Alive & Thrive (A&T) is a global nutrition initiative to save lives, prevent illness, and ensure healthy growth of mothers and children. From 2009–2014, A&T demonstrated that rapid improvements in infant and young child feeding (IYCF) are possible in settings as diverse as Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Viet Nam. In 2014, A&T began working in Burkina Faso, India, Nigeria, and throughout the Southeast Asia region, expanding its scope to include maternal and adolescent nutrition, and using agriculture and social protection programs as delivery mechanisms for maternal, infant, and young child nutrition (MIYCN). Currently, A&T is leveraging its robust network and knowledge base to strengthen systems and build capacity in these and other countries across Africa and Asia, and disseminate innovations, tools, and lessons worldwide.
The Alive & Thrive initiative, managed by FHI 360, is currently funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Irish Aid, the Tanoto Foundation, and UNICEF.
See What We Do and How We Work for more information.
Abdulaziz Ali Oumer, MD, MPH
Abdulaziz is a public health and nutrition professional with 20 years of experience working with the Ethiopian health care system. He is a medical doctor by training but has worked at several international NGOs. Prior to joining A&T, Abdulaziz worked as the Chief of Party for the INSPIRE project at Save the Children, a $30 million multisectoral nutrition project that aims to improve maternal, infant and young child nutrition. Abdulaziz also served as the Project Director for the Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III (FANTA III) project implemented by FHI 360. He has extensive experience providing technical assistance at national and regional levels and has contributed to several national guidelines, policy documents and training guides in the areas of nutrition, HIV/AIDS, and child health.
Regional Director, Africa
Sandy has 30 years of experience in nutrition, food security, public health and program management. Prior to joining A&T, she was the Project Director for the FANTA Project. She also worked in Cote d’Ivoire as part of the PSI social marketing team on a USAID-funded Family Health and AIDS project and then with the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (B/PRM) as the Acting Regional Coordinator. She also worked for the US Department of Agriculture on child feeding and nutrition education programs. Sandy has a MS degree from the Tufts’s University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. She was a Peace Corps fisheries volunteer in the DRC.
Yonas Taffesse Asrat
Senior Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist
Yonas has over 20 years of experience in research, planning, monitoring and evaluation, and leadership. Prior to joining A&T, he served as the monitoring and evaluation director with Washington University International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) Ethiopia. Prior to I-TECH, he worked with the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI) where he managed programs, finance, and monitoring and evaluation efforts. Earlier in his career, Yonas also worked for the Ethiopian Nutrition Institute (ENI).
Tadele Bogale Yitaferu, MD
Deputy Program Director
Tadele is a public health professional with more than 15 years of experience leading the implementation of successful programs. Prior to joining A&T, Tadele worked at Jhpiego Ethiopia, and has previously held positions at various donor (CDC) and other international organizations (JSI, and ORBIS International). Tadele began his career as a General Medical Practitioner, providing clinical services at rural health centers in southern Ethiopia and taking an interest in maternal and child health. Tadele has served in full-time and part-time faculty positions, and currently serves as an adjunct faculty at Addis Ababa University’s School of Public Health, and at Santé Private Medical College.
Azeb has more than 23 years of work experience working as as an invoice clerk, store keeper, and sales supervisor. She worked at the Misrak flour and bread factory for 16 years and for the General Service Office at the World Health Organization for three years.
Ayele Bekele Agedo
Ayele has over 10 years of experience working in government and non-governmental organizations. He has worked as a loan distribution and collection officer in the Bureau of Micro & Small Scale Enterprise Office at the Woreda level, and as a teacher at Hossaina TVET College. He has also worked for World Vision International Ethiopia for over seven years as an accountant, finance officer, support services coordinator, and procurement officer, where he managed financial transactions, administrative, and procurement related activities.
