Cover Letter of Dr. Abhash Panda
My Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Sociology and professional degree in natural resource management have provided me with the theoretical knowledge to understand the nuances of rural livelihood and poverty. With more than twenty years of wide variety of exposure and experience of working at the grassroots level and dealing with social and environmental issues through environmental/social impact studies and Rehabilitation & Resettlement (R&R) policy and plans, I am well placed to deal with issues of involuntary resettlement.
I have worked as a Consultant to bilateral and multilateral agencies like the UN, ADB, DFID, SIDA, EU, The World Bank, etc., dealing with rural community’s lives. I have been working in different donor funded projects as an international safeguards specialist in Afghanistan since 2009.In recent years some of the key projects in which I have dealt with safeguard issues are as follows:
- Ph D Thesis:
- Involuntary displacement of indigenous population due to construction of Rihand dam and power plants in Singhrauli, Uttar Pradesh.
- Resettlement and Rehabilitation cum Social Development Expert for Asian Development Bank’s Consultancy Services for Supervision of Civil Works for Bihar State Highway Project (Package 2 – South Bihar).
- Resettlement and Rehabilitation cum Social Development Expert for Asian Development Bank’s Consultancy Services for Supervision of Civil Works for Uttarakhand State Highway Project.
- Social and Resettlement Specialist for the Asian Development Bank’s India Railway Sector Investment Program, India TA 36330-02 to prepare poverty profile and recommended mitigation on adverse impacts.
o Social & Environmental Expert for the World Bank’s Orissa State Roads Project to prepare Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy Framework.
- Environmental Consultant for the World Bank funded Emergency Irrigation Rehabilitation Project (EIRP), Afghanistan.
- Environmental and Social Safeguards Specialist (International) for the World Bank funded On-Farm Water Management, Ministry of Agriculture, Afghanistan.
- Social and Environmental Safeguard Expert (International) for the World Bank funded National Solidarity Program, Afghanistan.
- Environment Specialist (International) for USAID’s SIKA-West Program to develop Environment Management System Manual in Afghanistan.
- Safeguards Specialist for the World Bank/Government of India’s Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojna in Jharkhand State, India to plan and coordinate environmental and social measures of the rural roads.
- Implementation Consultant to assist Government of Afghanistan in the rehabilitation of rural transport infrastructure for the Ministry of Public Works (MPW).
- Livelihoods cum Resettlement Expert for ADB/GoI funded Construction of rural roads under PMGSY in the State of Odisha, India.
As a Consultant and Managing Director of ERA I have participated actively at all stages of Programme and Project Cycle Management with a variety of the major development agencies. This leaves me well equipped to participate with the donors and its partners in the development design and oversight of programmes. My skills in monitoring and lesson learning are particularly relevant. Knowledge dissemination and learning of lessons from development programmes is particularly challenging for donors.