Executive Committee

John Samuel

John Samuel has around 25 years of experience and expertise in strengthening democratic governance, public policy advocacy, human rights and sustainable development in India and globally. His work has combined policy research, advocacy capacity building, institution building, strategic leadership and social mobilization across the world. He is an International Consulting Advisor to the UNDP and other international development organisations. He helped to establish NCAS and was formerly the Executive Director here.



Jagadananda presently leads the Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD). He demitted the office as the State Information Commissioner, Odisha to advance the Right to Information (RTI) agenda in the State in August 2013 and was a member of the State Planning Board of Odisha, following his active campaigning for people-centric decentralized planning. He is also the President of the National Social Watch (NSW). In 2008, he was a Member of the Committee on State Agrarian Relations and the Unfinished Task in Land Reforms.



Keerti is the Country Director at Caritas Suisse, based in Patna, Bihar. Formerly, she was the State Programme Coordinator of Mahila Samakhya, Bihar. She is a women and Dalit rights activist, development professional and trainer and has been involved in advocacy, research and training on a wide range of socio-legal issues.

Asha Ramesh

Asha Ramesh is a gender and development activist. She has held a number of prestigious positions, such as Director, Policy and Partnerships with WaterAid, Senior Programme Officer Christian Aid, New Delhi, Director- Rights Based Programmes, Centre for World Solidarity, Hyderabad and Research Associate, National Institute of Advanced Studies, a premier Research Institution in Bangalore. She was the National Co-ordinator for National Alliance of Women (NAWO), New Delhi.

Advaita Marathe

Senior State Consultant Unicef Madhya Pradesh . She was the State Coordinator at Mahila Swaraj Abhiyan, Gujarat. Trained as a lawyer, the focus of her work has always been women’s rights and gender across various sectors and has accumulated experience of working from the grassroots to the national level on various issues affecting women.

Amitabh Beher

Amitabh is Chief Executive Officer at Oxfam India. He is a civil society leader and former Executive Director of National Foundation for India. He is recognized for his work on governance accountability, social and economic equality, and citizen participation. He is one of the leading experts of people-centred advocacy. He is the vice board chair of CIVICUS and chairs organisational boards of Amnesty International India, Navsarjan, and Yuva. and also sits on the board of other organisations like Centre for Budget and Governance
Accountability (CBGA), Mobile Crèche, VANI, Global Fund for Community Foundation (GFCF). Amitabh has earned M.Phil in political science from Jawahar Lal Nehru University

Bhanvar singh chandana

In 1995 Bhanwarji initiated a movement for rights on forestland in Udaipur region of South Rajasthan. 25000 tribals have been associated with this movement and have been continuously struggling since 1977 for entitlements of rights (food, land, health, education) . He has served the community by organizing them on issues of livelihood, justice, survival and the right to live with dignity. Special focus of his work has been lobbying, advocacy, networking, planning of issue based campaigns, promoting collective leadership.

Amit Narkar

Amit Narkar works as a freelance consultant for all distinguished CSOs with a special focus on research on policy issues, strategic planning & capacity building. Additionally, he is happening to be the Founder Trustee of REACH -Goa, Trustee Secretary of Shankar Brahme Samajvidnyan Granthalaya-Pune and a Trustee Secretary of Bhai Vishnupant Chitale Pratishthan
In 5 years with National Centre for Advocacy Studies (NCAS), Narkar had started as a Program Officer and went on to become the ED. He have also been a guest faculty at Karve Institute of Social Services, Pune and MIT School of Government and a member of Goa State Committee for Monitoring of Shelters for Urban Homeless – nominated member by the Supreme Court of India – an achievement made possible by his keen interest on issues of development and governance from the lens of the marginalised people and public financing for social sector.
Prior to joining NCAS, Narkar served as a Faculty in Economics for PGDBA-MBA course at ICFAI National College. While there, he had published many books, analytical briefs and papers on Adivasi rights & agriculture. Amit has also appeared in training sessions on Human Rights for government officers and regularly writes for Marathi magazines and newspapers on issues in development and governance.
A graduate from University of Pune, Amit holds a master’s degree in Economics and is currently doing his PhD. When not hard at work consulting for CSOs, he enjoys working as an independent filmmaker which stems from spending his 4 years in mainstream television media.

josantony joseph

Josantony Joseph is an international trainer on capacity building, strategic planning, and team building programs for various NGOs and INGOs, mainly on social advocacy, human rights training programs, leadership programmes for both national and international groups including ActionAid South Asia, TROCAIRE Ireland, WelthungerHilfe Germany, National Centre for Advocacy Studies (NCAS India) etc.
He is one of the founding members of NCAS and assisted the organisation in streamlining their administrative, financial, and program functioning on many levels. Presently, he is the training consultant for NCAS and an esteemed member of the executive board of the organisation.
Formerly to become a full-time trainer and a resource person, Josantony held many important positions at senior management levels both in India and abroad in organisations like Asia Partnership for Human Development, Hong Kong as the Executive Secretary (CEO), Former Advisor (Maharashtra) to the Commissioner appointed by the Supreme Court in connection with the Right To Food PIL, Director, West Zone, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan. Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India to name a few.

Being not limited to a successful career as a resource person on rights-based advocacy, for organisations like Oxfam India, UNICEF, Water Aid etc for more than 38 years now, he has published many papers in periodicals and co-authored many books. His work in FOOD published in Ireland on ethical issues connected with food security, COMBATING POVERTY IN A MARKET-DRIVEN WORLD, research study named LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD commissioned by the United Nations Population Fund, New Delhi, on “missing girls’ in India, are worth noteworthy.

A graduate from University of Mumbai, Josantony holds a bachelor’s degree in English, bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Pune & Rome, Masters of Divinity from Chicago, USA and diplomas in Mass Media, Counselling, Marathi Visharad etc from both India and USA

Dr sampat Kale

Dr. Sampat Kale is an assistant professor at the School of Rural Development with Tata Institute of Social Science, Tuljapur in Sustainable Livelihoods and Natural Resources Governance (SLNG) and chairs the social protection office of TISS, Tuljapur. He is a Life Member of the Indian Sociological Society and the Marathi Samajshastra Parishad.
Prior to this, he has worked with National Centre for Advocacy Studies (NCAS) as a …….. for ….years. He is also a member of International Sociological Association, Madrid, Spain and was a supervising faculty for Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellows (PMRDF), Government of India in 2012-15 among other notable accomplishments.
Dr. Kale has written more than two dozen of articles, several books and some papers in national and international journals with special focus on sociology of marginal groups, rural development, social movements, people-centred advocacy, human rights and social justice, local self-governance among others. He has presented his work at various conferences and seminars at national level. Most noteworthy in this endless list are the University of Gavle, Sweden, World Congress of Sociology, Toronto, Canada & PVTG in Maharashtra with SRD-TISS & UNDP.

Dr. Sampat achieved his Master’s degree and PhD in Sociology from University of Pune. He has visited Karachi-Pakistan, Stockholm-Sweden and presented papers as well.