Dr Basundhara Bhattarai


Director, and Gender and Environment Specialist

Dr Basundhara Bhattarai is the Director of Institute for Study and Development Worldwide (IFSD), based in Sydney, Australia. She has extensive experience in research, policy and development practice in Australia and the Himalaya region.
View Profile

Dr Jagadish Timsina


Senior Agricultural Sciences Advisor

Dr Timsina is a globally respected agricultural scientist specialising on agronomy, soil management and agroecosystems sustainability. He has a wide range of experiences in Australia and a number of countries in Asia.
View Profile

Dr Hemant R. Ojha


Principal Advisor

Through the past 20 years of research, development practice, and innovation, Dr Ojha has championed deliberative governance, equitable development, decentralised natural resources management, and community empowerment. He is internationally known for his contributions to the theory and practice of community forestry, critical action research, and socially engaged scholarship.
View Profile

Prof Rodney J Keenan


Co-Chair, Ecological Sciences - IFSD High Level Scientific Reference Group

Prof Rod Keenan has a global reputation on ecosystem sciences, forest management and resilience. He has a B. Sc. (Forestry) from the Australian National University and a PhD in forest ecology from University of British Columbia.
View Profile

Professor Anthony Zwi

View Profile

Co-Chair, Social Sciences - IFSD High Level Scientific Reference Group

Anthony Zwi was the first Head of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at The University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney and is now Professor of Global Health and Development in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UNSW. He seeks to enhance the use of different forms of evidence in health and development policies and to build links between humanitarian relief, development agencies and academic institutions.

Professor Andrea Nightingale


Co-Chair, Gender and Environmental Governance - High Level Scientific Reference Group

Prof Nightingale  is Professor of Sociology and Human Geography at University of Oslo, Norway. Her academic interests include socio-natures, feminist theory, critical development studies, and methodological work on mixing methods across the social and natural sciences. She has worked extensively on understanding how intersectional social relations, including gender, race, caste, class and other axes of social difference (known collectively as intersectional subjectivities) are foundational to which management priorities are considered in and who is expected to do what kinds of work to achieve environmental governance and sustainability goals, as well as the possibilities for the reconfiguration of gender and other social inequalities through everyday governance practices.
View Profile

Professor Timothy J. Finan


Senior Advisor - International Development and North American Partnerships

Prof Finan has a global reputation in anthropology of development practice. He has extensive experience of providing expert analysis to USAID programs  across Asia, Africa and the Latin America. He blends anthropological theory with development practice to solve problems of development in the Global South. His scholarly research in practice based theorising has influenced development planning and policy in the Global South. He has published widely on such and such topics which inform development policy and practice. He is the founder of a Masters program on Development Practice at the University of Arizona, where he has been on the faculty since 1981, when he joined the then Bureau of Ethnic Studies (BER) as a research associate.  He has maintained an active research program in Brazil over the last 20 years, and has worked as a development anthropologist in 34 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. To visit his University of Arizona profile link, click here.
View Profile

Prof Jeff Camkin


Senior Fellow - Water Policy and Management

View Profile
Jeff Camkin is an international water consultant and Adjunct Professor at both the University of Western Australia’s Institute of Agriculture and the International Water Centre, Griffith University, Australia. With qualifications in Applied Science and Natural Resources Law, Prof Camkin has had many different roles in rural and urban water, irrigation and fisheries education, research, management, policy and governance over 25 years. Throughout his career in public policy, research, education and consulting, Jeff has observed water management in numerous countries in South, Central and North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, The Pacific and Australia to identify opportunities to improve water governance and management. Recently he turned his attention to developing new Master and technical courses in water governance and management, and has delivered courses for participants from over 60 countries. In 2012 Prof Camkin established New Water Policy and Practice Journal as a platform for the world’s emerging water leaders and thinkers. The journal is now published by Wiley-Blackwell as World Water Policy, and he remains co-Editor-in-Chief.

