Swetha Ramachandran CCDP


PhD Researcher in International Relations & Political Science
Areas of expertise
  • Humanitarian action
  • Development, Aid policies
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • Subsaharan Africa

PhD Thesis


Title: Compounds, Corner Stores and Crime: Investigating the Impact of Fortified Aid Compounds on the Local Economy and Crime Rates in Sub-Saharan Africa

PhD Supervisor and Co-Supervisor: David Sylvan (IR/PS) and Jean-Louis Arcand (Economics)

Swetha’s doctoral research focuses on quantifying externalities of how humanitarian aid is conducted in Africa. Specifically, she researches on how expat aid workers impact the local economies, politics and housing markets.



Swetha Ramachandran is a doctoral candidate in the International Relations/Political Science department and a Research Assistant with the CCDP for the SNSF-project "Apomediated Peace: The Role of Digital Technologies in International Peacebuilding". Her doctoral thesis explores the nexus between humanitarian aid agencies and local service providers using a mixed methods approach. Prior to joining the Graduate Institute, she worked in the capacity of a Monitoring and Evaluation professional in Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Lesotho and DRC. She holds a MA degree in Conflict Management and International Economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS.