The VCD team

Organizational description | 01 September 2015
Merten Sievers
Merten is the Value Chain Development and Entrepreneurship coordinator in ILOs Small and Medium Enterprises Unit. He holds a degree in Economic Geography (Hamburg and Madrid), and a Diploma in Development Management (Berlin). In his current position Merten is responsible for 3 teams in the SME unit that manage: (i) the Start and Improve your Business (SIYB) entrepreneurship and management training programme, (ii) ILO's work in Value Chain and Market Systems Development, including the lab, a project on Market Systems development for Decent Work, and (iii) ILO's work in Women’s Entrepreneurship Development, and Entrepreneurship Education, Know About Business (KAB). Combined, the teams backstop more than 70% of ILO's technical cooperation activities in the area of enterprise development with activities in more than 70 countries. Merten speaks English, Spanish and German and has good working knowledge of French, Portuguese and Italian.

Steve Hartrich
Steve coordinates the Lab project, leading technical research to support employment outcomes through better sector selection, market systems analysis, monitoring and results measurement, and project implementation. Prior to joining the Lab in Geneva, Steve worked for the ILO in Zambia both as a project implementer and results measurement officer for a youth in agribusiness market systems development programme. Before the ILO, Steve worked as a transportation planner/engineer, modelling and running economic analysis on long-term infrastructure plans and at various NGOs developing M&E and management systems.

Aatif Somji
Aatif is a Junior Technical Officer at the Lab. Prior to the ILO, he worked at PwC in London – specialising in international development consulting and programme management. His other work experiences include UNDP, CARE International and BRAC Uganda. Aatif holds a master’s degree in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute, Geneva – where he specialised in gender and labour market issues. His thesis explored unpaid care and domestic work as a significant barrier to female microenterprise development in Uganda. Aatif speaks English and French.

Elisa Mandelli
Elisa is an anthropologist working as Technical Officer at the Lab. Before joining ILO she was Associate Programme Officer at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) working on land tenure issues and the linkages with targeting strategies and value chain development. Prior to IFAD, she worked for UNICEF Nicaragua on the implementation of innovative design methodologies for policy-making in indigenous regions and for the promotion of social-entrepreneurship for youth and women. She was also Principal Ethnographer for a public policy innovation firm (Policy Lab) in Colombia and Researcher for a responsible tourism initiative supported by ACRA in Ecuador. Elisa holds a master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland). She speaks Spanish, French, Italian and English.

Fernando Martinez

Fernando is the Global Coordinator of the SIYB program. He has worked on entrepreneurship promotion by designing, operating and evaluating programmes with a robust focus on the poor, forcibly displaced, ethnic groups and women in multilateral agencies, national government, NGOs, consultancy firms and research institutions throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Fernando holds an MSc in Social Development Practice by University College London (UCL). He is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Adriana Ayala
Luana is a Technical Officer in Entrepreneurship and SME Development Training. She has experience working on entrepreneurship promotion, SME development, and financial inclusion. Previous to the ILO, she worked for the Argentine Ministry of Economy with international policy issues and with national policies to promote access to financial services in Argentina. In the private sector, she worked on implementing financial technology solutions for SMEs in Brazil. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from the Federal Fluminense University in Brazil and an M.A. in Applied Economics from the Torcuato di Tella University in Argentina.​

Adriana Sierra Leal
Adriana is a Refugee Livelihoods and Women's Entrepreneurship Development Officer. She has experience working and conducting research in the areas of gender and development, climate change, and migration including with the ILO, IOM, WBCSD and WECAN International. She holds a M.A. in Sustainable Development from IHEID in Geneva and a B.A. Honours in International Development and Environment and Resource Studies from Trent University in Canada. She is a national from Honduras and is fluent in Spanish and English.​