Md. Rubaiyath Sarwar

CHAIRMAN, from Innovision, Bangladesh

Md. Rubaiyath Sarwar is a specialist in design, management and evaluation of market driven solutions to poverty challenges. His works builds on the premise that the multidimensional challenges of poverty can be tackled more sustainably through collaborative and mutually reinforcing commercial and social benefits among the private sector, NGOs and the government agencies. He is the co-founder and Managing Director of Innovision Consulting, an international consultancy with its bases in Dhaka, Bangladesh and London, United Kingdom. Over the last 16 years, Rubaiyath has worked for major DFID, USAID, SDC, EU, GIZ, IFAD projects in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, Philippines, Somalia, SriLanka and Yemen on solving growth, employment, and inclusiveness challenges in agriculture, health, industries, finance, water, sanitation, hygiene and nutrition sectors.

Rubaiyath is serving as the Chairman of the Value Chain Capacity Building Network (VCB-N) for The Asia and the Pacific Region. VCB-N is founded with grant from International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to build a regional resource pool of experts for value chains and market systems development projects. He founded Desperately Seeking Development Expert (DSDE) which is the largest platform of development professionals in Bangladesh. With over 13,000 members, DSDE plays an influential role in ideation, research, placement, discussion, dialogue and advocacy on development
agenda in Bangladesh. He also founded D2, a data analytics company for development research and Baggitude, an online retail channel for trendy bags that are primarily made of sustainable materials. Rubaiyath is completed his BBA and MBA from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka. He is an Acumen fellow from Bangladesh.

Somchay Soulitham

from Enterprise & Development Consultants Co., Ltd (EDC), Lao PDR

With the pedagogy background (from Former Soviet Union) and Master in Management (from Monash, Australia), Somchay Soulitham has became one of the senior trainers/consultants in EDC since 2002. Her practice areas are organizational development, HR, and project planning and evaluation fro both profit and non-profit organization clients while promoting community development and rural enterprises. She handles curriculum design, training materials development, and group facilitation. She has engaged in Value Chain Development since 2007.

She began her journey as a training and facilitator in 1996. She has engaged in rural community development immensely. Since 2007, Value Chain/Market System/Market for the Poor became one of the tools that EDC applied when working with its clients. For example, we worked on Rice Value Chain, Bamboo and Rattan Value Chain, Vegetable Value Chain, etc.

She also has experiences in conducting training in other areas, such as office management, leadership, organization development, productivity improvement, team building, facilitation skills, TOR, project cycle management and local - regional economic development.









Pham Thi Hanh Tho

From CASRAD, Vietnam

Liu Yonggong

From China Agricultural University, China

Yonggong Liu is a Professor at College of Humanities and Development (COHD) and Managing Director of Center for Integrated Agricultural Development (CIAD), China Agricultural University (CAU) in Beijing. Since 1991 he is the faculty at COHD majored in Rural Development Studies.

His teaching and research focus on Development Studies and Planning; Community Development Management; Climate Change and Community Livelihoods; Natural Resource Management, Poverty Alleviation; and Agricultural Market and Value Chain Development.

Besides the academic activities at the university, he also serves as senior consultant for rural development programs and projects. In the past 30 year, he worked for about 80 agricultural and rural development projects respectively funded by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, State Council Office for Poverty Reduction and by international development organizations, such as World Bank, ADB, UNDP, FAO, IFAD, WFP, GEF, as well as by bilateral development agencies like EU, GIZ, DFID, AusAID, etc.

Currently, Prof. Liu serves as Senior Advisor for Agri-Business Cooperation Platform of China-German Agricultural Center (DCZ), Vice Chair of Steering Committee for Value Chain Capacity Building Network (VCB-N), Chief Technical Advisor for FAO/GEF funded Jiangxi Provincial Wetland Management Project.


Maria Widyarini

From SMED, Indonesia

Maria was involved in SME particularly as trainer and researcher in entrepreneurship, supply chain and finance issues.  Her professional qualification and affiliations are Global Entrepreneurship Monitor - Indonesia Team Member from 2013-present; SC of VCB-N from 2018 - present; certified in Business Coach from MsM, the Netherlands Indonesina (2015); and member of International Council for Small Business Indonesia (ICSB) from 2016 - present. Currently, she works at Parahyangan Catholic University, Business Administration Departement since 2001 up to present. Her specializing in supply chain, entrepreneurship and finance for SME. She was Director of Center of Excellence – Small Medium Enterprise and Development (COE SMED) and former Head of MBA program in Parahyangan Catholic University. Currently, she is Chairman of Business Administration Department and Manager of Business Development of UNPAR+, an online platform for future education. She has extensive experiences in conducting research, community engagement and professional projects (international and national) also leading Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) as team member from 2013 and represents Indonesia on Value Chain Capacity Building Network as Steering Committee. The project handled by COE SMED are capacity building in SMEs and value chain for financial inclusion for SMEs, social impact assessment, and support facilitators for many trainings and coaching. Having certified training in business coach for SMEs and experienced in handling many projects valued from 5,000 to 50,000 USD.



Rajendra Singh Gautam

From ILRT, India

Rajendra Singh Gautam is Acting Dean with Institute of Livelihood Research and Training, India. He has acquired doctoral degree (Ph. D.) in ‘Community based Natural Resources Management from Madhya Pradesh Institute of Social Science Research & Vikram University, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India. He has over 18 years of experience of research, training and consultancy in academics and development sector especially livelihood promotion, institutional development, value chain development, decentralized governance, community based natural resources management, ground water governance, forestry based livelihood promotion, labour market analysis, skill & entrepreneurship promotion. He has published research papers including case studies on various themes such as natural resource management, democratic decentralization, skill development, NTFPs based value chain development, ground water governance, etc., in national and international journals of repute.