Team

Lejla Sadiku

Governance and Innovation Specialist

Lejla works on applying innovation at the intersection of participation, governance and new technologies at UNDP Europe and Central Asia.
Lejla works on applying innovation at the intersection of participation, governance and new technologies at UNDP Europe and Central Asia. She has been experimenting with new approaches, new data and new technologies for solving development challenges, promoting smarter and more open governance, and a more dynamic civic space. Prior to UNDP, she worked with Norwegian development assistance and the World Bank in the area of human development. She has also conducted research on the role of civil society in the fight against corruption, international efforts in state-building contexts and the importance of women empowerment for Kosovo’s development.

Marina Petrovic

Innovative Finance and Technology Expert

Marina is super excited when talking about innovation and connecting different dots from a more creative and interdisciplinary perspective
Marina is super excited when talking about innovation and connecting different dots from a more creative and interdisciplinary perspective. Her main focus are innovative technology and finance models - Fintech (Blockchain, Crowdfunding, Islamic finance, FBF, P2P finance, cryptocurrencies); Digital Development (Blockchain, MixedReality, Spatial Computing) and Community projects (Tadamon) that can assist in addressing country and city development and economic, societal and environmental facets of community growth. She is one of the UNDP AltFinLab (working in over 40 countries globally) and Crowdfunding Academy founders.

Ruzanna Safaryan

Business Development and Acceleration Expert

Ruzanna is the UNDP ImpactAim Venture Accelerator Lead, with over 10 years of project management expertise in the tech ecosystem.
Ruzanna is the UNDP ImpactAim Venture Accelerator Lead, with over 10 years of project management expertise in the tech ecosystem. Through development projects with the European Investment Fund, Microsoft and the IBM Innovative Solutions and Technologies Center, she has been leading ICT education programs and working with universities on the integration of new technologies in their academic curriculum and research programs. She holds a Master’s degree in Operational Management and Finance at Universite Jean Moulin Lyon 3, France.

Robert Pasicko

Expert for Alternative Finance and Low Carbon Development

As a co-founder of UNDP Alternative Finance Lab, Robert supports innovation in alternative finance mechanisms and in low carbon development in over 40 countries globally.
As a co-founder of UNDP Alternative Finance Lab, Robert supports innovation in alternative finance mechanisms and in low carbon development in over 40 countries globally. He focuses on finding ways to make green energy affordable through blockchain, crowdfunding and community financing. He also co-founded the UNDP Crowdfunding Academy, a training program for crowdfunding which has been implemented in over 20 countries worldwide and has created over successful 50 campaigns. He is an evaluator of blockchain projects funded by European Commission.

Onur Atay

Social Innovation and Participation Manager

Onur has project management experience in urban innovation practices and resulting social impacts on civil society.
Onur has project management experience in urban innovation practices and resulting social impacts on civil society. He has worked with local governments in Turkey, engaged in regional and global collaborations, specifically focusing on empowering civic engagement and disseminating participative decision making processes. Onur is also currently the Program Manager of Istanbul Innovation Days 2020 as a part of the Knowledge and Innovations Team at the UNDP Regional Bureau.

Svetla Baeva

Communications Lead, Innovation and Knowledge Team

Svetla is the communications lead with the Knowledge and Innovations Team at the UNDP Regional Bureau.
Svetla is the communications lead with the Knowledge and Innovations Team at the UNDP Regional Bureau. She is also the Campaigns Director at Fine Acts, a global creative studio for social impact. She has over 10 years of experience in the field of communications and human rights, with a number of successful campaigns and initiatives in the region. She has an academic background in political science and journalism, with a Master’s degree from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She is also a 2018 Fulbright Scholar, and as part of the program, she joined Change.org to explore digital advocacy campaigning practices and people mobilization.

Yelda Bakar

Project Associate

Yelda provides implementation support for the Transformative Governance and Finance Facility project, funded by the Government of the Slovak Republic.
Yelda provides implementation support for the Transformative Governance and Finance Facility project, funded by the Government of the Slovak Republic. Before joining UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub, she worked as Programme Assistant for UNICEF, Council of Europe, UNDP, ILO. She worked as an expert in a Regional Development Agency.

