The Consortium

External Advisory Committee


Terms of Reference (TOR) for External Advisory Committee

This TOR establishes the purpose and responsibilities of the External Advisory Committee (henceforth called “EAC”) of Swiss Development Cooperation- (henceforth called “SDC”) funded and the Johns Hopkins University- (henceforth called “JHU”) led project titled “People-centered Food Systems: Fostering Human Rights-based Approaches” and co-implemented by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT (henceforth called “CIAT”), the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (henceforth called “IIRR”) and Rikolto.

The EAC is part of the project governance structure and is responsible for high level inputs and guidance to the overall implementation of the project to support the project meeting its objectives as outlined in the Proposal Document (henceforth called Pro-Doc) submitted to SDC by JHU and as per the Project Agreement.


The overall purpose of the EAC is to provide strategic and policy guidance, and to support communication and dissemination of project outcomes. The Project Steering Committee plays an advisory role and informs the project about strategic direction, key actor networks and dissemination of the project.


The TOR of the EAC is as follows:

  • provide expert advice specifically on thematic areas of food and/or land & human rights, food systems actors within the country setting and, rights-based training and policy-making that will guide project strategy and assist in identification and resolution of strategic issues and risks
  • support communication and dissemination of project outcomes and policy recommendations
  • assist with developing links between the project and other relevant sectoral networks
  • support the project team in convening and guiding the development of partnerships with researchers, practitioners, and policy makers
  • Meet twice per year

The EAC shall consist of 4-5 core members. The EAC will meet twice a year: once with the consortium partners and one with the consortium along with the Project Steering Committee. Meetings will be conducted remotely.

Committee Member Bios

 Hilal Elver is a global leader and expert in international human rights law and international environmental law. From May 2014 to April 2020, Elver served as the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, responsible for carrying out the right to food mandate as prescribed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. She is currently serving as an appointed member of the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on food security and nutrition, and a member of the Scientific Group of the UN Food Systems Hub. She maintains several affiliations with academic institutions worldwide.  She has worked with the Turkish government as the Founding Legal Advisor of Turkey’s Ministry of Environment from 1989 to 1991; the Director of the Environmental Law and Human Rights Committee of the EU Harmonization Committee: Office of the Prime Minister and State Planning Organization from 1989 to 1999; and member and legal advisor of the Turkey’s team UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), from 2009- 2014.She has authored/edited several books including: Peaceful Uses of International Rivers: The Euphrates and Tigris Transboundary River Basins (2002); Headscarf Controversy: Secularism and Freedom of Religion (2012); and Reimagining Climate Change (ed. w/ Paul Wapner) (2016). Select reports, articles, op-eds, and interviews are featured on her website

David Kabanda is a food rights lawyer with special interest for social justice in economic and environment related systems. He practices this through legal advocacy, community legal empowerment, public interest litigation, legal research, invoking social equity, and the doctrine of public trust. He is an expert in law, agroecology and an advisor in sustainable agri-food systems. He has done consultancies with UN-FAO, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, WHO, and UNESCO. He has implemented projects using a Human Rights Based Approach.  He is currently a Food Law PHD candidate -University of Western Cape. He has pioneered the litigation on the right to adequate food and health in Uganda, and Africa. He has founded social rights organizations including the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) and now the Center for Food and Adequate Living Rights (CEFROHT). He is leading a team of lawyers in East Africa and in Uganda under the Agriculture and Food law cluster in Uganda law society.  David is a founder and currently the Executive Director at Center for Food and Adequate Living Rights (CEFROHT).

Marlene D. Ramirez is Secretary General of the Asian Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (AsiaDHRRA) from 1999 to present. She began working for rural development and poverty eradication in the Philippines with PhilDHRRA in 1987 and was Executive Director from 1993-1998. Both at national and regional levels, her expertise covers civil society network development and management, program development and implementation, resource building and mobilization, strategic partnerships, and policy advocacy. In 1999, she pursued AsiaDHRRA’s aspiration of catalyzing a regional farmers’ alliance, now an autonomous body called Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA) serving millions of farmers in Asia. From 2012 to 2020, Marlene sat in the Board of AgriCord global alliance of agri-agencies providing direct financing and advising to farmers/fishers’ organizations and anchors the representation of the Alliance in the Asian region. From 2010 to date, she represents AsiaDHRRA as interlocutor for civil society engagement with FAO-RAP and sits in the Civil Society Governance Council of Grow Asia. Marlene represents AsiaDHRRA in the Coordinating Conference on the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (SOCCOM), has led the drafting of ASEAN Rural Development and Poverty Eradication Framework Action Plan 2011-2015 and the external Mid-term Review of the ASEAN Socio Cultural Community Blueprint in 2013. She currently oversees the implementation of a regional cooperation to empower rural development organizations in Southeast Asia under a five-year Framework Partnership Agreement with EU. She is a graduate of BS Industrial Engineering from Mapua Institute of Technology and has Master’s Degree in Public Management from the Ateneo de Manila University School of Governance.

