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Saravanan studied at UQ, examining the socio-political process behind water management from an institutional perspective.
Saravanan studied at UQ, examining the socio-political process behind water management from an institutional perspective.

Dr Saravanan Subramanian is currently a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Political and Cultural Change located within the Centre for Development Research (ZEF) in the University of Bonn, Germany, one of Europe’s leading institutions in development research.

Saravanan studied at UQ, examining the socio-political process behind water management from an institutional perspective. He joined the Centre for Development Research through an international recruitment process for a European Commission funded comparative research project into four river basins around the world and to lead the water and health research programme at ZEF. This led to a number of achievements including a UNESCO Grant for a Water Pollution and Health Research initiative as well as a German Science Foundation (DFG) Award for a 3 year research Project titled Water Resources Institutions and Human Health in a Peri-Urban Region in Surat City, India’. Saravanan credits his study at UQ with aiding him in his work by “opening up broader issues related to [the] institutional aspects of water resources management, [and the] opportunity to apply creative thoughts...”. His exposure to UQ Student Services enabled his team building ability and improved the fundamental skills he now employs at the University of Bonn.
In addition to his appointment at Bonn he is the Coordinator of a Research Program looking into water pollution and human health, as well as the Scientific Coordinator for the International Centre for Comparative Water and Development Studies (a collaborative project with the University of London and Wageningen University in The Netherlands) that oversees scientific projects and a number of graduate and PhD students and researchers. Saravanan is also coordinating the work package on socio-technical analysis of irrigation management in Khorezm, Uzbekistan as part of the Economic and Ecological Restructuring of Land- and Water Use in the Region Khorezm (Uzbekistan)
Saravanan currently teaches subjects on new institutionalism in social science, Policy Modelling, Politics of Water Management and student skill training. Now supervising his own PhD students from all over the world Saravanan can draw upon his experience at UQ where he credits the excellent support of his supervisors, and academic training received from UQ Student Services, as highlights of his study. He also adds that the “Beautiful weather, good neighbourhood and the ‘River Festival’ were important social aspects of his life in Brisbane. 
When questioned on his thoughts for the future Saravanan stated that he wishes to remain within academia and that he hopes to strengthen his research and capacity in the field of ‘Water and Health’ in the developing world, given the importance of the topic and that not many people are working on this issue from a transdisciplinary perspective. He is still in touch with Dr. Clive McAlpine and his friends from UQ. With UQ building public health research in Australia, he hopes to collaborate with the faculty of health at The University of Queensland in the near future.
Saravanan would like to share some of his publications with like-minded alumni colleagues. You will find article details below;
Saravanan.V.S. 2010. Negotiating participatory irrigation management in the Indian Himalayas. Agriculture Water Management, 97: 651-658.
Further Information:;
Saravanan.V.S. 2010. Movers, Shakers and Power Brokers: Agents in Negotiated Water Management in the Indian Himalayas. In: Peter P. Mollinga, Anjali Bhat and Saravanan V.S. (eds.): WHEN POLICY MEETS REALITY: Political Dynamics and the Practice of Integration in Water Resources Management Reform. LIT Verlag, 27-60.
Saravanan.V.S., McDonald, G.T., van Horen, Basil and David Ip. 2010. 'Policies are never implemented, but negotiated ' - Analysing integration of policies in managing water using a Bayesian network. Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research, 2(2), 117-136.
Saravanan.V.S., Peter.P. Mollinga and Shahbaz Khan. 2010. Guest Editorial: Water Pollution and Human Health in South Asia - Exploing the Linkages. Asian Journal of Water Environment and Pollution, 7(1): 1-4.
Further Information:
Saravanan.V.S. 2009. Decentralisation and Water Resources Management in the Indian Himalayas: The Contribution of New Institutional Theories. Conservation and Society, 7 (3): 183-199.
Further Information:;year=2009;volume=7;issue=3;spage=176;epage=191;aulast=Saravanan
Saravanan.V.S., Geoff T McDonald and Peter P Mollinga. 2009. CRITICAL REVIEW OF IWRM: Moving Beyond Polarised Discourses. Natural Resource Forum, 33(1): 76-86.
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Last updated: Sep 17, 2012