Bio

Dr. Deepa Narayan is an independent international poverty, gender and development advisor and writer with over 25 years of experience working at the World Bank, the UN, and NGOs. Until 2008, she served as Senior Advisor in the Vice President’s office of the Poverty Reduction Group of the World Bank. Dr. Narayan spent many years living in village communities in Africa, South and East Asia. This led to her focus on ‘people first’, and local community driven approaches nested in social and political processes.

Her current interests include reducing inequality, shared and sustainable living, making corporate social responsibility a reality, ethical development and economic policies that help create wealth for poor people. She serves on boards of NGOs, participates in think tanks and is a frequent speaker at conferences and retreats. She also conducts experiential workshops on creative leadership for women and youth.

While at the World Bank in addition to program development and evaluation, Deepa Narayan conducted two influential studies that resulted in key policy changes.  The Voices of the Poor brought together the experiences of 60,000 poor women and men from 60 countries and the Moving Out of Poverty: Understanding Freedom, Democracy and Growth from the Bottom Up involving 15 countries people was aimed at understanding how some poor people actually moved out of poverty over a decade while others remained stuck. Both highlight how policy mindsets and unexamined assumptions about poor people, distort policy decisions.

She has authored or co-authored more than 15 books.  Recent publications include: Moving Out of Poverty: Rising from the Ashes of Conflict (Vol 4 in the series), The Promise of Empowerment and Democracy in India (Vol 3 ), Success from the Bottom Up (Vol  2 ), all published in 2009 and 2010; Ending Poverty in South Asia: Ideas that Work, World Bank 2007; and Measuring Empowerment: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives, World Bank 2005.Publications