Summary of Key Skills & Experiences
I operate in between technology and people and how we are constantly shaping our world view. I function well in creative, diverse and cross-cultural teams in bringing together different perspectives and bridging boundaries. I build my knowledge from the experiences and people I meet. I am useful in multi-disciplinary teams contributing to strategies and innovative ideas to find solutions. Being grounded in my rural spirit and upbringing, I am able to effectively communicate and exchange ideas from inception to implementation.
My experiences range from: Technology Architecture, Product Design, Leading Software Teams, Community Building, Disaster Response & Risk Reduction, Internationalization & Integration in European Universities (received an award). In my quest of acquiring research skills, I have built up on my knowledge by readings in Technology, Ethics, Politics, Philosophy and in the areas of International Development, Humanitarian Aid on the topics of dignity, accountability, community engagement, humanitarian ethics, effectiveness of aid. I also have experience of working in a multi-partner EU funded FP7 project. I use mixed Qualitative Methods in my research especially ethnography. Sometimes, I also provide cross cultural competency training and workshop. I try to look at things that do not get enough attention and always inquisitive and curious to learn.
Keywords: Design Thinking, Human-Centered Design, Human-Technology Relations, User Experience Design, Ethnography, Qualitative Methods, Cultural Sensitivity, Cross Cultural Communication & Collaboration, Community Engagement, Empathy, Care for the other, Disaster Risk Reduction, Community Based Interventions, Livelihoods, Women Empowerment & Gender aspects, Appropriate Technology.
- Feb 2014 – Sep 2016 – ERCIS, University of Muenster, Germany.
Primary Role: Early Stage Researcher, Marie Curie Actions Fellow (full-time)
Project: NITIM ITN (EU/FP7) Project # 317382: Networks, Information Technology &
Innovation Management: Topic Area: Humanitarian effectiveness & technology, Humanitarian Logistics.
Projects: GDACSMobile, NITIM-ITN, NITIM Graduate School Contributions
- Jan 2012 – June 2012 – Technology Start-up (Telephony/IVR), New Delhi, India.
Primary Role: Operations Manager/CTO – Focus – Rural Markets, Multi-Lingual Markets
Responsibilities: Product Design, Business Plans, Product Team Lead, Clients.
- Feb 2010-Dec 2011 – Grameen Development Services, Lucknow, India.
Primary Role: Manager ICT Operations & Asst Program Manager (full-time)
Responsibilities: Application of ICTs in Livelihoods, Disaster Management, Women Empowerment programs. Part of Humanitarian Response team and Core Research Committee. Project Management of Goat Based Livelihood Project with 4 other implementing NGO partners. Training on ICTs or disaster response communication in floods. Part of Climate Change study for IRRI.org.
- July 2004-2014 –Technology Strategist & Consultant [in Internet, Networking, Infrastructure, Server Administration, Mobile
Technology, Design, Digital Strategy, Community Engagement]
- 2014-Present – (External) PhD/Doctoral Candidate.
Topic area: Accountability in NGOs, International Aid, Ethical Community Engagement, Dignity of Disaster Affected Communities.
University of Münster, Germany. Official Page: http://erc.is/p/kumar
- 2012-2014 – [incomplete] –
Mastersin Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society, University of Twente, the Netherlands. [35 ECTS (Ethics, Philosophy & Politics of Technology, STS)]
- 2013 – Post Graduate Diploma in International Business
- 2011 – M. Sc. in Information Technology.
- 2009 – Bachelor of Engineering in Computing
Scientific Community Participation
- 2013-Present – Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM) Association – Member, Reviewer
2013 – Panel Expert – “Connecting Reality and Research in Humanitarian Response”
2013 Workshop Expert Member – “GDACSmobile” – Mobile Applications and Social Media in Crisis Management organised by ERCIS, University of Muenster.
2013 Conference Organisation Team Volunteer
- 2016-Present – International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) – Reviewer
- 2012-Present – NITIM European Graduate Research School – Member, School Organising Team, Student Representative Body
- 2014-Present – Information and Communication Technologies for Disaster Management (ICT-DM) Conference – Program Committee Member, Reviewer
Training and Certifications Received
- 2012 – Trusted Developer 2012 – Core Platform – Ushahidi
- 2010 – Trained for Volunteering in Disaster Response from Jamsetji Tata Centre for Disaster Management (JTCDM), Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India in January 2010.
- an honorary Kiwi! (My twitter friends from New Zealand made me their own Honorary Kiwi when I helped them find lost and loved ones during ChristChurch Earthquake 2011 using Twitter. And yes! it worked!)
- 2008 – Cisco Network Academy Program – Completed CCNA Curriculum through at APIIT SD
INDIA. Academy Connection ID: 4793053.
Volunteer & Community Service
- UniTe – University of Twente – Sep 2013-2014
President – UniTe acts as an advisory council and we focus on UT-policy concerning internationalization and integration with the Student Union and International Office at UT.
Awarded: Henk Zijm Award 2013-2014
- PowerCuts.IN – May 2011 – Present
Founder – Citizen Media project focussing on data on power cuts in India.
Awarded: mBillionth 2012 award for m-News & m-Journalism.
- The Stand By Task Force – Sep 2012 – Feb 2014
Core Technical Team – A global group of Digital Volunteers assisting various agencies in responding to humanitarian response efforts in situation of crisis.
- TEDxShekhavati 2011 – Volunteer – Organising Team 
- Inter-Agency Group – Uttar Pradesh, India [2010-2011]
- Sahana Software Foundation – May 2008 – Dec 2010
Part of the online Sahana Relief Team 2010 (Research and Experimentation for Local and International Emergency and First Responders) 10-1 disaster exercise organized by the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS.edu) USA, at Camp Roberts in California. Project Committer/Programmer & Core Team Member to Sahana & SahanaPy, Indian Localisation Lead, General Community Outreach. Coordinated with the IBM India teams on incidents of disaster relief where Sahana was chosen by IBM to be used for the local agencies. Bihar Floods 2008 & Andhra Pradesh Floods 2009
Honours, Grants & Fellowships
- IP@WWU DAAD Research Stipend – Research Stay Abroad stipend for fieldwork in India, November 2016.
- Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow (MCSA) – Doctoral Fellowship as per EU FP7 Framework under the NITIM Multi-Partner ITN project period 02/2014-09/2016
- Henk Zijm Award 2013-2014 awarded every year to a student or association that makes a significant contribution to the internationalization strategy of the University of Twente, the Netherlands http://www.utnieuws.nl/english/60764/Lets_GO_Study_abroad_fair
- mBillionth Award 2012 for m-News and m-Journalism for PowerCuts.IN project crowdsourcing citizen voices to highlight power crisis realities in India.
- UTS Grant – University of Twente, The Netherlands – Scholarship of €10000 per year to cover part of tuition costs of Master programme in PSTS [Sep 2012-2014]
- ICTD 2010 London Conference – Scholar – http://www.ictd2010.org/?page_id=120 – 13-16 December 2010, Royal Holloway, University of London.
- DigitalNatives.in Asia – Selected participant from Asia for Talking Back workshop held at the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan (August 2010). Guest Editor: Newsletter. Project by CIS India and HIVOS Netherlands.
- Sarai FLOSS Research Fellow (2008-09)