Divya Ravindranath

Senior Consultant – Academics & Research | divyar at iihs dot ac dot in


2018    PhD, Social Work Brown School, Washington University in St Louis St Louis, United States of America
2010    Diploma in Environmental Law National Law School of India University Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2007    MA, Social Work Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2005    BA, English Literature Ramnarain Ruia College, University of Mumbai Mumbai, Maharashtra, India 

Countries: India
States: Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Cities: Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Port Blair
Languages: English, Telugu, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada

Divya Ravindranath is currently Senior Consultant in the School of Human Development at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements. Her research is at the intersection of informal work, gender, social protection and urban health.


Her ongoing research primarily concentrates on provisioning care infrastructure for children of those engaged in the informal economy. Through her other recent projects, Divya has studied women’s roles in both paid employment and unpaid work, the nuances of breastfeeding practices within informal workplace settings, and the impact of informal work environments on the health experiences and outcomes of labourers. Her research has a strong policy and practice focus. She is also keen to explore innovative methodologies for field research.


In the IIHS Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), Divya teaches ‘Ethnographic Research Methods’ and co-teaches ‘Urban Social Protection’, ‘Urban Health’, and ‘Primary Research Methods’.


Her professional journey spans collaborations with various non-profit organisations, both in rural and urban India.


Divya holds a master’s degree and a PhD in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, respectively.


  • Gender in the City, Social identity, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Ethnographic Methods, Methods, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Designing Urban Social Protection Programmes, Economic development, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Urban Health Systems, Health, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS



  • Migration, Informality and Development , , Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  • Qualitative Research Methods, Urban Practitioners’ Programme (UPP), IIHS

Journal Articles:

  • Hong, A., Baker, L., Curiel, R. P., Duminy, J., Buswala, B., Guan, C., & Ravindranath, D. (2022). Reconciling big data and thick data to advance the new urban science and smart city governance. Journal of Urban Affairs. https://doi.org/10.1080/07352166.2021.2021085
  • Rohela, P., Bhan, A., Ravindranath, D., Bose, D. L., & Pathare, S. (2020). Must there be a “war” against coronavirus?. Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, 5(3), 222-226.
  • Ravindranath, D., Trani, J-F., & Lannotti, L. (2019). Nutrition among children of migrant construction workers in Ahmedabad, India. International Journal for Equity in Health, 18(1), 143.
  • Metzger, M. W., Bender, A., Flowers, A., Murugan, V., & Ravindranath, D. (2019). Step by step: Tenant accounts of securing and maintaining quality housing with a housing choice voucher. Journal of Community practice, 27(1), 31-44.
  • Ravindranath, D. (2017). Visa regulations and labour market restrictions: implications for Indian immigrant women in the United States. The Indian Journal of Labour Economics60(2), 217-232.
  • Bender, A., Metzger, M., Murugan, V., & Ravindranath, D. (2016). Housing choices as school choices: Subsidized renters’ agency in an uncertain policy context. City & Community, 15(4), 444-467.


Book/Book chapters

  • Surie, A., Goswami, A., Arakali, A., Revi, A., Ravindranath, D., Bhan, G., Anand, G., Balakrishnan, K., Kapoor, N., Sami, N., Vasanth, P., Anand, S., Smitha, M. B., Viswanath, S., Baberwal, S., Mitra, S., Batikar, T., & John, V. (2023). Towards a new urban practice: The urban fellows programme 2016-2022. Indian Institute for Human Settlements. https://doi.org/10.24943/9788195847303
  • Ravindranath, D., & Mohan, P. (2022). Migration and health: Charting questions for future research. In S. I. Rajan (Ed.), India migration report 2021: Migrants and health (pp. 1-8). Routledge.
  • Ravindranath, D (2019). Access to maternal health programs. In S. I. Rajan & M. Sumeetha (Eds.), Handbook on internal migration in India (pp. 738-748). New Delhi: Sage.


Other Writing:

Public Intellectual Writing:



  • Ravindranath, D. (2021, August 7). This world breastfeeding week, India needs to Ask why Its maternity benefit laws fall short. The Wire. https://thewire.in/health/this-world-breastfeeding-week-india-needs-to-ask-why-its-maternity-benefit-laws-fall-short
  • Ravindranath, D., & Kumar, V. (2021, June 01). India’s large informal workforce must be prioritised in our COVID-19 vaccine strategy. The Wire. https://thewire.in/rights/our-large-informal-workforce-must-be-prioritised-in-our-covid-19-vaccine-strategy
  • Kapilashrami, A., Issac, A., Sharma, J., Wickramage, K., John, E. A., Ravindranath, D., Aziz, R., Duigan, P. (2020, May 29). Neglect of low-income migrants in covid-19 response. The BMJ Opinion.
  • Ravindranath, D. (2020).  [Milk teeth by Amrita Mahale]. Unbanisation, 1-4.
  • Ravindranath, D., & Daniel, U. (2020, May 05). Understanding the implications of the COVID-19 lockdown on migrant workers’ children. The Wire.
  • Ravindranath, D. (2019, September, 27). How labour conditions at construction sites are leading to higher rates of child malnutrition. Scroll.in.
  • Ravindranath, D., & Varma, D. (2019, March 25). Seasonal migration and health in India: Constraints for research and practice. Ideas for India.
  • Ravindranath, D. (2017, July 9). Making Ahmedabad mine. The Wire.
  • Ravindranath, D. (2017, February 4). The ‘other’ visa issue: Acknowledging the crisis that may be looming for H4 visa holders. The Wire.

Conference Proceedings:

  • Ravindranath, D. (2018). Maternal health and access to healthcare among migrant workers engaged in informal construction work (Ahmedabad, India). In A. N. Sharma, I. C. Awasthi, T. Endow, B. Reddy, M. Prasad, S. K. Dubey, & S. Dhote (Eds.), 60 th Labour Economics Conference (pp. 184-185). Mumbai: Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research.
  • Barriers to breastfeeding and complementary feeding: field notes from construction sites in Ahmedabad. Presented at the International Conference on Nutrition before, beyond and during first 1000 days of life – evidence and action, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad.
  • Presented a research seminar on “Malnutrition among children of migrant construction workers: status and perceptions, household challenges and policy gaps” at Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Azim Premji University, Alternative Law Forum and Institute of Public Health, Bangalore,
  • Presented a talk on ‘Race in Contemporary America’ at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad.
  • Significance of CPRs in sustaining rural livelihoods. Presented at the Conference on Indian Society for Ecological Economics (INSEE), Hyderabad.
  • Presented on ‘Common Pool Resources in India’ at the International Association for Study of Commons, Hyderabad.
  • Participated in the ‘Gender Water Equity’ Workshop organised by TISS, SaciWaters, Gender Water Alliance, SOPPECOM, Goa.
  • A Study to Explore Child Care and Feeding Practices among Working Women in the Informal Sector
  • Children in All Policies 2030 project
  • Chief Minister of Rajasthan’s Economic Transformation Advisory Council (CMRETAC): Towards a Different Future of Work: A Framework for Informal Work and Workers in Urban Rajasthan
  • Effects of Social Protection for Women in Informal Work on Maternal and Child Health Outcomes: A Systematic Literature Review
  • Livelihood and Nurturing Care (LiNC)
  • Study on Examining Paid and Unpaid Domestic Work in Urban Homes