Poshan is presently the Senior Portfolio Manager at the Myanmar Country Office. He is also the Component Head for Linking Labutta to Markets (LLM) and the Swisscontact Technical lead for the Making Vegetable Markets Work (MVMW) projects respectively. Besides he plays a key role in expanding Swisscontact’s footprints in Myanmar through Business Development initiatives.
Poshan brings with him over 20 years of experience in the region with over 13 years in Skills Development and 7 years in Agriculture Market Systems Development. He has successfully led both private sector and NGO run vocational training institutes in providing demand driven market led skills training. Poshan was one of the key drafters of the 20-year Agriculture Development Strategy(ADS) as well as in developing a Climate Resilient model for Private sector led Agriculture initiatives for Nepal. Poshan has in the past worked either as a full time employee or a consultant for a host of development organizations such as ADB, DFID, DANIDA, GiZ, IFC, Adam Smith International, Helvetas, Winrock etc. He has also consulted for leading Nepalese private companies which included a Hydropower company and a Coffee exporter.
Poshan has a Post graduate degree in Civil Engineering from the former Soviet Union and a MBA from Kathmandu University.
Vila Chanthavong has 8 years experiences in private sector development and 5 years in tourism sector. He joined Swisscontact as a business consultant for the Promotion Local Unique Specialty Project (PLUS for Tourism) in July 2011 in the South of Laos and became a local project coordinator for the Champasak Tourism Business Promotion Project (CTBP) in January 2013. After graduated from Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Thailand where he earned his Master of Business Administration in the field of International Business in 2008, he started his career as a consultant and trainer in a leading consulting and training company in Vientiane Capital.
Ignacio de las Cuevas is the Head of Hotel Training Initiative (HTI) for the Vocational Skills Development Program (VSDP) in Myanmar. Ignacio and his team have organised and delivered training to more than one thousand people from disadvantaged backgrounds in 2015. This training took place during the low season in the tourism sector, using the facilities of a selected group of partner hotels in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw. The goal of the HTI is to train more than 3,000 people from disadvantaged backgrounds by the end of 2017 in three hospitality occupations, namely room attendant, waiting staff and bell service, and facilitate the access and insertion of this group into the employment market.
Ignacio brings more than fifteen years of professional experience to the team, acquired in four different continents in both in the private and public sectors. His background in tourism management led him to work for high-end international hotels in the Caribbean, the Maldives and Switzerland. Since 2005, Ignacio has gained experience working for a number of international and multilateral organisations, such as IUCN, UNWTO and UNCTAD.
Ignacio has closely followed the development of Myanmar since 2006. He initially came to the country as a tourist, then as a researcher. He has been living in Yangon since 2012 with his family.
Ignacio is a passionate team leader who thrives on working in multicultural settings. He commits his time and efforts to disseminating sustainable tourism practices and bringing to light both the positive and negative sides of tourism development.
Ignacio is multi-lingual and holds a Master Degree and a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Geneva in Switzerland.
Grégoire Delbruyère joined Swisscontact in January 2011 as a controller. In September 2011, he moved to Bangladesh to take over the position of Head of Finance, Administration and IT at Katalyst, a leading market development project, implemented by Swisscontact since 2002. He moved to Myanmar in May 2017 to take over the position of Financial Controller of the South Asia Regional Office.
In his function, Grégoire can rely on his experience gained during his five years working as a financial auditor by PricewaterhouseCoopers in Zurich Switzerland. During his career, he has gained a strong expertise in support functions such as finance, procurement, HR, administration. He is used to work with private sector partners, ensuring compliance and risk mitigation through strict procurement rules and monitoring of expenses.
Grégoire holds a Master of Art in Business Administration from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He is also a Swiss chartered accountant. He is fluent in French, German, English and Spanish.
Sonja Hofstetter joined Swisscontact in July 2016 as a Component Manager in Cambodia. She is managing component 1 (Mobile Training) of the Skills Development Project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Originally from Switzerland, Sonja has extensive experience across the education sector. Starting her professional career as a teacher and working in basic education for several years, she has a good understanding of the classroom reality as well as of pedagogy, didactics and curriculum development and implementation.
The challenges in the quest for quality education in developing and transitioning countries, but also her motivation to work towards creating better opportunities for young people living in poverty became apparent to Sonja when she joined an NGO in rural South Africa as a schools coordinator. Her work focused on ensuring the access of the learners in five rural schools to computer literacy classes. Back in Switzerland, Sonja worked for two universities in the area of international student mobility and conducted research on the decentralization of the financing in education systems, among other topics. After her work with the International Institute for Education Planning of the UNESCO in Paris, Sonja joined HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation to work in the SDC-funded skills development project “Employment Fund” in Nepal from 2013. The Employment Fund provided skills training for disadvantaged and unemployed youth so they could earn higher incomes and have improved living conditions. Sonja returned to Switzerland in August 2015, where she continued with HELVETAS as an Advisor for Skills Development and Education until recently. Sonja holds a BA in primary education from the University of Bern (Switzerland), a MSc in International Education from the University of Stockholm (Sweden), and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Development and Cooperation from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich (Switzerland).
