Staff Profiles

Dr Supriya Akerkar

LLB (Mumbai University), MA Development Studies (Institute of Social Studies, Hague), PhD (Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne)

Senior Lecturer; Programme Leader, MA Development and Emergency Practice

School of Architecture

Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment

Supriya Akerkar

Dr Supriya Akerkar has been working in the field of development and emergencies for the last 20 years. She has worked with International development organisations, social movements and civil society campaigns in Global South, on issues of gender, social equity and building inclusive societies. 

She has a under graduate degree in law, and a Masters in Development Studies from Institute of Social Studies, Hague. She also has a PhD from Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne following her PhD thesis titled: The production of rights in disasters in Uttar Pradesh, India: Implications for theory and Practice.

She has recently (2019-20) conducted research with HelpAge International titled National Platforms for Ageing: A review of their formations, approaches, advocacy practices and learnings. The learnings from this research is used to develop guidance on how to form and sustain National Platform of Older People for advocacy of rights of older people.

She was the principle research investigator for Oxford Brookes University for the project ADCAP (Age and Disability Capacity Project) (2014-2018),  led by a consortium of International development organisations, coordinated by HelpAge International and funded by the UK Government and US AID/OFDA. The purpose of ADCAP was to develop inclusive practices and methodologies that ensures that the rights of older people and people with disabilities are affirmed in humanitarian emergencies. Dr Akerkar has tracked real time evidence based learnings over the project period and has developed Good Practice Guide for enabling inclusion of older people and people with disabilities in humanitarian responses. She was also a review team member for ADCAP Humanitarian Inclusion Standards for older people and people with disabilities. ADCAP is a consortium of seven international development organisations; Help Age international, IFRC, Handicap International, CBM, Disaster ready, RedR, and Oxford Brookes University. 

In her earlier work, prior to joining CENDEP, she has worked on socially inclusive humanitarian and disaster response and risk reduction practices, and rights based advocacy. 

She was a senior researcher with the Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne ( 2007 - 2011) - on the EU supported FP6 project titled MICRODIS, evaluating social impacts of disasters in different country contexts; and in particular UK and India.

She has worked with the DFID India as the social development expert (1998-2000), and guided the policy and practice of DFID supported livelihoods/natural resource development projects to meet its social equity objectives.

Between 2000-2007, Supriya has led the work of Action Aid International in different countries, on human rights and social equity issues. This work has included leading Action Aid India's Gujarat earthquake rehabilitation and communal violence healing work; Orissa development and emergency programme work; and mainstreaming women's rights in humanitarian interventions in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Somalia following the tsunami in 2004. She has also worked as the policy and advocacy leader for Action Aid International Ethiopia, focusing on issues of food security, just governance, education and women's rights.

As a policy researcher on sustainable development issues, whilst working with the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, India (1995 -1998), she has also lobbied at intergovernmental forums such as Rio+5 at New York, Conference of Parties for Desertification Convention, working closely with the INGOs involved in global south.