Prof Ben Muok


Senior Advisor - Climate Change and Biodiversity, and East Africa Partnerships

View Profile
Prof Ben Muok has worked for over 20 years in research and management of natural resources focusing on renewable energy, energy access and policy in Africa, science technology innovation, environmental conservation, sustainable development, forestry, climate change adaptation and mitigation, energy access and food security. He holds a Post-doc in Bioenergy and Climate Change from University of Edinburgh, UK; PhD from Kyoto Prefectural University, Japan (Agriculture). He is a member of the East African Community (EAC) Bioenergy Advisory Group, the advisory body for the East African Community Secretariat on bioenergy policy issues. He was involved in the development of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Bioenergy Strategy for Western Africa. He serves as a board member and vice president of the Stockholm-based World Bioenergy Association (BWA), an umbrella organization for world bioenergy policy issues and also a board member of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO Green. He has consulted for the Africa Union on Sustainable Charcoal Framework for Africa, which was adopted by the Africa Head of States in July 2013. He is currently the Director of Centre for Research, Innovation and Technology (CRIT), Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology. To find more about his work, please click here. 

Dr Samsul Huda


Senior Fellow - Climate Change and Agro-Ecological Resilience, and India Partnership

View Profile
Dr Samsul Huda is an agroclimatologist and Associate Professor in the School of Science and Health, Western Sydney University. He has developed and applied a framework to address climate variability towards maximising opportunities and minimising crop production risk in a number of countries. His model of innovation involves  engaging directly with stakeholders, policy makers, government agencies, farmers and agribusiness. For the past five years, he has been working on wheat-based systems across different states of Australia where Qatar has invested US $ 500 million for their food security; and on fresh vegetables (cucumber, squash, and tomatoes) in both open field and greenhouse conditions in Qatar. Recently, he has recently funding support of US$ 2 million from highly competitive international source, Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), for two food security related projects (increasing food production and minimising food wastes). Moreover, he has extensive research experience in farming systems of India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and China. He has also received a research grant from Australia-India Council to address livelihood improvement through climate-smart agriculture in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, India building on a research project awarded by highly competitive Australian Government Endeavour Program. To know more about Dr Huda, please click the link. 

Dr Jagannath Adhikari


Senior Fellow - Migration, Livelihoods, and Agrarian Change

View Profile
Dr Jagannath Adhikari is an international expert on agrarian change, migration and development. He was recently a Visiting Fellow at The Australian National University. He did his PhD in 1995 from Australian National University and M.Sc. on Rural Development in 1987 from Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. He has worked and taught in Nepal, Heidelberg University (Germany), Kyoto University (Japan) and Australian National University (Australia). He has advised many Nepali and foreign students doing research on Nepal and has a long experience in the field of agriculture and food security. He led a well known policy research institute in Nepal. He has published over 50 articles, books and research reports. He has also published media pieces including on The Conversation.

Dr Ramesh Sunam


Senior Research Fellow - Social Inclusion, Livelihoods, and Agrarian Change

Dr Ramesh Sunam is currently an International Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) at The United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), Tokyo. Dr Sunam earned a PhD from The Australian National University (ANU) in 2015. His research focuses on international migration (both regular and irregular), poverty, rural transformation, food security, and human dimensions of environmental change. Sunam has extensively published in leading international journals, including Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Journal of Peasant Studies, Anthropological Forum, and Society and Natural Resources. He has carried out various assignments with international agencies including the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
View Profile

Dr Uttam B Shrestha


Senior Research Fellow (honorary) - Himalayan Ecology and Climate Change

Dr Shrestha is a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow at the Institute for Agriculture and the Environment, University of Southern Queensland, Australia. He has completed PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts Boston, USA and has two masters’ degrees, one in Geographic Information Technology from Northeastern University, USA and the other in Botany from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Dr. Shrestha worked at Harvard University, University of Massachusetts Boston, University of Maine, and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), USA and Technical University of Munich, Germany.
View Profile

Dr Jay Dhungel


Senior Research Fellow - Agriculture and Water Management

Dr Dhungel conducted PhD is in subsurface drip irrigation, which addressed aeration in crops with different rooting systems and soil types. This project investigated the effect of air injection (aeration) in crop physiology, water use efficiency, yield quantity and quality. He is also trained in systems thinking in agriculture and rural development through his Master of Applied Science degree from Western Sydney University. He has also obtained Bachelor of Agriculture from the prestigious Rampur Campus of Tribhuvan University, Nepal.
View Profile

