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Zoom In: Zeina Allouche - Senior Child Protection Expert

Zeina has over 20 years of experience in designing, implementing and monitoring integrated reform plans in support of child protection with a special focus on preventing separation and the alternative care sector in Lebanon, Yemen, the Gulf area. She has contributed to international initiatives to promote family strengthening aiming at preventing separation, participated in the drafting of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care for Children (2009), and facilitated a regional initiative to contextual those guidelines into the Arab World.

Between 2007 and 2013, she led the reform of the alternative care sector in Abu Dhabi, UAE in close coordination with senior stakeholders and high authority decision makers, while applying participatory approaches to make the voices of children and youth in care be heard. Community based forms of alternative care were piloted and hence implemented.

Zeina Allouche ‘s journey goes back to the mid 80’s as a volunteer with many civil entities in Lebanon. She started her professional journey with UNICEF in Lebanon, and as an international UNICEF staff serving in Yemen. She also managed the Lebanese Association of SOS Children’s Villages with 140 staff and more than 3000 beneficiaries. She designed and implemented organizational restructuring interventions in support of Governmental and non-Governmental programs concerned with family strengthening, preventing separation, and the provision of adequate alternative care as a last resort. This included proposing policy changes, designing and leading capacity building programs for key stakeholders and high authority decision makers. The work also included putting in place structures and systems to protect the best interests of the child (with a special focus on Gender Based Violence in care and as a main cause for forced separation), developing monitoring and evaluation indicators. A high emphasis was on building the capacity of educational team in direct contact with children in alternative care.

She is a holder of a BA in Social Work, Master’s in Public Health, and currently a PHD candidate researching transnational/transracial adoption in views of the Canadian experience at Concordia University, Canada.

Zeina co-wrote a book chapter on the challenges facing Indigenous youth ageing out of care in Canada and interventions need to be put in place to foster proper passage into self-reliance starting with preventing separation, quality standards in care, and after care services. (Oxford publications, in press). She also published many articles on reforming the alternative care in Lebanon (Legal Agenda).


Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST)
Magenta Consultoría
Global Thinkers Forum
Odessa Law Academy
Giolli Cooperativa
AlHayat Center
Futuro Digitale
Jordan River Foundation
Global Fund for Children
UN Habitat
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