Vijayendra Rao

Head and Lead Economist
World Bank
Vijayendra Rao, a Lead Economist in the Development Research Group of the World Bank, is the Head of the Social Observatory, or the SO. He integrates his training in economics with theories and methods from anthropology, sociology and political science to study the social, cultural and political context of extreme poverty in developing countries. At the SO, he leads an inter-disciplinary effort to improve the implementation of anti-poverty projects by building their “adaptive capacity”; i.e. the ability of projects to make everyday decisions, and modify project design, on the basis of high-quality descriptive, evaluative and process-oriented information. His research has spanned a wide variety of subjects including the rise in dowries in India, the determinants and consequences of domestic violence, the economics of sex work, public celebrations, community development, and deliberative democracy. He has co-edited Culture and Public Action, and History, Historians and Development Policy, co-authored the 2006 World Development Report on Equity and Development, and co-authored, with Ghazala Mansuri the World Bank’s Policy Research Report on "Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?". Dr. Rao obtained a B.A. in Economics from St. Xavier’s College, Bombay University, a PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, was a Hewlett post-doctoral fellow at the Economics Research Center and an Associate of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies at the University of Chicago, and has been a Mellon Fellow at Population Studies Centers at the University of Michigan and Brown University. He was an Assistant Professor of Economics at Williams College before joining the World Bank’s Research Department in 1999. He serves on the editorial boards of Economic Development and Cultural Change, Journal of Development Studies, The World Bank Economic Review, and World Development. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Successful Societies Program at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

OTHER TEAM MEMBERS

OUR IMPLEMENTATION PARTNERS

Arvind Chaudhary
Secretary Rural Development, Bihar and Chief Executive Officer, JEEViKA
Government of Bihar
Kevin Crockford
Senior Rural Development Specialist
World Bank
Samik Sundar Das
Senior Rural Development Specialist
World Bank
Sitaramachandra Machiraju
Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist
World Bank
Babita Mahapatra
Deputy Chief Executive Officer, TRIPTI
Government of Odisha
Ajit Ranjan
State Project Manager Monitoring and Evaulation, JEEViKA
Government of Bihar
Parmesh Shah
Lead Rural Development Specialist
World Bank
R. V. Shajeevana
Former Additional Project Director, PVP
Government of Tamil Nadu
Shobha Shetty
Practice Manager South Asia
World Bank
D. V. Swamy
Former Chief Executive Officer, TRIPTI
Government of Odisha
Archana Tiwari
State Project Manager Social Development, JEEViKA
Government of Bihar
Vinay Vutukuru
Senior Rural Development Specialist
World Bank
Makiko Watanabe
Senior Social Development Specialist
World Bank

OUR RESEARCH PARTNERS

Kripa Ananthpur
Associate Professor of Development Studies
Madras Institute of Development Studies
Paul Christian
Economist, DECIE
World Bank
Karla Hoff
Lead Economist
World Bank
Vivian Hoffman
Research Fellow
International Food Policy Research Institute
Shareen Joshi
Asst. Prof. of International Development
Georgetown University
Eeshani Kandpal
Economist
World Bank
Madhulika Khanna
Ph.D. candidate, Economics
Georgetown University
Nishtha Kochhar
Ph.D. candidate, Economics
Georgetown University
Ashutosh Kumar
Research Assistant
University of Arizona
Ghazala Mansuri
Lead Economist
World Bank
Ramya Parthasarathy
Ph.D. candidate, Political Science
Stanford University
Tauhidur Rahman
Associate Professor of Development Economics
University of Arizona
Paromita Sanyal
Associate Professor of Sociology
Florida State University
Slesh A. Shreshtha
Assistant Professor of Economics
National University of Singapore
Vaishnavi Surendra
Research Assistant
University of California, Berkeley
Cassandra Xia
Data Visualizer
MIT Media Lab