External Advisory Group

Sentinel’s External Advisory Group (EAG) is made up of leading experts in key thematic areas of the project (agricultural development, biodiversity conservation, social and environmental impacts of agriculture, research capacity development, research uptake and use) as well as one member with specific programme management expertise and one observer from our funders.

The EAG plays an advisory and monitoring role, providing strategic advice, critical and constructive feedback at key points throughout the project, and providing links and outreach with key regional and international processes that will contribute to achieving Sentinel’s goals.

The EAG includes the chairs of the three Country Advisory Groups to ensure that the overall project strategy considers the specific requirements of each country.


Photo of Sam Fox, member of the EAG

Sam Fox (Currently on Parental Leave)

Sam is Head of Programme Quality and Assurance at ActionAid UK, overseeing their POWER project among others. She has been working on programmes focused on women's economic empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, with a focus on smallholder women farmers consistently for the past 8 years with both ActionAid and CARE International. Sam brings to the EAG specific expertise in women in agriculture, social exclusion and equity.

Picture of Neha Kagal

Neha Kagal

Neha is ActionAid UK’s Women’s Rights Senior Technical Advisor supporting a number of projects and initiatives including the POWER project working with smallholder women farmers in Ghana, Rwanda and Bangladesh. She joined ActionAid from IMKAAN, where she was managing their UN Women research project aimed to address gender-based discrimination and VAWG across the Western Balkans and Turkey. Neha has a strong academic and grassroots background, having worked as a programme manager for the Trade Union of Wastepickers in Pune, India, focusing on livelihoods security and rights based advocacy and then writing a PhD on the impact of collectivization of informal economy women workers on gender relations within the home based on that work.

Photo of Dr Karbo, member of the EAG and Chair of Ghana CAG

Naaminong Karbo

Dr Karbo is the Chair for the Country Advisory Group in Ghana. He convenes the Ghana National Learning Alliance formed under the DFID-funded SAIRLA programme (Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa), and is former Director of the CSIR-Animal Research Institute of Ghana. He is a Friend of Prolinnova International (Promoting Local Innovation in ecologically-oriented agriculture and natural resource management). Dr Karbo has over 20 years’ experience in agricultural research and development, and has been involved in research partnership programming with both local and international research centres under the CGIAR system, as well as the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) West Africa programme in Ghana.

Photo of Seyoum, member of the EAG and Chair of Ethiopia CAG

Yigremachew Seyoum Lemma

Dr Seyoum is the Chair for the Country Advisory Group in Ethiopia. Formerly the Ethiopia National Project Coordinator for the Action Against Desertification initiative at the FAO, Dr Seyoum is now Senior Forestry Expert in the Forest Sector Transformation Unit for Ethiopia’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Dr Seyoum is also a member of the SNAPP Working Group on agriculture, food production and forest conservation/management in sub-Saharan Africa.

Photo of Prof Lungu, member of the EAG and Chair of Zambian CAG

Obed Lungu

Professor Lungu is the Chair for the Country Advisory Group in Zambia, and Professor of Soil Chemistry & Fertility in the Department of Soil Science, University of Zambia. He has research expertise in topics including sustainable agriculture, soil fertility, and climate change and agriculture, and has over 40 years’ experience in academia in the Zambian university system. For many years he participated in regional and international research and development programmes such as the Southern African Development Countries (SADC) Land and Water Management Applied Research Programme, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) programmes on land management, forging partnerships and collaboration with local institutions in eastern and southern Africa. He brings to the EAG skills in scoping and priority-setting of development projects in agriculture. 

Photo of Unai Pascual, member of the EAG

Unai Pascual

Professor Pascual is Ikerbasque Research Professor at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), which aims to integrate the environmental, socioeconomic and ethical dimensions of climate change, and produce multi- and trans-disciplinary knowledge relevant to decision making towards sustainable development at international level. Prof Pascual is an ecological economist with more than 20 years’ experience bridging the social and natural sciences for understanding complex social-ecological systems. He also brings to the EAG knowledge of political economy and biodiversity conservation. 

Photo of David Radcliffe, member of the EAG

David Radcliffe

David is a freelance consultant specialising in climate-smart agriculture, land resources and rural livelihoods. He is former senior rural livelihoods advisor for DFID on programmes in Ethiopia, India and Afghanistan and was seconded to the European Commission where he specialised in agricultural research for development. Prior to DFID he worked as chief technical advisor and technical specialist for the FAO on projects in Mozambique, Ethiopia and Botswana. His wide-ranging experience brings to the EAG a depth of knowledge of donor and policy perspectives and of linkages between research and development. 

Photo of Marieke Sassen, member of the EAG

Marieke Sassen

Dr Sassen is Senior Programme Officer at UNEP-WCMC, based in Wageningen, the Netherlands. Her work focuses on understanding the impacts of land-use change on biodiversity and ecosystem services using future scenarios, modelling and spatial analysis to inform agricultural development policy, with a focus on Africa. Previously she worked with CIFOR in Cameroon and Gabon, ITFC in Uganda, the World Agroforestry Centre in Kenya and Wageningen University researching the interactions between forest conservation and socioeconomic drivers at different scales. Marieke brings to the EAG an interdisciplinary perspective, knowledge on scenario development and use, and a thorough understanding of on-the-ground environment and development interactions.

Photo of John Vercoe, member of the EAG

John Vercoe

John is Director of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and Impact at the pan-African private equity fund, 8 Miles. He brings to the EAG in-depth knowledge of private sector investment in African agriculture and financing initiatives. John was born in Botswana and has focused his career on improving livelihoods and ecosystems through the effective deployment of private capital. As a member of the UN PRI's Reporting and Assessment Advisory Committee and as a Chartered Environmentalist (C.Env) he brings with him an understanding of the opportunities the private sector can deliver to improve environmental and social outcomes in Africa.

Photo of Lisa Wright, EAG member

Lisa Wright (Currently on Parental Leave)

Lisa is a Research Portfolio Manager for UKRI's Economic Performance and Environment team, and co-ordinates the ESRC's climate change research priority area. She is the Project Officer overseeing Sentinel, and is an Observer on the EAG representing our funders at UKRI.

Martin Wright

Martin Wright

Martin is Head of Grant and Fund Management at IPE Triple Line based in London, with over 20 years of grant programme management experience with DFID, EU, Big Lottery Fund and Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD). He has experience of direct project implementation and management in the fields of upland and irrigated agriculture and water and sanitation; and experience of managing grants covering a range of development sectors including education, health, post-conflict and post-disaster recovery, natural resource management and rights-based approaches. Martin brings to the EAG in-depth understanding of project management and systems, to help advise Sentinel on management and assurance issues.