Thomas C. Hunt Building a Research Community Day

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



Educational Leadership


This presentation provides findings from the first stage of my 2020 SEHS Summer Research Grant entitled “Improving access for women in Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) in India: A policy gap analysis”. The focus centers on the first article to emerge from this work entitled “A bottom‑up approach to improve women’s access to technical and vocational education and training in India: Examining a non‑formal education upskilling programme”. The International Review of Education (IRE) first published the article online March 6, 2021 for the August 2021 issue.

Firstly, I will provide background context to the larger project (all accomplished with co-researcher Radhika Iyengar, Director, Education Sector, Earth Institute, Columbia University) regarding the initial participatory action research (PAR) project which took place at Mahashakti Seva Kendra (MSK), a non-formal skilling program in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. That phase reflected the needs of employment-related skilling for urban, economically marginalized women. This presentation’s focus hones in on the next steps suggested in the IRE article which address engaging in bottom-up approaches in future policy development to more meaningfully support women’s needs, desires and aspirations through possibly accessing TVET. The goal in addressing this harkens back to the Indian government’s 12th Five-Year Plan which ambitiously addresses women’s upskilling. The IRE article begins to fill the gaps currently present so that the Plan’s ambitious goals have a larger likelihood of succeeding. Finally, a brief explanation will be offered regarding how third-space and “scapes” frameworks are leveraged to impact policy from the bottom up.


technical and vocational education and training (TVET), non-formal education, gender, bottom-up policy, third spaces scapes, participatory action research, upskilling, access


Adult and Continuing Education | Education | International and Comparative Education | Vocational Education


Presentation: 10 a.m. Friday, April 23, 2021