Garima Jain

External Consultant | gjain at iihs dot ac dot in

2010    MA Public Policy and Urban Planning, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge,
2006    BArch, Sushant School of Art and Architecture, GGSIPU, New Delhi

Countries: India, United Kingdom, Unites States, Uganda
States: Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Assam, Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttarakhand
Cities: New Delhi, Boston, London, Bangalore, Mukteshwar, Shimla, Berhampur, Chennai, Shillong, Kochi, Cuttack, Vishakapatnam, Vijaywada, Navi Mumbai, Dharamshala
Languages: English, Hindi

Garima Jain completed her Masters in Public Policy and Urban Planning from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusettes, USA. She has been a recipient of the Urban Knowledge Network Asia Fellowship at the Development Planning Unit, University College London. She currently serves on the Urban Planning Advisory Group (UPAG) to the Special Representative for the United Nations Secretary General and provides strategic advisory support to the National Disaster Management Authority of India.


Her research, practice and teaching interests are within the nexus of urban disasters and climate risks, social vulnerability, and planning, which she calls the ‘geography of urban risk’. Over the last few years, she has been working on issues surrounding disaster related relocation, the policy conditions in which the decision-making and implementation of such relocation operate, and the role of the state and other actors in these processes. In this context, she delves into the larger housing and land acquisition policies, and the gaps that exist particularly pertaining to hazard exposed populations. She also looks at such measures of relocation from the environmental justice perspective to understand the long-term implications for both people and the socio-ecological urban systems, and how inequities get entrenched in places. She has been chasing these questions with fieldwork in Ganjam district in Odisha, Vishakhapatnam and its surrounding areas in Andhra Pradesh, and Chennai in Tamil Nadu, where she has been studying the relocation of the most marginalised coastal communities and slum dwellers within rural and urban contexts.


At IIHS, she has led several urban policy projects including those on disaster risk reduction for the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED); on urban poverty reduction for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); and on an integrated urban policy support partnership with Rockefeller Foundation. She has also been part of the Secretariat for the Sustainable Development Goals agenda for Cities (SDG 11) for the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN). She teaches courses on integrated urban disaster risk reduction, sustainability in the urban, and quantitative methods.


She is devoted to learn more about the human and environment interface, and understanding the limits of urban sustainability at the current practice and pace of development. She is passionate about making all urban practices risk sensitive, and considerate for all people and the environment. Besides this, she loves to feed, eat, and travel.