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Inspirational Women: Vandana Nath |Program Manager, Learning and Knowledge Management Task Force at India Sanitation Coalition, FICCI

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Vandana

Vandana is the Program Manager for Task Force on Learning and Knowledge Management. Aligning with the objectives of learning, sharing and disseminating, she is currently involved in devising strategies for an efficient learning and sharing practices across the sector.

Before ISC, she was associated with IUSSTF as a Program Officer-JCERDC( Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center). A certified Project Management Professional (PMP ®), she has over six years of experience on Project Management. She has comprehensive understanding of National and Bi-lateral programs and their management methodologies. She is well conversant with costing, estimation, planning, and utilization of funds, funds mobilization, and Schedule & stakeholder management. Her experience includes management of an array of capacity building programs, Virtual R&D Networking Centres, maintaining substantive interaction among various stakeholders. She has a background in Environmental Science and IPR Management

Tell us about yourself, your background and what you do currently

An explorer, highly ambitious, determined and eternally curious! Exactly how I prefer the world to know me.

I have been working in the Development Sector for past seven years. The undertone of the environment, social changes and policies of the world continually amazes me, as it has significant political, social, and economic implications.

I hold a Masters degree in Environmental Sciences and a PMP certification. My current engagement as a Program Manager for Learning and Knowledge Management Task Force at the India Sanitation Coalition, entails designing the complete ideology along the objectives of learning, sharing and dissemination in the sector of Sanitation. Engaging with the multi-stakeholder base of Government, Corporates, Development Partners, Academicians and Practitioners, I gained considerable knowledge on the grass root levels of policy making and hindrances that affect its smooth implementation and benefit to the last mile.

Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote

Working at several levels and programs, I have had many opportunities to add value and position myself as a resource in the social sector. I have noticed a strong connection between community service organizations, public and private sector, and civic organizations. These institutions are all interconnected and it’s tough to be successful without understanding facets of all the stakeholders. I feel that the entrepreneurial spirit is needed in public sector for there are tremendous opportunities to put to practice.

Policy plays a key role in the ability of any organization to manage their capital structure, within mandated constraints, in such a way as to be able to fulfil the mission of providing service to the greatest extent possible, with steadily shrinking resources. Coming from India, I feel that we are at a critical juncture in our history, and we need innovative, evidence-based strategies and intervention to facilitate the policy-making process.

What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?

I don’t see challenges as impenetrable barriers, rather they should be embraced . I faced almost all forms of challenges both people and circumstances. Accepting the past, I believe was my biggest challenge. I eventually realized that If you don’t make peace with your past, it will never leave you and it will create your future. I guess the only good time to look at the past is to see how far you’ve come.

What has been your greatest achievement personally?

I am sure its yet to come! But so far, I guess discovering myself and being comfortable in my own skin is what I have achieved. Each one of us fights their own battles and succeeds in their own way. I fought mine and each win was an achievement!

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

People around me! Things they say or do gives me the inspiration I need. I owe my life learnings and successes to each of them!

What does the future hold for you?

The ideal future holds balance and peace for me. I see a better me, more learned, more genial and more giving!

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