Dr. Advaita Rajendra is completing her Ph.D. at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad in the Public Systems Group. She has earlier worked as a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt. Ltd. and as a research associate at Indian Institute of Management, in Ahmedabad exploring ‘second chance programs’ with Pratham Education Foundation.
Her doctoral research explores how governing mechanisms (in)visibilise waste materials, infrastructure and work. Based on ethnographic policy fieldwork in a small town in central India it critically examines the National Cleanliness Mission (Swachh Bharat Mission) and the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM). The work involved examining contemporary and historical policy texts and extended interactions with street level bureaucrats in local governments, and informal and formal sanitation workers.
She is involved in survey-based research work in collaboration with the NGO collective RCRC (Rapid Rural Community Response To COVID-19, rcrc.in). The work understands the impact of Covid-19 on rural economies, building capacities of NGOs and informing advocacy, practice and academia.
Her earlier work includes the understanding of gender, caste and how they manifest in skewed sex ratios and in the reproduction of social hierarchies in government run residential schools. Her research interests lie in policy issues at the intersection of labour, social hierarchies, and the environment.