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Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and the Environment



Shailaja Fennell is Director of Research at Cambridge Central Asia Forum and a University Lecturer in Development Studies, and a Fellow of Jesus College at the University of Cambridge. She was awarded her degrees of BA, MA and MPhil in Economics from the University of Delhi, and then went on to read for her MPhil and PhD at the Faculty of Economics and Politics, University of Cambridge. Her doctoral research was on long-term agricultural trends in India and China.

Shailaja was a international team leader on the project on public private partnerships in education within the DFID funded research consortium on educational outcomes and rural and urban poverty (RECOUP). She was a member of the team commissioned by the EU to bring about the first European Report on Development team (2008-09), titled Overcoming Fragility in Africa: Forging a New Approach Forward.

Shailaja has been researching the linkages between rural development, environmental and educational strategies in India, China and Central Asia since 2004. She has specialised in the sub-fields of institutional reform, rural development, gender and household dynamics, kinship and ethnicity, and educational provision.

Her recent publications include Rules, rubrics and riches: the relationship between legal reform, institutional change and international development (Routledge 2010), Gender Education and Development: conceptual frameworks, engagements and agendas (Routledge 2008) edited with M. Arnot. She is currently completing a book titled Grains and Gains: the political economy of agriculture in China and India (Sage 2012) and working on a manuscript currently titled Development in Transition: lessons from Central Asia.

Shailaja was appointed visiting professor at the Kazakh National University in Almaty in 2008 and conferred a honorary professorship by the A. Yasawi Kazakh-Turkic University in November 2009.

Lecturer in Development,
Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge
Dr Shailaja  Fennell
Not available for consultancy


Person keywords: 
comparative economic development
linkages between rural development, environmental and educational strategies in India, China and Central Asia
the dynamics of household decision making
improving food production and ensuring sustainable livelihoods for smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa
agrarian transformation
educational provision
economic reform
economic history