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Social Anthropology:


Jeevan Sharma

Jeevan Sharma
Dr Jeevan Sharma
Lecturer in South Asia and International Development; Deputy Director- Global Development Academy
5.01 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0) 131 6511760
Research Interests
Migrant labor, Migration and development, livelihoods, Gender and Development, Youth, human rights, Development and Humanitarian Aid, Global Health, Reproductive & child health, Monitoring and Evaluation, Nepal and the Himalaya, South Asia

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • Thursday, 09-11.00

For appointments outside of my guidence and feedback hours, please email me at:

Research Day: Monday

I have broad interests in changing norms and forms international development, human rights and humanitarian response; labour migration and border crossing; society, culture and politics of South Asia; and socio-economic-political transition in Nepal and the Himalaya.

I have carried out ethnographic fieldwork in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Malawi.

I received PhD from the School of Social and Political Science, the University in Edinburgh in 2007, and have worked at Feinstein International Centre at Tufts University between 2009-2011 and Save the Children UK between 2007-2009.

Over the last 15 years, I have offered consultancy services to a number of development agencies including DFID, World Bank, USAID, JHPIEGO, Oxford Policy Management Limited, Care International, Save the Children, Saferworld, Scottish Government and Family Health International among others.

Current/most recent externally funded research projects

Dynamic Flood Topographies in the Terai, Nepal: Community Perceptions and Resilience, Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) (11/2016-08/2017), with Hugh Sinclair and colleagues.  

New Norms and Forms of Development: Brokerage in Maternal and Child Health Service Development and Delivery in Nepal and Malawi, funded by ESRC/DFID (from 1 May 2014, for two years), with Ian Harper, Pam Smith, Radha Adhikari and colleagues in Nepal and Malawi. website: www. 

A comparative analysis of the documentation of torture and ill-treatment in low-income countries, funded by ESRC/DFID (from 1 May 2014, for two years)

Journal Articles (most recent)

"Accountability and generating evidence for global health interventions: The case of misoprostol in Nepal" (with Rekha Khatri and Ian Harper), IDS Bulletin (Accepted/Forthcoming, March 2018)

“Britain-Nepal Relations through the prism of Aid” (with Ian Harper), European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, Accepted/Forthcoming, (2018

Torture and Ill-Treatment Under Perceived: Human Rights Documentation and the Poor (co-author), Human Rights Quarterly, 39 (2), 393-415. (2017).  

"Torture Redress mechanism in Nepal and Bangladesh: a comparative perspective" (with Morten Koch Andersen), Economic and Political Weekly, Vol LII, No. 17, April 2017

A Comparative Study of the Use of the Istanbul Protocol Amongst Civil Society Organizations in Low-Income Countries (co-author), TORTURE - Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture, 26(3): 60-73. (2017)

"WHO outsourcing dilemma: for whose benefit, at whose expense?" (with Harper, Adhikari, Smith, Thapa, Chand, Malata) BMJ Global Health (2017); 2: e000237, doi:10.1136/bmjgh-2016-000237  

Bodies in search of freedom: changing rural political economy and Nepal’s marginal migrants”, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 51, No 21. 21 May 201653-60.

"Understanding Health Research Ethics in Nepal" (with Rekha Khatri and Ian Harper), Developing World Bio-ethics, (Special Issue: the Ethics of Health Systems Research in Low and Middle-income Countries), (Open access; DOI: 10.1111/dewb.12109), Vol 16, No. 3: 140-147, 2016.

Conflict resilience among community forestry user groups: experiences in Nepal”, (co-author with Andrea Nightingale), Disasters, 38 (3): 517-539, 2014.

Book Chapters (most recent)

“Marginal Migrants? Migrant Associations and the Lived Experience of Nepali Migrant Workers in India”, in Gellner and Hausner (eds), Global Nepalis: Religion, Culture and Community in a New and Old Diaspora, Oxford University Press, Forthcoming, August, 2018.

Rise of adivasi janajati movement and Nepal’s political interregnum, in Hugo Gorringe, Suryakant Waghmore and Roger Jeffery (eds), From Margins to the Mainstream: Institutionalising minorities in South Asia, Sage Publications, December, 2015. 