Aslı Hekimoğlu

Program Associate

Aslı works on the development dialogues and innovation outcome, and sustainable development pathways outcome.
Aslı works on the development dialogues and innovation outcome, and sustainable development pathways outcome. She is also responsible for the regional portfolio of the Global Innovation Facility at UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub. Her role in support of regional program includes program implementation, quality assurance and financial oversight as well as coordination of IRH annual signature events such as Istanbul Development Dialogues and Istanbul Innovation Days.

Ivan Zvherzhanovski

Regional Partnership Advisor

Ivan leads UNDP’s engagement with new donors in the region, including new EU Member States, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey, heading a multifaceted team that helps countries exchange resources, knowledge and experience, over and above the traditional donor-recipient relationship.
Ivan leads UNDP’s engagement with new donors in the region, including new EU Member States, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey, heading a multifaceted team that helps countries exchange resources, knowledge and experience, over and above the traditional donor-recipient relationship. He works on building and strengthening effective partnerships between UNDP and emerging donors, regional organizations and initiatives, universities, NGOs, private companies and foundations. Ivan has over 15 years of experience in research, policy and programmatic work both within UNDP as well as in academia and think tanks. His main areas of expertise include: security sector reform, gender mainstreaming, EU accession in the Western Balkans, migration and DRR.

Berna Bayazit

Partnerships Programme Specialist

Berna is responsible for managing the partnership between UNDP and Turkey, which spans a wide range of topics including contributions to UNDP’s core budget and the regional programme, addressing global development challenges, and exchange of development knowledge and expertise across regions.
Berna is responsible for managing the partnership between UNDP and Turkey, which spans a wide range of topics including contributions to UNDP’s core budget and the regional programme, addressing global development challenges, and exchange of development knowledge and expertise across regions. She also supports the work of the Hub in strengthening the partnership with other actors such as international/regional cooperation platforms, IFIs, private sector and knowledge based organizations. Berna has 15 years of experience in programming, resource mobilisation and advocacy in UNDP. Her thematic areas of expertise include social policy, inclusive growth, gender mainstreaming, international development cooperation and resilience response to crises.

Eva Lacinová

Innovation Specialist for Challenge Funds

Eva represents the Czech-UNDP Partnership for SDGs Project, aiming to respond to the development challenges by transferring Czech expertise and innovative solutions to partner countries. She manages projects and facilitates the sharing of Czech expertise and know-how with partner countries.
Eva represents the Czech-UNDP Partnership for SDGs Project, aiming to respond to the development challenges by transferring Czech expertise and innovative solutions to partner countries. She manages projects and facilitates the sharing of Czech expertise and know-how with partner countries. Before joining UNDP, Eva worked for the Czech Development Agency in Prague, where she managed projects on good governance, social infrastructure, education and gender equality, mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Georgia, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Mongolia. Prior to that, Eva was Head of Eastern Europe desk at the Centre of Relief and Development at the Diaconia, where she led formulation of corporation strategies with partners in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine.

Katarzyna Rozeslaniec

Specialist for Polish Challenge Fund

Katarzyna is the Programme Specialist at the UNDP IRH, responsible for managing the Polish Challenge Fund.
Katarzyna is the Programme Specialist at the UNDP IRH, responsible for managing the Polish Challenge Fund. She is seconded to UNDP from the Department of Development Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland. Prior to the Polish MFA, she worked as an expert for European Affairs at the Ministry of Economy in Poland and as a national expert at the European Commission in Brussels.

Sanem Berfin İlhan

Communications Intern

Sanem joined the team in June 2020 as an intern and at UNDP she works mainly in the field of communications and assists the Portfolio Design.
Sanem joined the team in June 2020 as an intern and at UNDP she works mainly in the field of communications and assists the Portfolio Design. She previously worked at startups focusing on digital identity cloud solutions and blockchain in Berlin.

Contact us

If you have any questions regarding the challenges or are interested in partnering with us, drop us an e-mail at boost@undp.org.