Nandita Bhatla

Senior Technical Specialist, Gender, Violence and Rights

Nandita Bhatla is the Senior Technical Specialist and thematic lead for the portfolio on gender, gender-based violence and rights at the Asia Regional Office of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). She has nearly 20 years of experience in the field of gender and development, with particular expertise in the gender mainstreaming and gender analysis, primary prevention of gender-based violence, and understanding the links between gender-based violence and other development issues such as education, women’s property rights, HIV/AIDS, and governance. Besides leading operations research and program evaluations, Nandita has also been involved in capacity building and program design. She is also part of strategic advocacy networks and groups on issues of gender mainstreaming, gender-based violence and land rights for women in India.

Nandita has a background in child development, and strong grounding in gender analysis. Her years of extensive field work across India and close collaboration with strong programs contribute to her political understanding of development issues and processes required for programs’ effective operation. This equips her with skills to design operations research and evaluations towards ensuring evidence-based policy advocacy and programming. Undertaking research on the preparedness of institutional systems to implement the National Act on Prevention of Domestic Violence in India is one such project where evidence consistently fed into ongoing local and national advocacy efforts. Nandita has a wide range of competencies, including conducting capacity building on gender analyses and research, carrying out qualitative and participatory studies, leading operations research and translating evidence into concrete suggestions for program practitioners and policy makers.

She believes that ICRW provides a unique environment to connect worlds of research and practice, where evidence can become meaningful to further discourse on development issues. ICRW’s approach of applying gender analysis to theoretical frameworks helps to better understand the situation of women and insights into what is needed to change it. Using the framework of risk and protective factors to gender-based violence, Nandita has conceptualized and led research that seeks to gather evidence on these linkages and examine structural arrangements that further inequality and other disparities.

At ICRW, she has led a multi-country research effort in South Asia to examine the correlation, and the pathways by which women’s ownership and use of immovable property can influence their risk of experiencing intimate partner violence. Another multisite empirical research examined local governance systems from a lens of gender responsiveness and social justice. The understanding of intergenerational transmission of violence as a risk factor has led to Nandita’s involvement in projects related to primary prevention, and working with men and boys to prevent violence, and evaluating media interventions that reach out to youth.

Nandita has worked with wide range of partners, such as local and regional nongovernmental organizations, women groups, national efforts such as the Mahila Samakhya program, and stakeholders in the local and national administration, specifically the education and women’s development ministries. She has engaged with the United Nations as well as donors such as the United States Agency for International Development, Britain’s Department for International Development, and foundations, including the Ford Foundation, Mac Arthur Foundation and Oak Foundation.

Prior to ICRW, Nandita worked extensively with community organizations in India, designing and implementing need-based and gender-integrated programs. She has developed educational curricula on adolescent reproductive health, education and gender and edited news-feature magazines; as well as served as a resource for trainings on participatory material creation related to gender and health. Nandita also was part of pioneering efforts to set up residential schools for adolescent girls for continuing education in an Uttar Pradesh district. In the same district, she also trained a team of rural, neo-literate women in journalism, to produce an award winning local newspaper.

Contact Nandita at: nbhatla@icrw.org

Education: Nandita has a master’s degree in science, with a specialization in child development from Lady Irwin College, Delhi University. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in social science from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.  
Languages: Punjabi (native), English (proficient), Hindi (proficient)
Intimate Partner Violence, Men and Masculinities, Violence Against Women and Girls

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