Dr. Raj K. GC obtained his doctoral degree in the Planning, Governance, and Globalization (PGG) program within SPIA in December 2020. He completed the degree under the guidance and supervision of Professors Hall, Stephenson, Hammett, and Ranganathan. Prior to studying at Virginia Tech, Raj earned a Masters of Science (MSc) degree in International Land and Water Management with a specialization in integrated water management from the Wageningen University in the Netherlands, where he was a Netherlands Fellowship Program Fellow. Raj has worked for more than eight years with different development agencies in Nepal. In these roles, he led their efforts to reduce poverty through community-based water resource and smallholder agriculture development, primarily supported by USAID, DFID, and EU funding.
Raj’s doctoral dissertation was entitled, “Exploring the Potential of Multiple Use Water Services for Smallholder Farmers in the Western Middle Hills of Nepal.” His research focused on the productive use of rural water systems, the sustainability of these systems, and water-related public policy under Nepal’s new governance system. The research included an in-depth study of ten rural communities (including 202 household surveys and 50 key informant interviews) in the middle hills of Nepal. More generally, Raj’s research lies at the nexus of water, technology, and local economy and culture. His work often draws upon mixed-methods to understand how local water resources can be planned and used for multiple uses (i.e., domestic and productive activities) to improve rural livelihoods in developing/underdeveloped countries.
So far, Raj has published three of his doctoral dissertation chapters in peer-reviewed journals: *Water; Agriculture; and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for Development*. He has also co-authored three additional peer-reviewed publications. His research makes an important contribution to the literature on multiple use water services and will shape rural water supply policy and practice in Nepal. His research findings have also captured the attention of senior government officials in Nepal who have shared his findings with the appropriate government agencies. International NGOs have also been utilizing his research findings in their program development efforts. Raj has been invited to share his results with water experts at USAID, IWMI, and the global and Nepal MUS network.