Interning with ICS #1: Logistics and sustainable development


Khamsone Chantavong is doing an internship with the Energy sector of SNV in Laos for 6 months as part of his training at the Bio Force Institute in France. The logistics specialist is working on implementation and process management related to the Improved Cookstoves (ICS) Programme.

I have just finished my first month at SNV in Laos. This is my second time working in the country, and although I didn’t expect to end up back here for my internship assignment, I am happy to return. After studying Logistics and Transport, I previously worked in in Laos for two years as assistant manager on a farm as part of a food security project, and this is when realised I wanted to specialise in the humanitarian sector. This experience made me face the reality of doing fieldwork with limited resources and in partnership with villagers, all while managing logistics and human resources. Following this experience, I spent 5 years working with a Bio-Logistics Company in Roissy, France and throughout my career I have believed strongly in empowering local people, as the best way to make development sustainable.

I first heard about SNV from my Dutch manager the first time I worked in Laos, and after looking into the organisation, I realized that SNV’s work and strategies are in line with what I see as valuable for the developing world.  SNV is focused on sustainable development through capacity building, as well as learning from and working with local knowledge, which are values I strongly believe in. SNV’s experience with renewable energy and biogas are of great interest to me. I returned to Laos for this internship as part of my study at the Bio Force Institute. My general objective is to learn and gain professional experience while helping the renewable energy team with increasing quality and process management. I will be involved in activities around the implementation and management of the Improved Cookstoves programme and the related projects that operate in cooperation with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

“Throughout my career I have believed strongly in empowering local people as the best way to make development sustainable.”

Since my arrival, the renewable energy team have taken me in and gotten me involved with their work quite quickly. I participated in the Controlled Cooking Test at RENMI, which was designed to assess the performance of the improved cookstoves relative to traditional stoves. I also attended stakeholder meetings and the annual meeting of SNV in Laos, which was a great opportunity to learn how SNV is organised and challenges it faces. My next adventure will be a fieldtrip to Champassak, to conduct monitoring activities on the management of quality control and progress of the construction of scientific testing facilities. I look forward to updating next month with my impressions from the field.