Yaso Nadarajah is a development sociologist with special interest in the areas of human ingenuity, sacred investment, and international development. Commitment to establishing an international and regional cross-sector reference in the Indo-Pacific has meant spending more than sixty per cent of her time in the field, and working through both local and global challenges in areas stretched and remade by reclaimed customary practices, national agendas and global markets.
In her previous role, Yaso’s primary undertaking was the Local-Global Community Sustainability project, a study of communities across a range of sites in Australia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea. This study has generated a wide range of research reports and academic publications, with visible influence in public and community development policy. She is continuing her research in Papua New Guinea, India, Malaysia and Australia, where she is working on a body of work around the questions of the sacred, knowledge diversity and ‘building from the ground-up’ development approach, particularly with remote communities.
Yaso’s recent books include Understanding Development through Study Tours: Interpreting the Field and Negotiating Different Viewpoint (2016); Searching for Community – Melbourne to Delhi (2015), Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Development: Other Paths for Papua New Guinea, (2012), and Rebuilding Communities in the Wake of Disaster: Social Recovery in Sri Lanka and India (2012).
Yaso is the Founding Advisory Board and an Adjunct Professor with Centurion University, Odisha, India. She is also on the International Advisory Committee for Centurion University’s Institute of Knowledges. Yaso is a senior research associate with the Sisters-in-Islam NGO Forum (Malaysia), Nelson Mandela University, Department of Development Economics (South Africa); Community Fellowships (Australia); and an Elder of the Kukukuku Tribal Council (Papua New Guinea).