; data analysis; research management and implementation

JOEL WOOLFENDEN
SENIOR MEAL OFFICER

Joel Woolfenden is a Senior Project Officer at Action Against Hunger. He has experience in the humanitarian sector providing technical support and services in MEAL, with a focus on leading evaluations and learning pieces around cash, livelihoods and nutrition in emergency contexts. He has worked in many humanitarian contexts, particularly in the East African region where he has recently led evaluations in Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania. He has strong research and data analysis skills -both quantitative and qualitative- and has developed numerous evaluation, learning and research reports. In addition to data collection and analysis, Joel has experience disseminating findings through presentations and workshops to country and global teams to inform learning in the sector. Joel recently led the programme evaluation for DCA South Sudan, which focused on the triple nexus approach, localisation, livelihoods and gender.

KEY COMPETENCIES: data analysis; evaluations; qualitative research

CORNELIA ATON
SENIOR MEAL OFFICER

Cornelia is a Senior MEAL Officer with experience conducting evaluations and facilitating learning for Action Against Hunger country offices in West and Central Africa, including the Sahel. She has led on baselines and endlines, KAP evaluations, and needs assessments with a technical focus on nutrition, WASH and FSL and has worked on Cost-Effectiveness Analyses in Mali and Niger. Cornelia also coordinates Action Against Hunger’s Core Humanitarian Standards working group and accountability commitments. Cornelia holds a MSc in Disasters, Adaptation and Development for which she conducted research on the localisation agenda in the humanitarian sector. She previously worked in programming, grant management, and monitoring and evaluation at OneVoice in New York, Israel and Palestine. She is fluent in English and French.

KEY COMPETENCIES: learning; data analysis; evaluations; qualitative research; localisation; accountability

CLÉMENCE BOUCHAT
MEAL OFFICER

Clémence is a Project Officer for MEAL and Information Management. She is coordinating the evaluation of WFP’s Interim Country Strategic Plan in India, and has supported assessments and evaluations as part of Action Against Hunger UK’s MEAL services team, including UNICEF Brazil’s Country Programme evaluation, and produced both baseline and endline for WASH Consortium, Liberia. Clémence has experience in Food, Security and Livelihoods, Nutrition and country capacity strengthening. being an experienced social researcher, she recently completed her Master’s dissertation on reproductive rights policy reform in South America as part of her Master’s degree in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics.

KEY COMPETENCIES: country capacity strengthening; data analysis; evaluations;  qualitative research

ELENA GRUENING
MEAL OFFICER

Elena is a MEAL professional with an MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology, working in the humanitarian and development sector. She undertakes needs assessments and evaluations to improve programming in the sector and is specialised in qualitative research methodologies. She works closely with Action Against Hunger’s country office in the occupied Palestinian territory and has undertaken consultancy work for international organisations, such as CARE and Comic Relief as well as national charities such as Lewisham Homes in the UK, London. As the UK focal point for local partnership at Action Against Hunger, she conducted a review of the organisation’s local partnership approach and is now coordinating the working group and facilitating the strengthening of the organisation’s approach in line with Action Against Hunger’s localisation ambitions.

KEY COMPETENCIES: local partnership; data analysis; needs assessments; evaluations; qualitative research

JULIET TAYLOR
MEAL VOLUNTEER

Juliet Taylor is a Communications and Learning Volunteer under the MEAL Team at Action Against Hunger UK. She supported the production of the organisation’s COVID-19 response report, and the write up of several evaluations, including a needs assessment for CARE Jordan, and project evaluation of the Nigerian Joint Response 2019-2021. Juliet is an Arabic learner, she has an undergraduate degree in International Relations and International Development, during which she studied Global Food Security, Global Peace Processes and Economic Perspectives on Development. She also spent some time in Morocco, studying the MENA region.

KEY COMPETENCIES: evaluations; data analysis