Our Team

Saroj Bista

Saroj Bista is a lawyer from Nepal who has over five years of experience working on information rights & ICT, open-data and human rights advocacy. Bista was a Community Solutions Program Fellow for the year 2016 where he worked with the Governance Laboratory as a Program Affiliate in Washington D.C. He served as a Country Expert in the Varieties of Democracy Project of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He is also the Open-data Coordinator at Young Innovations, leading the open contracting movement as well working with locally elected authorities of Nepal  to foster local level accountability.

Ashta Prajapati

As a project director for Community Solutions Initiative, Ashta Prajapati helps strengthen the capacity of local entrepreneurs through supply chain development in order to market various climate smart technologies for sanitation, agriculture and micro-irrigation to rural household at affordable rates. Ashta promotes technologies and products that enhance the livelihood of poor people through market and entrepreneurship development at the community level.

Ankit Khanal

Ankit Khanal has experience in international organizations, and has policy research interests in development, humanitarian affairs and human rights. Most recently, Ankit served as a fellow at the US Department of State in Washington D.C. Before that, he worked with United Nations Resident Coordinators Office in Nepal as a Field Analyst and participated in major sudden onset response missions including the 2015 Earthquake in Nepal. Ankit holds a MA in International Relations from the University of Northampton.

Spriha Shrestha

Spriha Shrestha is a Research & Communications Fellow at Community Solutions Initiative. Spriha oversees CSI’s communication strategy and leads the direction and production of content for the organization. She is passionate about women’s leadership and believes that educating and empowering women to lead alongside men is a key step in creating more just and equal societies. Spriha previously, worked as a team leader at VSO Nepal on a project based on Quality education, Lamjung. She has a Masters in International Relations from Webster University, Saint Louis, Missouri.

Upaj Bhattarai

Upaj Bhattarai is Program Director at Community Solutions Initiative. Upaj after completing his masters’ in International Relations from the UK, decided to return his country and work for the empowerment and capacity strengthening of underprivileged people and community. He worked in an EU funded project in Karnali, Nepal as a coordinator for the quality improvement of early grade children. He previously worked as an Operations Director in Next Generation Nepal, a US based INGO and designed and implemented multiple projects soon after the massive earthquake of April 2015. He has over six years of experience in community development focusing in the issues of Education, Protection and Livelihood. He has a MA in International Relations from the University of Northampton and MA in English from Tribhuvan University.

Rajeshwor Ghimire

Rajeshwor Ghimire is a Senior Programme Manager for Community Solutions Initiative-Nepal. Prior to joining CSI, Rajeshwor spent time as a Programme Manager at Motivation For Achievement Group Nepal. Rajeshwor is also the vice president of NKSSP in Sydney and also the Managing Editor at the Nepali Vision Australia. He has published several articles and books including Third Eye, Paryabartan and Gautam Buddha Ko Sahar.

Pratikshya Sharma

Pratikshya Sharma is a Program Officer at Community Solutions Initiative. She has worked with various organisations, provided psychosocial support to female victims of domestic assault. She also worked as a research assistant at Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Centre, carrying out assessments to help earthquake victims. Her passion and experience as a social worker is tied with her academic excellence. She has been awarded Nepal Bidhya Padak (2015), and National Youth Intelligence Award (2015), to name a few.

Nirjana Khadka

Nirjana Khadka is an intern at Community Solutions Initiative-Nepal. She has experience of working in NGO’s and worked on various communities issues related to gender violence, human rights and Women Empowerment. She holds a Bachelors in Social Work from Kathmandu University.

Dr Paul O’Keeffe

Dr. Paul O’Keeffe is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Geneva where his work focuses on higher education in emergencies. He has a PhD with distinction in Sociology from Sapienza University of Rome, which researched the role higher education plays in Ethiopia’s development trajectory. He is a co-founder of New Research Voices and the Jamiya Project. He has previously worked as an Information Management Adviser for Voluntary Services Overseas, a lecturer at Charles University in Prague, and an assistant on the management of the Irish Aid Fellowship Programme. He has also contributed to the Economist, the Guardian and various other publication’s coverage of higher education and development around the world. Dr O’Keeffe serves as an advisor for the Community Solutions Initiative.


 Rajya Gurung

Ms Rajya Laxmi Gurung has ten years of experience in teaching and for the past seven years she’s working as a trainer and researcher focusing on Gender based  Violence, Human Rights Defenders, Non-Violent Communication, Collaborative Leadership, Peace and Conflict Studies. Rajya has double masters in Conflict Studies and Computer Science. She serves as a lead trainer for Community Solutions Initiative.