Abishek Sankara Narayan

(Dr. Sc. ETH) Post-Doctoral Researcher, Siedlungshygiene und Wasser für Entwicklung / T +41 58 765 6771 / abishek.narayan@eawag.ch

My research is on water and sanitation for development and humanitarian settings. I work in the intersection of Urban Planning, Wastewater Engineering and Environmental Policy.

Currently, I focus on three major topics:

1. Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS)

This research contributes to the conceptualisation of CWIS and the development of a planning approach to implement it. I collaborate with the many partners including World Bank, Gates Foundation, Asian Development Bank, and GIZ among others.


2. Integrating Basic Services (WABES)
Water, Sanitation and Solid Waste are inherently similar and have many interactions between their physical value chains. Integrating these offer a possibility to reap co-benefits. In two small towns in Uganda, we are testing if and how this could be done. This work is done with the support of SDC. 


3. Scaling up WASH innovations (Lab to Land) 

A number of technological innovations in the WASH sector already exist, but have failed to scale up and solve real world challenges. I ask: What should we do to bring such innovations from lab to the land. This research is done in collaboration with TU Munich.   


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My interest in water came from founding the Clean Adyar Initative, a citizen action group on river restoration in Chennai, India. There I understood the need for taking a holistic approach to water challenges. 

I have a background in Chemical Engineering and Environmental Policy from Anna and Oxford Universities respectively. More recently, I received my PhD in Envrionmental Engineering from ETH Zurich.

I am also a visiting / guest lecturer on the topics of Water, Sanitation and Urbanization at EPF Lausanne, ETH Zurich,  IHE Delft, TU Berlin, TU Munich and University of Oxford.


I am active in two key WASH networks -
Swiss Water Partnership, where I co-founded the SWP Youth network and help coordinate the youth activities. I am also part of the Steering Board of the Partnership.
Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA), where I am a lead for the working group on Cities, and also on the Core Committee of the Alliance. 

I strongly believe that for achieving sustainable and equitable development in WASH and elsewhere, there needs to be holistic planning, youth participation, and clear communication of science. It is therefore these three aspects that I try to focus in any of my scientific or development endeavor.  

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