Sanjana Shrestha

Executive Director

Sanjana is a firm believer of the community-led development approach acknowledging the power and the capacity of the communities to take charge of their own development. She believes that facilitating to create ‘space’ for the community will help to instigate meaningful community engagement,  put local voices in the lead, build local strengths, build a common vision and collaborate across different partners to achieve systemic change. She is committed to ensuring READ’s approach to community-led development will ensure self-reliance and empower communities to take charge of their own development.

Sanjana joined READ Nepal as Program Officer in June 2004. Undertaking different positions thereafter she served as Country Director from January 2009 through Feb 2018. During her tenure, she was able to take READ Nepal into new heights and identify different ideas on how community-led development can be practiced and can be adapted into different contexts. Sanjana’s expertise and facilitation skills have been critical in expanding the READ model to India and Bhutan. She served as Senior Program Specialist in READ Global between March 2018 until November 2019 providing strategic program design guidance to READ’s overall replication, strategic program design support, and scaling efforts. Most recently, she held the position of CEO of READ Nepal from Dec 2019 to provide strategic direction towards organizational growth and sustainability.

Her diverse background encompasses community-based development work with different NGOs. She has also undertaken numerous research related to community development in national and international INGOs in Nepal. She also served as  an Advisor in Access to Learning Award, Global Libraries program of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Sanjana’s experience gives her unique insights into working with communities to create local leadership capacity in order to achieve need-based development goals. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in humanities and social science from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu.  She is currently pursuing her PhD from The University of Queensland in Australia in Social Work.

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