My vision is a nonprofit industry that uses innovative, data, and evidence-based PMEL practices to make sure our work is impactful.
[When I say our industry, that includes organisations, activists, networks, and everyone working towards social, political, economic, and environmental change.]
I want to see a world where we use data and research well. In this way, we can measure our work, know if we're doing it well, and figure out what we can do better.
We can use this knowledge to plan important programmes and projects, monitor and evaluate their successes, and learn from what worked and what didn't so we can continue to grow.
Who Do I Work With?
I work with individuals and organisations that identify as marginalised - clients, partners, and on my team.
If you are not marginalised but are interested in or are actively challenging systems of oppression, I will also prioritise working with you.
This could include decolonising, becoming anti-racist, intersectional, participatory, or addressing other inequities and structural imbalances. You may be based in a rich country and have your own privileges - as I do - but you are working actively to engage youth activists in poorer countries, for example.
Intention and values matter deeply to me.
I cannot support organisations that perpetuate existing power dynamics, are complacent in tackling these issues, or are happy to continue to benefit from their unfair privileges.
So what does it mean to be marginalised?
It means that certain groups of people with power and access, or systems of oppression, are hoarding it all and are keeping other groups from opportunities. They may be holding other groups back from even having access to resources. If you're imagining a faceless mass of rich, old, White, able-bodied, cis-gendered men in polyester suits, you'd be right.
You can be marginalised for several reasons, but here are some of the most common: due to economics, class, caste, neurodiversity, age, creed, ancestry, race, education, gender, sex, physical or intellectual disability, sexuality, political beliefs, geography, or other 'markers'.
You can be marginalised and still have relative privilege, like me. I am a South Indian woman. At work, I was marginalised by being paid less, harassed, and threatened by bullies. I have been denied jobs - including consulting work - because no one wants to sponsor immigrants for a work visa.
But I have class and caste privilege. I'm Brahmin from South India - what is colloquially known as a Tam-Brahm. While I may not personally be holding anyone back, I benefit from the caste system in India. It keeps a woman exactly the same as me, but who happens to be born to another family in another part of the country, from choosing her life.
I work to tackle that imbalance and that injustice. It's not fair for only certain voices to be better represented in our sector than others - to get more funding, more visibility, more whatever.
This selectivity has had certain consequences for my business. But it ensures that my work aligns with my purpose and values.
I support our industry to use strong PMEL systems and develop their skills, so we can design and deliver the most impactful projects.
I believe in:
Empathy and Compassion
As a human quality and in work, starting from a place of compassion helps us understand other people's realities so we can help them in the right way for their needs. I begin from a place of grace with each new project and each client.
Not just in the obvious sense - as a queer Indian woman, I know how important representation and diversity are! I want to go a step further and include different perspectives. This includes ideas from other industries and experiences from grassroots groups to multi-million-dollar foundations.
I work exclusively with clients that understand the importance of diversity, representation, and inclusion in their real sense, and that practice these values. Everyone I partner with also shares these values.
For each other in a team, for our clients and their work, and for the different cultures, religions, and practices of the communities we engage with. As researchers, a respectful attitude is so essential it doesn't even need to be said - but here I am saying it anyway.
Equality means everyone has the same resources and opportunities. But I acknowledge that we were not all born with or given the same opportunities in life - and this equity is what I seek through my work, providing equitable access to quality services and materials.
My work in our industry began as a teenage activist, and that fighting spirit is alive in all I do and believe in. I stand in solidarity with human rights movements, and in support of causes that are important to me. I share their work in case studies, workshops, training sessions, and as inspiring stories of change.
Integrity and Accountability
Both in my work and in my practice with clients, partners, and communities. I follow up with clients to make sure that the work we have done has helped them make important and impactful changes.
All my research is designed using participatory methodologies that put the real people affected by the work at the centre, so we all remain accountable to the people that really matter.
The work we do is tough, and the challenges we're fighting against seem impossibly difficult at times. But in the middle of all of that, it's important to remain optimistic that we can make change happen, one year at a time if we remain committed to our work and our people.
My work is my passion, and I bring a lot of my own personality to it. I want to help you build strong PMEL systems and skills yes, but I also want to get to know you and your team as people, and what drives you. All my services and workshops include interactive elements for us to talk and spend some time together. This human connection is central to a lot of my work, and I use it as a way to connect with everyone I work with.
My clients are part of my network of collaborators, share the same vision and values, and support the same causes. This relationship is important since we are working together to build your expertise around PMEL, and to make sure your work is having the impact you want it to.
I have experience in a few different industries, like fashion and journalism. I bring all of this to my work at SMC, and find innovative ways to share important ideas with you. From everything from pop-culture references to design thinking, I bring creativity and a sense of fun to all of our work, to help make learning about key data principles a joy.
I care deeply about my work and the causes that are important to me. I have remained committed to women's rights, girls' rights, economic empowerment, and climate change since my teenage years. I promise to bring this commitment to human rights and values to all of my work.
I bring a useful set of skills to my work - I was a grant-maker at Open Society Foundations for five years, which is where I began specialising in PMEL. I learned so much during these years, from my colleagues, grantees, and non-grantee partners. Since 2018, I have built on my knowledge and gained expertise in specific skills that I use in my workshops and advisory support. I bring an important set of knowledge and experience to my work, and share my knowledge with our industry.
One of my biggest goals with is to help organisations develop their PMEL capacities - and the easiest way to do that is to show how simple it can be. What you'll see here are simple solutions that can help you improve your knowledge and confidence - and as much as possible, jargon-free too!
Solution- and Action-driven Support
Here's something else you'll see here - anytime I discuss an issue with PMEL, like an opportunity to link your organisation's longer-term strategy with your annual plans and project proposals, it will be framed in that way: an opportunity. All of my work is focussed on actions and solutions. You'll be able to leave a workshop with ideas you can immediately start implementing.
Quality and Service
Everything I do and create is made to last - so it has to be of the best quality. I spend much time researching and learning from our industry and others and finding the best ways to put those ideas into workshops or support materials for you. I work hard to make sure whatever I share with you is relevant, interesting, proven to work, and can be used by your entire programme team.
All of my work has been proven to be impactful. Whether they're common 'best practice' ideas from our industry or training materials that I have developed over many years, I know they are useful and impactful. I also make sure my clients use the advice I share with their communities, and I use that feedback to improve my support.