My work intersects the fields of political science, sociology and development studies. I have conducted evidence-based research on institutional and governance issues related to water/natural/forest resource management, environmental conflicts, livelihoods, social assessment, inter alia. My research and project management experience has provided me a keen eye to identify, assess and implement policy issues in discussion with relevant state and non-state actors. I have done research projects on various aspects of natural resource management with several departments and ministries of Government of India, DFID, UNDP, World Bank, Earth Institute, Columbia University, among others. I have undertaken several research projects on sustainable management of water/forest/natural resources, policy analysis and governance and social/perception/impact assessment and evaluation.
My doctoral research project looked in-depth at factors that aid or impede decentralisation of irrigation management in Madhya Pradesh, India. Decentralisation being a core theme of development studies is an extensively researched issue. Most of this research, however, has focused on either the macro (international/government) level or the local level. Little research has been done on the intermediate level where the government meets the local. My research contributes to this gap by focusing on the interface between the government and the local. I am currently working on a monograph that elaborates factors that influence/obstruct decentralisation of irrigation management at the intermediate level in India as an Associate Researcher with ZEF.
I have worked as an independent researcher with the World Bank wherein I was engaged in a study that assessed factors that aid or impede implementation of Forest Rights Act (FRA) in two states in India and role of technology as an evidentiary tool to facilitate greater recognition of rights under FRA. As a follow up to the FRA study, I explored good practices that can be brought to scale for greater recognition of claims under FRA. Apart from my work with World Bank, I have consulted with World Resources Institute (WRI) wherein I was responsible for adapting the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM) for India, and to bring into its fold governance and gender thinking, greater focus on livelihoods and discerning the multiple ecosystem services associated with restoration.
Since October 2016, I have been working with WRI India as an Associate Director with the Landscape Restoration programme where i have been responsible for anchoring all research associated with restoration opportunity assessments. Since January 2019, as the Director of the Sustainable Landscapes and Restoration (SLR) programme, I have been leading research and management of the SLR in India.