Shashi Enarth is a development activist from India, struggling to strike a balance between academia and praxis. Starting his career as a community organizer, he has worked with low income segments of the population, particularly with farming communities in India, Nigeria and Tanzania. His area of interest is: building community-based self-governing people’s institutions that can safeguard the interests of its members through sustainable and equitable use of all forms of capital, especially natural and human resources. A good part of his 25 year development career saw him struggle with implementation of development policies that mandated decentralization of fiscal, administrative and political powers against a backdrop of a political economy that is shaped by traditional institutions and forces of centralization. In the process, he got involved in policy research and advocacy initiatives through NGOs in India and as a consultant to The World Bank in Africa. His current research interests, therefore, focusses on understanding barriers to equity and sustainability in the geo-political context of developing economies. Before taking the current sabbatical, he was a senior member of BASIX Social Enterprise Group, an Indian conglomeration of 15 organizations working on a mission to promote large scale sustainable livelihoods.
Shashi is a trained social worker who returned to school to do a PhD that explored the relationship between the processes of decentralization and democratization and its impact on good governance. He is an IRES/UBC Alumni, during the days of RMES!