A few words

About Us

Governance Lab (GovLab), an initiative of Daayitwa Abhiyaan, is a platform to bring together experienced researchers, policy makers and other partners for sustainable development of Nepal. 

The mission of GovLab is to create an ecosystem which influences research driven national policy, by conducting policy research, facilitating dialogues among various stake holders and sharing knowledge. GovLab also strives to be a platform for policy making researcher to exchange ideas and advocate for evidence based policy making in Nepal. 

Policy Focus

1.  Youth Employment

2.  Access to Investment

3.  Women’s Economic Empowerment 

4.  Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

5.  Governance Reform


Dr. Pukar Malla


Dr Pukar Malla has been leading parallel careers as a leadership coach, community organizer, and innovation speacialist. As a Founder and Executive Director of a leadership non-profit, Daayitwa, he has been organizing youth to lead innovative solutions in the government, business and civil society sectors.

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As a Former senior Research Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School, he investigated and piloted frameworks for communities of innovations to lead change. As a Senior Innovation Policy Specialist at the World Bank, he supported Indian, Chinese and Ghanian governments to promote innovation and inclusive growth. Prior to that, he led technology designs at Intel, AMD, Silicon Graphics, and a Silicon Valley startup, and secured 2 US patents. He received his Bachelors from Swarthmore College, with a focus on engineering and economics. He spent 3 years at Cornell, attaining a MS/PhD in Electrical Engineering with a Minor in Business Management. He earned his MPA from Harvard Kennedy School. While at Harvard, he also led the university-wide Harvard Graduate Student Government as its elected President. 

Dr. Nisha Onta


Nisha Onta, PhD is the Executive Director at Governance Lab. Nisha is a gender and climate change expert who has completed her PhD in Gender and Development Studies from the Asian institute of Technology, Thailand. 

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Her thesis title is “Gender and caste relations in climate change adaptation. The case of Burgaron village, Humla district, Nepal”. She was a recipient of NODARD fellowship in UNDP Human Development Academic Fellowship. She has been engaged in research in South Asian and South East Asia related to climate change adaptation, livelihood diversification and gender and climate change. She has also participated and presented papers in various climate change workshops and conferences, and is actively involved in gender and climate change scholar networks. She has also published papers and book reviews in peer reviewed journals.

Sajana Bista


With a strong interpersonal skill, Sajana Bista has 5 years’ experience in administration and accounts field.

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She is currently associated with Gov Lab as an Operational and Finance Assistant. She has been working and helping to formulate daily basis work activities which helps the organization to fulfill its goals. Previously, she worked in Sagar group and Bajra group as an Admin Professional and Assistant Accountant respectively.

Gagan Atreya


Gagan Atreya is Governance and Research Officer at Governance Lab. Prior to joining Governance Lab, he completed an MA in Experimental Psychology at The College of William & Mary in Virginia, and an MA in Quantitative Political Science at The University of Minnesota. 

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His primary research interests lie in studying the social, political, and economic processes in South Asia through the lens of political psychology, political behavior, survey and public opinion research, and quantitative social science.

Elina Thapa


Elina Thapa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Development Finance from Kathmandu University and is currently pursuing her MBA in Finance from Pokhara University.

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 In addition to this, Elina is also training to become an ACCA certified professional accountant. Immediately after graduation, Elina joined Depressor Nepal as an Accountant and Data Handling Assistant and spent 9 months working in SIndhupalchowk. After that, she was the Finance and Admin Officer at Yonder Music Nepal where she was a part of the core founding team and earned valuable experience working in a multinational team. Before joining NLA, she was involved with Daayitwa as the Finance Officer. At present, Elina heads the finance team and is responsible for all matters related to Finance. 

Chandra Bhandari


Chandra holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Policy and Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Immediately after graduation, Chandra joined Daayitwa team as a Research Officer. At present, he is working as a Research Associate at the Governance Lab, working on Decentralization and Candidate Selection research. 

Medha Joshi


Medha completed her MPP from George Washington University on a Fulbright scholarship. She also holds an MA in Rural Development from Tribhuvan University.

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Medha Joshi is a Research Manager at Governance Lab(GovLab) where she supports Research and Evidence for Nepal’s Transition (RENT) project. Her research interests lie in the area of governance and accountability. Prior to working at GovLab, she was working as a consultant at the World Bank facilitating the Agile Bank Evaluation survey to map out the management practices within units and staff experiences within the organization. She has also served as a Teach For Nepal Fellow teaching English to secondary school students in rural Lalitpur. 

Nirvisha Baidya


Nirvisha Baidya completed her bachelor’s in Information Technology and is currently doing Business Studies.

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She is an Executive Associate at Daayitwa Abhiyaan. She supports GovLab with the recruitment processes. She had previously worked as a secretary and coordinator in an event management company and is actively involved in voluntary activities in Rotaract as well. 

Aakansha Sharma


Aakansha Sharma completed her bachelor’s degree in environmental science from University of Northampton.

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She is an active youth Environmental advocate who has been with local communities and representing young voices. Aakansha is a Research and Communications Intern for GovLab who supports digitization of data, monitors and translates local and national news on online news sites and organizational websites, and supports communication tasks.

Keshar Shahi


Keshar Shahi is a recent graduate of New York University in Abu Dhabi where he majored in Economics and minored in Applied Mathematics.

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Previously, he has worked as a research intern  at INCITE, Columbia University where he studied how network affects financial outcomes of Sri Lankan female migtrants in the Gulf. His senior year thesis is titles “Long Term Economic Outcomes of Nomadic Travel Routes in the Highland of Asia.” His research interests are Spatial Economics, Development Economics, and Public Policy. 

Prakat Khati


Prakat is a layer and a public policy researcher based in Kathmandu, Nepal.

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He graduated from Kathmandu School of Law with a specialization in Business and International Trade Law after which he served as a research intern at the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh. Prakat held the Daayitwa Public Service Fellowship in 2017 where he worked with the Ministry of Industru in formulating strategies for encouraging women business owners to register their businesses. 

Dr. Sujit Pandey


Sujit Pandey is a researcher and consultant with interests primarily in entrepreneurship, firm competitiveness and human capital. He completed PhD from the NHH Norwegian School of Economics, Norway. 

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In his doctoral thesis, he studied the process of accumulation of human capital in new firms and the effect of human capital on their performance. He worked as a researcher at NHH and taught a course on international business there.
Over the past six years, Mr. Pandey has studied various facets of entrepreneurship ranging from how recessionary business environment affects entry and performance of new firms to the resources that give firms competitive advantage. He has also conducted research on the factors that are affecting the growth of micro and small enterprises in Nepal and potential policy solutions to address those impediments. Mr. Pandey has previously also worked in the financial sector, where he managed a credit portfolio composed primarily of small and medium enterprises.


Daayitwa envisions a thriving Nepal where all citizens embrace their responsibilities to collectively transform social challenges into innovative opportunities. Daayitwa aims to:

1. Promote inclusive and enterprise driven economic growth

2. Strengthen governance of public service delivery

3. Foster resilience in local communities

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Nepal Leadership Academt (NLA) is a non-profit company established to help address the growing issue of leadership cries around the world. 

NLA is a signature component of Daayitwa Abhiyaan, which envisions a resilient and thriving Nepal where all citizens embrace their responsibilities to collectively transform societal challenges into innovative opportunities. 

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EPoD India at IFMR, a joint program by Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard Kennedy School and the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR), works with policymakers and key partners in India and Nepal through an iterative process of policy design. It identify areas where research and data can make the greatest difference to policy, then engage in a process of designing, testing, and refining solutions to problems.

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