Vishal Narain

Professor, Public Policy & Governance
Chairperson - FPM & EFPM

Email :
Phone : +91-124-5013050

Vishal Narain is Professor, Public Policy and Governance, at the Management Development Institute Gurgaon.  He holds a PhD from Wagenningen University, the Netherlands. His teaching and academic interests are in the inter-disciplinary analyses of public policy processes and institutions, water governance, gender, rights and equity analyses in water management, periurban issues and vulnerability and adaptation to environmental change. In particular he is interested in the relationship between technologies and institutions in water management, and how they are impacted by each other. He explores these issues using qualitative research tools with a strong reliance on ethnography.

He has been working extensively on periurban issues, especially in the context of vulnerability and adaptation to environmental change and water insecurity. His research on these dynamics has been published in peer-reviewed journals like Geoforum, Land Use Policy, Environment and Urbanization, Water Policy and Water International. He co-edited, as lead editor “Water Security in periurban South Asia: adapting to climate change and urbanization (Oxford University Press, 2016), “Indian Water Policy at the cross-roads: resources, technology and reforms (Springer, 2016)” and “Globalization of water governance in South Asia (Routledge: Taylor and Francis, 2014).” 

He received the SR Sen Prize for the best book on Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (2002-03) conferred by the Indian Society of Agricultural Economics for his book ‘Institutions, technology and water control: water users associations and irrigation management reform in two large scale systems in India (Orient Longman, 2003).” 

He was a lead author for the chapter on human vulnerability to environmental change for GEO (Global Environment Outlook)-  4, the flagship publication of UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme. He has completed consultancy assignments for a wide variety of international organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Bangkok, The International Water Management Institute, IWMI, Colombo, The STEPS Center, University of Sussex, UK, The Asia Foundation, New Delhi and SaciWATERs, the South Asian Consortium for Inter-disciplinary Water Resources Studies, Secunderabad, India. 

He has been engaged in developing curricula and delivering MDPs (Management Development Programmes)   around water and gender equity. He has also conducted shorter training programmes around public policy analysis and inter-disciplinary water resources research for such organisations as TERI University, New Delhi, GALVMed, Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicine, Edinburgh and SaciWATERs, South Asian Consortium for Inter-Disciplinary Water Resources Studies, Secunderabad, India.

Prior to MDI, he was Assistant Professor, Department of Policy Studies, TERI University. He received the Best Researcher Award at Management Development Institute, for the year 2016. A complete list of his publications and citations can be accessed at