Team

Rajendra Prasad is the Project Manager and Lead- Field Operations at Avantika Foundation and has been associated with the GPOD project since its inception. He leads GPOD’s field-related effort and coordinates with stakeholders in the field operations, which primarily includes NGO partners, gram panchayats, government agencies and the community. Rajendra Prasad has a Masters in Rural Development and has over two decades of experience with grass root NGOs like MYRADA, OUTREACH, APMAS & FES. He comes with immense experience and knowledge in the areas of project management, participatory training and facilitation (PTF), participatory rural appraisal (PRA), appreciative inquiry and moderation. In the past, he has handled projects on institution building, integrated rural development, joint forest management & natural resource management. He has also contributed to capacity building projects, focussing on building strong relationships at the grassroots levels and encouraging and enabling people to work to their potential.

Madhavi Rajadhyaksha is Lead- Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy at Avantika Foundation. She works towards conceptualizing and operationalizing the advocacy strategy for CDLG. She is also involved in strengthening methodologies (curriculum, dissemination and training tools etc.) for scale up and advocacy of the research frameworks of CDLG. Madhavi was previously Manager-Advocacy with Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, a Bangalore-based urban governance organisation and has spent over seven years as a development journalist with The Times of India in Mumbai. She holds a Masters degree (Development Studies) from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (2010) and a postgraduate diploma in journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, India (2005).

Sudeep Surendra works as a Senior Project Associate at Avantika Foundation. He supports the field in data collection and analysis, as well as overlooks the Gram Panchayat Management Information System (MIS). Sudeep has previously worked with the National Technical Advisory Group (NTAG) of Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), where he was responsible for monitoring, evaluation and advocacy of critical reforms under the mission. Sudeep holds a Bachelors in Electronics and Communication from Vishveshwarya Technological University, Belgaum.

Uthara Narayanan contributes to the GPOD programme as a Researcher, studying local government finances. She is an Acumen India Fellow 2015. As a social entrepreneur she has conceptualised and is implementing an idea on poverty alleviation through capacity building of the poor in Buzz India. She is a development sector consultant specializing in the areas of social-project management, government policy review, policy deployment assessment, gap analysis in legislations, process improvement and advocacy with all three levels of government. She has been part of projects in Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, CIVIC, UNODC and 14th Finance Commission. She is a Cost and Management Accountant (CMA) and holds a Diploma in Youth in Development, a Commonwealth Youth Programme offered by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in collaboration with Pan Commonwealth office, London. In her spare time she enjoys reading, singing, blogging and travelling.              

Tanvi Bhatikar contributes to the GPOD programme as a Researcher, studying the local government finances. She has been working in the development sector since the past four years as a researcher, focussing on areas of governance, anti-corruption and electoral reforms. She was a part of ipaidabribe.com, an anti-corruption initiative of Bangalore based Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, a not for profit working in the field of urban governance. Following this, Tanvi worked with Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) an organization working in the field of electoral and political reforms. Here, she worked extensively for the Karnataka Assembly Elections in 2012 as part of the National Election Watch (NEW), a nationwide campaign launched by ADR with the aim of conducting clean and fair elections in the country. She is a regular contributor to the ‘India Together’ publication and writes on developmental and political issues. Tanvi has a Masters in Communication Studies from the Department of Communication Studies, University of Pune and a Masters in Political Science from the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).

Gopal Krishna works as the Assistant Manager (Finance and Accounts) at Avantika Foundation. He comes with more than 13 years of experience in the domain of Finance, Financial Planning and Budgeting, Accounts, Audit and Banking. Prior to joining Avantika Foundation, Gopal worked as a Program Coordinator with ‘Dream School Foundation’, a not-for-profit, working in the field of education. Here he was involved with activities like teaching and mentoring students, liasoning with educational institutions as well as programme management.