Vishal Narain


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Dr. Vishal Narain holds a PhD from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. His academic interests are in the inter-disciplinary analyses of Public Policy Processes and Institutions; water governance; rural-urban transformations and periurban issues; vulnerability and adaptation to climate change; and gender, rights and equity issues in water access and control.  In particular, he is interested in the relationship between technology and institutions in water management and how the intersection of different identities and multiple stresses shapes people’s differential vulnerability to environmental change. He explores these issues relying predominantly on ethnographic and participatory research methods.

He was Lead Author of the Chapter 7 (Vulnerability of Humans and The Environment: Challenges and Opportunities) in GEO (Global Environment Outlook)-4, flagship the publication of UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and contributing author to the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC (Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change) (Working Group 2, Chapter 6: Cities, Settlements and Key Infrastructure). 

Dr. Vishal Narain teaches courses on Public Policy Analysis, Institutions, and Development and Governance and Management of Natural Resources. 

Dr. Vishal Narain is the author of Public Policy: A View from the South (Cambridge University Press, 2018). He received the S.R Sen Prize for the Best Book on Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (2002-03) conferred by the Indian Society for Agricultural Economics for his book Institutions, technology and water control: Water users’ associations and irrigation management reform in two large scale systems in India (Orient Longman, 2003). He has co-edited Globalisation of water governance in South Asia (Routledge;  Taylor and Francis, 2014);  Water Security in Peri-Urban South Asia: Adapting to Climate Change and Urbanization (Oxford University Press, 2016); Indian Water Policy at the Cross-Roads: Resources, Technology and Reforms (Springer, 2016); Climate Change Governance and Adaptation: Case Studies from South Asia (CRC Press, Taylor and Francis, 2019); and Water Security, Conflict and Cooperation in Peri-urban South Asia: Flows across Boundaries (Springer, 2022). 

His research has been published in consistently highly ranked journals like Climate Policy, Land Use Policy, Geoforum, Water International, Water Policy, Environment and Urbanisation and Cities

He received the Award for Excellence in Research twice at MDI Gurgaon – in 2016 and 2018.

Dr. Narain has been a consultant to several international and regional organisations such as the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation) of the United Nations; ICIMOD, International Center for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal; The Asia Foundation, New Delhi; IWMI (International Water Management Institute), Colombo, Sri Lanka; The Steps Centre, University of Sussex, UK; KTH, The Royal Swedish Institute of Technology,  Stockholm, Sweden ; and SaciWATERS, South Asian Consortium for Inter-Disciplinary Water Resources Studies, Secunderabad, India.