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Our researchers and alumni talk about their personal journey with SANDEE and their association with the network.
Project Officer, Faculty of Agriculture
University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
My journey with SANDEE started in 2021 as a new researcher and I became a SANDEE grantee in May 2022, which I consider as one of the most prestigious accomplishments in my career as a young researcher. My experience with SANDEE is both rewarding and satisfying. SANDEE provides an opportunity, especially for early-career researchers like me, for laying a solid foundation for my research career. The rigorous review process that has been taken during the proposal selection and the continuous interaction with mentors, experts, and peers during the R&T sessions helped me gain confidence as a researcher and motivated me to develop further.
SANDEE-funded research title
Do buy-back contracts worsen nitrogen and organophosphate pollution in mountain-area agriculture? A study of moral-hazard-based impacts of vegetable buy-back contracts in upland Sri Lanka
Indian Institute of Technology Indore, India
My association with SANDEE started in 2011, when I began my MSc research as part of a SANDEE-funded project. Over the years, this association has only grown stronger. Now, in 2022, I am doing my first-ever research project with SANDEE.
As an early career researcher, SANDEE’s consistent guidance and support has helped me enhance my research skills. The various stages followed while shortlisting and selecting a grant are also quite informative in making our research proposal successful. All-the-way assistance such as technical advice through R&T workshops, financial management, etc. help us learn many aspects of effective project handling. The network we develop through SANDEE is immensely useful in our research career.
Estimating economic losses and damages of NTFPs caused by forest fire in the Hoshangabad Forest Division, Madhya Pradesh, India
Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Islamabad, Pakistan
In 2020, I joined the SANDEE family as a grantee. SANDEE inspired me to research climate-related issues, with a particular focus on economic policy. SANDEE not only provides a platform to build research capabilities but also enables interaction with experts from around the world to expand our professional network and present research.
I recently joined Duke University as a postdoctoral fellow to work with Prof. Jeffrey R. Vincent, my SANDEE advisor. The study supported by SANDEE has far-reaching implications for a country like Pakistan, which faces significant climate threats. Institutions like SANDEE will be essential to advance the global climate change agenda with a regional focus.
Tenurial contracts, women participation and reforestation in KP, Pakistan
Assistant Professor, Forestry and Natural Resources
Faculty of Agriculture, Bamyan University, Afghanistan
SANDEE invited me as a participant on 21 June 2021 for R&T workshops. Later, I also participated in an online R&T workshop. In February 2022, I became a member of a SANDEE research group. I have previously conducted research with Seoul National University, South Korea, and Agricultural Bangalore University, India. My advisor and resource person have helped me achieve my research project goals.
Polluting fuel for cooking, drinking water quality, and the risks of morbidity and mortality in infants and children
Central Department of Economics, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
SANDEE became a source of inspiration and a resource centre for me after I attended microeconomics and econometrics courses followed by an environmental economics course at a SANDEE summer school. My thinking processes concerning economics teaching and research has greatly evolved after my association with this network.
Do conservation areas matter?
Senior Research Associate, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
I became a SANDEE grantee in August 2022 after we first learned about SANDEE through its research capacity-building workshops in Myanmar. As a SANDEE fellow, evidence produced by our research will inform gender mainstreaming efforts in clean energy-based electrification.
Emerging researchers like us have greatly benefitted from SANDEE’s capacity-building opportunities, including R&T workshops, strong mentorship, and extensive networking. Because of this support, my team was able to improve and build confidence along various phases of the study, starting from proposal writing and methodological development to analysis. What inspires me the most is the R&T workshops, which not only provide mentorships for guarantees but also provide a rigorous, academic review process for the work of each researcher. This allows us to identify room for further improvement along the various stages of the research process.
Women’s bargaining power and energy consumption in Myanmar’s Dry Zone
Hindu College, University of Delhi
My association with SANDEE began in 2009 at the Summer School in AIT, Thailand. The SANDEE network has helped me grow as a researcher ever since. The advisors and resource persons have helped shape my passion in the field of environmental valuation towards more concrete actionable ideas. I presented my previous research project at various international conferences. These experiences have given me the opportunity to learn from my peers, explore new areas of research, and ideate more on North–South collaboration.
SANDEE-funded research title:
Lecturer, Department of Environment and Climate Studies
College of Natural Resources, Royal University of Bhutan
I became a SANDEE grantee in June 2021, which I consider as one of my biggest achievements in my career. My experience with the SANDEE network so far has been wonderful. The network has not only helped enhance my research knowledge but also provided a platform to develop linkages and network with the SANDEE community.
