Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Swarnim Wagle — The Twin Challenge of Development Catch-up and Democratic Consolidation in Low-Income Countries: The Case of Nepal

Monday, November 15, 2021

4:00pm - 5:30pm EST

McKinney Conference Room, 111 Thayer St


Swarnim Waglé is the Chief Economic Advisor at the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific (RBAP) in New York. He leads work on strategy, policy and partnerships covering 36 countries.  

Between 2014 and 2018, Dr. Waglé served the National Planning Commission (NPC) in the Government of Nepal for three years, first as Member and then as Vice-Chair. As the head of the Government’s apex policy advisory body, he guided the formulation of national development strategies, coordinated policy across the public sector, monitored large projects, led ministerial delegations on the international stage, and steered organizational change. In the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake of 2015 and the flood of 2017, Dr. Waglé co-led the Post Disaster Needs Assessments (PDNA) and helped garner pledges for billions of dollars in assistance.

Swarnim Waglé has worked as an international development professional for more than 20 years, including as Senior Economist at The World Bank in Washington, DC and UNDP offices in Hanoi, Colombo and New York. He co-authored the UNDP’s Global Human Development Report (2013) titled “The Rise of the South.” From 2002 to 2007, he co-led the UNDP Asia Trade Initiative.

Dr. Waglé is Chairman of the Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), a South Asian policy think tank established in 1979. He sits on the Senate of Kathmandu University and advises several non-profit organizations. He is a member of the World Bank’s South Asia Championing and Visioning Process, and a member of the Governing Council of Future Earth in South Asia. He has undertaken short-term assignments at the Asian Development Bank (Manila) and the International Trade Center (Geneva). In 1999-2000 he served as South Asia editor of Harvard Asia Quarterly.

Swarnim Waglé holds a PhD in Economics from the Australian National University, an MPA in International Development (MPA/ID) from Harvard University, and a BSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics.

South Asia Seminar