The Vivek and Vandana Sharma's gift to the Center for Emerging Markets has provided seed funding to Nishith Prakash, Professor of Public Policy and Economics in the College of Social Studies and Humanities (CSSH) and CEM Faculty Fellow, to pursue an innovative research project in India. Professor Prakash is the Co-Director of the Global Analysis for Policy (GAP) Initiative in CSSH.

Prakash's project, titled “Shaping Minds: The Transformative Effects of Theater-Based Learning” recently received pilot funding through the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab's Learning for All Initiative (LAI).

The project is in collaboration with:

  • Ritam Chaurey: Assistant Professor of International Economics at Johns Hopkins SAIS
  • Sara Constantino: Assistant Professor of Psychology and Public Policy, Northeastern University
  • Shantanu Khanna: Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Economics at Northeastern University
  • Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay: Professor in the Department of Economics at the Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi
  • Raghav Rakesh: Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Economics, Michigan State University
  • Raisa Sherif: Post-doctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute

The project will examine the effects of using interactive and experiential theater-based techniques to train a small group of trainers, who in turn will work with students from across 100 schools in the Uttarakhand state of India.

Professor Prakash's prior research has focused on the relationship between government policies and economic development and harnessed rigorous empirical evidence to study the impact of policies and institutions in enabling inclusive growth.

The Vivek and Vandana Sharma India Initiative at CEM seeks to expand and deepen Northeastern University's engagement with business, economic, and social issues in India through public lectures, use-inspired faculty research, conferences, and capacity-building projects in India.