I had known beforehand that SANDEE community provides mentorship and feedback on research, but I was pleasantly surprised to receive much more guidance and support than what I had expected. I particularly appreciate the constructive feedback I receive from my advisors on my research topics and the learning environment within the SANDEE community. I have also gained knowledge on how to provide feedback. Although I am a beginner in the field of research, with every interaction with the SANDEE community, I am gaining confidence.
SANDEE-funded research title: Environment and socio-economic impacts of non-wood forest product utilization in Punakha-Wangdue-Tsirang Watershed
Professor, Faculty of Agriculture
University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
I became a SANDEE grantee in the 2018/2019 cycle under the mentorship of Prof. J Vincent. In 2019, I successfully completed my project, which fills an important knowledge gap on sea cucumber diving in Sri Lanka, marking a original contribution to empirical modelling of fisher behaviour in the Sri Lankan context. My experience with SANDEE has been both rewarding and joyful. My SANDEE advisor has always been prompt in responding to queries and suggesting the way forward.
Most importantly, SANDEE provides a mechanism of bringing together researchers − both young and experienced − into a forum of lively discussions. I look forward to further involvement with SANDEE and wish SANDEE/ICIMOD many years of successful research facilitation in South Asia.
SANDEE-funded research title: Management of the sea cucumber fisheries in Sri Lanka
Assistant Professor Economics
Institute of Business Administration Karachi, Pakistan
Topics related to development and human capital have always been close to my heart. My association with SANDEE started in 2019 when I attended the summer school at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand. My research was inspired by Sir Partha Dasgupta’s lectures on consumption, environmental, and reproductive externalities, and welfare measurements at the SANDEE Summer School. I appreciate that my SANDEE-approved project has come as a whole package, including funding, training, mentorship, and opportunities for frequent interactions with experts and researchers in environmental economics.
As my journey with SANDEE continues, I participate as an attendee, presenter, and discussant in the RnT workshops. It motivates me to constantly improve my research, learn about recent developments in environmental economics, and interact with colleagues. I have found some brilliant colleagues through this platform.
SANDEE-funded research title: Climate variability and child schooling in rural Pakistan
Professor, Department of Agroforestry and Environment
Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University, Bangladesh
Though I am an agroforester, I am greatly fascinated by the tropical hill forests and tribal communities of Bangladesh. SANDEE’s call for research proposals on forest restoration gave me the opportunity to explore my interest and revisit the hilly area of Bangladesh as a research investigator.
SANDEE’s initial review process is an excellent opportunity to write a good quality research proposal. I have learned from SANDEE reviewers that a good storyline is crucial to prepare an outstanding research proposal. The one-to-one meetings with SANDEE-nominated mentors have helped me polish my proposal writing skills. I have broadened my research scope and methodologies through SANDEE-organized workshops and training sessions. SANDEE R&T workshops allowed me to network with other South Asian researchers, especially environmental economists from Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Even during the COVID-19 lockdowns, SANDEE mentors and advisors guided me online about remote data collection techniques and effectively utilizing home-confined times to our advantage.
SANDEE-funded research title: Restoration of forest through village common forest (VCF) management with and without NGO intervention: Evidence from Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh
Associate Professor – Forestry
School of Forestry and Natural Resource Management
Institute of Forestry, Kathmandu, Nepal
I started my journey with SANDEE in December 2019, and this became a stepping stone and turning point in my life, which opened new avenues in forest resource economics. The grant provided me the opportunity to network with expert professionals from around the world and build on my theoretical foundation of forest-based restoration.
I am sure that my journey with SANDEE will gradually expand my research horizons, build my knowledge, and widen my perspective. The journey has just begun.
SANDEE-funded research title: Economic efficiency of forest restoration programme in Nepal: A case study of leasehold forests
Associate Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Yezin Agricultural University, Myanmar
I have been associated with SANDEE since I received the 2020 winter grant. I learned the importance of realistic and accurate problem identification for the direction and conceptualization of the research, from the technical review of a selection process to the advice and discussion of mentors and experts in R&T workshops. SANDEE shows us how better solutions can be devised through correct identification of the problem.
My experience with the SANDEE community has made me realize the significance of balancing theoretical knowledge and real-life applications. SANDEE helps me refine my research and build confidence in my concerned subject matter. I hope to become a better environmental economist with guidance from my SANDEE advisor.
SANDEE-funded research title: Floating agriculture community willingness to accept compensation for lake water conservation in Inlay Ramsar
Research Assistant Professor
National School of Development, Peking University
My association with SANDEE started from summer 2019, from discussions with Dr. Priya Shyamsundar and Dr. Xiaoquan Zhang at TNC. Our project is the first forest carbon sink project in China and is also the first reforestation project certified by the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCB) in China.
