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Regional Specialists based in Bangkok, Bratislava, Cairo and Dakar
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As part of its effort to provide high quality and timely support to countries conducting governance assessments, the UNDP Global Programme has established regional posts in Bangkok, Bratislava, Cairo and Dakar. The below focal points are the Global Programmes first point of contact and support for country-led governance assessments in their respective regions.
Asia and the Pacific
Ms Sujala Pant, Programme Specialist, Asia-Pacific Regional Centre, Bangkok (Thailand)
Sujala Pant is responsible for developing and implementing the regional initiative on governance measurements and democratic space, including the work on media and access to information with key regional and national partners.
She joined UNDP in 2008 through the LEAD programme, and worked with the Democratic Governance Group in New York. As Governance Specialist/Special Assistant to the Practice Director, she provided substantive support including policy analysis and strategic development, reporting, external communication, and development of cross-thematic areas, particularly on the MDGs, and the LDCs agenda.
Prior to joining UNDP, Ms Pant worked with the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) in Bhutan and in her native Nepal, providing advisory and capacity development services to key national and sub-national partners. In Nepal, her work also focused on working with state and non-state parties, and other development partners to enlarge and maintain the development space due to the on-going conflict.
She has an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics, UK and a BA in Social Sciences from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. She speaks English, French, Nepali, Hindi, and conversational Mandarin.
Asmara Achcar, Programme Specialist, UNDP Regional Centre, Bratislava (Slovakia)
Asmara Achcar is responsible for our work on democratic governance assessments in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, based in the Bratislava Regional Centre. Adapting the principles of the Global Programme on Governance Assessments to national and regional priorities, such as integrity issues or local development, she ensures that efforts are inclusive and engaging multiple stakeholders in identifying governance bottlenecks aimed at producing evidence-based policies.
She joined UNDP in 2009 through the Leadership Development Programme, and worked with the Democratic Governance Group in New York where she co-developed with our EEG colleagues a cross-practice initiative on Land Governance as well as an initiative on Diaspora and Local Governance & Development, while supporting the Legal Empowerment of the Poor initiative.
Prior to joining UNDP, Ms Achcar worked at the World Bank, where she provided policy advice at the national level and contributed to the development of projects in social protection, poverty reduction, macroeconomics, and energy & natural resources.
She has an MA in International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University, USA, another MA in Political Sciences from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, France and a BA in contemporary History. She speaks English, French, Portuguese, Arabic and German.
Nina Kolybashkina, Programme Specialist, UNDP Regional Centre Cairo (Egypt)
Nina Kolybashkina has been working in the field of international development for the past twelve years either professionally or academically. Prior to joining the team in Cairo, she was an ARR (P) in Turkmenistan, providing technical backstopping for the activities in local governance and poverty reduction portfolios, as well as taking part in the overall programme management. Prior to joining UNDP Nina has worked as a free-lance consultant, with focus on evaluation, and served as UNV in Kosovo. While studying for her PhD, she has also lectured at Brunel University in UK and ILO Training Center in Italy. Her first job with UNDP project in in Ukraine included developing and coordinating a portfolio of community-based projects. She has also been actively engaged in the work of several NGOs, as well as research on civil society.
Ms Kolybashkina has a PhD from the Department of Social Policy at University of Oxford, with her thesis focused on the approaches for measuring effectiveness of governance interventions. She also holds Master of Science degree in Comparative Social Policy from University of Oxford, and Specialist Degree in Economics and Finance from Tavrida National University in Ukraine.
Marie Laberge, Programme Specialist, UNDP Regional Centre, Dakar (Senegal)
Marie Laberge joined the UNDP Dakar Regional Centre as Programme Specialist for Governance Assessments in 2011. The Global Programme on Governance Assessments provides support to governance assessments that are nationally owned, participatory, and responsive to national and regional priorities, such as the APRM.
Ms. Laberge came to Dakar from the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre, where she spent three years working with stakeholders to collect governance data and apply it in policymaking. She also developed tools and training programmes, and edited a series of users’ guides in various thematic areas of governance. Previously, she worked at the UNDP Colombo Regional Centre to support the Millennium Development Goals Initiative for Asia and the Pacific. Jointly with the Oslo Governance Centre, she researched the integration of governance in MDG-based needs assessments.
Ms. Laberge also worked as a researcher on the MDGs at the UNESCAP office in Bangkok and with the Human Development Team at the Regional Centre in Colombo. Prior to UNDP, she worked with Forum-Asia, a human rights NGO in Bangkok. She holds a Master’s degree in human security policies from the University of British Columbia and a degree in economics and international business from McGill University (Canada).