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Queens Anniversary Prizes 2015

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Ravinder Kumar

Senior Research Fellow - Monitoring, Evaluation and Impact Specialist
BSc, MBA
Livelihoods and Institution Department
Natural Resources Institute

Responsibilities within the University

  • Strengthen M&E system: Support in improving monitoring and evaluation of NRI assignments in research and implementation
  • M&E Practice: Contribute to grow NRI business in research, monitoring and evaluation
  • Knowledge sharing: Develop knowledge products in research and M&E and share within the university and with outside collaborators and interested stakeholders

The areas of work for R Kumar is sustainable agriculture, agriculture value chains, private sector led business models, climate adaptation and mitigation, rural livelihoods and natural resource management.

Biography

R Kumar is an experienced researcher and evaluator in Agriculture, Value Chains and Livelihoods. He is also a facilitator in building and implementing monitoring and evaluation /management information systems. He has also worked as an implementer in Rural Livelihoods, Natural Resource Management, Climate Adaptation and Local Economic Development projects in India (prior to joining NRI in 2013). His span of work and experiences are summarized below:

  • In Research, he has led more than 15 research studies and organizational appraisals for various bilateral, multilateral, government, civil society and private sector organisations. Research experience encompasses conducting and managing research, baseline and socio-economic studies.
  • In Implementation – he has more than a decade of experiences in developing and improving agriculture value chains. Similarly he has implemented livelihoods, social protection and local economic development projects in India, Bangladesh and other countries. This includes social enterprise and private sector led business models for poverty alleviation using Business Development Services, Agriculture Enterprise Facilitation and other sub-sector based approaches. Ravinder has developed specialism in promoting and strengthening Farmers Producers Organisations (FPO) as profit and mandate driven commercial entities.
  • In Programme Design, Monitoring and Evaluation, Ravinder has been involved in more than 40 programme/impact evaluations, design of monitoring and evaluation systems /MIS etc. He has consultancy experience in 10 countries including India, Bangladesh (South Asia), Ghana and Nigeria (West Africa) and Uganda, Malawi and Tanzania (East Africa). He has significant experience in the experimental/quasi-experimental as well as theory led empowerment evaluation methodologies of impact assessment in international development.

Prior to joining the University of Greenwich, Ravinder Kumar worked with TechnoServe India (Associate Program Director), Vrutti (Director), Catalyst Management Services (Regional Manager and M&E Unit Head), AC Nielsen ORG MARG (Sr. Research Executive) and Indian Farm Forestry Development Co-operative Ltd. (Monitoring and Impact Assessment Specialist).

Research/Scholarly Interests

Ravinder Kumar’s research interests are:

  • Inclusive business models and private sector approaches that aim to target and achieve poverty reduction and local economic development
  • Social enterprises and other market based mechanisms for eco-function restoration, social development and economic gains
  • The making of a new-age evaluator - how evaluations can become more impactful
  • Pragmatic monitoring and evaluation frameworks, tools and approaches in climate change and adaptation
  • Measuring impact of agriculture research and policy outreach – methodological approaches and analytical outputs
  • Value chain development projects and agri-businesses – how pro-poor they are, and what more needs to be done
  • How policy influence happens (social and economic development policies) and what roles evidence plays in policy formulation and implementation
  • What works in successful large scale transformative models of rural livelihoods and social protection and how the lessons can be replicated in other contexts (sub-sectors, geographies)
  • What works in successful large scale transformative models of water management and how the lessons can be replicated in other contexts (sub-sectors, geographies)
  • What works in successful large scale transformative models of forest management and how the lessons can be replicated in other contexts (sub-sectors, geographies)

Current and Previous Funded Research Projects

Some of Ravinder’s current research projects are:

  • Evaluative Research on the impact of Agriculture Research for Promotion of Science and Technology for Agricultural Development Project (PSTAD) project, working with Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA), Ghana (Ongoing since March 2014)
  • Assessment of outcomes of agriculture policy research and research communication through digital and tradition media for the Global Research Project, implemented by Global Development Network (funded by Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation) in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa (ongoing since February 2014)
  • Research on the impact of a large value chain development project in multiple countries in Africa - Impact Evaluation in Cassava: Adding Value in Agriculture (CAVA) project being implemented in Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi (Ongoing since December 2013)

