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SANDEE

Stories from the SANDEE network

Our researchers and alumni talk about their personal journey with SANDEE and their association with the network.

Researchers in focus

 

bishal bharadwaj

Bishal Bharadwaj

Undersecretary, Nepal Administrative Service, Government of Nepal
PhD Candidate, Queensland University, Australia

“Prior to joining SANDEE, I always thought that the solution to a problem was to get rid of its source. SANDEE changed my thinking process.”

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.

SANDEE-funded research title:

  1. Why the plastic bag ban decision works in one municipality and does not in another (2013)
  2. What makes Nepal’s renewable energy subsidy effective? (2019–2021)

Hasneen Jahan

Hasneen Jahan

Professor of Agricultural Economics, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Bangladesh

“The selection process for proposals is itself a rigorous one and a great way of learning.”

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

Muditha Karunarathna

Muditha Karunarathna

Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

“SANDEE was influential in changing my research direction towards environmental economics. SANDEE helped me introduce undergraduate and postgraduate courses on environmental economics at my university.”

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

Rinzin Dema

Rinzin Dema

Associate Lecturer in Economics, Sherubtse College, Royal University of Bhutan, Bhutan

“SANDEE Summer School brings together researchers from South Asia, and sharing works and seeking support from the cohort greatly helped my research.”

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)

Muhammad Rafiq

Muhammad Rafiq

Associate Professor of Economics, Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar, Pakistan

“SANDEE has been a turning point in my life, and it has opened up new chapters and several new avenues.”

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:

  1. The value of life: Evidence from labor markets in Pakistan (2008)
  2. The welfare impact of fish contamination on the community lives in District Swat, Pakistan (2018, as a co-investigator)

Shivani Wadehra

Shivani Wadehra

Visiting Assistant Professor, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi, India

“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.”

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