Mona Dhamankar is a development sociologist with extensive experience in rural development management, particularly in livestock-based interventions that promote individual livelihoods. She is committed to improving the participation of women in crop and livestock value chains and is heavily involved in projects designed to integrate gender and nutrition into agriculture and livestock development. Her current work focuses on inclusive food systems, developing an approach to carry out food systems analysis as a framework to assist food and nutrition security programming.
Along with IFAD, she developed an approach and methodology to analyse value chains using a nutrition-gender lens to help identify intervention options to achieve nutrition outcomes. The methodology is based on mixed participatory research methods and focuses on opportunities and constraints to increase supply, improve consumption and market demand, and enhance the nutrition value of locally available food. Her field experience primarily covers East and West Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zambia) and Asia (India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia, Philippines).
Prior to KIT, Mona was a long-term consultant with the National Dairy Development Board in India where she worked with cooperative milk unions to make smallholder dairy value chains more inclusive, formulate strategies for participatory extension and set up revenue models for community-based advisory services. She also worked with women self-help groups to promote good animal husbandry practices, and developed a cadre of community level paravets to provide advisory services. Earlier she led a management training centre promoted by a large Indian NGO implementing large land and livestock-based livelihood programmes in several states of India.
She has worked with government and non-government development organisations in sub Saharan Africa and Asia in project formulation and capacity building. She has extensive experience supporting field teams in project implementation; designing approaches, tools and methodologies for situation analysis and applied research; facilitating write-shops for analysing and documenting field experiences; and supporting collaboration with other stakeholders. She is well versed in qualitative data collection methods and has conducted impact assessments and evaluation missions for numerous funding agencies and private foundations.