Akhila Sivadas

Managing Trustee and Executive Director

As founder member of CFAR, she brings with her rich and varied experience as a researcher and communication expert on issues related to gender and development and its impact on the lives of marginal communities. Under her stewardship CFAR has grown from a 4 member team to a full fledge team that is working on projects across various states on issues ranging from women and child rights to HIV/AIDS and the urban poor and other marginalized communities. Over the last ten years, her major area of focus has been to educate communities about welfare schemes and services   This has been achieved on scale by collaborating with government, CSOs and community-based organizations (CBOs). This was first done with stakeholders managing AIDS control programme and with communities at high risk of contracting HIV.  She strengthened media support to all stakeholders and organizations across six high prevalence states on HIV prevention. Having achieved some success in strengthening media engagement with HIV prevention, she spearheaded, in collaboration with central and state governments, a five state intervention to facilitate the social inclusion of marginal communities such as sex workers, transgender people, women living with HIV and injecting drug users across all social development programs and schemes. She has also been actively involved in empowering urban poor communities to improve access to basic services and schemes. This includes a range of unorganized workers as well as highly marginal groups including transgender and other excluded groups and community, In addition she has been working concertedly in cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Jaipur and Bhubaneswar on water, sanitation and hygiene.  She has been keenly involved in strengthening capacity of community to be actively involved in all the programme components of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. She has also assisted national and regional institutions in preparing strategy documents on gender, child rights and reproductive health. In 2009-10 she developed a Learning Site for programme leaders and implementers on HIV prevention in Bagalkot, Karnataka. .