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Deepta Chopra

Research Fellow

Deepta is a social policy researcher with a focus on women’s empowerment and politics of policy processes. Her research interests primarily focus on the empowerment of women and girls, and its core links with their paid work and unpaid care work.

She is a dynamic project leader who has developed, fund-raised for, and implemented several research projects on social protection and gendered political economy analysis of women’s economic empowerment programmes and policies.

Deepta has extensive experience in political economy analysis, and has worked intensively on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and the Food Rights Act in India. She works closely with state and non-state partners in South Asia, and is known for her excellent organizational and managerial capabilities.

Deepta has had high impact in the policy and practice of international development, especially in relation to her work on the care economy and MGNREGA. She is an expert on mixed methods research design and qualitative methodologies, and aligns herself closely with issues of power and participation, citizen engagement and governance.

Deepta is an enthusiastic and popular teacher; she is Director of Doctoral Studies at IDS and convenes the MA Gender and Development programme in addition to convening and teaching on a range of relevant modules.

Deepta currently supervises the following PhD students:

Susana Araujo whose PhD thesis is titled ‘The Dynamics of Social Movements and Countermovements around Gender Equality in Peru’.

Alexandra Obeng—Gyaaba whose PhD thesis is titled ‘Women and Political Appointment: A Study of the Local Government of Ghana’.

Meenakshi Krishnan whose PhD thesis is titled ‘The Ethics of Mainstreaming Care: A Study of the Maternity Benefit Policy in India’.

Mireille Widmer whose PhD thesis is titled ‘Influencing policing: A social network analysis of the governance of security in a secondary city in Nepal’

Betty Akyeampong whose PhD is titled ‘The Politics of Implementing LEAP in Ghana’.

Ayesha Khan whose PhD thesis is titled ‘Feminist Actors, Political Voice and Gender Policies in Pakistan’.




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Pakistan Hub

The Pakistan Hub provides focus in a country at the leading edge of development thinking and practice and is centered on a long-term partnership between IDS and the highly regarded Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). It recognises that...


Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment and Rights (POWER)

ActionAid is implementing the Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment and Rights (POWER) project, a five-year initiative (2016-2020) supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands under the Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW) 2 funding mechanism. The...


Balancing unpaid care work and paid work

The 'Balancing unpaid care work and paid work: successes, challenges and lessons for women's economic empowerment programmes and policies' project aims to create knowledge about how women's economic empowerment (WEE) policy and programming can generate paid work that empowers women and provides...




Assessing Unpaid Care Work: A Participatory Toolkit


This is a participatory toolkit for understanding unpaid care work and its distribution within local communities and families. Together, these tools provide a way of ascertaining and capturing research participants’ understanding of women’s unpaid care work – giving special attention to...

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Deepta Chopra & 2 others

8 March 2021

Journal Article

Introduction: Contentious Women’s Empowerment in South Asia

Questions of women's power remain a matter of heated debate globally, but take on a heightened intensity in a South Asia featuring rapid economic growth and structural transformation in recent decades. This Special Issue aims to improve understanding of how the women of South Asia are gaining...

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Sohela Nazneen & 2 others

13 December 2019

Deepta Chopra’s recent work