The Technical Evaluation Reference Group of the Adaptation Fund [AF-TERG] is comprised of an independent group of experts in evaluation, called the AF-TERG members, who are all functionally independent of the AFB Secretariat, Board, and Board committees. A small AF-TERG Secretariat provides support for the implementation of evaluations and studies part of the evaluative work program. The implementation of workstreams and evaluative work elements takes place with the support of consultants.


AF-TERG Chair and members

Debbie Menezes | AF-TERG Chair |

Debbie has 25 years of experience in international development spanning across multiple sectors. These sectors include climate change, urban resilience, regional connectivity, transboundary water, human development, governance, and gender and social inclusion. She has substantial experience in the areas of strategic planning, leadership and development of complex high value programs, monitoring and evaluation, knowledge management and organizational change management.

Debbie is committed to issues related to climate change and sustainable development and, as the Chair of the AF-TERG, is keen to deliver the AF-TERG’s work programme and to add value to the Fund’s work through independent monitoring, evaluation and learning. Beyond the AF-TERG she works as independent consultant with several multilateral and bilateral agencies, civil society partners, and private sector foundations.

Claudio Volonte | AF-TERG member |

Claudio Volonte bio picClaudio Volonte has 25 years of experience in the development, management, monitoring and evaluation of sustainable development investments, programs and institutions, for both the public and private sector. Adaptation to climate change is one of his personal and professional passions. He has worked for most of the major multilateral climate funds, such as the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Adaptation Fund, Least Developed Countries Fund and Special Climate Change Fund (LDCF/SCCF), and the Green Climate Fund (GCF). His evaluation, monitoring and management leadership come from his extensive work as staff of global and regional organizations, including University of Maryland, Organization of American States, World Bank Group’s Independent Evaluation Group and International Finance Corporation, and the GEF Independent Evaluation Office. Recently he led the team of consultants that conducted the first independent review of the GCF.

He has a master degree and doctoral courses from Clemson University and University of Maryland, respectively, on urban and environmental planning and geography.

Christine Wörlen | AF-TERG member |

Christine has been working in international climate finance since 2002 and in climate evaluations since 2009. She has worked with and for both GEF and GCF, most intergovernmental agencies including multilateral development banks and UN organisations and many bilateral organisations as well as private investors and philanthropy. With many she was able to close the circle of knowledge management between extracting lessons from evaluations and applying these lessons to future programmes. She has collected experience in project implementation through her work at the German energy agency, and in government processes through her work at the German parliament.

Christine has a German Diplom (B.S. cum M.S. equivalent) in Geo-Ecology and a Vordiplom (B.A.) in Economics from University Bayreuth and a doctorate in Geography from Boston University.

Sithabiso Gandure | AF-TERG member |

Sithabiso has over 25 years of experience spanning research; monitoring, evaluations; programme design, policy design and analysis. Drawing on her thematic knowledge of climate change, food security; agricultural development; environmental protection; vulnerability, adaptation and resilience, Sithabiso has conducted strategic and programme evaluations for numerous clients, both within the UN system (WFP, FAO, IFAD, UNDP, UNAIDS) and beyond (World Bank, DFID, USAID, SADC, CIDA, EU, GIZ, Ford Foundation).

Sithabiso is a skilled team leader and evaluator with wide experience in developing evaluation methodologies and undertaking programme, institutional and impact evaluations. She has an extensive experience working with qualitative and quantitative research methods and tools. She is highly experienced in incorporating cross-cutting issues such as gender, HIV, disability, social protection, and disaster risk reduction. Sithabiso holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy and Planning, and a PhD and Post Doctorate in Climate Change Adaptation.

Susan Legro | AF-TERG member |

Susan Legro has more than 25 years of experience with the design, implementation, oversight, and evaluation of projects that address climate change, including work as a Regional Coordinator for GEF-funded projects implemented by UNDP in the Europe and Central Asia region. Her work includes research on the results and impacts of donor-funded projects in sectors such as sustainable energy and cross-cutting capacity development, and her interests include measuring the co-benefits of adaptation projects, effective dissemination of good practice, and post-completion studies. Beyond the AF TERG, she works as an independent consultant with bilateral and multilateral agencies at the country and regional level.

