Jai Shende

MPhil Development Studies (Distinction), University of Cambridge

BA Hons. History (First Class with Distinction), University of Cambridge

Jai joined Niras-LTS in 2021 as an Analyst after completing her MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge. She was a recipient of the Cambridge UK & Wolfson College Masters Scholarship, and was awarded the Wolfson Jennings Prize for her academic achievements. Currently, Jai is Assistant Project Manager for the FCDO funded Strengthening Climate Resilient Systems in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Technical Assistance Project (SCRS WaSH TAP) in Ethiopia and Assistant Programme Manager for the FCDO funded Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agriculture (CASA) Programme in Nepal and Malawi. She provides business development, project management, and technical consultancy services across a range of Niras’ business sectors.


Jai’s main interests are in economic and private sector development, employment creation, and gender. Her experience spans research, consulting and fundraising  for international development. Prior to her current role, Jai worked with ActionAid India in the Women & Work and Research teams on the National Study on Informal Workers. Alongside her postgraduate studies, she led a team providing consulting and financial advisory services to Kineer Services, a social enterprise in India that works to create dignified employment opportunities for hijras (a traditional gender-nonconforming community in South Asia). She also co-wrote and published a research paper reviewing mental health programmes for Yezidi refugees, and played a key role in the fundraising team for an international development non-profit delivering projects in Tanzania.