Yamini Aiyar, Director
Yamini Aiyar is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and Director of the Accountability Initiative (AI). AI is a research group that focuses on tracking government planning, budgeting and decision-making systems in key social sector programs with a view to strengthening public debate on issues of governance, institutions and accountability for public services. AI draws on this research to bridge the gap between evidence and action by seeking to engage citizens in conducting tracking exercises, developing structured capacity building courses on public administration and accountability and seeking partnerships with government to develop models for strengthening public expenditure management and local planning.
Yamini also worked with the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program and Rural Development unit in New Delhi, where she focused on action research aimed at strengthening mechanisms for citizen engagement in local government. She was also a member of the decentralization team at the World Bank that provided policy support to strengthen Panchayati Raj (local governance) in India.
Yamini has an Msc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics, an MA in Social and Political Sciences from St. Edmunds College Cambridge University, UK and a BA in Philosophy from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University. Yamini is a TED fellow and a member of the International Experts Panel of the Open Government Partnership. She is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s global council on good governance.
Ambrish Dongre, Senior Researcher
Ambrish joined AI in late 2010. Ambrish has recently completed a Ph.D. in Economics from University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). His thesis rigorously analyzes the role of women 'sarpanch' in promoting child health, and the effectiveness of the 'Janani Suraksha Yojna' in increasing institutional deliveries. At AI Ambrish is responsible for leading AI’s quantitative research work. This includes designing the PAISA surveys and leading the data analysis process. In addition Ambrish is responsible for managing PAISA implementation in Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. Ambrish holds Masters in Economics from University of Mumbai and Bachelors in Economics & Statistics from Ruia College, University of Mumbai.
Avani Kapur, Senior Research & Program Analyst
Avani Kapur has been with the Accountability Initiative (AI) since 2008. At AI, she is the Operations Manager of the PAISA Project and is responsible for managing the projects activities across various stakeholders and across the 7 PAISA states. In addition, she anchors the public finance and budget work at AI. Prior to AI, she worked at the Centre for Development and Human Rights (CDHR), with Dr. Arjun Sengupta. As part of her activities at CDHR, she was responsible for assisting Dr. Sengupta in his reports to the Human Rights Council as the ‘Independent Expert on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights’ and the ‘Right to Development’. Avani has an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and received a BA cum laude from Smith College, Massachusetts, USA.
Anthony Chettri, Programme Coordinator
Anthony Chettri is Programme Coordinator at Accountability Initiative, Centre for Policy Research. He is professionally trained social worker with over 10 years of working experience, starting from the extensive experience of being a field level worker at grassroot level NGO and National NGO to a lecturer in Social Work College in Kathmandu. Prior joining AI he was working with Caritas India in a Managerial Capacity, overlooking the major funding projects with his dynamic team(of varied nature from Strengthening Civil Society to Disaster Risk Reduction to Right Based Approach projects) in four major states of India - Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and West Bengal. Anthony has two Masters degrees in Commerce and Social Work. He has an extensive knowledge of social work values, principles, techniques and practices and their application to complex cases, group work, and community issues.
Amee Misra, Senior Research Analyst
Amee joined AI as a member of the public finance team in December 2013. Prior to this, she was posted as an economist and ODI fellow at the Ministry of Education in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
She holds a BA in Economics from St. Stephen's College (Delhi), an MA Economics from JNU and an MSc. in Development Economics from SOAS, University of London.
Aishwarya Panicker, Research Analyst
Aishwarya joined AI towards the end of April 2012 and is currently handling the State-Business Linkages project, in collaboration with the Center for the Advanced Study of India (University of Pennsylvania). This project aims to demystify political accountability by looking at the network linkages between politicians and businesses & the influence of these links on the political and private sectors. Aishwarya has an MSc in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and a B.A (Hons) in Sociology from Lady Shri Ram College. With a keen interest in political economy, governance systems, development and poverty studies, Aishwarya has previously worked on projects in the following areas: ICT4D in Ghana (CKS Consultancy), on Gender and Poverty (The YP Foundation) and on economic industries development (Social Development Division with CII).
