Tanya Sethi

Senior Research Analyst

Policy Analysis


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Tanya Sethi is a Senior Research Analyst at AidData, and serves as the publications lead across the policy analysis unit. In this capacity, she leads and contributes to various flagship publications and projects with clients such as USAID, the US Department of State, Brookings, and the OECD. Prior to joining AidData, Tanya worked with J-PAL South Asia as a Senior Policy Associate and with the Indian social sciences journal, Economic and Political Weekly, as an Assistant Editor. Tanya holds an MS in Public Policy from the Paris School of Economics and an MS in Economics from the University of Hyderabad, India. 

Tanya enjoys working at the intersection of research and policy, deriving insights to inform data-driven decision-making. In her current role, she is leading a joint project with Brookings on the use of data by education policymakers and practitioners in LICs and MICs, as well as an upcoming AidData report that analyzes the development finance from the largest Gulf donors during the Arab Spring. She also conducts outreach and dissemination efforts through presentations, briefings and blogs. Examples include presenting at the 2016 International Open Data Conference in Madrid and speaking at a panel discussion at the USAID Higher Education Solutions Network TechCon hosted at MIT in Boston in 2016.

Some of Tanya's past projects at AidData include: a study in Honduras to understand the barriers to the use of data in decision-making; a project that analyzes and develops a baseline of donor financing to the SDGs; two reports that examine the use of governance data for the Governance Data Alliance; and an evaluation of Danish development cooperation through a partner country perspective for DANIDA.   

In her previous position at J-PAL South Asia, Tanya worked closely with J-PAL affiliates and the Government of Tamil Nadu’s Health Department to develop project proposals to evaluate interventions to address the most pressing health challenges using randomized control trials. This involved data gathering and fieldwork in several districts of Tamil Nadu, and interacting with people at various levels of decision-making. She also summarized evaluations, presented evidence from RCTs, and served as a teaching assistant in trainings on impact evaluation in South Asia, including J-PAL’s Executive Education Program. In her role as assistant editor at the Economic and Political Weekly, she was part of research writing workshops at Indian universities for PhD scholars and faculty, having delivered sessions on plagiarism and research ethics, citation formats, and presenting data and results.