Our 2021 Humanitarian Champion Award Winner: Dr. Oleg Bilukha

Dr. Oleg Bilukha - Action Against Hunger Canada

Dr. Oleg Bilukha MD, PhD, second person from right. Photo: Action Against Hunger Canada

Action Against Hunger Canada launched the Humanitarian Champion Award in 2019. The award serves to officially recognize individuals that have contributed significantly to the global vision and mission of Action Against Hunger; to draw public attention to the full scope of humanitarian activity and in particular the fight against hunger; and to inspire individuals to pursue humanitarian goals.

This year, Action Against Hunger Canada is honoured to present the Humanitarian Champion Award to Dr. Oleg Bilukha, MD, PhD, a world expert on nutrition assessment methods and a founding member of the SMART Initiative. A close technical collaborator and mentor to Action Against Hunger Canada’s SMART team, Dr. Bilukha is a standing member of the SMART Initiative’s Technical Advisory Group and provides technical guidance on the methodology to governments, partners, and stakeholders around the world. He is a member of the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) Famine Review Committee and has served as a consultant and temporary advisor to organizations including the WHO, UNHCR, WFP, and UNICEF. His areas of expertise include international nutrition, emergency and post-emergency nutrition assessment methods, statistics, epidemiology, surveys and surveillance, and war-related injury.

Currently the Associate Director of Science with the Emergency Response and Recovery Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Bilukha has published over 70 peer-reviewed papers and reviewed for approximately 20 scientific journals including the Lancet, the Journal of the American Medical Association and the British Medical Journal.


He is genuinely interested in developing capacity of individuals that he couches and goes above and beyond to support. As our Senior Technical Advisor his contributions are extraordinary. He is very reliable when it comes to getting his support under all circumstances.

Without his support, SMART would not have the impact that it has in availing quality nutrition data worldwide.

– Hailu Wondim, Action Against Hunger Senior SMART Program Manager


It will be very hard to find somebody from public health nutrition sector globally who doesn’t know Dr. Oleg and his precious contribution especially for the development of SMART Methodology.

We all were spellbound when Dr. Oleg delivers his session and explained all the difficult statistical term in a very simple, detail and practical way. He tracks all the participants whether they are getting the session/topics and continue explaining until the last person understands it. The passion, energy, emotion, tirelessness, commitment that I saw in him for the SMART Methodology and teaching others on this during the Nepal training was simply unspeakable.

– Bijoy Sarker, SMART regional director for South and Southeast Asia


When looking for sound technical advice provided in a timely fashion, the go to person is always Dr Oleg Bilukha. Simply put, he is our mentor, he is our rock.

To me personally, Dr Oleg is not only a mentor but also a role model. Having worked with top-notch researchers and scientists, I found that most of them struggle to go beyond the theory and dissect the complexities in the field to be able to provide simplified and creative solutions. On the other hand, the guidance that we receive from Dr Oleg never fails to be Clear, Concise, Practical, Detailed, Precise, Pragmatic, Structured, Reliable, Evidence-based, and most importantly, Sincere.

– Jana Daher, Project Manager – Research, Innovation and Technology, SMART