Professional experience

I’m a consultant in digital development, specialising in gender in a digital world. I’m a Research Director at Caribou Digital where my clients have included Australia’s Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, Gates Foundation, Mastercard Foundation, Omidyar, OXFAM, Standard Chartered, UK Aid (DfID), UNCDF, UNICEF, USAID and World Bank.  Previous to Caribou Digital, I worked with Commonwealth Secretariat, Microsoft Research India, mySociety, Panos, UN Women and World Wide Web Foundation.

The overarching theme of my research and consultancy is on user experience – the inclusion and exclusion of groups through technology including mobile phones, ranging from UI (user interface) or bias in terms of race and/or gender or other attributes. My interests started with community radio (which still has a special place in my heart) and are now in the future of work for women, digital financial services and digital identity (each as separate but they converge as we know).

I am also an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University (School of International and Public Affairs) where I teach a graduate course in Digital Development. I’ve always tried to teach alongside consultancy, just for the sheer joy of it. My first Assistant Professor position was in 2003 at the University of Manchester’s Global Development Institute where I co-convened the MSc in Management and Information Systems: Development and Change. I’ve been teaching ever since, at London School of Economics (both Media and Communications and Information Systems Departments) and now at Columbia’s SIPA. I’ve taught both mainstream undergraduate and postgraduate information systems as well as digital development and given lectures and presentations at Cambridge University, Harvard,  IIM-Bangalore, Oxford (Oxford Internet Institute) and Princeton.

Note: I’ve been writing a lot more on Medium, but am linking the posts in the Blogs tab here too.


– Certificate in User Experience Design (General Assembly New York)

– PhD in Information Systems (London School of Economics)

– MPhil European Literature (University of Cambridge)

– MSc Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems, with  Distinction (London School of Economics)

– BA Hispanic Studies (Kings College, University of London)

– Certificate in Postgraduate Teaching and Learning (University of Manchester)

Having lived in India, Spain and Honduras, I speak fluent Hindi and Spanish, and learned French to intermediate level at the Alliance Française in London.  My mother tongue is Konkani, spoken on the south-west coast of India.


My expertise and interests have always centred around different aspects of technology and inclusion. I feel my experience has grown in the following way (even though I can’t believe it’s been 18 years!):



Savita BailurI am indebted to all those who have generously given up their time over the years as research respondents.

My parents are major sources of inspiration for my career. My father was an IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer and my mother a professor, so I get my sense of service from them.

I’m also lucky to have been inspired and/or mentored by (chronologically): Shirin MadonRichard Heeks, Susan Scott, Kentaro Toyama, Jonathan Donner, Jo Tacchi, Hania Farhan, Nnenna Nwakanma, Linda Raftree and Chris Locke. This is just a handful of many who have been supportive, collaborative researchers and policy makers.

Thanks to Rehanna Neky for help on this site.

To contact me:

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