Communications is an integral part of the Secretariat’s functions. Over the past two years, we’ve brought together a fantastic group of professionals who have supported the Donor Platform through their time and expertise.
As we come to the end of 2023 and reflect on the Platform’s 20-year milestone, it is also important to spotlight our friends in communications. These include our partners past and present.

Thank you for being part of our circle and for your contributions to help share GDPRD knowledge and widen its influence.



Our IFAD friends

User Technology Enablement and Support Lead & Information Security Officer, Information and Communications Technology Division, IFAD

With 20+ years of experience in Marketing and Communications, first in the private sector and then in the United Nations, Barbara is currently working in IFAD’s Global Communications and Advocacy Division. She has been a close partner with the GDPRD Secretariat through her work on branded merchandising and photography at IFAD.

Hélène Papper is the Director of the IFAD Global Communications and Advocacy Division, which is responsible for IFAD’s global internal and external engagement and positioning, communications and advocacy strategies and operations. The division is comprised of two groups: field communication and content development (graphic design, writing and publication, and field communication), and strategic communication (media, broadcast and outreach; web and social media; campaigns; internal communication and public disclosure).

Birgit is the Graphic Design Lead at IFAD. She has 30+ years of experience as a graphic designer (over 20 at IFAD), which has given her extensive knowledge and a broad perspective on the role of design. She has developed designs and strategies for many events and initiatives. In particular, her expertise in setting out the design style and format that is most suitable for the project objectives, along with finding the right aesthetics that work both on print publications and for digital applications, is fundamental in her role and an asset to the institution.

Global Communications and Advocacy Division, IFAD. With 10+ years of experience in Web and internal Communications in the United Nations, Christian has been a close partner with the GDPRD Secretariat through his work on the IFAD corporate website and intranet.

Brian Thomson
Host and founder, IFAD Podcast. Global Communications and Advocacy Division, IFAD

Francesco Manetti
Producer, IFAD Podcast. Global Communications and Advocacy Division, IFAD

Brian and Francesco have pioneered, developed and produced more than 50 episodes of IFAD’s podcast Farms. Food. Future. Diverse speakers from the fields of climate, environment, gender, nutrition and youth talk about challenges and solutions facing small-scale farmers in developing countries facing food security.

Since April 2022, the Donor Platform began contributing a miniseries of interviews from the donor community to join the IFAD conversation. GDPRD’s communications focal point Michelle Tang has also been a podcast co-host with Brian.

Web and Social Media Lead, Global Communications and Advocacy Division, IFAD

Publications Coordinator, Global Communications and Advocacy Division, IFAD

Social Media, Global Communications and Advocacy Division, IFAD

Our close partners

International illustrator, animator, graphic designer, sculptor, and educator.

Since 1990, Andrea has been a professional graphic designer who currently works under the trade name of WOERDESIGN. She is based in Freiburg and Berlin, Germany after spending 23 years in Rome. Andrea specializes in a wide spectrum of projects, from corporate design to conceptualizing and crafting visual identities in both print and digital domains. She has been a trusted partner of IFAD since 1996 and has designed many of the GDPRD’s recent flagship publications.

Dean is a passionate, creative individual with key skills in digital and development and a strong career in both graphic and web design. He won a D&AD industry leading award and a further 2 awards at Brand Meadow.

Flavio and Daniele are official IFAD photographers and have also covered GDPRD events over the past two years. They work hard to visually capture key moments of Donor Platform dialogues, networking and knowledge sharing, images which are then used across all communications channels.

A French graphic designer and a type designer, working from Lausanne in Switzerland. She has worked with the Secretariat of the United Nations, the Human Rights Office and other UN entities in the past. She is now a type designer at Sharp Type.

Ligia has supported the Platform with her merchandising expertise and service.

An international development practitioner, consultant and writer with over 18 years of programme design, development, aid, and grant management experience in South Asia. Her sectoral expertise is in natural resources governance, gender, climate change and international development cooperation. As a Senior Consultant with IFAD, over the past year she has worked with Dr. Jim Woodhill on the GDPRD’s workstream on donor coordination and was previously engaged in the 2020-21 stocktaking analysis and strategic review of the GDPRD. Mandakini has previously worked with government and non-government organizations including the Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The Asia Foundation, UNDP and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. A Chevening Scholar, Mandakini has a MSc. degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, U.K.

A team of web developers and designers who provide digital solutions including those based on WordPress.

His company has been at the technical heart of the Platform for many years. Though mostly behind the scenes, his close communication with the Secretariat makes their day-to-day work a little lighter. From time to time, he and his staff had the opportunity to support some member organizations directly like SDC, CCAFS or the World Bank.

A former industrial correspondent at the (London) Times and section leader at the Financial Times, Ross has a degree from the University of East Anglia School of Global Development and decades of experience in writing and communications across a vast range of subjects. He often provides consultancy on communications to IFAD, and ghost-writes speeches and opinion pieces for world leaders.

An accomplished graphic designer and creative director based in New York. She has over two decades of experience in the editorial magazine industry. Throughout her career, Sarah held senior positions at several national magazines including at Conde Nast, and has been recognized for her exceptional work by both The American Society of Magazine Editors and The Society for Publication Designers. She is a graduate of the Parsons School of Design and and has worked with agencies, professional service organizations, and more recently, with the GDPRD on modernizing its visual identity and branding.

A special mention

Alessandro is the technical pro behind the Platform’s videos and podcasts. However difficult the edits, he always produces seamless results. He is the Secretariat’s Administrative Assistant but also enjoys communications work.

Learn more about communications and outreach at the Donor Platform.


Michelle Tang

Secretariat Communications at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Rome/Italy