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Bindu Sunny

Consultant (Former title)

Bindu works with the Education team as a Research Analyst. She is currently conducting research on the role and prevalence of private education in south Asia; and public spending and early childhood development in low and middle-income countries. Her research interests are mainly in longitudinal data analysis and life course research, specifically in understanding the linkages between schooling, health and life outcomes (sexual debut, pregnancy, marriage) among children/adolescents in low-income settings. She has previously worked with the African Medical Research Foundation (London) and World Education (Boston) managing their health and education portfolios in sub-Saharan Africa and India, respectively. She holds a Phd in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) .She also holds a MA in International Development from Brandeis University and BA(Hons) in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi in India.

Publications

Non-State Education in South Asia: Understanding the effect of non-state actors on the quality, equity and safety of education service delivery
Publication

Non-State Education in South Asia: Understanding the effect of non-state actors on the quality, equity and safety of education service delivery

Education systems in South Asia are complex and fragmented. Despite high engagement and involvement of Non-State Actors (NSA) in education, there is a lack of comprehensive policy to govern them. Achieving better learning outcomes for children in South Asia requires understanding the wide variety of NSA providers and unpacking how these different actors engage with and influence education provision. Through a meta-analysis of existing evidence, this report presents findings on learning outcomes in public and non-state schools and the implications on quality, equity and safety of education delivery in the region. It also uncovers critical gaps in evidence that need to be addressed to show what is really working, for whom, where and at what cost.
Family-friendly policies in South Asia
Publication

Family-friendly policies in South Asia

Bringing up children requires care, time and resources. Yet, too often, all over the world, parents and other primary caregivers are left to struggle with this fundamental task without enough support. The burden of responsibility tends to fall disproportionately on women. Often parents have to make impossible choices between earning enough money for their family and giving children the care that they need. The concept of ‘family-friendly policies’ has emerged as a way of thinking about and addressing these issues. There is no agreed definition of the concept, but it is generally conceived as a set of policies that help parents/caregivers to reconcile various aspects of work and family life. Such policies may differ from one region and location to another depending on, amongst other things: demographics, including the definition of what a family is, and its function; the characteristics of the labour market and the workplace; the social and cultural context, including attitudes, expectations and norms; and the economic context. This paper addresses the issue of what family-friendly policies could look like in the South Asian context, where female labor force participation is very low and more than 90 per cent of workers are in the informal sector or under informal employment. It considers how these policies can be responsive to the particular characteristics and circumstances of countries in the region – including multi-generation families, family units built around adolescent mothers (and sometimes fathers), and migration for work both within and outside countries. It also tackles the question of how family-friendly policies might need to evolve in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. By taking an equity approach to family friendly policies, we provide recommendations on how to reach families in different situations and facing different degrees of vulnerabilities, including those not working or working under very difficult circumstances.

Events

Evidence on educational strategies to address child labour in India and Bangladesh
Event

Evidence on educational strategies to address child labour in India and Bangladesh

The workshop's objective is to establish current evidence and inform future direction for research on educational strategies to address child labour in India and Bangladesh. Bringing together 24 experts on the topics of child labour and education, as well as donors (DFID) and programme partners (ILO, UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia, IDS, UNICEF country offices), the workshop represents the main inception activity for the DFID-funded research project “Supporting DFID’s Asia Regional Child Labour Programme: Evidence on Educational Strategies to Address Child Labour in South Asia". The project is carried out by UNICEF Innocenti, as part of the broader DFID “Asia Regional Child Labour Programme”.