I am a Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley
School of Information.
My dissertation commitee: AnnaLee Saxenian(co-chair),
Evans(co-chair), Paul Duguid(mentor),
My CV is here.
I am interested in information and communication technologies for
development(ICTD). My research include both experimental attempts
introduce information and communication technologies for social change
as well as critically
examining claims that are often made on the transformative use of
technology. My work so far has been in ICT use in agriculture and
transparency in governance.
My dissertation research based on 12 months of participant observation,
interviews and surveys, examines a bold "open government" experiment of
a South Indian State (Andhra Pradesh) to eliminate corruption at the
local "last-mile". I study the National Rural
Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGA), which aims to support India's
poorest citizens by guaranteeing a minimum level of employment for
rural families. The state has a project of technology-enabled
surveillance of the day-to-day practices of the lower bureaucracy and
an active project of approaching the workers of NREGA, by conducting
audits (“social audits”) to improve the quality of the government
Prior to my doctoral work, I was an associate researcher at the Technology for
Emerging Markets group at Microsoft
Research, India, where my work focused on building appropriate
technologies for agriculture. My past research work has led to a
creation of a NGO, Digital Green.
In my past, I have worked as a software developer at Microsoft in the US for about six
have volunteered for the non-profit Association for India's Development
in the US for a decade. I have a Master's degree in Computer Science
from Clemson University,
in Economics from Cleveland
State University, and Bachelor's degrees in Economics and
Management from Birla Institute
of Technology & Science, Pilani, India.
My past research has explored three themes: how technology is deployed
to address agricultural development, how information and technology
shape social and political institutions to foster collective action,
and the contributions of technology in fostering participatory and
democratic governance. I have explored these themes primarily
through participant observation, primarily in India, as well as by
designing new technologies for development.
I am currently a research partner in a Stanford based "Transparency for
Development" project, that is working through activists, NGOs and the
State to provide citizens living in rural India with "relevant"
information about changing government practices and public records to
foster local public action. We are experimenting with using
mobile phones and use a combination of SMS, IVR(interactive voice
response) to communicate.
Our research strategy combines randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with
qualitative methods to understand the effects on corruption. The work
is partly in my dissertation field site, so I am able to lend support
to the research and the institutional agendas of the project.