The Alive & Thrive (A&T) regional initiative in Southeast Asia, supporting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) platform, is rooted in advocacy, support, and implementation learning for breastfeeding practices. Fostering breastfeeding-friendly health systems from hospital to home, documenting the financial and social cost of not breastfeeding, and striving to synchronize maternity protection policies and workplace breastfeeding support programs are central to the work of A&T, government and non-government partners in Southeast Asia. Learning and results from earlier investments in Viet Nam, combined with new implementation research and analysis of policy advocacy efforts will continue to build a rich evidence base for the A&T initiative.
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Amy has more than 20 years of experience applying global evidence, and designing, implementing and evaluating public health policies and programs in the areas of maternal, neonatal and child health and nutrition; HIV/AIDS; and sexual and reproductive health. Amy is the Deputy Regional Director for FHI 360 Asia Pacific Regional Office, and works with A&T in the region to support strategic communications, research, and documentation. Amy is based in Bangkok, Thailand.
Linh leads the effective and coherent program planning, provides technical guidance and supervises implementation of Southeast Asia regional projects. Linh has two decades of experience in legal consultation, policy advocacy and project management. She coordinates the development and execution of A&T’s workplans across Southeast Asia. From 2010 – 2014, Linh was a member of the A&T advocacy team that were part of the multi-stakeholder alliance contributing to significant policy wins for maternal and child health and nutrition in Viet Nam, including six months paid maternity leave and a stronger national code on marketing of breastmilk substitutes. Linh is based in Hanoi, Viet Nam.
Dung provides the overall financial, operational, and administrative guidance and management to ensure smooth operations of the regional office. Dung has been responsible for finance and administration management of programs in Viet Nam since 2009 and Southeast Asia since 2014. Prior to joining A&T, Dung worked for SMARTWork Viet Nam, a project focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention in the workplace, funded by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs and USAID. She is based in Hanoi, Viet Nam.
Heather Chotvacs is a social and behavior change (SBC) professional with two decades of experience in public health, public media, and education. At A&T, Heather provides thought leadership and technical guidance to design theory-base, evidence-informed SBC strategies and co-create local solutions that engage diverse audiences to increase demand for and utilization of health products and services and the adoption of healthy behaviors. Before joining A&T, Heather worked for Population Services International and was a Technical Advisor for the Demand Generation Technical Resource Team of the United Nations’ Commission on Life Saving Commodities for Women and Children to increase demand for and use of underutilized, lifesaving commodities across the reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) continuum of care. Heather is based in Washington, DC.
Duong has a decade of experience in policy advocacy on health financing, equitable domestic resources mobilization in health sectors, partnership building and project management. At A&T, Duong supports the development and execution of workplans for policy advocacy, strategic communications and breastfeeding-friendly health systems in Viet Nam and in Southeast Asia. Before joining A&T, Duong worked with Oxfam as the Governance Program Officer. She is based in Hanoi, Viet Nam.
Sedtha develops and executes program work plans toward promoting a breastfeeding-friendly health system and establishing Centers of Excellence for Breastfeeding in Cambodia. Before joining A&T, Sedtha worked for more than three decades with governmental institutions, Unicef and international NGOs on maternal and child health, nutrition and HIV/AIDS prevention and care. Prior to that, she was a nurse midwife, equipping her with a strong understanding of early essential newborn care and breastfeeding counseling and support. She is based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Ta Thi Thanh Binh provides technical and coordination support for program activities in Viet Nam and supports Measurement, Learning & Evaluation efforts for a number of Southeast Asian countries. Binh contributes to workplan management and implementation for the Centers of Excellence for Breastfeeding and Human Milk Bank initiatives in the region. Prior to A&T, Binh worked in public health and clinical research for three years, with numerous studies published in reputable medical journals. Binh is based in Hanoi, Viet Nam.
Based in Manila, Janice provides technical assistance and work with government partners and various stakeholders in the Philippines to promote maternity protection and infant and young child nutrition. Janice has a decade of experience in policy development and advocacy, and project management. Before joining A&T, she worked with UNICEF Philippines as a consultant, and as a Project Officer for ILO Philippines.
Constance provides technical support in Code advocacy, improved implementation, and evidence-generation in the ASEAN region. Prior to that, Constance worked for IBFAN-ICDC, was involved in capacity building with governments, UN agencies and NGOs on Code implementation and monitoring. She also participated in the World Health Assembly and other global forums to advocate for stronger Code-related measures. A social worker by profession, Constance has 18 years of experience in non-governmental organizations and academic institutions, including supervising a university-wide service-learning program in Hong Kong, and managing community-based programs for homeless people living with HIV/AIDS and mental illness in New York City. She is currently based in Penang, Malaysia.