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Debabrat Sukla

Knowledge Management and Communication Officer, Knowledge Management and Communication

My role at ICIMOD

In my role as the Knowledge and Management Communication Officer for the River Basins and Cryosphere Regional Programme, I work closely with the regional programme manager and initiative coordinators on communication products that convey programme level achievements, provide strategic knowledge management and communcations inputs that seek to connect all of the initiatives and programme work to a clear narrative about the purpose and impact of the programme. With opportunities to work with a diverse set of partners ranging from policy to academia, I also seek to amplify messaging about our partners’ work, our shared concerns and the cooperative action we can all take to ensure that both upstream and downstream issues are at the forefront of action and policy related to water management across the HKH.

Debabrat Sukla

Q:

How do you protect the pulse of the planet?

A:

I believe that in order to protect the pulse of the planet, all kinds of communities need to be made aware that the HKH is the pulse. We can measure the health of our planet through understanding what is happening in the HKH, because what happens here resonates across the globe. My work contributes to this by raising awareness on the current dynamics around the changing climate and its short and long term impacts on communities. I also believe in investing in process documentation as an essential component to building a successful communication, outreach and influencing strategy.

Q:

What is your favorite part of the work you do at ICIMOD?

A:

I really enjoy the multi-disciplinary nature of my work – one day I may be working on a social media video for our social media handles, while on another day I may be drafting a research proposal that encourages storytelling as a key research methodology approach in our project sites.

The position really allows for me to apply and develop new skillsets from liasoning, to internal and external coordination, to writing articles for journals. Getting to meet colleagues from all walks of life – from rockstar glacier scientists scaling the glaciers of Langtang to economists who have worked with planning commissions in our HKH countries is truly an enriching and humbling experience at the same time.

Q:

What are you passionate about?

A:

Bridging the science and communication sectors in the HKH is what I am truly passionate about and I work hard to achieve this through innovating with data visualizations, story maps, news articles, infographics, and videos.

Q:

My qualifications

A:

Before joining ICIMOD I worked as a research associate at the Centre for Ecology, Development, and Research in Dehradun, India, where I also managed the social media handles and worked on knowledge products. Through the years I have also worked on creating digital content for YouTube and other social media platforms.

At ICIMOD I’ve also worked as a communication consultant for the Himalayan Adaptation, Water and Resilience consortium under the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA) initiative. As a consortium of consortia, this one-of-a-kind initiative provided space for learning and knowledge exchange from across Asia and Africa. I focused my work managing internal and external communications for the initiative, liasoning between researchers in the consortium and the secretariat which was based at ICIMOD. I also was part of the larger Knowledge Management working group that managed and coordinated communication related activities across the CARIAA consortia.

While at ICIMOD, I’ve had opportunities to take part in trainings focusing on understanding partnership nuances and data visualization fundamentals, as well as other workshops where I’ve advocated for efficient science communication, arguing that social media, video production and other new platforms can be the means through which science in the HKH can be spread to wider audiences.

I have a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Development Studies from Ambedkar University, Delhi. During this time I was active in outreach and video production work for the department and served in an internship at the Central Himalayan Rural Action Group, an NGO based in Dehradun in the state of Uttarakhand, India, where I studied the impact of people on protected forests. My thesis focused on quantifying energy use of two villages in the same setting – understanding the linkages between the government’s energy policy and LPG gas cylinders use, and how that fared against community trends and preferences of energy sources (fuelwood, kerosesne, solar panels etc.).

I also hold a Bachelor’s degree from Delhi University in English literature with a minor in micro-economics, formal logic, and environmental history in India.

Articles by Debabrat Sukla