Pattanayak Attends Workshop to Address South Asia Environmental Challenges
Energy Access Project faculty director Subhrendu Pattanayak recently visited Kathmandu, Nepal, for a weeklong workshop for the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE). This network focuses on building the economics capacity of local academics and NGOs to address South Asia’s environmental challenges. In its most recent form, SANDEE has been formally integrated into the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), though it continues to receive support of the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). In addition to Pattanayak, Jeff Vincent, dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment and an advisor to the SANDEE community for the last 15 years, attended. SANDEE’s main approach to capacity building is through medium grants for research, pairing a regional scholar with an international faculty advisor and led to joint research between SANDEE researchers and Duke faculty. For example, Royal University of Bhutan’s Tshering Thinley worked closely with Duke scholars to conduct fieldwork and publish a paper on Bhutan’s rural electrification scheme and the resulting impacts on health, education, and productivity of rural communities. Another SANDEE project has paired Robyn Meeks, a professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy, Pattanayak, and ICIMOD staff in reviewing the sustainability of micro hydro projects in Nepal.