Smriti Iyer, Research Analyst
Smriti joined AI in October 2013. She works with the public finance team. Smriti has a MSc in Economics from TERI University and a BA in Economics from Sri Venkateswara College , Delhi University. Her Masters thesis was about the problem of pollution abatement in the presence of multiple stakeholders in the Ganga Action Plan(GAP) in Kanpur. During the course of her Masters she interned with UNICEF and studied the rollout of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme(ICPS) in Andhra Pradesh. Prior to her Masters she has worked with Grant Thornton India on the mid-term evaluation of JNNURM.
Ekta Joshi, Research Analyst
Ekta joined AI in June 2014. She works with the public finance and quantitative team. After an undergrad training in Physics from Hindu College, Delhi University, she graduated from Madras School of Economics with a MSc in Economics. For her Master’s dissertation, she conducted a panel data analysis of 28 Indian states across a time span of 5 years to analyse the relationship between economic growth and education variables on various levels. She has also interned with the Higher Education division of Planning Commission to carry out a preliminary analysis of a nation-wide survey called "Changing Academic Profession Survey", relating to the changing scenario of Indian academia in present realm of globalization. Also interned with National Federation for Indian Women (NFW) on assessment of the implementation of MGNREGA and NRHM in 2 districts of Maharashtra.
Vikram Srinivas, Research Analyst
Vikram joined Accountability Initiative in August 2014. After a bachelors in electrical engineering from IIT Madras in 2010, he worked with Nvidia as a hardware engineer. He grew interested in public policy and joined Mapunity, Bangalore, where he worked on transportation issues and data visualisation. At AI, he will be working with the public finance team on analysis of district-level data for PAISA districts, as well as assisting in data extraction and visualisation.
T.R.Raghunandan, Former Joint Secretary - Minister of Panchayati Raj
Mr Raghunandan is a public finance expert and an anti-corruption activist. He heads the Ipaidabribe initiative and is an adviser to the PAISA course. He was formerly Joint Secretary – Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India and Secretary-Rural development Karnataka before he took voluntary retirement from the Indian Administrative Service (after 26 years). He is presently a consultant and adviser to international development agencies on local government policy, fiscal decentralization and capacity development in local governance. A law graduate from Delhi University, Mr Raghunandan did his masters in Business Law at the National Law School of India, Bangalore.
Parimala Inamdar, Principal Consultant, Technology and Learning, Aquarians Management Consultancy (P) Ltd
Ms Parimala works on design innovation for technology in human learning, as well as research in pedagogy for technology enabled learning. Her work has spanned children and adult users, has targeted urban professionals as well as emerging/rural markets. She has been involved in a number of projects such India’s 1st interactive multimedia project, video based programs, ‘hole-in-the-wall’ project, web design, web content, curriculum, courseware, learning management system, knowledge management system, virtual classroom. She is most known for the ‘The Hole In The Wall’ project. The Pompidou Center Paris, exhibited her work with French digital artist Pascal Monteil at ‘Design Aujourd’hui’ for 3 months (see Digital Art Project). She also serves on a number of international scientific panels for technology enhanced learning. You can read more about her here
Senior PAISA associates
Ram Ratan, PAISA associate, Rajasthan – Ram Ratan joined Accountability Initiative as PAISA Associate in October 2010. He has completed his M.A. (Sociology) from Rajasthan University, Jaipur. Starting his career with GVNML Jaipur, Ram Ratan has over the years worked with several grassroot NGO’s in the state. His core areas of expertise include; agriculture and animal husbandry development, livelihood development, and elementary education.
Dinesh Kumar, PAISA associate, Bihar –Dinesh has worked with the Bihar Education Project – Vaishali as a VSS and VSC trainer from 2002 to 2005. Subsequently, he worked with Pratham first as a district-coordinator of their Sankalp program for two years and then as Divisional Co-coordinator BEC and Sankalp for 6 months. He joined ASER in 2010 and has been working on the PAISA project. Dinesh has graduated in History from the University Muzaffarpur.
