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Employee Spotlight

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

S. Kanay De 
Research Associate – Labour Market Reform

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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 I traveled 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 the labour market reform process in Myanmar, writing research papers and collecting data at the firm level on the garment and food processing sectors.

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

Through my CESD experience, I traveled 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, which had a follow-up workshop I also attended in Indonesia. In June 2016, I participated in the Global Poverty Reduction Program in China, eventually writing a paper on poverty reduction programs in Myanmar.  

Tell us about your next plan

I am attending the University of Queensland in Australia for a Master’s program in Development Economics. My focus is 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 to conduct extensive research on Myanmar and attend international economics workshops and conferences. I was able to meet and talk with development economics experts, and co-author 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. 

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Kyan Htoo 
Former Research Coordinator – Food Security Policy

Tell us a little bit about your experience at CESD.

I was part of the food security policy team and worked on several projects and activities in the past 3 years. I was part of the scoping mission for CESD’s main study on household survey and the livelihood survey. My work included preparing questionnaires, testing these questionnaires for their suitability, recruiting enumerators for conducting surveys, training them, analysing data and writing reports.

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

As a member of the inclusive development team, I liaised with government officials, which gave me a very practical experience in this area. CESD gave me the opportunity to travel around Myanmar to conduct surveys. I have worked in Mon state and in the delta region. In addition, we just finished our livelihood survey in the dry zone.

Tell us about your next plan…

I am moving to New Zealand this year to pursue a doctoral program in agricultural economics at Massey University.

How did the CESD experience help you in getting admitted to these PhD programs?

There were many factors. CESD experience taught me how to develop questionnaires, conduct sampling, collect and analyse data, and write reports. Before joining CESD, I did not know how to interpret data using Stata software. But now I have plenty of experience in data analysis and interpretation and it’ll be an important part of my PhD program. I also had the opportunity to write for several publications. All of these supported my application.

What was the best part about working at CESD?

I had a very balanced life between all the field work and desk research. If your work is limited to just field work or desk research, you tend to get bored. But CESD experience was vibrant, and it constantly exposed to me to the outside world.

Another exciting moment was when we conducted the aquaculture study, which was the biggest in Myanmar. Before this study, I didn’t have any practical experience on value chains.

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