Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Humanitarian Innovation Initiative (HI2)
Photo of Gayatri Vijaysimha

Gayatri Vijaysimha

Gayatri Vijaysimha

Co-Founder, Bagheera Project

Currently the head of Knowledge at Societal Platform and the co founder of Bagheera Project, a new project to engage youth in Disaster Relief and Reconstruction, Gayatri Vijaysimha is passionate about creating grassroot change through innovation. Driven by the need to democratize innovation, creating a more equitable and inclusive capability to solve problems using peoples ingenuity, science, and technology she has worked with communities to develop solutions that are inclusive and sustainable. Currently Vijaysimha is in the process of establishing the Bagheera Project, which involves working with a community that lives on a waste landfill in Kolkata, India. Her work involves education, public health and disaster mitigation. She plans to research the impact of the landfill on the health of the community living nearby and the flooding in the area.

In 2015, Vijaysimha worked as a research associate at the MA school of Development and a supervisor at the Human Rights Cell at the Azim Premji University, Bangalore, India. She has been working with them over the past few months coordinating the sustainability program, helping develop their social justice program, mentoring students and researching social justice issues in Orissa. Her previous work experience also included developing a mobile application to inform Syrian refugees both within the country and in neighboring countries about UNHCR services. Vijaysimha's role in Syria primarily involved collecting and analyzing data on the impact and effectiveness of Humanitarian aid delivery on communities and the technology used to reach out and inform communities on the ground of emergency situations and understanding the challenges humanitarian workers faced while delivery aid. In 2012 she helped set up Amnesty International in India and went on to work as a campaigner and researcher for Amnesty International. Earlier she helped the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation develop their community mobilization monitoring research, conducted across 18 districts in India. She graduated from Tata Institute of Social Sciences with a MA in Globalization and Labour in 2011.


  1.  "DENIED" Failures in accountability for human rights violations by security force personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. Amnesty International Ltd. 2015. 
  2.  Beyond Technology: Innovation at UNHCR. UNHCR Innovation Unit. 2015.