Ms. Mary Racelis, of the Philippines, is a social anthropologist and academic-activist whose research and publications at the Ateneo de Manila University’s Institute of Philippine Culture have focused on urbanization, urban poverty, community organization, informal settlers, people’s empowerment, gender, children and youth, and broader development issues. A strong proponent of community organizing, she carries out action-research with urban poor groups and NGOs to strengthen community planning , implementation and monitoring .Her international service began with UNICEF in New York as Senior Policy Specialist, Family/Child Welfare, Women’s Development and Community Participation, followed by 9 years as Regional Director, UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa, Nairobi. Upon retiring from UNICEF, she returned to the Philippines as the Ford Foundation Country Representative, and subsequently rejoined the Institute of Philippine Culture as its Director. She continues to serve as a consultant to several international development agencies, including UNICEF, the Asian Development Bank, and the World Bank, and is a member of several NGO boards, most recently Childwatch International Research Network.. In 2003-04 she was invited by Kofi Annan to serve on the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Eminent Persons on United Nations – Civil Society Relations. Among her sources of joy and pride are her five children and 13 grandchildren.
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