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Aparna John

PhD student

Aparna John is a PhD student at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, who will complete in late 2017. Her PhD explores, theoretically and empirically, the motivation and performance of village level nutrition workers (Anganwadis) of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme in Bihar, India.

Her work expands the conceptual frameworks used in the consideration of front line workers contextualises this using primary qualitative research; and quantitatively tests the impact of incentives and mobile phone based job aids on performance using this framework. The latter uses a quasi-experimental evaluation framework, applying differences-in-differences to a panel of workers and linked mothers and children in treatment and control areas. Aparna’s doctoral work is supported by the Transform Nutrition project – a consortium of international research partners, using research-based evidence to inspire effective action to address undernutrition funded by DFID, UK.

Aparna worked for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in New Delhi in 2014-15 on a variety of research studies, including an analysis of the comparability and quality of Indian nutrition surveys of the last thirty years (published as a research note) and the variability of food distribution to children across India.

Prior to her PhD, Aparna worked for Oxford Policy Management (OPM) based in New Delhi. She was responsible for designing the impact evaluation of a government conditional cash transfer pilot aimed at improving child nutrition outcomes (the Bihar Child Support Programme), and managed the large scale baseline survey. She worked on numerous other research assignments, including managing fieldwork in Uganda and Rwanda.

Before this, as a research assistant in Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) at the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID),University of Oxford she assisted Dr Sabina Alkire, and her team create the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for the 20th-anniversary edition of Human Development Report (HDR 2010). In OPHI she was also involved in project management and administration.

Before joining OPHI, she was a Research Assistant to Prof. Jean Dreze at the University of Allahabad, assisting on primary research related to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and child malnutrition issues in India. Aparna has an MSc in Economics and Development Economics from the University of Nottingham and a BA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Delhi.



Aparna John’s recent work