Ms. Lotta Sylwander joined the UNICEF Philippine Office on 14 March 2014. As UNICEF Representative, Ms. Sylwander is responsible for all the activities under the Government of Philippines-UNICEF Country Programme of Cooperation on the part of UNICEF. These include planning, coordination and implementation of programmes of cooperation for the enhancement of the survival, protection, development and participation of children and women in national development efforts.
In April 2006, Ms. Sylwander served as the Representative of the Zambia Country Office. In August 2010, she took up the post as UNICEF Representative in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.
Before joining UNICEF, Ms. Sylwander served as Deputy Director General and Director of the Africa Department at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). She held this position from 2001-2006.
A Swedish citizen, Ms. Sylwander holds an equivalent to MSc. in Social Anthropology. Ms. Sylwander began her career in NGO work in Sweden and spent time in the Philippines in the 1980s. A university lecturer at the University of Stockholm, she worked as Socio-Economist for UNDP in Zimbabwe (1990-94) and later worked as an independent development consultant. She first joined Sida in 1996 as a Social Development Advisor in South Africa and later held positions as the Senior Social Development Advisor and Special Advisor on HIV and AIDS at Sida headquarters in Stockholm.
In Viet Nam, Ms. Sylwander was instrumental in leading changes and transforming UNICEF programming to ensure continued relevance of cooperation in a middle-income country context. This includes a stronger focus on child protection, social protection and ethnic minority issues and presence of UNICEF programmes at sub-national level, which is particularity relevant in the fast evolving development context of Viet Nam. Ms. Sylwander provided leadership for the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Country Programme of Cooperation between the Government of Viet Nam and UNICEF (about US$ 18 million budget in 2011). Ms. Sylwander also played a significant role in conceptualisation and development of the One Plan III (UNDAF), and led the design and implementation of UNICEF programmes within the framework of the One UN initiative in Viet Nam.