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Research Team

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The CESD takes pride in its well-qualified and talented research staff who share a genuine passion for the socio-economic development of Myanmar. The researchers possess a wide variety of qualifications from reputed national and international universities with considerable amounts of experience of working in the field. The CESD pays special attention and encourages a healthy balance of gender and ethnic representation among its research staff in particular in order to get different perspectives that will enable in deriving interesting insights which can then be advocated as policy reforms to national and international stakeholders.

Min Zar Ni Lin

Deputy Director of Research

Mr. Min Zar Ni Lin conducts public policy research and analysis helping support regional, state, and national governments and parliamentarians create development strategies including connectivity and spatial strategies for economic integration. Additionally, he has conducted numerous research studies on the private sector, specifically focusing on SME development,  value chains, logistic networks and agglomeration options.  Previously, he was the Senior Technical and Policy Analyst for the Myanmar Extractive Industries Transparency Initiate (MEITI). He received his Master’s degree in Economics from Chiang Mai University in 2009.


Ngu Wah Win 

Senior Policy Coordinator

Ngu Wah WinNgu Wah Win is CESD’s Senior Policy Coordinator heading CESD’s policy briefings and inputs to the policy-making processes. She assists the executive director with preparing policy briefings and engagements with senior officials and liaises with senior bureaucrats. Additionally, she handles communication functions on behalf of the research team. Her past work includes involvement in CESD’s food security project in Myanmar including covering value chains, agricultural input markets, effective use of water resources, and irrigation in the agriculture sector. Her research and policy analyses often involved community facilitation in rural and coastal areas. With dual Master’s Degrees in Economics and Statistics from Chaing Mai University, Thailand and Yangon University of Economics, she speaks fluent Myanmar and English.

Aung Htun

Policy Associate (Food Security Policy)

Aung Htun PhotoAung Htun CESD’s policy associate. His responsibilities include conducting policy research, networking with stakeholders and policy advocacy. He holds a master degree in development studies from Yangon Institute of Economics.  Before he joined to CESD, he conducted social science and political research in conflict areas with the Myanmar Peace Center and Inquiry Commission of Sectarian Violence in Rakhine State. Hosting a wealth of knowledge on Myanmar, his eye for conflict sensitivity and research experience makes him an invaluable part of the CESD Team.  He speaks English and Myanmar fluently. 

Ame Cho
Research Associate (Food Security Policy)

ame coAme Cho is a research associate with Food Security Policy and Rural Development Program at CESD. Her areas of focus include economic and social studies, policy advocacy and analysis, and capacity-building initiatives, specifically those intended to improve agricultural productivity and rural livelihoods in Myanmar. Before joining CESD, Ame Cho most recently worked as product development and registration assistant at Myanma Awba Group Co. Ltd in 2013. Ame Cho is fluent in Burmese and English and conversational in Dutch. She holds a Bachelor and Master of Agricultural Science from Yezin Agricultural University, as well as a Master of Science in Nutrition and Rural Development from Ghent University in Belgium. Ame Cho has produced multiple publications, including:

  • Master’s Thesis Dissertation at Yezin Agricultural University (2013)
  • Master’s Thesis Dissertation at Ghent University (2015)
  • “Assessment of Household Food Security Through Crop Diversification in Netmauk Township, Magway Region, Myanmar” a paper and poster presentation presented at the “Tropentag International Conference on Research for Food Security, Natural Resource Management and Rural Development” (September 2016, Vienna, Austria).

Khaing Wah Soe

Research Associate (Food Security Policy)

KWSKhaing Wah Soe is a research associate from Food Security Project (FSP) team. She got the Master degrees with Agriculture in 2011 and her thesis publication title is Optimization of efficient protocorm-like-body (PLB) formation of Phalaenopsis and Dendrobium hybrids in Current Research on Agriculture and Life Science (2014). Prior to joining CESD, she worked as research and extension officer in value chain project of Winrock International (Wi), assistant scientist in International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and livelihood technician in Radanar Ayar Association.



