Lao Social Research

Team of Specialists

Managing Director

Bouasavanh Khanthaphat is Managing Director of Lao Social Research, and over a 25 year period has consulted for most major donors, multilateral agencies and national development banks in the Lao PDR. She specialises in qualitative and quantitative field studies, evaluations and gender analysis. She has carried out evaluations and reviews for ADB, WB, FAO, SNV, Phu Bia Mining, Finnish Environmental Institute, the Finland Futures Research Centre, and Turku University., as well as a beneficiary led evaluation for Helvetas/SDC. Previously she was a Team Leader for micro-finance on a large World Bank integrated rural development project (3 years), and in community development. She has worked in Forestry and Carbon Credit programs as well as being involved in many qualitative and quantitative surveys.

Business Development/ Social Specialist

John Wilkinson is a Social Specialist of 30 years’ experience who works in infrastructure and poverty research. He has undertaken M&E assignments for ADB, the WB, and UNICEF, having worked as an adviser to the Government of Thailand on development program monitoring and carried out evaluations of rural infrastructure and poverty alleviation programs in various countries. In the Lao PDR he has been involved in Social Research and Surveys for road and hydropower programs (World Bank), Social Protection Programs, Institutional and Policy Development, and livelihood restoration and livelihoods for the poor with both DFAT and industrial projects. He has had substantial experience in WSS projects with both multilateral and bilateral donors. He is currently Social and Gender Specialist on two ADB projects in the Lao PDR. He was Lead Evaluator for the 5-year evaluation of UNICEF’s WASH program in Cambodia (2011). He was Team Leader on WB/WSP Cambodia’s Appropriate Sanitation for Difficult Environments (2010).

Financial Services

Timo Hogenhout brings 25-years of experience in the financial services industry, the last ten years in Southeast Asia as an independent consultant. The focus of his work has been in retail financial services and financial inclusion, rural, micro and MSME-finance. Much of his work in Southeast Asia has involved doing studies, assessing, analysing and making policy recommendations, and presenting findings to government officials and other stakeholders, including private sector actors. The recent geographical focus of his work and life in Asia has been in Laos and Myanmar. As a result, Timo has built extensive networks in the financial-inclusion stakeholder communities of both countries, within government, private sector, the group of international financiers and development organizations, and has acquired a deep understanding of core issues related to access to finance of both countries. As well as Laos and Myanmar, he has worked in Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal and South Africa. Timo has been involved in work for international investors in, and the business communities of, Laos. Before moving to Asia, he worked in Amsterdam as retail banker for Dutch bank-insurers, both in technical and commercial capacities, and as independent retail-financial services advisor. He is fluent in English and Dutch, has working-level proficiency in German and basic-level proficiency in Lao.

Development Specialist

Chris Wardle is development professional with extensive INGO managerial and technical experience. Over the past 18 years this has extended to management in multi-sector programming (livelihoods, food security, WaSH, health) in five countries in Asia, and five in Africa. Chris has been working in the Laos development sector since 2010, as a Program Coordinator in the south of Lao for five years, and latterly engaging in livelihood development through ‘graduation’ model implementation. Most recently his work has included evaluating economic empowerment programming, and reviewing the adaptation of the graduation model for the economic empowerment of people with disability. Chris has post-graduate qualifications in Development Management, Micro-finance, and Community Water Supply (M.Sc.).

Social Research Specialist

Samuel Waelty has wide experience in social research in Indonesia, India and Switzerland and as an evaluation consultant, most recently for UNDP and FAO. After teaching development studies including development research at two Swiss universities he joined the Swiss foreign service as Deputy Head of Evaluation of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). He later headed the Swiss Cooperation Office first in Kosovo and later in Vietnam. The programs had a strong focus on poverty reduction and sustainable development; market access and income generation for the rural poor; local governance and public administration reform; private sector/MSME development; forestry, agriculture and animal husbandry. Samuel has experience in the private sector and social enterprises: His regional focus is Eastern Europe and CIS, Asia, particularly Southeast Asia. He communicates fluently in English, French, German and Indonesian and he has basic knowledge of Albanian and Vietnamese.

