T. R. Raghunandan is the Founder and Mentor at Avantika Foundation. He was formerly Joint Secretary – Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India and Secretary-Rural Development Karnataka before he took voluntary retirement from the Indian Administrative Service (after 26 years). He is now a public finance expert and an anti-corruption activist. He was also the member convener of the 2002 working group that came up with a series of reform recommendations on decentralisation. He is presently a consultant and adviser to international development agencies on local government policy, fiscal decentralisation and capacity development in local governance. He has been an advisor to the GPOD project since its inception. With his extensive interaction with Panchayats all over the country and especially in Karnataka, he is almost synonymous with the decentralisation agenda.
Swaroop Iyengar is the co-founder and Principal Researcher, Local Government Finances at Avantika Foundation. He is a cross-over professional from the corporate sector to the development sector, with a diverse experience spanning cultures, geographies and sectors. Prior to setting up Avantika Foundation and the Centre for Decentralised Local Governance, Swaroop was a Senior Management Consultant with leading global management consulting firm Arthur D Little. Prior to Arthur D Little, Swaroop was a member of the Corporate Planning team at Infosys. Swaroop contributes in the specific area of local government finances that involves research of fiscal flows across the various levels of government as well as financial management within the framework of local self-governments. He currently leads the Gram Panchayat Finances research initiative at Avantika Foundaton. Swaroop is an Electronics Engineer from the University of Mysore and holds a Masters degree in Software Systems from BITS Pilani and a Masters Degree in Management from the Asian Institute of Management, Manila, Philippines.