Pau Sian Zam (Alex)
Research Associate (Labor Market Reform Project)

IMG_7966Alex currently works as a Research Associate on the CESD Labor Team. His passions include a variety of topics across social and economic development research, evident from his educational background and his previous employment as a Junior Research Executive in the Social Department at Myanmar Survey Research (MSR), a private survey development organization. Alex holds a Bachelor of Arts in European Studies (International Relations Track) from Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from Willy Brandt School of Public Policy at the University of Erfurt in Germany. He is fluent in four languages, including Zo and Lai (Chin dialects), English, and Burmese, with a conversational knowledge of German as well.

Eaindra Theint Theint Thu

Research Associate (Food Security Policy)


Eaindra Theint Theint Thu is a Research Associate for the Food Security Policy and Rural Development Program at the Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD). Prior to joining CESD, she served in a variety of positions, which have included:

  • Research Associate at the Asian Institute for Technology (AIT) (Bangkok);
  • Freelance Researcher for Grow Asia within the “Inclusive Agribusiness in Myanmar” program;
  • Land Associate for Land Core Group (LCG);
  • Community Development Officer for CESVI;
  • Assistant Trainer for Agribusiness Consultancy Group;
  • Assistant Researcher for the Department of Agricultural Research (DAR)

Eaindra’s primary interests pertain to resource management, including common-pool, land, and conflict-based resource management. Additional areas of focus include community-based natural resource management, migration, and labor scarcity. Eaindra speaks Burmese and English, holds an MS in Natural Resource Management from AIT, and has a Bachelors in Agricultural Science and Agribusiness Management from Yezin Agricultural University. Her published works include: “Challenges and Responses of Farming Households to Labor Migration: A Case Study in the Dry Zone of Myanmar”.

Zin Wai Aung

Research Associate (Food Security Policy)

ZinWaiAungZin Wai Aung is working as a Research Associate for the Food Security Policy and Rural Development Program at CESD. He keenly interested in social science, rural development, sustainable agricultural management and agricultural economics. He holds Master’s Degree in Rural Development Management from Khon Kaen University, Thailand and a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Science from Yezin Agricultural University. He conducted the research for his Master’s thesis titled “Assessment of Local Knowledge and Practice on Soil Conservation of Farmers in Taungthar Township, Myingyan District, Mandalay Region”. Before joining the CESD, he worked for the Helen Keller International Organization as a Research Officer and also Myanmar Flower, Fruit and Vegetable Producer and Exporter Association as Membership Development Officer, as well as a Tutor at Yezin Agricultural University, Naypyidaw.

Yu Yu Lwin

Research Assistant (Food Security Policy)

Ma Yu (1)Yu Yu Lwin is a Research Assistant of CESD, Food Security Project (FSP). Her core responsibilities include working closely with the research supervisor, other research associates, international experts, and other researchers to plan research and policy implementation, assist research associates and the research supervisor to implement the intensive schedule of scoping missions, pre-tests, research training, surveys, case studies, risks and impact assessments, and policy advocacy events. She assists data entry, cleaning, and analysis, and writes reports in collaboration with research associates and other researchers. She also attends trainings and relevant external events. Yu Yu Lwin holds a Bachelor of Science, specialized in Botany, from Yangon University and received a Diploma of Statistics and a Diploma of Research Studies from Yangon University of Economics. Prior to joining CESD, she worked as a researcher by researching various research and collecting surveys.

Khin Suu Thet

Research Assistant (Labor Market Reform Project)

Ma Yu (2)Khin Suu Thet is a Research Assistant for CESD. She holds a Bachelor from University of Traditional Medicine (Mandalay). She is fluent in two languages, English and Myanmar but also has an understanding of Spanish and Korean.  

