Nivedita Narain

Programme Director at PRADAN


Programme Director, PRADAN

Dr. Nivedita Narain works as an Integrator for PRADAN, and Indian-based NGO that works at grassroot level to remove mass poverty and challenge inequalities at multiple levels. She is also Senior Fellow at the Centre for Development Practice in Ambedkar University Delhi.

Nivedita joined PRADAN in 1987, and has held a variety of portfolios over the years. She began work in rural areas of Rajasthan as Executive in PRADAN, based in Kishangarh Bas in Rajasthan, organising the first self-help groups in the country. She has led PRADAN’s Human Resources Development Unit, and Research and Resource Centre. Since 2011 she has led PRADAN’s initiative to institutionalise development practice in the higher education sector, in collaboration with Ambedkar University Delhi. This entails working closely with field and university-based faculty; research and teaching; supervision of student dissertations; supporting graduates as they join the development sector; organising summer and winter courses blended with online webinars, with contributions from experienced practitioners undertaking action research; incubating new organisations; and overall programme development and management. Her current research projects include roles and competencies of social change professionals; unlocking the potential of non-timber forest produce, in particular lac and tasar; and intersecting inequalities in Adivasi communities.

Nivedita’s professional expertise includes rural development, organisation behaviour and human resource development, women’s empowerment, livelihoods development, and group processes. She has undertaken consulting assignments for organisation development. She is a certified trainer in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, training of trainers, and entrepreneurial motivation trainer at NIESBUD (National Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development) and is currently undergoing certification as a group process facilitator.

Nivedita has a PhD in Management Studies from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi; a master’s in Professional Studies in International Development Policy from Cornell University in the USA; a Post-graduate Diploma in Rural Management from the Institute of Rural Management Anand; and a BA (honours) in Mathematics from the Lady Shriram College at Delhi University.

She was an Erasmus Mundus (NAMASTE) Fellow at Gottingen University last year, and has been an INLAKS Scholar while at Cornell University. She is on the boards of non-profits and scholar programmes, and a founder member of the Institute for Group Facilitators.