Praveen Kumar, PhD, joined the Boston College School of Social Work faculty in 2017. He has substantive research, teaching, and practice experience at the intersection of environmental inequities, poverty, and global health. His research is grounded in implementation science and advances theoretical concepts and empirical evidence on the interface of environmental and global health, addressing challenges of vulnerable communities. A significant focus of his research is concerned with exploring economic, social, and behavioral determinants impacting well-being of resource constrained rural communities of South Asia, and particularly India. His research is informed by multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals specifically goal 3 (good health and well-being), goal 7 (affordable and clean energy), and goal 13 (climate action). Dr. Kumar uses quantitative methods and Systems Sciences particularly social network analysis for his transdisciplinary research.
Currently, Dr. Kumar is a co-investigator of an NIH funded case control study wherein he has deployed stove use monitoring technologies to accurately record cookstoves’ usage patterns in below poverty line households of rural India. Using RE-AIM implementation science framework, he explores participants’ stove usage behavior as a function of their household, organizational, and network determinants. This is the first study in India to evaluate gender striated ego based personal networks as determinants of sustained uptake of evidence based cleaner cooking systems. Dr. Kumar also worked in an NIEHS funded randomized control trial in rural India, where he collaborated with Washington University’s School of Engineering, School of Medicine, and India based Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Foundation for Ecological Security. This project compares respiratory health impact on women and children due to continued exposure to household air pollution from traditional and cleaner biomass stoves. In 2015, Dr. Kumar was the only selected research fellow at the UN Foundation’s Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. His work included analyzing implementation strategies fostering sustained uptake of evidence based cleaner cooking systems in 8 countries of Africa, South America, and Asia.
Beyond his academic credentials, Dr. Kumar has extensive professional experience in global development specifically in areas of environmental policy, global health, and rural development. This includes his position as a management consultant in the international development services team of KPMG. He has been involved in key research and advisory engagements with numerous international development organizations and national governments including the World Bank, DFID (UK), USAID, multiple UN agencies, ICDDR (Bangladesh), Governments of India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.