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Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance


PhD. Economics, Cambridge; M.Phil. Economics, Cambridge; M.Phil. Economics, Delhi; M.A. Economics Delhi; B.A. Economics, Delhi

My research area is a cross-disciplinary engagement to examine the links between institutional reform and regional transformation. My current research engages with sustainable food production and consumption in rural and urban communities. My specific expertise is in thinking through the interplay between national and local decision making, rural development and agricultural sustainability; youth migration and employment aspirations; provision of public goods in the spheres of education and health, and I specialise in using bottom up quantitative and qualitative methods. 

I am an international co-I on TIGR2ESS, a global research programme to study how to improve crop productivity and water use, identify appropriate crops and farming practices for sustainable rural development, with funding of £7.8 million from the Global Challenges Fund of RCUK (2017-2021). My flagship project examines how community-based investigations on the adoption of climate smart crops (such as millets) can increase employment and advance empowerment of women in Western and Eastern India.

I am also a co-I on MillNeti, a sister research programme (2019-2021) that is focussed on how to improve iron nutrition status of people living in Ethiopia and The Gambia by assessing the bioavailability of iron from biofortified millet. My work package focuses on the use quantitative and qualitative surveys to understand how millets are currently grown, processed, cooked and consumed in focus villages in The Gambia and Ethiopia. 

I am the PI on an ASEAN funded project (2019-2021), and am leading a core team responsible for designing the framework, commissioning the experts and compiling the latest research to deliver the first ASEAN Development Outlook publication that focuses on policies to ensure inclusion and sustainability in South-East Asia.  

I was awarded the UGC-UKIERI grant for a collaborative research initiative, in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University, and the Indian partners were the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras and University of Punjab, Chandigarh for 2014-16. The project focussed on understanding how bottlenecks that limit Internet access for rural agricultural production and community-based tourism can be removed, using the Portolan application and android mobile phones, to collect upstream data and an innovative survey instrument to collect downstream data.

C-EENRG Fellow
Professor of Regional Transformation and Economic Security
Department of Land Economy
University of Cambridge
Dr Shailaja   Fennell