Currently, she is working for the labor reform project at garment sector on field research. She is responsible for survey research planning, external relations with industrial zones, and supporting the team supervisor. Moreover, she is responsible for data compilation, completion of data, data cleaning, and data improvement activities. Additionally, she records participant lists, meeting minutes, and other related documents for respective project activities.

Mercy Mang Hlei Lang

Research Assistant

Mai MerccyMai Mercy is an intern/researcher and enumerator for CESD. She graduated in 2013 from Mandalay University of Foreign Languages, specializing in German. Before working for CESD, she worked as a receptionist and administrative assistant at Yoma Strategic Holdings Co. Ltd. She has also worked as an interviewer for socio-economic research at Third Eye Research Company. Earlier, after graduation from Kant Kaw Education Center in Community Leadership and Social Studies, she served as a volunteer youth teacher on english and the environment in Karen State. She speaks four languages including Chin, Burmese, English, and German.

George Carpenter Herdeg

Visiting Intern/Researcher

GeorgeGeorge Herdeg is a visiting researcher from San Antonio, Texas working closely with the business development and communications department. He is also currently supporting ongoing labor and aquaculture development projects. A recent graduate of American University with his B.A. in International Studies, George’s previously interned with FINCA Impact Finance and Risk Management Initiative in Microfinance. Formerly based in Washington, D.C., George speaks English and Spanish and is looking forward to applying his previous operations and development experience to CESD.

Nguyen Thi Hong Hanh

Visiting Intern/Researcher

Hanh Nguyen Nguyen is a visiting researcher at the Centre for Economic and Social Development. She got her Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the School of Public Policy, Central European University in Budapest, Hungary with three concentrations, including governance, development, and econometrics. Her research focuses on gender policies and international regimes in climate change control. She was the winner of a bronze medal from the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law for her essay on harmonizing domestic policies with international agreements on climate change mitigation, presented at the Conference of Parties (COP) 22 in Morocco, on November 11, 2016.

Hanh was a research associate with the G20 Research Group and the G7 Research Group based in Toronto, Canada. She has contributed to the Group’s compliance reports which aim at assessing the commitment of G20 members. In addition, she has been in charge of data analysis and quantitative evaluation of G7 and G20 compliance catalysts.

Hanh was also the team leader in the methodology of a student research project with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on the role of civil society in transition resilience in Central and Eastern European countries. She was in the panel discussion with The Economist presenting their findings at EBRD’s Annual Meeting in Larnaca, Cyprus in May 2017.

Samukelisiwe Ngwenya
Visiting Intern/Researcher
Samu Ngwenya PictureSamukelisiwe (Samu) Ngwenya is a visiting researcher originally from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, having also lived in various countries in Southern Africa, East Africa, and South East Asia. Samu received her Bachelor of Arts with a double major in International Relations and Sociology and Anthropology from Lake Forest College in Chicago. Samu’s specialty is in conducting qualitative research having worked on projects that focused on multilingualism in Sub-Saharan Africa, the socio-cultural dynamics of Non-Residential Indians and the United States foreign policy towards ISIS. Most recently, Samu was a Resource Management intern at World Vision U.S in Washington D.C. Samu primarily worked on finding new ways the organization could use to position itself to meet the changing donor landscape. Moreover, Samu developed capacity statements for the health and water and sanitation sectors. Samu speaks conversational Thai, beginners Mandarin and French. In addition, Samu enjoys studying Art History and visiting local galleries and museums.

Niang San Cing @ Helen Sannu

Research Assistant

HelenNiang San Cing @ Helen Sannu is one of CESD’s Research Assistants. She holds a Bachelor of Economics in Statistics from Yangon University of Economics in 2015. She is a fresh graduate student in Master of Economics from Chiang Mai University, Thailand and her thesis title is Analysis of the Relationship Between Economics Growth and Trading in ASEAN plus 3. Prior to joining CESD, she worked as a part-time volunteer teacher in Jireh Children Home, Yangon. She is fluent in Chin, Burmese, and English.



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