Shilpa Pandit is a trained psychologist and a development professional with a PhD in Health in school contexts and more than a decade of research work experience in different domains of social and human development. She bring a unique blend of practice and skills sets and in the last 5 years, has taken leadership and mentoring positions in her work. In summary, her work experience can be captured as:
- Indian Psychology and Teaching: Dr. Pandit is a part of a group of Psychologists, who argue for a non-euro-american framework in teaching and practice of psychology in India. Across the world, due to colonisations, nations, societies and communities have struggled to keep their indigenous knowledge systems intact. A part of Dr. Pandit’s research has been in indigenous or Indian Psychology(IP), where, she has published several peer reviewed papers in the area of yoga/meditation, Rasa –esp bhakti and vatsalya in the Indian psychology of emotions. She has served as a member of UGC committee, in 2016 to revise the Psychology syllabi for UG, PG and PhD courses in India. Research interests in IP include self and identity in Vedanta, Ayurveda and Yoga and their application in modern context, youth and public health, youth and work identity and on a broader level, I am interested in political economy as well as governance in democracy.
- Social Sector and Public Policy – Over the past 9-10 years in specific, Dr. Pandit has been an expert researcher on gender, health, poverty and livelihoods and employability. She has contributed to conversations on social policy. From reviewing and writing the Human Development Report(DHDR) for Kanchipuram, in TN, in 2012-13; she worked as a UNDP Research Officer, at Ministry of Rural Development, GoI, with specific reference to MGNREGA from 2014 to 2016. During this time, she has engaged with multiple stakeholders and visited 10 states, 30 districts and 50 village units (Panchayats). Three recent documents are in public domain are given below.. They are(kindly copy paste the links, if they don’t work by clicking):
- Grassroot and NGO Activism– In parallel to the macro/policy experience, where, Dr. Pandit, has been fortunate to work with associates, collectives and organisations with a wide and interdisciplinary network- social sector organisations such as MSSRF, Hand in Hand, SIAPP, SEWA, multilateral donor agencies such as UNICEF and UNDP, universities such as University of Madras, Rajiv Gandhi National Institute for Youth Development(RGNIYD), IFMR etc. and the State (in the erstwhile Planning Commission of Tamil Nadu as well as Ministry of Rural Development in the centre) Dr. Pandit has also co-founded an NGO –Dreampath Foundation (www.dreampathfoundation.org) focussing on careers and livelihoods for adolescents and youth. Since its inception in 2013, the foundation has reached out to more than 8000 youth and adolescents in and around Bengaluru on career exploration. The foundation has engaged with more than 80 schools and organisations such as Youth for SEWA and Rotary. Three booklets on vocational and higher education opportunities in and around Bengaluru have also been published.
- Monitoring and Evaluation– In social sector, Dr. Pandit’s last role as a Head – Monitoring and Evaluation – Hand in Hand(India), in one of the India’s most credible and large NGO’s, gave her a bird’s eye view on the domains in social sector development, transformational approaches in NGO sector and corporate or private sector funding priorities through the new CSR law. In her charge, a team of nine members needed to routinely write evaluation proposals, work on budgets, and commission third party evaluations for both donor as well as corporate funded projects. Independently, She has also assessed and documented two interventions on malnutrition in rural India(Kerala and Maharashtra) and led a qualitative study on the perceptions about ‘cashless’ India among tiny, small merchants, in a tier II city(Jaipur) in India.
She was most recently selected for the prestigious Chevening Rolls Royce innovation in Science Programme(CRISP) – a fellowship administered by the UK government from April to June 2018. This intensive leadership programme was held at Oxford for a select cohort of 14 innovators and leaders from India and Sri Lanka and were given very high level briefings on innovation, higher education, business, public policy and human development.