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Employee Spotlight

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There is a notable list of CESD staff who are changing the world with their extraordinary passion for economics, international development and Myanmar’s future. Meet some of our employees who are using their CESD experience to build the next step in their career.

S. Kanay De 
Research Associate – Labour Market Reform
CESD Yangon

Kanay De joined CESD in January 2015. He contributed to CESD’s research projects in macroeconomics, small and medium enterprise development and labour market reform process in Myanmar. Kanay De’s latest research focused on garment sector and gender discrimination in Myanmar’s labour sector.

Tell us a little bit about your experience at CESD

My initial work focused on public financial management reform in Myanmar for a project funded by The Asia Foundation. I worked closely with my research mentor in Australia and travelled to the Ayyerwady Region and Shan state. I was then assigned to a project that focused on SME development in ASEAN funded by the East Asia Economic Research Institute. I also worked on labour market reform process in Myanmar, for which I collected data at the firm level data for garment and food processing sectors, and wrote research papers.

How did working with CESD expose you to real-world economic problems?

I travelled to several countries, including South Korea, Singapore and China to attend workshops and conferences. In Korea, we worked on founding the Myanmar Development Institute. In Singapore, I participated in a workshop on SME development in ASEAN, followed by another workshop in Indonesia. In June 2016, I was part of the Global Poverty Reduction Program in China and I also wrote a paper on poverty reduction programs in Myanmar.  

Tell us about your next plan

I am going to the University of Queensland in Australia for a Master’s program in Development Economics. My focus will be on Myanmar and urban management. I am particularly interested in looking at ways to ensure effective urban planning and management in the country.

How did the CESD experience help you get into graduate school?

CESD gave me the opportunity conduct extensive research on Myanmar and to attend international economics workshops and conferences. I was able to meet experts in development economics, and co-author in many reports. All these experiences allowed to get a scholarship to pursue my post-graduate degree in Australia.

What was the best part about working at CESD?

CESD staff is my family and working with my teammates was a lot of fun. I enjoyed every bit of my work, be it spending time with colleagues, learning, discussing different economic issues or attending conferences.



Aung Hein
Research Coordinator – Food Security Policy
CESD Yangon

Aung HeinAung has been an integral part of CESD’s Food Security Policy team since October 2013. His work on local economic development, with a focus on fisheries, agriculture and institutional development in Myanmar, helped him get accepted into the prestigious Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, where he will pursue Master of Public Affairs.

Tell us a little bit about your experience at CESD.

I have worked on a broad-range of policy and advocacy initiatives such as organising workshops, meetings and presentations for both private sector and government representatives. I had the opportunity to work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture, trade associations, beans and pulses associations and fishery associations across Myanmar.

I have also done extensive work in designing and executing research projects such as livelihood surveys, agricultural value chain studies etc. while conducting training sessions for CESD staff on cost benefit analysis and other capacity building activities.

How did working with CESD expose you to real-world economic problems?

When you are in school, you learn so many theories but you don’t necessarily learn the context or how to apply the theories you’ve learned. At CESD, I had this amazing opportunity to learn the contextual element, whether its Myanmar politics, organisational culture at ministries or how local institutions function. We conducted an extensive scoping study on the fisheries sector, which included traveling to the delta region and southern Myanmar for nearly 8 months. These experiences taught me so much about economic growth and agriculture in Mon state.

Tell us about your next plan…

I am going to pursue a Master of Public Administration program at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. I am most excited about two things – one, I want to get rigorous training in policy analysis and quantitative methods. Second, I want to learn organisational theories and understand what makes effective change possible in organisations, and how to build stronger institutions that can deliver public service. I intend to concentrate in international development, or public policy and economics.

How did the CESD experience help you get into Princeton?

I joined CESD in 2013 with the intention of doing positive work for my country. I also believed that after working at a place like CESD, I could eventually go back to graduate school with a much improved CV. The CESD experienced fulfilled both these plans.

What was the best part about working at CESD?

Every CESD employee has experienced several difficulties, but the most interesting part is that we all have learned so much through these difficulties. I appreciate the food security policy team for all their work and team work. Without the people I work with, it would have been much more difficult.

Thurein Lwin

Intern (Research)

IMG_7711Thurein Lwin worked as Research Intern at CESD. He is a master student of Development Studies Program at Yangon University of Economics. He collaborated with labor team on jade project. His specialized field is monetary policy analysis. He wrote analysis report to CESD about “Difficulties of Fixing the Minimum Wage and its Impact on Inflation in Myanmar, Oct 2017.

Tell us a little bit about your experience at CESD

The surveying process for jade project conducted from 12-June-2017 to 5-July-2017. The project location is in interviewing process with hand-picker is quite risky because of the conflict among the groups at Hpakant, Kachin State. There are a lot of risks to interview with hand pickers (Yae Ma Sae) at their work place and have a lot of conflicts during research project. But I understand about the reality situations of conflicts in this area and solutions for future conflicts between hand pickers and mining companies. Peace process in directly related with jade products and I saw the power of China and ethnic armed group is more appear in this area. We collected real data with team and I am very proud to be part of this project.

During my intern period, I have a chance to write analysis report to CESD about “Difficulties of Fixing the Minimum Wage and its Impact on Inflation in Myanmar, Oct 2017.”

Tell us about your next plan

Now, I am trying to finish my master thesis about inflation in Myanmar. And I have a plan to release Inya Economic Journal with my colleagues.

What was the best part about working at CESD?

I assumed, myself, the luckiest intern at CESD. I learned a lot of things from Saya Zaw Oo, Saya Tin Maung Than, Ko Min Zar Ni Lin, Ko Aung Myo Min, Ko Aung Tun, Ma Ngu Wah, JM, Kyi Hsut and Khinn Suu Thet. CESD gave me a chance to join the Statistics training so that it can be of great help to analyze for my thesis writing.


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