Dr. Shailaja Fennell

Dr. Shailaja Fennell Director of Research, Cambridge Central Asia Forum

Director of Research, Cambridge Central Asia Forum; Lecturer in Development Studies, and Fellow of Jesus College at University of Cambridge

Dr. Shailaja Fennell is Director of Research at Cambridge Central Asia Forum and a University Lecturer in Development Studies. She is also a Fellow of Jesus College at the University of Cambridge.

Since 2004, Dr. Fennell has been researching the linkages between rural development, environmental and educational strategies in India, China and Central Asia. She has specialised in the sub-fields of institutional reform, rural development, gender and household dynamics, kinship and ethnicity, and educational provision.

In 2008, Dr. Fennell was appointed visiting professor at the Kazakh National University in Almaty, and in November 2009, the A. Yasawi Kazakh-Turkic University conferred an honorary professorship on her. She was an international team leader on the project on public-private partnerships in education within the DFID-funded research consortium on educational outcomes and rural and urban poverty (RECOUP) from 2005-2010. She was also a member of the team commissioned by the EU to bring about the first European Report on Development team (2008-09), titled Overcoming Fragility in Africa: Forging a New Approach Forward. She has been a consultant on inequality and rural development with Oxfam GB (2014-15), and on evidence based policy with the World Bank (2013-15). Currently, she is a co-investigator on TIGR2ESS, a research programme which is concerned with improving crop productivity and water use, and identifying appropriate crops and farming practices for sustainable rural development with funding of £ 7.8 million from the Global Challenges Fund of RCUK.

At the University of Cambridge, Dr. Fennell carries out undergraduate teaching on development policy, and contributes to M.Phil teaching in South Asian studies. She also supervises M.Phil and PhD students at the Centre of Development Studies and the Department of Land Economy.

Her recent publications include The Handbook of BRICS (with P. Anand, F. Comim, and J Weiss) forthcoming (2018), Oxford University Press, Rules Rubrics and Riches: The Interrelations between Legal Reform and International Development (Routledge 2010), Gender Education and Development: Conceptual Frameworks, Engagements and Agendas (Routledge 2008) edited with M. Arnot. She is currently completing a book titled Grains and Gains: The Political Economy of Agriculture in China and India (Sage 2012), and working on a manuscript currently titled Development in Transition: Lessons from Central Asia.

Dr. Fennell pursued her bachelors, masters, and MPhil in Economics degrees from the University of Delhi, after which she went on to read for her MPhil and PhD at the Faculty of Economics and Politics, University of Cambridge. Her doctoral research was on long-term agricultural trends in India and China.


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