Hemant Raj Ojha, PhD

Hemant Raj Ojha, PhD

Senior Research Fellow [Founding member of ForestAction (2000), Former Executive Coordinator (2008-2010)]


Hemant Ojha has over 18 years of experience in research, development actions and post-graduate teaching. He is a founder of ForestAction Nepal where he served for 10 years as team leader, executive coordinator and board chair. He has recently co-founded Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS) based in Kathmandu. He did doctoral research in Development Studies (with a focus on Natural Resource Governance) from School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. His research spans a wide range of issues related to society and environment.

Mr. Ojha has ongoing research collaboration with several Universities in Southasia and outside, including University of Toronto (Geography), University of Edinburgh (Geography), University of Michigan (Environment), Australian National University, University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney, and Tribhuvan University. He has also served as researcher/specialist/consultant for several and international agencies, including USAID, DFID, IDRC, ADB and others.


  • Climate Adaptive Agricultural Innovation Threads in Southasia (with SIAS and CCAFS)
  • Critical Action research and forest governance, with ForestAction Nepal and SIAS.
  • Inclusive urbanization, with University of Sydney and Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal India.
  • Public policy analysis and the role of critical social science, in association with Frank Fischer, Rutgers University.
  • Ecosystem services and poverty alleviation, in collaboration with University of Edinburgh
  • Climate change and rural institutions, in collaboration with Danish Institute of International Studies



Ojha, H.R., Hall, H. and Sulaimna, R. (eds.). 2012. Adaptive Collaborative Approaches in Natural Resource Governance: Rethinking Participation, Learning and innovation, Routlage, London. http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415699105/

McDougall, C, Banjade, M.R., Ojha, H., Pandit, B.H., Rana, S., and Maharjan, M. 2009. Forests of Learning: experiences from research on an adaptive collaborative approach to community forestry in Nepal. CIFOR,ForestAction Nepal and New Era.

Ojha, H. 2008. Reframing Governance: Understanding Deliberative Politics in Nepal’s Terai Forestry. New Delhi, India: Adroit Publishers.

Ojha, H, Timsina, N., Chhetri, R.b. and Paudel , K. 2008. Knowledge Systems and Natural Resources: Management, Policy and Institutions in Nepal. Cambridge University Press and IDRC Canada.

Ojha, H, Timsina, N., Kumar, C., Belcher, B. and Banjade, M. (eds). 2008. Communities, Forests and Governance: Policy and Institutional Innovations from Nepal. India: Adroit Publishers

Subedi, B, Ojha, H., and Binayee, K. N. 2003. An Assessment of Community Based Forest Enterprises in Nepal: Case Studies, Lessons and Implications. ANSAB and SNV Nepal

Ojha, H. Civic Engagement, Social Capital and Democratic Possibility: The Emergence and Struggle of Community Forest User Group Federation in Nepal. In Deniere and Lyong (Eds) Vibrant Societies. Routlage (Fothcoming)

Ojha, H., Banjade, M., Paudel, N.S., Cameron, J. and McDougall, C. 2010. The Deliberative Scientist: An Approach to Forest Management in Nepal. In Laura German et al (ed) Beyond the Biophysical. Springer Publications

Ojha, H, Persha, L. and Chhatre, A. 2009. Seeing Forests through the Trees: community forestry in Nepal. In: D Spielman and Lorch, R. P. (ed) MillionsFed: Proven Successes in Agricultural Development. International Food Policy Research Institute

Journal articles

Nightingale, A and Ojha, H. Theory of Power and Authority: Symbolic Violence and Subjectivity in Nepal’s Terai Forests, Development and Change (under review)

Ojha, H., Cameron, J. and Kumar, C. 2009. Deliberation or Symbolic Violence? The Governance of Community Forestry in Nepal. Forest Policy and Economics, 11: 375-382.

Ojha, H. 2006. Techno-bureaucratic Doxa and Challenges for Deliberative Governance – The Case of Community Forestry Policy and Practice in Nepal. Policy and Society, 25 (2): 131-175.

Cameron, J and Ojha, H. 2006. A deliberative ethic for development: A Nepalese journey from Bourdieu through Kant to Dewey and Habermas. International Journal of Social Economics, 34 (1)

Journal Editor: Founding chief editor of Journal of Forest and Livelihood; Co-editor, Nepalese Journal of Social Science and Public Policy.

Academic Peer reviewer: International Forestry Review, Commonwealth Forestry Association; Oryx – The International Journal of Conservation, Cambridge; Geoforum, Elsevier; Human Ecology, Springer; Critical Policy Studies, Taylor and Francis; The Journal of Food Security, International Society for Plant Pathology; Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier; Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, Taylor and Francis, World Development, Agriculture and Human Values.

PhD supervision

Co-supervisor of PhD research of Mani R Banjade on Deliberative governance of forestry in Nepal, with Prof John Dryzek and Peter Kanowski, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Australia

Co-supervisor of PhD Research of Sudeep Jana Thing on Protected Area and Indigenous People, with Prof Roy Jones, Curtin University, Australia

Research Fellowship

Senior Fellow (2011-2014). Melbourne School of Land and Environment, University of Melbourne, Australia

Visiting Fellow (2011-2013), Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University.

Research Fellow (2009), School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan