Previous Facilitators          


Anindo Banerjee
Anindo is an expert in Multivariate Statistical Analysis. He has been involved in a number of projects in areas of policy advocacy, participatory research and capacity building in India, South Asia and Africa. He is in charge of Praxis’s internal programme initiatives aimed at furtherance of equitable development, good governance and community-led collective action.


Ajai Kuruvila Jacob
Ajai has worked with praxis on issues relating to child rights, education, displacement and urban poverty -- thematic areas of ActionAid. He has led a process of participatory post disaster recovery with the Community Facilitation Unit of the NGO Coordination and Resource Centre (a UNDP-supported process in Nagapattinam). He is currently working with Praxis on different research assignments as well as developing monitoring standards around community mobilisation. Ajai’s areas of work include facilitating engagements with the urban poor, bonded labourers, refugees and coastal, agrarian and Dalit communities.


Indu Prakash Singh
Indu is a practitioner and ardent facilitator of participatory approaches in development. He is associated with Indo-Global Social Service Society as a technical advisor of CityMakers Collective, New Delhi. He is a trained sociologist and philosopher who has learnt from varied experiences and been part of women’s movements, rights of the elderly, the poor, children, homeless (through his association with the CityMakers); environment and biodiversity. He believes he has become a better person after having used Participatory Rural Appraisal in his work. He used the participatory approach in campaigns for housing rights of homeless citizens through the Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan.


John Gaventa
John Gaventa is a political sociologist, educator and civil society practitioner with over 30 year’s experience of research, training and organisational leadership in North and South globe. Currently he is a Professor and Research Fellow at IDS, where he is a member of the Participation, Power and Social Change team and Director of the Development Research Centre on Citizenship, Participation and Accountability. He has written widely on issues of power, participatory development and governance, civil society and social change. Before coming to IDS in 1996, John was the co-director of research and Director of the Highlander Centre, an NGO with over seven decades of experience in working on poverty and social justice issues in poor regions of the United States.


Josh Levene
Josh has been applying his background in anthropology and poverty reduction to participatory development since 1995. He joined Praxis UK in 2008 after four years at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. He has also worked as a social development advisor with Oxfam, DFID, Save the Children, and the World Bank. He has worked extensively throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific, South Asia and the Balkans and has authored several leading toolkits on participatory approaches.


M J Joseph
Joseph has over 20 years of experience in the development sector. An experienced facilitator, and a practitioner of participatory approaches, he has also been extensively involved in various capacity building exercises. He has worked on participatory action researches in the area of micro credit, agrarian issues, drinking water, watershed development, democratic decentralisation and local governance. Joseph has also lent his knowledge to several participatory assessments and evaluations.


Pradeep Narayanan
Pradeep is a human rights activist-researcher associated with many rights-based NGOs and campaigns in India. Having started his career as a management trainee in a corporate group, he has more than 13 years of experience of working in government, corporate and non-governmental sector in India, Singapore and UK. Since 2004, he has focused on children’s issues, primarily child labour and its relationship to education, child protection, child participation and health. Over the years, he has also designed monitoring frameworks on the issue of community participation and been involved with related capacity building efforts.


Robert Chambers
Robert Chambers is a Research Associate in the Participation, Power and Social Change Team at the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex. His main operational and research experience has been in East Africa and South Asia. His work has included aspects of rural development, public administration training, seasonality, irrigation system management, agricultural research and extension, perceptions of poverty, professionalism and participation. His Current concerns and interests include professionalism, power, the personal dimension in development, participatory methodologies, teaching and learning with large numbers, agriculture and science, Seasonality Revisited, and community-led total sanitation.


Sam Joseph
Sam Joseph has more than twenty years of experience in development/aid section in Asia and Africa. He has specialised in people’s participation from an active citizenship perspective; Evolved systems thinking adaptation for aid work; Developed coaching methods for servant leadership in development/aid work. He pioneered the PRA unit in ActionAid, which is now PRAXIS. He has held many senior positions nationally and internationally.


Sheelu Francis
Sheelu Francis is a leader of the 60,000-strong women’s collective, active in the whole state of Tamil Nadu, Southern India. She is a researcher and trainer on Participatory Rural Appraisal. Sheelu is also the international spokesperson for the collective, speaking about the impacts of international trade, debt and activities of transnational corporations on local development, on food security and sovereignty.


Somesh Kumar
Somesh Kumar joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1989, after a brief stint as a psychologist in the Ministry of Defence, Government of India. Somesh has worked in various capacities with the most backward communities in Andhra Pradesh and has implemented a number of innovative programs including externally funded participatory development projects. He has also served as Director of the PRA Division of ActionAid India (1996-2000). A leading PRA practitioner, Somesh Kumar has contributed significantly to the repertoire of PRA methods. He has conducted extensive training programmes in participatory development in India and abroad for grassroots activists and senior level NGO professionals as well as for government agencies in varied fields. Somesh has written a number of articles and edited various books and reports.


Sowmyaa Bharadwaj
Sowmyaa’s areas of interest and expertise include civil society participation, capacity building, and training with a focus on inclusion of vulnerable populations and excluded communities/groups. She has a keen interest in gender issues, water sanitation and hygiene, menstrual hygiene, urban development and rights. An experienced facilitator and a practitioner of participatory approaches, she has been involved in various trainings and capacity building exercises over the last decade.


Tom Thomas
Tom has close to three decades of experience in the development sector. His association with Praxis began in 2000 when he took over as CEO. Prior to joining Praxis, he held senior positions with Action Aid in India, Bangladesh and the UK. He has led Praxis on several important assignments, both nationally and internationally. Tom is also the convener of Corporate Responsibility Watch, a coalition of organisations and individuals tracking responsible business in India. He additionally holds membership of several national and international civil society coalitions furthering the idea and praxis of community participation as well as responsible business..


The list of facilitators also includes several development practitioners including Srijan Nandan, Shailesh Kumar, Rajeshwar D., Gouthami, Cherrian Mathews, Barry Underwood, Amitava Mukherjee and Ajith Mani.