MIS Specialist

Phouthon Siharat is a Management Information System (MIS) Specialist with in depth understanding of M&E and Communications. He has worked for projects funded by DFAT, IRI, UN Habitat, WB, ADB, and WFP to develop tools for data collection and monitoring. His technical experience in data collection ranges from development of paper based questionnaires to electronic forms using tablets. He is highly experienced using flat file databases (Excel, CSV, JSON, etc.) and relational databases (MS Access and MySQL) to develop desktop monitoring tools and browser based applications. In addition to his experience in data and monitoring he has been involved in developing terms of agreements with service providers to deliver cash transfers and implementation of payment process. His fluency in Lao and native language in English makes him effective in providing training and management of local staff.

Nutrition Specialist

Anna Jolly graduated with a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Canberra (Australia) in 2010. She has 10 years’ experience in clinical dietetic practice across hospital, community health and household settings (NSW Health, Medicare Local). Anna has had experience in tailoring nutrition assessment and interventions within indigenous health, aged care, disability, pediatric populations, as well as acute and sub-acute hospital settings. Anna has had been involved in the redesign of local health pathways in the area of dietetics to ensure compliance with health directives and consistency of delivery of services. She has been involved in accreditation processes, ensuring compliance of local dietetics services for the healthcare system. She has also had over 8 years experience supervising students from Australian Universities. Anna holds a strong interest in the intersections between nutrition, psychology, and food politics thus linking her postgraduate training in nutrition to her undergraduate degree from the Australian National University (2003) majoring in Psychology, Sociology and Gender Studies.

Procurement and Project Management Specialist

William Willis has worked as an independent consultant for 21 years and for the past 15 years, as procurement and project management specialist in the development sector. Assignments have been completed in Lao PDR, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar with projects administered UN agencies and the Asian Development Bank. Clients have included national government ministries and municipal agencies that have implemented poverty reduction projects aimed at increasing household incomes through micro and small enterprise development. These projects have targeted the social and community development sectors including health and sanitation, gender, tourism and municipal services. William was engaged by the Vientiane Urban and Development and Administration Authority to support successful implementation of the Solid Waste Management for Vientiane’s Poor Project from 2004 to 2007. In this and similar projects, William has provided executing agencies with specialist technical advice to implement their procurement plans in strict conformance with ADB and national procurement policies, procedures and guidelines. Training and support for procurement of individual packages typically include recruitment of consultants, non-consulting services, goods and supplies as well as civil works supporting small- and large-scale infrastructure development. Capacity building for project counterpart staff is also provided through on the job mentoring, small group trainings, and procurement clinics which focus on the project’s procurement plan, methods of procurement, procurement packing and use of specified procurement documents and templates. William has a Masters degree in International Development from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, attended regular and ongoing procurement training with ADB and is currently completing an online qualification for the World Bank’s New Procurement Framework.

Environmental Specialist

Rachel Wildblood is an experienced environmental professional, who has worked in the UK and internationally for private sector, public sector, UN and IFI projects. Rachel has 20 years’ experience in the environmental sector with an emphasis on environmental risk management and solid waste management. In the UK, Rachel gained a good grounding in European best practice for environmental issues, which was acquired working for a leading environmental consultancy and for the UK Government’s environmental regulatory body, the Environment Agency. Rachel continues to contribute to projects in Europe in order to continue professional development and keep up to date with best practice. Internationally, Rachel works in Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean and Africa. She has extensive experience as an environmental specialist for projects in South East Asia working for UNDP, UNICEF, UNFAO, DFAT and ADB. Rachel has developed a project Environmental Management System in line with DFAT’s requirements for continued use on irrigation developments in Cambodia and was able to equip two UNICEF offices with the tools required to identify environmental risk in their future work programmes. Rachel has worked on many ADB projects to strengthen environmental safeguards and the best available environmental outcomes. Rachel recognises the cross-cutting nature of environmental issues and collaborates effectively with social specialists, engineers, health specialists and financial experts for a broad range of projects. To date, projects have included off-shore oil exploration, highways and transport developments, sanitation and drainage improvements, solid waste management facilities, irrigation and water supply.