The coronavirus pandemic has re-emphasized the need for evidence-backed research in tackling health, economic, and socio-political issues in India, and across the world. Complex challenges arising out of the crisis will require holistic policy solutions, developed in consultation with civil society, academics, and industry. Given the far-reaching consequences of our decisions, and the diversity of stakeholders that need to be brought on board, how can we effectively employ rigorous, empirical research to tackle these challenges? In an increasingly saturated information space, how can we ensure that scientifically cogent and implementable steps are taken during times of crises?

Join us for the fourth Anahita Speaker Series session of 2020, as Shobhini Mukerji, executive director of J-PAL South Asia, draws on her decades-long experience of transforming research into action to help us understand how to best address the need for evidence-backed policy solutions during a global crisis.

To submit a question for the event, please email Participants may also submit their questions through the Q&A box in the Zoom webinar or the comments section on our YouTube livestream.


Shobhini Mukerji

Shobhini Mukerji is the executive director of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)’s South Asia office. J-PAL started as a center at the economics department of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to improve the effectiveness of anti-poverty programs by providing policymakers with clear scientific evidence on what works and not in the fight against global poverty. As the CEO of J-PAL’s largest office, hosted by IFMR, Shobhini’s work involves providing technical, administrative, financial and strategic oversight to the multi-sector research, policy and training engagements across India and the South Asia region. She works closely with donors, policymakers, civil society partners, and research institutions to promote collaborations to increase the use of evidence in decision-making and scale-ups of successful social programs. Shobhini has extensive research and evaluation experience, ranging from designing and managing large scale primary data collection and analysis, to providing advice to organizations and governments on research design, monitoring, and evaluation strategies. Her research includes recently published papers on primary education interventions in India found to be highly impactful and at the stages of being scaled up across several Indian states and in parts of Africa, to reach over 40 million children.


Upasana Sharma

Upasana Sharma is a research assistant at Carnegie India.