The Center for Emerging Markets is supported by a generous gift from Venkat and Pratima Srinivasan that allows Undergraduate and Graduate students enrolled in full-time programs at Northeastern University to conduct research, create a startup, take part in a service-learning project, organize a conference, or pursue another innovative project that addresses pressing problems in one or more emerging markets.

This semester, CEM is thrilled to recognize seven students as the Fall 2023 recipients of our Srinivasan Family Awards for Projects in Emerging Markets.

These students, representing four different schools and colleges at Northeastern University, will all pursue innovative research and field projects over the next year to solve pressing social, technological, economic, and health-related problems around the world, from Kenya, to Uganda, to Nepal.

Learn more about the Srinivasan Family Awards at the Center for Emerging Markets

Dhwani Bhatt
College of Engineering

Dhwani aims to provide a school in Fort Portal, Uganda, with sustainable energy by implementing a biodigester to produce energy for cooking and lighting. Biogas technology has gained prominence as a sustainable energy source that supports circular economy, principles of maximizing resource utilization and reducing waste, particularly in developing nations where organic waste management and energy access are critical challenges. By harnessing biogas technology and training community members on operations, Dhwani hopes her project can serve as a model for communities in rural developing regions to utilize clean energy and divert away from reliance on fossil fuels and firewood.

Layan Elshihabi
D'Amore-McKim School of Business

Layan will be researching the evolving collaboration between the oil and gas industry and the sustainability objectives outlined by the United Nations. By attending COP28 and volunteering with the North Atlantic Council, Layan seeks to understand insights into the formulation of sustainability goals, the decision-making processes involved, and the pivotal role played by emerging markets, particularly that of the United Arab Emirates, in spearheading compliance and collaboration initiatives. She will be producing a case study dissecting the key drivers behind the shift towards sustainability amongst members in this sector and assessing the shift's impact on corporate practices.

Victoria McCray
College of Science

Victoria plans to host a hackathon to facilitate the development of open-source and community-based research tools that can alleviate financial burdens for neuroscientists across the African continent. By providing a platform for practicing neuroscientists, Victoria seeks to foster international collaborations that allow African neuroscientists to enhance the quality of brain research, education, and practice. She hopes that the outcomes of this hackathon will result in increased access to neuroimaging technology and open-source analytical techniques for scientists across emerging markets, and partnerships between researchers and institutions to provide opportunities for marginalized groups to engage in science.

Christian Meyer
D'Amore-McKim School of Business

Christian will be researching the potential of Open Finance (OF), a new regulatory framework that promotes the sharing of financial data and enables third-party providers to offer financial services, to enhance small and medium enterprises (SME) access to capital in Brazil. By analyzing the Brazilian Open Finance framework, Christian seeks to identify the specific mechanisms through which OF can facilitate financing opportunities and potential barriers to adoption in Brazil. His research aims to outline initiatives for enhancing SME financing and help accelerate the development of financial de-centralization in Brazil.

Leah Oruko
Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Leah will be investigating barriers to access testing and care for visceral leishmaniasis, a neglected tropical disease, in Baringo County, Kenya. Conducted in collaboration with the African Centre for Community Investment in Health (ACCIH) in Kenya, Leah's six-month research project will involve cross-sectional surveys and assessments of VL knowledge, health attitudes, and sociocultural beliefs among patients and the local community. Her study seeks to guide public health initiatives by identifying gaps in current interventions to encourage and facilitate timely treatment, ultimately reducing VL fatality and fostering a healthier, more engaged population.

Saraina Ulysse
Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Saraina aims to investigate the effectiveness of preventative education on visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in reducing its occurrence in Baringo County, Kenya. She will be investigating the impact of educational efforts on individual behaviors and community-level awareness regarding VL by collecting data from well- and low-resourced healthcare centers associated with the African Centre for Community Investment in Health. Her study aims to identify potential disparities in education and awareness of VL and offer insights into their restructuring for better community engagement and prevention of other neglected tropical diseases.

Sima Sharma Tiwari
Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Sima plans to extend a comprehensive reproductive health education program to adolescents in Nepal, building on successes from a pilot program held over the past six months. In this secondary project phase, Sima will be organizing educational seminars at several secondary schools, targeting approximately 7,000 students. These seminars seek to promote truthful and culturally relevant reproductive health information and inspire educational advocacy to challenge current social barriers to reproductive health services. This secondary phase of the project will serve as a stepping stone for additional expansion and training for school teachers in Nepal to provide comprehensive education to students.