Dr Basundhara Bhattarai



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.
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Dr Jagadish Timsina


Director of Agricultural Research and Development

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.
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Dr Hemant R. Ojha


Senior Policy 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.
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Scientific Reference Group


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.
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Professor Anthony Zwi

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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


Panel Member, Gender and Environmental Governance - High Level Scientific Reference Group

Prof Nightingale  is the Chair of Rural Development in the Global South at SLU in Uppsala, Sweden. 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.
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Prof Jeff Camkin


Senior Fellow - Water Policy and Management

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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.

Dr Jagannath Adhikari


Senior Research Fellow - Migration, Livelihoods and Agrarian Change

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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 - Migration, 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.
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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.
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Dr Jay Dhungel


Senior Research Fellow

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.
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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).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Country Representatives


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.
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Nepal Representative, Dr Mani R Banjade


Environmental Governance and Social Entrepreneurship

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.
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