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Ludo Welffens

Ludo Welffens

Board Member

Relationship Builder, Strong Communicator, International Development Expert

Ludo Welffens is a Subject Matter Expert on good governance. He articulates clearly the bilateral, regional and global issues, which define and impact on good governance. He advocates well the need to grasp more holistically health and education systems, and to acknowledge the rule of law as a prerequisite. Throughout his career he has influenced policies in ways that enhance interaction between the political spheres and the concept/technical levels, giving strategic direction to achieve development goals.

By addressing the difficult questions on methodology from the angle of good governance, Ludo’s 4 decades of professional work delivered a unique multi-faceted exposure to how societies and governments struggle with women and child rights, with the obstacles around implementing PHC and focusing on prevention of HIV/AIDS. He interacted with Government at all levels when civil society demands sustainable public services. He challenged them on why population policies had not levered bigger scale health outcomes in the past four decades in Sub-Sahara Africa. Ludo understands systems-constraints that slow the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, with how in contemporary Africa, national and local governance systems can dysfunction fast–why the Faculties of Law and the Social Sciences for example have remained sidelined in many parts of West Africa, notwithstanding new forms of societal violence.

The United Nations in 2010

The United Nations in 2010: Perspectives on the paradigms that shaped UNO, the hesitations observed in its roles in global development, and reflections on political thoughts engaging challenges ahead. Paperback published – October 20, 2021

Ludo is committed to share experience with junior professionals, with a new generation of international civil servants, with national and local government officers, with non-governmental and private sector organizations, helping them initiate sociologically more valid situation analyses. He is committed to encourage longitudinal participant observation in research on social change dynamics, through the introduction of digital technologies at all levels of society–new modes of using mass media and focused training and capacity-building at the same time, on issues that call for transparency, open-up opportunities to address the causes of violence particularly where failed development and the absence of credible governance aggress values and norms.

His passion to advocate for good governance publicly and facilitate group dynamics began in 1973 in Côte d’Ivoire, where as a Socio-Economist at the Service Autonome de la Programmation Sanitaire, Ministère de la Santé Publique, he took up the task to coordinate relations between various Ministries. In 1975, as Program Officer for Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia, Ludo began 29 years of public service with UNICEF including 7 years as Representative in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Burkina Faso. He was responsible for the planning, coordination, implementation and monitoring of programs collaborating with governments and other agencies. As Country Representative in particular, he influenced policy with the Executive branch of Government. Throughout his career, he has been motivated by the challenges of team-building and training opportunities in complex socio-political environments, strengthening his skills in empowering women and men to be inspired by their own creative thinking.

Towards the end of his career with UNICEF, Ludo was the task leader both at Headquarters in New York and then in the Regional Office for West Africa, coordinating UNICEF’s work with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). His work accelerated the process of putting on their agenda the core legal issues of the Rights of Women and Children, personally leading dialogues with the Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the Parliaments in Mali, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire in these years, helping them to assume leadership roles in the global meeting in Ouagadougou in September 2002.

Ludo contributes to social change theory, understanding that the causes of the weakening social fabric in most West African countries call for a much more relevant typology of situations, at a time when the heritage of the past, from civil wars to dysfunctions of the justice mechanisms, is, at best, prudently dealt-with by key local actors and all stakeholders, including the international community.

Ludo obtained a Doctum Colloquium at the Department of Political Science, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, “Reading on systems analysis, applied to the United Nations Organization in West & Central Africa”. This puts the subject on the PhD candidates list. He holds a Divisional Masters in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. He earned a Degree in Applied Economics with Distinction from the St. Ignatius University, Antwerp, Belgium. He received the Casteleyn Award 1968, for “The social and economic factors, which determine levels of development in the Third World”.

Born in 1945, Ludo is a citizen of Belgium and resides in Côte d’Ivoire. He is fluent in English, French and Flemish. He is married and has three children.

Country Experience

Years of experience



Years in UN

Years of public service with UNICEF