Birendra Singh is a CFIA Ph.D. researcher based at The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague. Prior to joining CFIA, Birendra completed his Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) from the Center for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi India. He also holds a Master of Technology (M.Tech) degree in Biotechnology. He wrote his M.Phil dissertation on knowledge and innovation in informal economy using the case study of vinegar making in North India. At CFIA, he is working under the supervision of Prof .Dr. Peter Knorringa from ISS, Dr. Andre Leliveld from Leiden University and Dr. Saradindu Bhaduri from JNU, New Delhi.
His initial training as an engineer and subsequent training in science technology and society (STS) studies provoke him to think about frugal innovation ‘differently’. Using the case study of rainwater harvesting in central India, his PhD at CFIA is aspiring to conceptualize knowledge and learning dynamics of bottom-up frugal innovations. More specifically, how local communities and bottom of the economic pyramid living in informal settings creates and mix their knowledge (e.g. local and traditional) with other forms of knowledges like modern and scientific to solve local problems. Knowledge creation, social learning and adaptive thinking theories are the theoretical ‘hook’ of his research. Methodologically, his research is based on economic anthropology approaches with various actors involved in rainwater harvesting efforts in central India including local communities, local firms and technicians, non-governmental organizations, research organizations and government agencies.