My name is Chandni. I am a researcher at the Indian Institute of Human Settlements where I explore climate change adaptation and drivers of differential vulnerability in rural, urban, and peri-urban landscapes. I am currently part of three projects: 

  • Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA): An IDRC-DFID funded international project within which I work in the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) consortium and lead the rural research work in Karnataka. (2013-2018)
  • Migration, Livelihood Trajectories and Climate Resilience: An SDC-funded project under their CapaCITIES programme exploring migration and city resilience planning in medium-sized Indian cities. I lead the team in Siliguri which is exploring informal livelihoods, climate vulnerability, and city-wide action to build resilience. (2017-2018)
  • Long-term Implications of Short-term Humanitarian Responses: An IIED-funded project where we are examining how short-term, relief-oriented responses shape longer-term urban planning and development trajectories. For this we are using the case of Chennai which is a site of multiple hazards; from a drought in 2002, to the tsunami in 2004, and heavy flooding in 2013 and 2015. [Working paper, policy brief] (2016-2017, completed)

Apart from my core research, I serve as Chapter Scientist on the IPCC's Special Report on 1.5 deg C, Book Reviews Editor at Progress in Development Studies, and a member of the Future Earth Transformations Knowledge Action Network.

I have worked with Bioversity International as a researcher for their Global Review of Integrated Landscapes Initiatives where I coordinated data collection and analysis for South Asia. Before this, I completed my PhD in Rural Livelihoods at the University of Reading in the UK. My doctoral research explored farmer vulnerability and adaptation strategies to water scarcity and climate change in southern Rajasthan (India). Within this, I explored farmer perceptions of 'scarcity' and 'climate', 'variability' and 'water availability' and discussed whether these perceptions match observed meteorological data. Another strand of my research tried to understand why some farmers are more vulnerable than others and followed livelihood strategies employed at the household scale. 

I hold a master's in Natural Resource Management from TERI University and have worked with NGOs such as Pragya and WWF-India towards implementation of community-based watershed development and wetland restoration projects.

My research interests include climate change adaptation, climate information services, natural resource management, livelihood transformations along the rural-urban continuum, and mixed methods research.

I am a strong believer of storytelling as a vehicle of communication and this blog  attempts to convey reflections from my research and travels through narratives, often personal, and usually in the form of stories or travelogues. Apart from my research, I enjoy travelling, writing poetry, and taking long walks. I am disturbingly fond of dogs and new notebooks.

Welcome to the blog!


  1. this seems like a very critical body of work, especially from the Indian perspective. good luck with the work. looking forward to reading on on this blog and the final thesis.

  2. Dear Chandni,
    I came across your blog today and really enjoying going through it. You write very well and you write on interesting topics. I look forward to reading your blogs. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thank you so much! It means a lot coming from you. I have read your extensive work on groundwater management and it has helped me formulate my own ideas. Welcome to the blog!

  3. Very interesting blog Chandni - you should come to West Africa. Sibiry

    1. Great to see you here Sibiry! Will definitely take you up on that offer and keep our conversations going : )

  4. This is so much very nice information that I have seen. Thanks for your service with this info. It is very inspirational.


    Borewells in Hyderabad


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