Seema Muskan, PAISA associate, Bihar – A B.A.Honors graduate from J.D.Women’s College, Patna, Seema has been working in ASER since 2005. She joined the PAISA project in 2010.
Venugopal Kalokota, PAISA associate, Andhra Pradesh - A BSc, Bed graduate from Kakatiya University, AP, Venugopal worked with Pratham for five years before joining the AI team in 2010. He is in parallel studying to be a Master of Social Work from Nagarjuna University, AP.
Anil Baber, PAISA associate, Maharasthra – Anil is an M.A, B.Ed from Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Marathwada university, Aurangabad. He earlier worked as a district coordinator in PRATHAM before joining Accountability Initiative as a PAISA associate.
Swapna Ramtake, PAISA associate, Madhya Pradesh – Swapna joined Accountability Initiative in October 2010. She has completed her MSW from Amaravathi University Maharasthra. She started her career with PRATHAM Mumbai in 2003 where she was responsible for setting up and managing community based learning centers for children in 7500 villages.
Vinod Verma, PAISA associate, Himachal Pradesh – Vinod is a PGDRD from IGNOU and a graduate in public administration from Govt. Degree College Sanjauli. Prior to joining Accountability Initiative Vinod had been working as District Coordinator with the Nehru Youth Club.
Aditya Raj, PAISA associate, Bihar - A graduate from B.N.M.U University, Madhepura, Bihar, Mr. Aditya Raj was working with Pratham prior joining AI. He had an experience of working as a volunteer as well as master trainer in PAISA survey. In 2013, he was also associated with ASER as a master trainer for three districts in Bihar.
Prem Chand Kumar, PAISA associate, Bihar - Mr. Prem Chand has completed his Masters of Rural Development Management from Magadh University, Bihar. He had worked as volunteer and master trainer in ASER.
Uday Shankar, PAISA associate, Bihar - Mr. Uday Shankar is a post graduate in Rural Development Management from Magadh University, Bihar. He had worked as master trainer in ASER survey prior to joining AI. He started his work as a field investigator in AGRGAMI INDIA at Mohanpur block of Gaya District.
Atul Shende, PAISA associate, Rajasthan - Mr. Atul Shende is a post graduate in English literature and linguistic from Nagpur University as well as in Elementary Education from TISS, Mumbai. He has the experience of working in various projects (like Multi Grade and Multi Level (MGML), SC and ST Challenges and Achievements for Uday Foundation) as Research investigator, Field researcher, and Fellow in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. Beside this he also has the experience of teaching and organizing social awareness program at community level.
Brijendra Singh, PAISA associate, Rajasthan - After completing his post graduation in sociology from Rajasthan University, Mr. Brijendra has worked as a teacher in private school in Rajasthan. After that he had worked on projects related to social justice for underprivileged children. He also comes with an experience of conducting baseline survey related to the social problem - Child labour.
Tajuddin Khan, PAISA associate, Rajasthan - Mr. Tajuddin was the part of volunteer team for PAISA survey and ASER survey. He is a graduate in commerce from Rajasthan University. He had also worked with Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) on the issue of Gender Sensitization.
Ganesh Tak, PAISA associate, Rajasthan - Mr. Ganesh has a long working experience of more than seven years in different capacities with Pratham, ASER and B-Able. He is a post graduate in Sociology from Jai Narayan Vyas University, Jodhpur.
Indresh Sharma PAISA associate, Himachal Pradesh - Mr. Indresh Sharma holds a degree of graduation and PG Diploma in Computer Applications from Himachal Pradesh University. Since April 2011, he had been associated with Pratham in various positions viz., computer faculty and Centre In-charge (for Vocation Training Programme), MIS/Data in-charge in Pratham State Office – Himachal Pradesh.