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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 Dongre is a fellow at CPR and senior researcher at Accountability Initiative. Ambrish's research interests are education and health. His most recent work focuses on implementation of government programms to improve learning outcomes in government primary schools, and section 12(1)(C) of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which mandates 25 per cent reservation in private unaided schools for children from economically and socially weaker sections.

Before taking up this work, Ambrish led quantitative research for the Accountability Initiative (AI), overseeing sample and survey design and data analysis. At AI, he led a study of 20 Gram Panchayats in Birbhum, West Bengal to track the flow of funds at the Gram Panchayat level, titled Do GPs get their Money?. He was instrumental in bringing out one of AI’s flagship publications, the PAISA Report, for three consecutive years. He was involved in PAISA District Reports which provide snapshot of fund flows, implementation processes and analysis of bottlenecks at the ground level in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Mid Day Meal (MDM) schemes.

He obtained a PhD in economics from University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) in July 2010, and a Master's in economics from the University of Mumbai. 


Avani Kapur, Senior Researcher : Lead Public Finance

Avani Kapur is a Senior Research and Program Analyst at the Accountability Initiative (AI). At AI, she is responsible for managing the AI's research work, specifically the public finance and budget work. This includes anchoring the publication of annual budget briefs tracking key social sector schemes, undertaking large scale expenditure tracking surveys and leading research studies on financing health, sanitation and education. Between 2010-2013, she was also the Operations Manager of the PAISA Project where she was responsible for managing the projects activities including designing and conducting surveys and data analysis and coordinating across various stakeholders and across the 7 PAISA states.

Further, her interest lies in building evidence for policy advocacy for improving transparency and accountability in public financial management. Prior to AI, she worked at the Centre for Development and Human Rights (CDHR), with Dr. Arjun Sengupta and worked on issues of extreme poverty and the right to development. 

Avani has an Development Studies from the London School of Economics, UK and a BA cum laude from Smith College, Massachusetts, USA. 


Amee Misra, Senior Research Associate

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.


Ekta Joshi, Research Associate

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 Associate

Vikram joined AI 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. 


Vincy Davis, Research Associate

Vincy has been with Accountability Initiative since June 2014. She is currently working on a qualitative research project to understand institutional functioning and its impact on learning outcomes in Bihar. Along with this, she has been involved in conceptualizing, refining procedures and analyzing data gathered from a series of time-use studies being carried out in Bihar’s education sector. Prior to joining AI, Vincy provided research assistance to the Expert Committee on Leveraging Panchayati Raj (2013). She has a Masters degree in Political Science and a BA in Journalism (Hons.) from Delhi University.  Areas of research interest include governance, bureaucracy, gender and education.  


Abhishri Aggarwal, Research Associate

Abhishri has been with Accountability Initiative since August 2015. Abhishri is a part of the Public Finance team and is working on the PAISA project in Chhattisgarh. Prior to this, she was working on grant development, fundraising and communications at the Centre for Social Research in Delhi. Abhishri has a Master in Public Policy degree from the LKY School of Public Policy, Singapore and a B.Sc. in Mathematics from the Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi.

Padmapriya Janakiraman, Senior Research Associate

Padmapriya is a senior research associate with the Accountability Initiative (AI). She manages AI’s research in the areas of Panchayat finance and decentralisation. She also works with the public finance team on budget analysis and fund flow tracking. Prior to AI, she was working with GE Research, Samata and Dr. Reddy Foundation.

She has an MPA(Public Finance, Gender & Food Policy), MBA(Finance), PGD in Environmental Law and PG in Classical Dance


Priyanka Anand Chadha, Learning and Development Officer

Priyanka joined AI as Learning and Development Officer in March 2015, and leads AI's capacity building strategy and design. Specifically, she is responsible for the development and management of the PAISA Course, which is the capacity-building wing of the PAISA project. She has worked extensively on creating networks, platforms and content for knowledge sharing, research and advocacy related activities. She has a MBA from the Indian School of Business, a MSSc in Economics from the National University of Singapore, and a BA (Hons) Economics from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University,


Pritha Ghosh, Program Lead: Strategy and Implementation

 Pritha joined AI in March 2015 as Program Lead: Strategy and Implementation. The core objective of this position is to develop a strategic implementation vision and plan for Accountability Initiative’s work at the state and district level with a view to ensure that Accountability Initiative’s research translates in to a reform agenda on the ground.

 Pritha’s work has been in studying pedagogic processes determining quality in program design especially in education and includes extensive fieldwork across the country with Government, Non-Government and Private stakeholders. She has a BA (Hons) in Psychology from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, and a MA in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences with a specialization in Family and Child Welfare, and has completed courses in Learning Assessment from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (WIDE) and Counselling Psychology from the St. Xavier’s Institute of Education. 


Nilanjan Chaudhuri, Programme Coordinator

Nilanjan joined Accountability Initiative (AI) as Programme Coordinator in May 2015. At AI he is responsible for managing and leading AI’s field level activities related to research, dissemination, advocacy and capacity building. Prior to joining AI, he worked at the Centre for Civil Society and was leading the research for its School Choice Campaign. He also holds an MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of University of London where he was awarded a Felix Scholarship for reading this post graduate course. He completed his undergraduate degree from St Xavier’s College, Calcutta.


 Our advisors

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.

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.

PAISA Associates

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.  

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