Tigabu Amebafrash, MPH, MBA
Amhara Regional MAIYCN Advisor
Tigabu is a public health expert with more than 17 years of experience, working in both government and NGOs. Prior to joining A&T he worked as the prevention of mother-to-child transmission regional advisor in Amhara with JSI/AIDSTAR-One Ethiopia. He has also served as a water, sanitation, and hygiene officer in Gamebela for a South Sudanese refugees’ emergency program with Lutheran World Federation (LWF).
Deputy Project Director, Operations
Samuel manages finance and operations for A&T Ethiopia. He has over 17 years of experience in accounting and financial management with NGOs, including working at Fida International for over 10 years. As administration and finance manager for the AED/LINKAGES project, he was responsible for office setup, recruitment, and project close-out. Samuel also worked as a finance and administration director for Prison Fellowship Ethiopia and as finance and as the operations manager for EngenderHealth Ethiopia.
Regional MAIYCN Advisor, Oromia
Dereje holds a master’s degree in General Public Health and bachelor’s degree in Public Health. He has ample and diverse experience in managing successful programs in health system capacity building and system strengthening in Ethiopia, both at the national and regional levels. He worked for Save the children International, FHI360 and GOAL Ethiopia as Health and Nutrition Program Coordinator and Advisor. Currently he is serving Alive and Thrive Project in the capacity of Regional MAIYCN Advisor
seconded at Oromia Regional Health Bureau.
Regional MAIYCN Advisor, Tigray
Amdom holds a master’s degree in Public Health from Mekelle University and a bachelor’s degree in Health Education and Promotion from Jimma University. He worked as Regional Nutrition Specialist at the Tigray Region Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development in Early Warning Response and Food Security Sector Core Process/ Emergency Nutrition Coordination Unit. He served JSI-L10K as Regional Nutrition specialist.
Regional MAIYCN Advisor, Afar
Jemal holds a master’s degree in General Public Health from Jimma University and bachelor’s degree in Health Extension Program from Samara University. He worked as Health and Nutrition Specialist for Save the Children International where he played a vital role for program development and quality unit by leading baseline, end-line and final mixed type surveys. Currently he is serving Alive and Thrive Project in the capacity of Regional MAIYCN Advisor seconded at Afar Regional Health Bureau.
Associate Director, Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC)
Desta has 17 years of experience in SBCC. Since 2004, he has managed social and behavior change programs for FHI 360 ranging from HIV/AIDS prevention to reproductive health. Desta has overseen large-scale training and capacity building of partners (governments and NGOs), and has worked with communities in leading the development of curriculum and proven SBCC materials. Desta is currently pursuing a master’s degree in sociology.
Finance Manager and Senior Accountant
Sintayehu has nearly two decades of experience working in government and the Embassy of Ireland (Irish Aid). He worked as a budget and disbursement expert in the Bureau of Finance and Economic Development and as finance head, and auditor for the Sector Offices supported by Irish Aid, during the Area Based Program with Embassy of Ireland/Irish Aid – Tigray Liaison Office. Sintayehu also worked as finance and administrative officer in the Budget Support Program of Irish Aid.
Senior MAIYCN Advisor
Birara holds a master’s degree in Applied Human Nutrition and bachelor’s degree in Public Health from Gondar University School of Public Health. He has worked for the Federal Ministry of Health in various positions for more than 10 years, including National Immunization Program Manager, Genera Public Health and System Strengthening Support Expert and National Nutrition Program planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation expert. Currently, he is serving Alive and Thrive in the capacity of Senior MAIYCN Advisor seconded at Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Health national nutrition case team, where he is responsible for providing technical and managerial support in the overall food and nutrition policy, strategy and program planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
Amare Birhanu Mengistu, MSc
SNNPR Regional MAIYCN Advisor
Amare holds a master’s degree in Human Nutrition from Wolaita Soddo University and a bachelor’s degree in Public Health from Gondar College of Medical Science. He has been providing advisory services to project woredas, zones and regional stakeholders, strengthening coordination, integration and networking among stakeholders. He was a seconded Global Sanitation Fund consultant at SNNPR Regional Health Bureau for the Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (MIYCN-NSA) Project. He worked for SNV Ethiopia in the capacity as WASH Advisor for the “NUWI II Project” and project coordinator for the UNICEF and SNV College capacity building project. He previously served as Alive & Thrive's Regional Coordinator for SNNPR/ Hawassa.
