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.
Research Coordinator – Food Security Policy
Aung 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.