Million Belay is the coordinator of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty for Africa, a network of networks of major African networks. He is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Food System Sustainability (IPES-Food). Million is the founder of MELCA – Ethiopia, an indigenous NGO. Million has spent the last two decades working on issues such as intergenerational learning of bio-cultural diversity, sustainable agriculture, local communities’ right to seed and food sovereignty, and forest issues. His focus is now on food sovereignty, agroecology, food system transformation, inter-generational learning, knowledge dialogues, and the use of participatory mapping for social learning, identity building, and memory mobilization for resilience. He holds a PhD in environmental education, a MsC in tourism and conservation, and a BsC in biology.

Nitya Rao is Professor, Gender and Development at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom and Director of the Norwich Institute for Sustainable Development. She has worked extensively as a researcher and advocate in the field of women’s rights, employment and education for over three decades. Her research interests include exploring the gendered changes in land and agrarian relations, migration and livelihoods, especially in contexts of climatic variability and economic precarity. She has done fine-grained research on households and intra-household dynamics in these contexts to draw out implications for gendered wellbeing, empowerment and justice, with a particular focus on food, nutrition and health security. She has published extensively on these themes in international peer-reviewed journals and books. She has consistently engaged with policy and practice, at both the global and local levels. Apart from supporting networks of women farmers in India, she served on the Global Advisory Committee of the United Nations Girls Education Initiative for over a decade. She is currently a member of the Steering Group of the High-Level Panel of Experts to the Committee on World Food Security, Commissioner, EAT-Lancet 2.0 on healthy and sustainable diets and member of the Scientific Advisory Group to the UN Food Systems Coordination Hub.

Johns Hopkins University

Anne Barnhill, PhD

Anne Barnhill, Ph.D. is Associate Research Professor at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. She is a philosopher and bioethicist whose research centers on the ethics of food and agriculture, and the ethics of public health.  She’s especially interested in the ethics of (public and private) efforts to change what people eat. Her recent and ongoing research projects explore the ethics of food labeling, efforts to promote plant-based diets, and ethnically- and racially-targeted food marketing.  Her most recent book, co-authored with the political theorist Matteo Bonotti, explores the ethics of healthy eating policy in high-income countries (Healthy Eating Policy and Political Philosophy: A Public Reason Approach, Oxford University Press, 2022). She is also the co-author with Mark Budolfson and Tyler Doggett, of Food, Ethics and Society: An Introductory Text (Oxford University Press  2016) and co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics (2018).

Elizabeth Graham

Elizabeth Graham is a PhD Candidate in Human Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in the International Health Department. Her dissertation research explores food insecurity and how it is related to the concept of place and urbanicity for Nepalese households and women. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Elizabeth worked at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, supporting experience-based food security indicator development and reporting, as well as supporting aquatic foods in national and global nutrition agendas and national policy frameworks. She holds a Master of Science degree in Nutrition from McGill University, where her thesis explored gender disparities in perceived well-being within food insecure populations.


Wilson John D. Barbon

Wilson John D. Barbon is currently the Country Director of IIRR for Myanmar. He has 23 years of experience in rural development. He is passionate about people-centered, locally-managed and transformative approaches to addressing issues of rural people. He finished his Master’s in Environment and Natural Resources Management (Specialization: Upland Ecosystems) in the University of the Philippines – Open University and a degree in Biology from the Ateneo de Davao University. Wilson is a two-time fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria (2017 and 2019). He has extensive experience in rural development working on community-based adaptation, sustainable livelihoods and risk management.

Zerihun Lemma Damenu

Zerihun Lemma Damenu is Country Director of IIRR Ethiopia. Zerihun has the overall responsibility to lead the country office. He served as IIRR Country Director in South Sudan between 2012 to 2015 and since 2000 he assumed various management positions in Save the Children. Zerihun has a BA and MA degrees in Education from Addis Ababa University and another MA degree in Applied Community Change from the Future Generation University, West Virginia, USA, where he is also an Assistant Professor, Research Faculty. Zerihun served as a lead person in developing national capacity of Agriculture in Ethiopia on Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture (NSA).