Policy and Advocacy Advisor
Fanna holds a master’s degree in Project Management from Cambridge International College and bachelor’s degree in Information and Communication Sciences from Addis Ababa University. Fanna has over 16 years of experience serving the most deprived and needy community groups, including working with the John Hopkins University, Center for Communication Programs, Academy for Educational Development’s Communication for Change as Communications Manager, and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as communication for development specialist. She has worked with prominent media houses leading the development and dissemination of youth, HIV, Malaria, WASH and Nutrition focused programs.
Regional MAIYCN Advisor, Amhara
Tigabu holds a master’s degree in Public Health (Reproductive and Child Health) and in Project Planning and Management. He has more than 17 years of experience in governmental and non-governmental organizations in different capacities within the Ethiopian health system. For the last three years, he has been working for Alive and Thrive project as Amhara Regional Coordinator for IYCF project.
Human Resources Officer
Rahel holds a master’s degree in Human Resources Management and bachelor’s degree in Administrative Service Management from Addis Ababa University School of Commerce. She has four years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She had been working as Program Administration Assistant for a development program focusing on food security with CARE International in Ethiopia. She also worked as Administration and Human Resources in the GOAL Ethiopia field office and head office. Currently she is serving Alive and Thrive Project in the capacity of HR Officer.
Nutrition and Health Manager
Fikru holds a master’s degree in Public Health and Nutrition. He worked as Deputy project director for FANTA and program manager in different International NGOs. He has led, monitored and coordinated project activities, surveys, researches and participated in different learning for a; supervised team members and worked on system strengthening. Currently, He is serving Alive and Thrive in the capacity of Nutrition and Health Manager seconded at Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Health, where he is mainly engaged in strengthening multisectoral coordination for nutrition across different sectors, mainstreaming nutrition in different departments of FMOH, and participating in food and nutrition policy implementation.
Senior Technical Advisor, Agriculture
Kebede holds a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Wye College of London University and a bachelor’s degree in Plant Science from the former Alemaya College of Agriculture. With over four decades of experience in rural agriculture extension service, agricultural product marketing, project management, food security and nutrition and livelihoods, he served as a managing director of the Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (Livelihood component) of Save the Children’s ENGINE and GtN projects. He was a
national project coordinator and senior program officer in food security focused on asset protection, livelihood diversification, resilience and nutrition specifically for chronically and transitory food insecure households.
Tamirrat Tafesse Walissa, MPH
IYCF Nutrition Technical Officer
Tamirrat has over 10 years of experience in the areas of health and nutrition. Prior to joining A&T, he worked as a social and behavior change specialist with the International Medical Corps for USAID’s Livestock Market Development project. He has also worked as an IYCF coordinator with World Vision Ethiopia.
Monitoring & Evaluation Officer
Tewodros has more than 10 years of experience in research, monitoring, evaluation, and knowledge Management. Prior to joining A&T, Tewodros was working for Oxfam Intermon as the Monitoring & Evaluation Advisor on projects dealing with food security, livelihood, and WASH. Prior to Oxfam, Tewodros provided monitoring and evaluation leadership for numerous nongovernmental organizations on various health related projects, including Westat Inc., Engender Health, and JSI. Tewodros has also worked as a Researcher and Statistician in the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia.
Terefe holds a master’s degree in Supply Chain Management from LeadStar College of Management and bachelor’s degree in Procurement and Material Management from Jimma University. He has more than seven years of experience in the nonprofit sector. He worked for World Vision Ethiopia as Procurement Officer and Administrative Supervisor.
Abeba holds a Level II Diploma in IT Support Service. She has nine years of experience in different governmental and other organizations in different positions.
Solomon holds a Level III Diploma in Automotive Engine and a Grade 4 Driving License. He has more than 20 years of experience in different non-governmental and other organizations as a Driver/Mechanic.