Francisca Ayodeji (Ayo) Akala, a Senior Health Specialist at the World Bank, is a core team member of the Bank’s Human Capital Project Team tasked with supporting countries to accelerate their human capital outcomes. She has over 20 years’ experience in human development focusing on health services management, health systems strengthening and multi-sectoral interventions to address public health issues including malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, malaria and non-communicable diseases. She has led a variety Bank projects supporting countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia regions. Prior to joining the World Bank, she practiced clinical medicine, worked on national public health initiatives and worked with Medecins Sans Frontieres to support strengthening community systems to address health emergencies in Nigeria. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Medicine from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria; a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Lagos, Nigeria; and a Master’s degree in Health Services Management from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.