Julian Gonsalves, PhD

Julian Gonsalves received his PhD from the Cornell University and his Master’s Degree from Michigan State University. He served as Vice President for Programs at IIRR. He currently serves as Senior Advisor on climate resilient agriculture, food systems, and related areas of work. He has done external reviews for UNEP, FAO, SDC, IFAD, IDRC and several other organizations. He is a UNEP Global 500 awardee for his work on environment in agriculture. He has been a strong proponent of regenerative agriculture since the nineties and helped developed a program for training in regenerative agriculture in six countries.

Robert Kaliisa

Robert Kaliisa has over 8 years’ experience in agricultural value chains and food nutrition security, conservation agriculture/climate smart agricultural development and integrated water resources management. Robert currently works as a Program Manager, Food Security, Resilient Livelihoods and Pro-Poor Value Chain Development at IIRR. He has also served in previous positions at IRR as Business Development Officer and Water Resource Management and Forestry Expert at IIRR. He is also a Master Trainer in Pro-poor Agricultural Value Chains Development, Livelihoods and Food Security, Food Systems Development, Integrated Water Resources Management and Rights-Based Approaches for Climate-Smart Agriculture.

Pamela B. Nyamutoka Katooro, MBA, LLM

Pamela B. Nyamutoka Katooro is IIRR’s Africa Regional Director and Uganda Country Director. She is a Development Specialist with 15 years of experience in community and organizational development and leadership. She has a passion for rural economic development and has initiated and managed several projects that have transformed poor people into prosperous and food secure agri-entrepreneurs. She is a lawyer by training, a policy analyst and at the forefront of spearheading policy reforms in microenterprise and agricultural sector in Uganda. She has a Masters in Business Administration MBA, Masters of Law, Bachelors of Laws, and Diploma in Legal Practice. t button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Emilita Monville Oro

Emilita Monville Oro is IIRR’s Director for Asia and the Philippines. She provides management leadership and strategic program directions to Asia and Philippines. Emily has 30 years of extensive work experience in Asia, focusing on research and development, capacity building and training, community health and nutrition, community resilience building, community-managed disaster risk reduction, and monitoring and evaluation. As a member of SUN Civil Society Network, she is a staunch advocate of Nutrition and Climate resilient and Nutrition sensitive Agriculture. She completed her Master’s in Public Health under a full scholarship from James P. Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University in Bangladesh.

Or Thy

Or Thy is the Country Director in Cambodia of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction since May 2012 up to present. He provides strategic leadership and direction, developing and managing the implementation of IIRR’s programs, projects and activities in Cambodia. Thy has 20 years of work experience mostly in Asia, focusing on nutrition-sensitive agriculture, climate-smart agriculture, community-based entrepreneurship promotion, and sustainable natural resources management. He finished his Masters of Science, major in Rural Development at the International University in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. utton to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.


Chris Béné

Chris Béné is Senior Policy Advisor at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Chris is currently affiliated to the CGIAR Systems Transformation Science Group and seconded to the Wageningen Economic Research Group, in the Netherlands. He has 20+ years of experience conducting inter-disciplinary research and advisory work in different parts of the world (Africa, Asia, Pacific), focusing on poverty alleviation, food security, and more generally low and middle-income countries issues. In his career, he worked on a wide range of topics, including natural resource management, policy analysis, science-policy interface, resilience (measurement), and more recently food system (sustainability).

Mark Lundy

Mark Lundy is a Research Director at the Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT, based in Cali, Colombia where he leads the global Food Environment and Consumer Behavior team. His work focuses on the role of market systems in reducing poverty including learning networks to increase capacities for enterprise development, the role of public agencies to promote inclusive markets and how to establish and sustain effective trading relationships between consumers, retailers, traders and farmers. Emerging areas of work include the food environment of traditional markets and low-income consumers, market and food systems governance, participatory approaches and their adaptation to drive private and public policy shifts to include the poor while balancing nutrition, resilience and sustainability concerns. Mark is lead author of guides on rural enterprise development, the LINK method on inclusive business models and an active participant in multi-stakeholder forums focused on food systems, sustainability and social inclusion.


Biographies to come.