SANDEE has provided me funding opportunities and academic network support for my research. In the past year, I have attended a number of the SANDEE RnT workshops. SANDEE has greatly contributed to developing my research capacity and has connected me with many scholars from South Asia and other parts of the world.
SANDEE-funded research title: Assessing long-term carbon and livelihood impacts of reforestation in the mountain region of Yunnan, China
Undersecretary, Nepal Administrative Service, Government of Nepal
PhD Candidate, Queensland University, Australia
Before joining SANDEE, environmental economics was new to me. Being an environmentalist, I didn’t have any clue about coming up with convincing solutions to environmental problems. For me, the solution to a problem was to get rid of its source.
SANDEE Summer School changed my thinking process. I learned that a better solution should address shortcoming in existing policies. To do so, the evaluation of existing policies is critical. My view of an environmental issue, then and now, is vastly different.
SANDEE has set a solid culture of research for many of us. My SANDEE supervisor (Prof. Subhrendu Pattanayak, Duke University) has been like a friend and despite the painful research work, SANDEE as a family has always been comforting.
Professor of Agricultural Economics, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Bangladesh
I attended SANDEE’s “Introduction to environmental and resource economics” course back in 2005 in India. At that time, environmental and resource economics was a relatively new research arena for me. I met many renowned scholars from around the world and was truly inspired by them. During my PhD, Karl-Göran Mäler, one of the SANDEE founders, visited our university and inspired me to work with SANDEE. I submitted my research proposal to SANDEE on groundwater dynamics and crop choices for sustainable irrigation water management in Bangladesh. The selection process for proposals is itself a rigorous one and a great way of learning. The reviewers’ comments and advice from a panel of experts enriched my way of thinking towards developing a research project. During the last two years, under the close supervision of Céline Nauges and with scholarly guidance from other advisors, I have been able to successfully conduct my research. I am grateful to SANDEE for its continuous support in conducting my research, which brings out some important policy issues for Bangladesh’s agriculture sector.
SANDEE-funded research title: Groundwater dynamics and crop choices for sustainable irrigation water management in the northwest region of Bangladesh
Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
SANDEE has greatly contributed to developing my research capacity as well as academic credentials. The experience I gained through various SANDEE-organized workshops and training sessions was influential in changing my research direction towards environmental economics. I also got the chance to connect with many scholars from South Asia while participating in these events.
SANDEE helped me introduce several environmental economics courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the University of Peradeniya. I am happy that these courses have become very popular among the students.
SANDEE-funded research title: External costs of road traffic congestion in Sri Lanka
Associate Lecturer in Economics, Sherubtse College, Royal University of Bhutan, Bhutan
My journey with SANDEE began in May 2019 when I was selected to participate in SANDEE Summer School at the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. I became a SANDEE grantee in September 2019. SANDEE has a great mechanism for researchers to carry out their projects under the guidance of research advisors. My supervisor has always been prompt in responding to our queries and suggesting the way forward. Learning about techniques on environmental valuations has been my biggest takeaway from the SANDEE courses. Most importantly, SANDEE Summer School has been bringing together researchers from South Asia to connect and collaborate on research and academics. Sharing works and seeking support from the cohort has greatly helped my research.
SANDEE-funded research title: Environmental impact of energy access: A case of firewood, biogas, electricity, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
Associate Professor of Economics, Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar, Pakistan
My SANDEE yatra started in 2004 when I was selected for its Summer School in Colombo. This was a turning point in my life, and it opened up new chapters and several new avenues. Prior to my experience in SANDEE, I had a microscopic view of the field of economics. This is partly because of my humble background and educational achievements and partly because of how vast this area is. But gradually, I built on my understanding on the subject and I not only won a grant in 2008 but also started teaching econometrics and environmental and resource economics at my institute. Since then, I have also had the opportunity to work for the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, UNDP, USAID, and World Bank on different assignments. I owe much of my achievements to SANDEE.
SANDEE-funded research title:
Visiting Assistant Professor, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi, India
I have been associated with SANDEE since 2016 when I attended SANDEE Summer School held in Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok. I was really intrigued by the projects sponsored by SANDEE given their focus on the environment and because of the network’s commitment to ensuring that research has impact on policy making. Since March 2019, I have been a part of the SANDEE family as a grantee. The advisors are always willing to engage with grantees on their research and also encourage grantees to engage with each other, providing a holistic experience. SANDEE not only provides technical expertise but also improve researchers’ skills through workshops.
SANDEE-funded research title: Ascertaining the costs for collection and recycling of PET bottles between formal and informal sectors and creating appropriate incentives to increase it