Michael Mechthold-Jin represents Swisscontact as the Country Director in Myanmar . He also manages the Vocational Skills Development Program, financed by SDC, according to the given goal and outcomes.
Michael has been working in the field of education and training for many years. In the year 2000 he was assigned as Program Director for a large vocational training project in China and has worked in similar functions ever since, managing projects for the European Union, GIZ and other international development partners in China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Bangladesh and other Asian countries. He is particularly interested in the assessment and certification of vocational skills.
Thanks to his international experience he has a profound understanding of the "dual system" of vocational education in Switzerland, Germany and other European countries but is equally familiar with the "competency based" approach to vocational training and assessment, popular in many English speaking countries.
Michael has a Ph.D. degree in economic geography from the University of Hanover, Germany, and has complemented his academic education at the London School of Economics and Taiwan National University. He speaks Chinese and hopes one day to be able to communicate in the Myanmar language. He lives in Yangon with his wife and 4 cats.
Anonglack Phaniphong joined Swisscontact as Office Manager in May 2014. She has an extensive track-record of working with the government of the Lao PDR and of working with international NGOs. The last 8 years of her career she worked in increasingly senior positions for SNV with various office management tasks under her responsibility. She is very experienced in administrative management, human resource management, financial management and accounting.
Anong is in charge of admin, HR and financial management for Swisscontact in Lao PDR and is the chief accountant for the Champasak Tourism Business Promotion (CTBP) project.
Anong holds a Bachelor Degree in English Language Teaching from the National University of Laos and speaks fluently Lao, Thai and English.
Rajiv Pradhan is currently the Country Director at Swisscontact in Cambodia. He has over 25 years of experience working with the private and the development sector. After having run an export company for nearly 8 years, Rajiv teamed up with some like-minded people and co-founded and led a socially responsible investment company, Lotus Holding (1997-2006, which promoted social development through private investments). Rajiv was instrumental in taking the concepts of Business Development Services (BDS), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) forward in Nepal. Rajiv has worked in senior management positions in the market development projects in Nepal (BDS-MaPS), Bangladesh (Katalyst) and Indonesia (PRISMA). Rajiv successfully led the iDE Bangladesh operations (2009-13). He has the experience of mentoring staff in the start-up of market development projects and is leading the Swisscontact’s global Inclusive Markets Capacity Development initiative. He has also been awarded the SEEP Practitioner of the Year Award in 2010.
Kimchean Prum joined Swisscontact Cambodia as the Finance and Administration Manager on July 2016. He will be providing finance and administrative support to all Swisscontact’s programmes in Cambodia, especially the Skills Development Programme funded by Swiss Agency for International Cooperation (SDC) and Country Office.
Kimchean has over 10 years of work experience as an Administration and Finance Manager at various international humanitarian organizations such as CARE Cambodia, HelpAge International Cambodia, Catholic Agency for Oversees Development (CAFOD) and ActionAid Cambodia. He has international work experience working as an Administrator and Financial Controller with Action Against Hunger in Tajikistan (Dushanbe). Kimchean holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Build Bright University, Battambang province, Cambodia.
Richard is Deputy Country Director for Swisscontact in Cambodia. He has over 10 years' experience managing business membership organisations and designing and leading market development initiatives for international non-government organisations. In Cambodia, Richard is responsible for Swisscontact’s project portfolio in inclusive markets, SME promotion, skills, tourism, agriculture, and technology development throughout the country. He is also supporting the public-private initiative to develop the maize sector under the Partnership for Indonesian Sustainable Agriculture in Indonesia.
Previously Richard led on market development strategy and implementation for International Development Enterprises (iDE) in Bangladesh, where he was responsible for a USD 20million+ rural market development portfolio. This included projects in agricultural market development, agro-mechanisation and technology development, and in improving maternal and child health and nutrition, working with donors including the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, USAID, DFID, SDC, and the EU. Richard was also responsible for the direction of iDE's teams in gender and governance, corporate partnerships, and communications.
Richard has working experience across Asia and Africa, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal, and Zimbabwe. He has undertaken a range of technical assistance assignments including with AusAID and Swisscontact on the Introducing Market Development Indonesia (IMDI) programme in Indonesia, and with ACIAR and CIMMYT on the Farm Mechanization and Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Intensification (FACASI) programme in four countries in Africa. He holds an MSc (Distinction) in Urbanisation and Development from the London School of Economics (LSE), and a First Class MA (Honours) degree from the University of Edinburgh.