Ms. Legro holds an undergraduate honors degree from Harvard University and master’s degrees in international relations and public health from Columbia University. She is a member of the Czech Evaluation Society, the European Evaluation Society, and the International Development Evaluation Society (IDEAS).


AF-TERG Secretariat

Vladislav Arnaoudov | AF-TERG Secretariat Coordinator & Senior Evaluation Officer | 

Vladislav (Vlad) Arnaoudov is a Bulgarian national who has been working in the field of climate change and climate finance over the past 18 years. He is bringing onboard extensive experience in the field of result management and M&E, project and programme development and management, policy design as well as the origination and implementation of low carbon and increased resilience projects for private and public sector entities. Vlad started his career in Japan as part of the climate finance consulting team of Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., Ltd. Originally, his work focused on methodology development and result management for projects under the Kyoto Protocol CDM, while later on he also started working on policy design and sectoral approaches for climate change mitigation and adaptation. In 2016, he moved to Deloitte where he set up and led the Japan climate finance advisory practice. Three years later, Vlad joined the Green Climate Fund where he led the monitoring and evaluation team of the GCF Secretariat. As part of that, he was actively involved in the development and implementation of the new Integrated Result Management Framework, as well as the Evaluation Policy.

Vlad is the author of publications on climate finance, international development and M&E. Prior to joining the Adaptation Fund, he was also an Adjunct Professor (pro bono position) with the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) where he taught a course on Carbon Markets and Carbon Finance.

Maisa Nurein | Programme Assistant |

Maisa brings on board a wealth of experience and expertise in project and trust fund work, as well as a strong background in international relations. Prior to joining the AF-TERG Secretariat, Maisa worked for 14 years at the World Bank Sudan Country Office, where she made significant contributions to numerous Bank-funded projects. She started her career as a Team Assistant and was quickly promoted to positions of Executive Assistant and, most recently, Program Assistant, showcasing her drive for excellence and continuous professional growth. Maisa also previously served as an Executive Assistant to the EU Ambassador in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and then as a Special Assistant to the Swiss Ambassador in Sudan. These experiences granted her comprehensive understanding of international relations and allowed her to work successfully in multi-cultural environments.
Maisa is a holder of a Bachelor’s degree in international relations from the United States International University – Africa.

Aneesh Kotru | Data Analyst

Aneesh brings experiences from IT, automotive manufacturing, and finance industries to now support global developmental efforts, focusing on climate change adaptation and mitigation through strategic natural resource management. Aneesh obtained a Master’s in Sustainable Resource Management from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, with specializations in Climate Change and Environmental Economics. His Master’s thesis employed PRA techniques along with data analysis and GIS to assess the significance of culture and values for traditional forest management practices in the Indian Himalaya and their impacts on ecosystem service conservation as a whole.
As a consultant, Aneesh works on natural resource management projects, the most recent one being the development of a compendium of best practices in forest management with a focus on the Forest-Water Nexus for policy makers in India. In daily life, Aneesh is a staunch advocate of sustainable living and enjoys time spent in nature.

Mariana Vidal Merino | Data Analyst

Mariana has over fifteen years of professional experience working on climate change adaptation, sustainable rural development and natural resource management in the Global South. Her expertise lies in applying bottom-up, mixed-method approaches to identify and co-generate solutions to complex problems in the land-use sector. After her undergraduate studies in forest engineering in her home country Peru, Mariana worked several years with cooperation agencies before moving to Germany to pursue an MSc in Tropical and International Forestry at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and later on a PhD in climate change adaptation and land-use change at the Technical University of Dresden. Mariana is a co-founder of BluoVerda e.V., and a member of the Coordination Hub of PlanAdapt.