"Aid and Violence: Development, Insurgency and Social Transformation in Nepal" (co-author with Antonio Donini), in Aparna Sundar and Nandini Sundar (eds), Civil War in South Asia: Sovereignity and Citizenship, Sage Publications, 2014.

“Migration, Marginality and Modernity: Hill Men's Journey to Mumbai", in Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka and Gerard Toffin (eds), Facing Globalisation in the Himalayas: Belonging and the Politics of the Self, Sage Publications, 2014.


Torture and Ill-treatment: Perceptions, Experiences and Justice-seeking in Kathmandu’s Squatter Communities (lead author), University of Edinburgh, DIGNITY, Social Science Baha, Kathmandu, July 2016 (ISBN: 978 9937 0 0977 5)

How can you be 'marda' if you beat your wife. Notions of Masculinities and Violence in Eastern Nepal (co-author with Matthew Maycock, Juilie Bretheld, Ojaswi Shah and Ramesh Shrestha), Saferworld, London, UK (July 2014)

Op-Eds/blogs (most recent)

LSE South Asia Blog (invited commentary based on current research on outsourcing of aid), Looking beyond Maternal Mortality Rates in maternal health interventions: lessons from Nepal 20/07/2016. 

Documenting Torture (a commentary on torture documentation in Nepal), My Republica, 23 May 2016.

LSE South Asia Blog (Invited commentary on Nepal Earthquake and external assistance), The 2015 earthquakes highlight that Nepal is not a passive recipient of aid, nor should it be treated as such, 29 April 2016.

Far too common (a commentary on criminalisation of torture in Nepal, My Republica, Kathmandu, 19 April 2016)

Checkered History (a commentary on the political history of foreign aid in Nepal, My Republica, Kathmandu, 9 March 2016).

Revisiting Mahatonomics (a commentary on development in Nepal), My Republica, Kathmandu, 22 February 2016).

Book reviews (most recent)

"Maoists at the Hearth: Everyday Life in Nepal's Civil War", Conflict and Society, 1, 2015.

"Anthropology and Development: Culture, Morality and Politics in Globalised World", International Development Planning Review, 36 (4), 2014.

"The personal and the professional in aid work", e-IR, 14 February 2014.

Previous externally funded research grants

January 2012- February 2014, Research Collaborator, (with colleagues in Edinburgh and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai), marginal populations, social mobilisations and development, UKIERI. GBP 30K

January 2012- April 2013, Co-investigator (with Antonio Donini at Tufts), Labor mobility, vulnerability and social transformation in Nepal, Humanity United Foundation, USD 150,000

2010-2011, Co-investigator (with Antonio Donini), Sovereignty, Globalisation and the Future of Humanitarian Action - Analysing Experience from Recent Crises in South Asia, The Future of Aid and Beyond Research Competition, DFID, UK. GBP 50,000

May 2011-December 2011, Principal Investigator, Labour mobility, vulnerability and social transformation in Nepal, Humanity United Foundation. USD 50,000

09/2010-08/2013, Co-Investigator (with Peter Walker, Daniel Maxwell, Karen Jacobsen and Elizabeth Stites), Coping with floods and managing livelihoods in Nepal Terai, OFDA/USAID. Total budget of the project is USD 1.1 million.

09/2010-02/2013, Research Collaborator (Nepal Co-Investigator), Biomedical and Health Experimentation in South Asia: critical perspectives on collaboration, governance and competition, ESRC-DFID Joint Scheme for Research on International Development (Poverty Alleviation), research grant with colleagues in Edinburgh, Durham India and Nepal, Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Edinburgh. GBP 500k

2007-2010, Co-investigator (with Antonio Donini), Local Perceptions of Conflict and Social Transformation in Nepal, Governments of the Netherlands, Norway and Finland.

Topics interested in supervising

I have more than 10 years of research and practical experience in the field of International Development. In particular, I welcome students working in the following fields: international development (development, humanitarian global health and human rights) response, labour migration and socio-political change in South Asia and Nepal. Particularly, I welcome students who wish to develop interdisciplinary research skills.

If you are interested in being supervised by Jeevan Sharma, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Social Anthropology; PhD in South Asian Studies; PhD in International Development; MSc (R) Social Anthropology; MSc (R) in South Asian Studies