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Divya Nair (India)

Director II

Passionate about improving the lives of the poorest in India through evidence and innovation – with a particular focus on women and children.

Dr Divya Nair is a Senior Director at IDinsight based in New Delhi. Divya has worked effectively with governments, multilaterals, funders, and NGOs for almost 15 years. At IDinsight, Divya leads teams across sectors to identify key challenges, design and execute high quality analytical services. With an aim to catalyse evidence-based decision making, these services have been responsive and demand-driven, and have included policy advisory, large scale surveys, process evaluations, RCTs, and capacity building.

Divya has led and overseen the growth of learning partnerships with key government and non-government partners. As part of the AMAL project, these teams, of 30 core staff members,  applied a range of behavioural science and analytic tools to support the Indian government to design better policies, evaluate what works, and potentially scale up in some of India’s poorest districts, and covered agriculture, financial inclusion, sanitation, and nutrition. While leading IDinsight’s COVID response team in India, among other collaborations, IDinsight teams executed a series of surveys to track COVID knowledge, attitudes and practices, and coverage of key services and entitlements aimed at rural citizens.

Divya is particularly invested in the topics of health and nutrition and women and girls’ empowerment. She has worked closely with the government and nutrition development partners in India to support the National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyaan) over the last several years. Her teams have conducted three large household surveys to inform POSHAN Abhiyaan’s Social Behavior Change Communication strategy; conducted capacity building workshops to support the use of data in districts and sub-districts; and generated insights from primary data and administrative data to support the mission of POSHAN Abhiyaan.

Divya has led work at IDinsight to implement flexible and innovative evaluations of some of India’s exciting women-focused initiatives such as a grassroots accelerator to support women’s social enterprises with SEWA Bharat and Imago Global Grassroots, and the SWAYAM project with IWWAGE. She is also working closely with state governments to amplify their engagement on a range of issues aimed at women and girls’ empowerment.

Prior to IDinsight, Divya worked with several development organizations including three years at the World Bank in Washington DC. Divya holds a PhD in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School, an MPA from the Princeton University’s Public Policy School, and a bachelor’s degree from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi. Dr Nair is a member of several technical advisory groups, peer reviewer for some leading public health journals, and has also worked in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Kenya.