Rishita Nandagiri is an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Methodology. Her doctoral research (Department of Social Policy, LSE; 2019) was a multimethod study investigating women’s abortion-related trajectories to care in Karnataka, India. She was previously an LSE Fellow in Health and International Development at the Department of International Development.
She possesses over ten years of research, policy and advocacy-related experience, having previously worked with and consulted for the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights, the United Nations Population Fund, and FRIDA the Young Feminist Fund.
Rishita serves on the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population’s panel on Abortion Research. She is also an editorial advisory board member of BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health, an external graduate member of the Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies, and Health at the University of Sussex, and co-convenes the Development Studies Association’s Gender and Development Study Group.
She is co-founder of the Abortion Book Club, which examines and interrogates depictions of abortion in fiction. Rishita is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Rishita’s interdisciplinary research on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in low- and middle-income countries is underpinned by feminist and reproductive justice approaches, and interrogates how power and politics manifest and are wielded at individual, interpersonal, community, and macro levels.
Her current ESRC-funded postdoctoral research builds on her PhD findings, reconceptualising the role of lay community health intermediaries (CHIs) in abortion-related information and service provision. Working with lay CHIs, Rishita aims to co-produce new abortion-related knowledge and impact outputs. She will be mentored by Dr Flora Cornish.
Rishita’s research agendas follow four interconnected streams: (i) challenging biomedical framings of abortion safety, particularly in self-use, (ii) mapping womxn’s trajectories to abortion care, (iii) understanding the roles of lay community health workers in abortion, and (iv) interrogating the resurgence of Neo-Malthusianism (“populationism”) in policy and media reports and its impact on womxn’s autonomies and lives.
Methodologically, she is interested in multi-method research designs that incorporate co-production and participatory methods in addition to questionnaires, interviews, archival research, and policy analysis.
Her other academic interests include feminist research paradigms, decoloniality, anthropological demography, social movements, and conceptualising agency and autonomy.