Some of my previous research work is summarised below:

  • 2013: Researcher for Market and Incentive based Mechanisms for Integrated Landscape Management – Study commission by EcoAgriculture Partners (USA) under the umbrella of the Land, People, Food and Nature network.
  • Achievement and Learning Study of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Finance and Development Project, along with a state of the sector report on MSME sector 2011 on behalf of SIDBI, GIZ, DFID and World Bank and other donors of this multi-donor multi-activity private sector development /BDS market development project (September-November 2011)
  • Research and documentation of Initiatives on Agriculture Development undertaken during SCALE (a project named Sustainable Community Based Livelihoods Enhancement, supported by European Union) project of Aga Khan Foundation (November 2011 to July 2012)
  • Transformation of TBC (Towards Better Cotton) Projects to BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) system - a Gap Analysis for IKEA and its partners (WWF-India, AFPRO and Abhishek Industries) in Punjab, Maharashtra and Gujarat – done/ongoing in two rounds (February to May 2011; second round from October 2011 to March 2012)
  • Social Protection that has worked for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIVs) – a national study in India (December 2010 to July 2011). The research study analysed the social protection systems and mechanisms working in 7 states in India.
  • Developing a Policy Framework for World Wide Fund for Nature (India) for scaling up their interventions in Better Management Practices for Cotton in Four Cotton States in India (Jan to March 2010)
  • Facilitating the India network of Evidence-based Policy in Development Network (EBPDN) – South Asia, supported by ODI and GDN. The South Asia network is steered by CEPA, Sri Lanka. Prepared a policy map (how policies are made in India) and a paper, as part of this work (May 2009 to April 2011).
  • A research-based Impact Assessment of Agriculture Interventions in Tribal Areas in Madhya Pradesh (November 08 to July 09). The study contributed in crucial budgetary allocation decisions to agriculture sector in the state. Spearheading the team in design and conduct of the study.
  • Output to Purpose Review of Karnataka Watershed Development Project implemented by KAWAD Society (Jan.-Feb.2004 & Oct.04-Feb.05 in two rounds). As a team leader, conducted research study on what KAWAD has achieved on stated (as per LFA) outputs and purpose level indicators in two waves, thereby capturing impact on the communities
  • Baseline research for Western Orissa Rural Livelihoods Project (2006). As a team leader, conducted research study on demographic, institutional, socio-economic, capacities related, agro-climatic and log frame related indicators, part of the livelihoods planning processes of the project
  • Research and Scoping study on expertise and advisory capacity in organizational development to support the Think Tank Initiative in South Asia (Dec.08 to August 09). Assessing needs for organizational development of Policy Research Organisations and extent to which these needs are currently being fulfilled from available expertise. The study contributed in planning the Think Tank initiative in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Selected Publications

  • 2013. A paper on Market and Incentive based Mechanisms for Integrated Landscape Management, Jeremy Haggar, David Phillips, Ravinder Kumar, and Valerie Nelson, Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, UK, published by EcoAgriculture Partners, Land, People, Food and Nature Network
  • 2013. Impact Evaluations – Ways to Get it Right: Tips for achieving impactful impact evaluations, Ravinder Kumar, N. Raghunathan, Siddhi Mankad; paper published by South Asian Journal on Evaluations by Community of Evaluators in South Asia, supported by IDRC, Canada.
  • 2012. Livelihood Strategies for People Living with HIV/AIDS and their families – a national strategy document, written by a Vrutti and Swasti team, led by Ravinder Kumar
  • 2010. Policy Framework for Promotion of Better Management Practices in Cotton – A study, published by WWF – India
  • 2007. Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning System (MEAL): A Manual for Civil Society Organisations, published by Poorest Areas Civil Society Programme, Siddhi Mankad, Ravinder Kumar, Shiv Kumar and N. Raghunathan

Recent Conference Presentations

  • April 2014 – Presented a paper on the making of a new-age evaluator in a conference organised by UK Evaluation Society in London

Contact Information

Ravinder Kumar

Natural Resources Institute

University of Greenwich

Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, United Kingdom.

Tel: +44 (0)1634 883846

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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