Our Team

Social development specialists with decades of
International development sector experience

Our Team

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Vidya Naidu

Senior Technical Specialist

Vidya joined SDDirect as a Senior Technical Specialist in September 2016. She previously worked as a social development consultant, specialising in social impact assessment, stakeholder engagement, community consultation and socio-economic analysis on large scale infrastructure development projects.

Vidya has worked with a range of donors including the World Bank, DFID, the Asian Development Bank and the EU. She has led the design and social appraisal of community development and access initiatives focusing on economic growth opportunities as part of transport and energy infrastructure projects. Her experience includes the design of a community development and advocacy intervention to increase participation in rural road maintenance planning and activities in Uganda, with a specific focus on inclusivity. She previously worked on a detailed Social Impact Assessment for a £50m South Sudan Feeder Roads Programme as part of a wider livelihoods initiative focusing on community development and market connectivity, requiring engagement with economically and geographically excluded groups such as women, internally displaced persons and conflict affected youth, to inform programme design.

From 2012, Vidya was based in Uganda managing a Challenge Fund for an £18m infrastructure programme, driving innovation and private sector development through pilot social development, road safety and engineering initiatives. During 2015 she was engaged on a World Bank assignment, piloting a methodology to assess the impacts of improved road connectivity on poor and vulnerable groups in Macedonia. More recently, Vidya has undertaken the scoping and strategic design of various donor funded infrastructure and economic development interventions, such as the DFID-funded programme to accelerate public and private investment in large scale, growth-enhancing infrastructure in Nepal.

As part of SDDirect’s Women’s Economic Empowerment team, she is currently responsible for driving the mainstreaming of gender and inclusion linked to economic growth on the Infrastructure and Cities for Economic Development programme (ICED) -  a new facility designed to accelerate DFID's infrastructure and cities initiatives to contribute to resilient, inclusive and transformative growth.