Aparna Krishnan leads J-PAL South Asia’s Innovations in Data and Experiments for Action (IDEA) Lab, a dedicated team within J-PAL SA, with a focus on encouraging use of administrative data in research and policy. Aparna engages extensively with state and national government partners, tech and domain experts, researchers, donor organizations and others to set up data use case projects across sectors, provide advisory inputs on data accessibility, quality and usability, and also oversees efforts to strengthen data capabilities within government agencies. Prior to this, she was leading J-PAL South Asia’s first institutional and large-scale partnership with the State Government of Tamil Nadu (GoTN) until 2018, which she continues to be involved with in an advisory role. She served as Executive Director of J-PAL South Asia until 2012, and in this role, helped set up and manage several large-scale research projects, engaged in policy outreach and training activities with different government, multilateral and civil society agencies.
Apart from her work at J-PAL, she has a few years of independent consulting experience in Monitoring and Evaluation systems and data use with the World Bank, and similar international organizations and a few NGOs. She has also worked in development and environmental policy research in India in different positions at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, and the Centre for Micro Finance at IFMR; and in Singapore at the Institute of SouthEast Asian Studies. Aparna has a master’s in international policy from University of California, San Diego and a master’s in economics from Gokhale Institute, India.