Ayesha Zainudeen

Senior Research Manager

Ayesha is a Senior Research Manager at LIRNEasia. Her core areas of interest lie at the intersection of technology and inclusion in the Global South, with a current focus on the future of work. She has over 19 years’ extensive experience in this field, having designed, managed and led numerous research projects in the South and Southeast Asian region for clients such as IDRC (Canada), the World Bank, the Ford Foundation, the GSM Association, the Asian Development Bank, GIZ, inter alia, leading on LIRNEasia’s gender work. She is currently managing a regional hub for research on the future of work in LMIC Asia, a part of IDRC’s FutureWORKS initiative,  toward an inclusive and sustainable future of work.  In her most recent research, she  documented how digital technologies are changing work opportunities and contexts in particular for women in South Asia. She was also engaged in a mapping of online job portals in the Asia Pacific to understand their potential as a data source for near-real-time labor market analytics.

A large part of her focus has been on the demand (or user) side, looking at issues of access, use, and obstacles to the same, particularly among marginalised groups such as low income earners, women, persons with disabilities, etc. Her expertise lies in design, ensuring robust survey design, taking into account practical challenges and factors (for example identifying hard-to-reach target groups, challenges in fielding surveys due to the COVID-19 pandemic, among others). Her experience ranges from several multi-country nationally representative surveys measuring tech access and use patterns among varied groups, to smaller scale qualitative studies focusing on the nuances of, for example how digital platforms offer earning and empowerment opportunities for women in Sri Lanka. Her work is aimed at providing deep insights as well as robust evidence and indicators from the demand side of tech (in particular the marginalised user) for policymaking.

Some of her current and past work includes:

She holds a BSc (hons) in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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