Asia Pacific consultants

Sonali Chowdhary serves as an independent consultant involved with coordinating operations under the Center for Innovation in Shelter and Finance in Asia Pacific. Sonali is an economic development professional with more than 14 years of experience in managing large-scale, complex programs in the area of inclusive markets and value chains, financial services and livelihoods. 
 
Ms. Chowdhary has been an independent consultant since 2012, where she led evaluation of projects, studies and discussions for Habitat for Humanity, World Bank, GIZ, Access Development Services and USAID. Between 2007 and 2012, Sonali worked with SEEP Network, USA, a global network of international development organizations. While there she provided leadership to the Enterprise Development practice area and directed a Gates Foundation funded multi-country action research and capacity building program on increasing the competitiveness of pro-poor value chains. Prior to SEEP, Sonali worked with BASIX, one of India’s leading microfinance and livelihood promotion organizations. There she managed field level microfinance operations and led large scale institutional development projects for five years. She is based in India.

K. Davidson serves as product development manager of housing microfinance at Technical Assistance Centre in India. In his role Davidson plays a key role in providing institutional technical assistance for MFIs launching housing microfinance products. His expertise includes market research, product design and development, training, capacity building and institutional preparedness. As part of his engagements for the Center for Innovation in Shelter and Finance, he has served as product development manager on USAID-funded Transforming Access to Housing Finance in India, toolkit content developer for IFC Housing Microfinance Toolkit for India as well as supporting Microbuild India investees scale up their housing products. He is a certified financial education trainer and has developed training materials and toolkits for delivering financial education.

Davidson holds 16 years of expertise is in credit, operations, risk management, product development and portfolio management for the retail banking, insurance and microfinance and housing microfinance sectors. Davidson has an MBA in finance from University of Madras a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He is based in Chennai, India. 

Girlie Lopez has more than 12 years of experience in microfinance, working with highly diversified credit markets, directly dealing with fund wholesale providers, microfinance institutions, cooperatives, NGOs and rural banks. She gained knowledge and experience in lending and savings operations from having worked in the said industry as a banking and microfinance consultant/ advisor to a number of financial institutions all over the Philippines. Girlie was formerly the regional coordinator for Microenterprise Access to Banking Services, a USAID-assisted microfinance technical assistance program managed by Chemonics International, Inc., and was a research project associate for Innovations for Poverty Action, a nonprofit organization that conducts randomized evaluations in various countries to social and development problems. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy and post-baccalaureate units in research and development

Jennifer Oomen serves as the Associate Director of the CISF in the Asia and Pacific region. As part of her work she is setting up country level CISF units in India and Cambodia.  She is the current project manager for Cambodia, which has worked with three MFIs to set up housing microfinance and micromortgage products and services. In the past, she has served as a technical advisor for the module Responsible Finance for the IFC Housing Microfinance Toolkit Development in India. Ms. Oomen is a certified financial education facilitator and leads the regions financial capability work. 

Ms. Oomen has been involved in housing and community development for over 10 years including conducting research on the housing priorities of IDPs residing in Kampala, Uganda and working on community based solutions to end homelessness in the U.S. with Common Ground Community. Ms. Oomen holds a master’s degree in Urbanisation & Development from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s in sociology from the University of Wisconsin. She is based in Manila, Philippines.

Naeem Razwani currently serves as a manager for the Market Development and Housing Finance team and provides his expertise in mobilizing our capital markets activities. He has experience in rural and agricultural development, portfolio and grant management, and growing small and medium enterprises. Prior to Habitat, he worked for the First Microfinance Bank in Afghanistan, of the Aga Khan Development Network, where he was head of product development and marketing. While there, he developed a cashless branch model using mobile technology and several other client-focused innovations. He has worked on microfinance and SME projects by KfW, IFAD, IFC, and provided a housing microfinance consultancy to an IFC partner in Egypt, which involved product development, linking of technical advisory to financial services and piloting new products. Mr. Razwani holds an MBA from the Institute of Business Management and has also completed specialist courses at the University of New Hampshire and The Boulder Institute of Microfinance.

Toch Sokunthea started working with Habitat for Humanity Cambodia in November 2014 as product development coordinator in the Housing Finance program. She has more than 10 years of experience working in the social development sector in Cambodia focusing on peace education and financial and business management. She has been involving in the design and delivery of small business and financial management training courses during work with VBNK. She has facilitated learning forums with groups of entrepreneurs and government and donor partners. She also contributed to the design and delivery of coaching and training for Misereor and a leadership programme for EED. She also provided follow-up and coaching to partners at their work place and assisted them to reflect on and learn from their experiences. She holds a master’s degree in general management.

Mark Van Steenwyk provides intermittent support in the areas of housing microfinance and affordable housing market mapping. Mr. Van Steenwyk has more than 30 years of international economic development work experience, including work-related travel in more than 35 countries worldwide and 20 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. He has extensive background in public and private sector development, SME promotion, agribusiness, affordable housing, value chain enhancement, rural institutional development, value chain finance, microfinance and development banking in his 28 years of residency in Asia. He has completed more than 90 long- and short-term work assignments worldwide for private sector clients and bi-lateral/multi-lateral funding organizations, including USAID, AusAID, GiZ, JICA, FAO, EC, IFC and ADB. Mr. Van Steenwyk holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and has completed masters-level coursework in agricultural economics from Oregon State University. He is based in Davao City, the Philippines.

Joanna U. Zuñiga serves as the coordinator for the Center for Innovation in Shelter and Finance in HFHI’s Asia Pacific office. She has more than seven years of experience working in international development, specializing in partnerships and business development. Prior to Habitat, she was a senior associate at Devex, a global social enterprise that brings efficiency to development. While there she pioneered partnership opportunities in Asia. In the course of her work, she managed the USAID-Devex Impact platform and has established media partnerships with other development organizations like CARE, International HIV/AIDS Alliance and ACDI/VOCA. Ms. Zuñiga holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and a professional certificate in political economy from the University of Asia and the Pacific.