Dr Mom Bishwakarma


Research Fellow - Social Justice and Development

Dr Mom Bishwakarma is currently a Lecturer at the University of Tasmania, Sydney Campus and Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP), Australia. Dr Bishwakarma received a PhD from School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Sydney (Usyd) in 2018. His PhD research focused on political transformation and social justice. He undertakes cross-disciplinary research into social and political change, social policy, social inequality, social justice and development. Dr Bishwakarma has recently published a book entitled “Political Transformation in Nepal: Dalit Inequality and Justice” from Routledge, UK. He has published several peer-reviewed articles in international journals. He has extensive expertise in international development: he has worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNICEF, Settlement Services International (SSI), and other development agencies in Australia and internationally. He has also delivered various research assignments for the University of Sydney, UNICEF, and International Labour Organisation (ILO).
View Profile

Dr Prativa Sapkota


Research Fellow - Climate Change Adaptation and Social-Ecological Resilience

Dr Prativa Sapkota holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia. In her PhD research, she used interdisciplinary approach to examine community institutions, social marginalization and adaptive capacity in community forestry user group in the middle hills of Nepal. She completed her M.Sc. in Environmental Forestry from Bangor University, Wales, M.Sc. in Agricultural Development from University of Copenhagen and B.Sc. in Forestry from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. She has worked in the multiple settings of university, NGO and INGO. Her work experience includes teaching, conducting research, developing and implementing programs in thematic areas of natural resource management, GESI and climate change adaptation. Her recent research works include climate adaptation, social vulnerability and resilience.
View Profile

Dr Sakuntala Devkota


Research Fellow - Agricultural Economics

Dr Sakuntala Devkota obtained PhD degree in Agricultural Economics from Kyungpook National University, South Korea in 2009. In her PhD research, she applied autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model to forecast export and import of agricultural products (Tea, Coffee & Ginger) in Nepal.  She completed her master’s degree in economics from Central Department of Economics, Tribhuvan University, Nepal in 2001. She also has significant teaching experience in colleges in Nepal from 2001~2005 before starting her journey of PhD in South Korea. Dr Devkota has published two peer reviewed journal papers and have co-authored two textbooks for college level students of Nepal. Her areas of research interest are international trade of agricultural products, international trade of high value food commodity and food value chain analysis.
View Profile

Dr Chirangivi Bista


Research Fellow - Education and Development

Dr Bista has expertise in Business and Socio-Economics Research and Analysis. He has made significant scholarly and professional contributions in the area of poverty reduction, migration, health, and small and micro enterprise sectors in Nepal, Vanuatu, and Australia. He is highly experienced in preparing projects proposal, costing and budgeting, and formulating and implementing risk management plans. He has stat of the art skills in training, organizing and facilitating the team works, as well as ensuring the coordination with multi-level stakeholders in education and development sector. He has undertaken in-depth research of tertiary education in Nepal and Australia and possesses skills in teaching and developing Curriculum Packages under the Business and Management disciplines.
View Profile

Regional Advisors


Dr Binod Chapagain


Honorary South East Asia Advisor

Dr Chapagain brings over 15 years of international development experiences, particularly on gender, migration, capacity development and community forestry processes. He has worked for various development programs funded by bi-lateral missions, including DFID, DFAT, NORAD, SDC, SIDA & USAID in South and Southeast Asia, and with international NGOs in the same region. Since early 2015, based in Bangkok, he has been working in the Southeast Asia region, earlier for the Center for People and Forests (also called RECOFTC) and currently for USAID funded Green Invest Asia Program. The USAID program collaborates with medium and large size businesses in the Southeast Asia to catalyze private finance for sustainable agriculture and forest. He has completed PhD on gender and migration from the Australian National University, Canberra.
View Profile

Dr Mani R Banjade


Nepal Program Advisor

Dr M R Banjade is a social entrepreneur, researcher and academics. He was the executive coordinator of ForestAction Nepal. He recently served as a senior researcher at Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) which is based in Bogor, Indonesia.
View Profile

Management Support Team


Anusha Ojha


Content Editor and Communication Assistant

Anusha is a Business student studying at UNSW and has a knack for writing in a compelling and engaging way. She has experience in writing quality website content for small businesses in Sydney. Anusha is responsible for editing content and managing the content schedule of IFSD. Her key areas of expertise include undertaking extensive research on a wide range of topics, writing summary reports, editing and proofreading, designing creative posters and organising virtual team coordination.


Anusha is also passionate about social change, especially gender equality and climate change. In the future, she aspires to be someone who is able to use her knowledge and skills to make a meaningful social impact on the world. She lives by the motto, “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”

View Profile