Spotlight on CDIA’s Urban Development Specialist, Chee Anne Roño

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“Cities have a lot of development aspirations. It is our job to help them prioritize and prepare concrete and well defined, bankable investments.”

Chee Anne Roño has always gravitated to the type of development work that CDIA offers and is a natural for the role.

Chee has been working on a variety of Asian Development Bank (ADB) consulting assignments since 2015 and joined the CDIA team 18 months ago as an Urban Development Specialist with particular responsibility for innovative and smart approaches.

Prior to working with CDIA/ADB she had a 10-year stint with Clean Air Asia, where she contributed to strengthening urban air quality management in China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

Chee Anne, who is an experienced cyclist and high-altitude hiker, brought her high-energy approach to her work at CDIA. Her first assignment required her to quickly yet fully understand the development landscape of multiple project locations in Lao PDR in just over a week. “The first project scoping mission I led involved consultations across four cities during an eight-day mission. It was done in a true CDIA fashion where we got to deep-dive into the cities we partner within a short space of time,” says Chee.

This mission paved the way to Chee’s managerial role in the ongoing Lao Livable Cities Project (ADB Multitranche Financing Facility: Urban Environmental Improvement Investment Project), where a team of CDIA experts is helping the cities of Luang Prabang, Pakse and Kaysone Phomvihane enhance their solid waste, wastewater and urban development programs so they can achieve their livability aspirations.

As with many other projects, CDIA had to temporarily suspend work in Lao PDR due to Covid-19 pandemic and its associated travel restrictions and safety considerations. After some careful assessment of the situation and finding ways to keep the project moving remotely, it is now back on track. Chee Anne says she embraces the challenge of this new workflow and sees it as a way for her and her team to grow.

“Whether it’s a life or work-related challenge, you will always need the agility to adapt to situations, find solutions in a creative way, and encourage effective teamwork,” she says.

“In addition to managing our ongoing projects, we are also developing a pipeline of new projects despite the challenge of remote work so that’s pretty exciting!” she continues. “There will be many lessons to be learned in terms of effective project management in this new normal.”

Chee Anne was once featured a “fun, fearless female” by a Philippine lifestyle magazine and that sums up how she works with the CDIA team.

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