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Aashish Mishra
Academic Researcher , London School of Economics
London, United Kingdom
Former World Bank Urban / Water / Infrastructure / Decentralisation Staff and UNDP Afg Regional Cooperation Expert

Recently completed LSE MPhil Research Degree in Regional and Urban Planning (Pending Viva Exam)

NYU MPA Int’l Public Policy/Mgt. with focus on Fiscal Decentralisation, NYU B.A. in both Economics and Politics.

Globally available for donor agency positions or assignments from 01/2013
Send email Contact Aashish Mishra
Area of Expertise:
  • Capacity Building, Training, Advocacy, Political
  • Disaster, Aid, Emergencies, Relief
  • Environment, Climate, Energy, Water, Sanitation
  • Government/Governance, Reforms, Corruption
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Policy, Research, Analysis
Professional Experience:
My 15 years of international experience includes offering technical and operational support to World Bank projects across a wide spectrum of urban-development issues, conducting analytical work and project preparation for City Development Strategies on topics ranging from fiscal decentralization, slum improvement strategies and urban infrastructure revolving funds.

My regional experience includes South Asia, South-East Asia, Africa, Central Asia, Europe and North America. In particular, in 2008, I served as a Regional Economic Cooperation Expert with the United Nations Development Program Afghanistan Country Office, where I provided independent recommendations to the Government of Afghanistan regarding how it can better leverage its numerous regional treaties and agreements or strategic regional infrastructure planning to support integrated and sustainable national and regional safety and security, socio-economic development, counter-narcotics and economic growth.

During my MPhil studies, I worked as a Part-Time Associate with GHK International in London, where I served as a technical expert and program management resource for infrastructure planning and finance including fiscal decentralization, transport, urban development, water supply, civil service reform and poverty reduction for GHK-led bilateral, multilateral and sub/National assignments in Europe, Asia and globally.

As part of the World Bank SASSD Urban/Water Unit’s core team from 2005-07, I played a key role in several high profile World Bank programs, including the “Tsunami Reconstruction Project,” “Mumbai Urban Business Plan,” “Gujarat Urban Development Program,” “India: National Urban Infrastructure Fund Project Preparation,” and “India: Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) Technical Assistance.”

During this core staff assignment and several other International STC-assignments with WSP-SA and Decentralization Team, I regularly undertook individual or collective AAA-work, and provided analytical input to help steer internal discussions for urban/water sector business development and emerging opportunities for IBRD-lending. In particular, I was responsible for identifying regional infrastructure development potential and for canvassing potential clients interested in the team's analytical findings regarding the possible economic impact of growth from trunk infrastructure programs and urban infrastructure revolving funds.

I also served as an International Consultant with the World Bank’s Decentralization Team, where he evaluated how intergovernmental fiscal transfers were targeted for the provision of basic rural services in India; and contributed to the World Bank’s “India Rural Service Delivery Report (2005).”

During 2004 I was appointed by with the Water and Sanitation Program – South Asia (WSP-SA), where I conducted an assessment to examine the design of Government of India (GoI), State and local urban and rural subsidies for water supp
Education:
I have a MPhil (Research Degree) in Regional and Urban Planning from the London School of Economics, which is focused on accountability of infrastructure project safeguards; and worked as L.S.E. Graduate Teaching Assistant for a course on “Research Methods for Social, Environmental and Spatial Planning.”

LSE MPhil Research Thesis (Pending Viva Defence) examines the scope of the Inspection Panel of the World Bank, as the pioneer for institutionalising donor accountability mechanisms, through assessing the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) by the Case Study Approach. Analytical findings reinforce the conceptual basis that urban enterprises’ collective action through leveraging donor accountability mechanisms, and critical elements of both resistance and cooperation, is an emerging approach for improving response to improper resettlement options.

Furthermore, I have a M.P.A. in Int’l Public Policy & Program Management from N.Y.U.’s Wagner Graduate School with specialisation in fiscal decentralisation and local government capacity building; and also a Bachelor of Arts from N.Y.U. in both Economics and Politics (International Affairs).

I have an offer for admission to University of London School of Oriental and African Studies as direct PhD Candidate in Development Studies for Sept. 2013, but am exploring all career options due to time lag in admission offer.
Affiliations and Achievements:
My commitment to public service is demonstrated by over 15 years dedicated pursuit of ways to improve government accountability, in both professional & academic spheres. A snapshot of that commitment is encapsulated through early-career experience, when I served as the Resident Team Leader for U.K. Department for International Development program to support Public Expenditure Management & Civil Service Reform in the Indian state of Orissa. My key responsibility in this role entailed managing program field operations in the Orissa state finance department. Tasks included evaluating, supervising & coordinating the wrap-up of a 2.5-year project to establish H.R. management system, aimed at creating a database of over 500,000 state-government employee service & salary records.

In the course of project implementation, serious doubts arose as to the validity and accuracy of state-wide census data utilized in constructing the H.R. system, undermining the degree to which the database could serve as a useful tool. Determined to resolve the issue, I devised & led a sample validation exercise, spot-checking district-level hard copies of public sector employee data to extrapolate the accuracy of demographic and fiscal data collected and aggregated in the state finance department's employee database. As a result of data-validation exercise, donor support for the project was curtailed until a new public-sector employee census could be initiated, averting any further waste of donor funds.

My role also entailed supervising a highly divided group of 25 local staff. In an effort to ameliorate working relationships, I instigated basic training in the resolution of inter-team conflict in public service. My approach included team meetings, at which each member was invited to discuss individual perspectives on inter-team support, internal politics and "blame games." I also ran a day-long workshop on team-building exercises, including "role-reversal play." The result of these initiatives was an improved level of cooperation among team members, and a higher degree of work efficiency.

A further conflict to be resolved involved mid-ranking staff of the state finance department, aggrieved at the failure of senior ministry officials to respond to concerns over flawed data sets raised early on in the pre-project phase. A subsequent meeting between representatives of these mid-ranking staff with their superiors resulted in a senior-level commitment to institutionalize quality control/feedback reporting, to be available as matter of public record. An evaluation of this sequence of events by donor stakeholders concluded that despite inherent flaws in project pre-planning, the best possible outputs were achieved.

I believe that this example is an apt demonstration of my commitment to public service, emphasizing a proactive, resilient approach to achieving the best result, defined in terms of the responsible use of donor funds for the greater public good.

Available for:
  • Consulting assignments
  • Job opportunities
  • Internships / Fellowships

    Years of Experience:
    10-15 years
    Highest Qualification:
    Doctorate
    Languages:
    English, French, Hindi, Dari, Urdu
    Nationality:
    United States
    LinkedIn Profile: www.uk.linkedin.com/in/aashmishra
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