Sabine Roth is the head of Local Vocational Training of the Vocational Skills Development Programme (VSDP) in Myanmar. She is responsible for planning, implementation and monitoring of short-training courses and informal apprenticeships for disadvantaged people of the South East of Myanmar.
Sabine has over 20 years of experience in working as a project manager and senior consultant in developing countries in different aspects related to skills development, vocational education and training (TVET) as well as human resources development. She has been managing and implementing a number of projects and project components in South Africa, Indonesia, Pakistan, Syria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Fiji and other Pacific island countries. Sabine has experience with the design and implementation of skills development, TVET, and labour market projects and programmes for different target groups at national, regional levels and the private sector. These have included a proven track record of capacity development in policy formulation for senior decision makers, having worked most of her career with Government institutions dealing with TVET or HRD. Supporting these higher level skills, is a repertoire of strong practical experience with the evaluation and capacity development of educational and other HRD institutions, effective training and facilitation of a range of target groups of gender, age, religions and ethnicities.
Sabine has a MSc in Human Resources Management (HRM) and Training from the Centre for Labour Market Studies, Leicester University, as well as Masters of Science, Social and Economic Geography from the University of Frankfurt.
Marta Saya joined Swisscontact Cambodia in July 2016. She is managing component 2 (Hospitality Training) in the Skills Development Progarmme (SDP) funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). A Cambodian national, Marta is an Agriculture/Tourism Vocational Training expert with 8 years of experience in curriculum development, training materials design and development, tourism policy development at regional level, and training implementation across the agriculture and tourism sectors. Most recently, she led a successful vocational training programme that included employment and income generation for marginalised people in Cambodia funded by the EU. Marta has also been involved with Cambodia Restaurant Association in the capacity of High Impact Tourism Training Master Trainer. She led a project to develop regional tourism planning for the Northeast region in Cambodia and was the lead master trainer for rural tourism skill development projects. Marta was also the project manager for the Ecotourism project in Cardamom Mountain of Cambodia. She has a wide array of work experience in vocational and skill developments, particularly in the areas of: curriculum development, materials writing and capacity building of vocational training institutions and government bodies, trained the trainers, training management, motoring and evaluation, accreditation and quality assurance, inclusive education (gender-based sensitive), skill development sector finance and mapping, adult and high impact training approach. She is also experienced in tourism and planning in areas such as: multi-stakeholder coordination, regional tourism strategic, planning and development and tourism research.
Nicolas Tomecko is the Deputy Program Director for the Vocational Skills Development Program (VSDP) in Myanmar. He is responsible for Monitoring and Results Measurement (MRM) within the Program, as well as supporting the Program Director with the Management of Program Operations and Strategy.
Previously Nicolas also worked with Swisscontact in Indonesia on the Sustainable Cocoa Production Program (SCPP) as the Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) and Market Development Advisor, managing the M&E team and activities, including detailed data on every one of the Program’s 60,000 targeted cocoa farmers. In addition, Nicolas has worked as an M&E and Policy Advisor in Timor Leste for German Development Cooperation (GIZ), and in various roles with international development organisations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), European Commission (EC), Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), AusAID and United Nations Development Programme
Nicolas has many years of experience working in the development sector, particularly in South East Asia, and has provided support to a wide range of projects on topics as varied as value chain analysis and agricultural policy development. He is specialised in Monitoring and Results Measurement, especially for development projects, and is committed to transparency and credible delivery of results in Swisscontact Myanmar.
Nicolas holds a Master Degree in Business Administration (MBA) as well as a Bachelor’s Degree (Hons.) in International Business from the University of Brighton in the United Kingdom.
Erica Wu joined Swisscontact Cambodia in April 2016 as a Programme Associate. Her work is focused in the areas of tourism, financial inclusion, and monitoring and result measurement. She is currently the start-up manager for the Skills Development Programme (SDP). Erica was previously a consultant at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank Group, for 3 years in Washington, DC. She worked on the Global Trade Supplier Finance Programme providing short-term finance to emerging market suppliers and SME exporters to improve supply chain sustainability in China and Southeast Asia. While at the World Bank group, she coordinated a knowledge initiative on evidence-based project delivery. She also supported the development of a USD 500 million lending project on developing a Technology Center System in India, by leading the research and analysis of international best practices. Erica is passionate about inclusive business and private sector development for poverty reduction, and bring with her experiences from UNDP Inclusive business, Ashoka Youth Venture, and FINCA International. Her career started with TATA Consultancy Services in Mumbai, India. Erica holds a Master of Public Administration specialising in international development from New York University, Wagner School of Public Service and has a BA in International Affairs from National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan.
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