Trainer Bios

TechCamp trainer Sayed Walid Arwall.

Sayed Walid Arwall

Senior Program Officer National Democratic Institute

Sayed Walid Arwall is Senior Program Officer at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) office in Afghanistan from 2017. He is focused in supporting national organizations conduct nonpartisan observation of the 2018 parliamentary elections and of the upcoming presidential elections in 2019. While at NDI, he helped manage the program supporting local organizations advocate for electoral reforms. He also provided translation support to the NDI-United States Institute for Peace delegation that visited Afghanistan in 2017 to examine the political environment and the electoral reform process. In 2014, he was national observer/interpreter for NDI-Afghanistan international election observer mission that participated in the audit of the 2014 presidential election.

Mr Arwall obtained his degree in Economics and Political Science from Cairo University in Egypt in 2016. While there, he was engaged with the Afghan Students Union in Egypt that involved members in social, academic, cultural, administrative and sports activities.  He was a member of the Khogyani Youth Association, Global Afghan Forum and International Model of Europeon Union Cairo – Egypt.

TechCamp trainer Ankitha Cheerakathil.

Ankitha Cheerakathil

Executive Director in India Institute H21

Ankitha Cheerakathil is currently the Executive Director in India of Institute H21, a Czech think tank based in Prague and working on participatory governance using civic tech and innovative voting systems for improved consensus in collective decision-making. She is leading Institute H21’s strategy, partnership development and projects in India and an entrepreneurial role by modifying the strategies and vision of the Prague office to local contexts and realities in India. A published author, she is an alumna of St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University and the Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po. She is also a member of the core research and curriculum development team of the School of Collective Intelligence at Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique, Morocco. Her research interests include social innovations for improved governance and citizen participation in developing countries. 

TechCamp trainer Cheri-Leigh Erasmus.

Cheri-Leigh Erasmus

Programs and Learning Manager Accountability Lab

Cheri-Leigh Erasmus serves as the Programs and Learning Manager at the Accountability Lab, a nonprofit organization aimed at building a new generation of active citizens and responsible leaders around the world. She graduated from Stellebosch University in South Africa with a BA in International Studies, and has spent a spent a decade in the international higher education and development arenas.

Since moving to the Washington, D.C. area in 2013 she’s been actively involved in numerous nonprofit organizations focused on education, immigration, and leadership development. Through her work in leadership development, she’s conceptualized and implemented leadership and skills development curricula for emerging leaders geared for careers in both the private and public sectors. In her current position, she’s part of a team working young leaders who are finding innovative ways to hold governments accountable in Nepal, Pakistan, Liberia, Nigeria, Mali, and South Africa.

TechCamp trainer Ashali Bhandari.

Ashali Bhandari

Resilience Fellow, Urban Resilience Unit National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA)

Ashali Bhandari is a Resilience Fellow at the Urban Resilience Unit at the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA). At the Urban Resilience Unit, she is leading the data observatory initiative and working on developing frameworks to guide city managers and urban stakeholders to make informed decisions and improve the urban resilience of their city. Prior to joining NIUA, she worked for Studio-X Mumbai, Megapolis India and published monthly articles on Ashali holds a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Middlebury College

TechCamp trainer Praveen Uchil

Praveen Uchil

Research Associate Keshif

Praveen is a Research Scholar at the Indian Institute of Sciences (IIS). He is a scholar of information design and visualization. He has been working at the intersection of visual analytics and product life cycle assessments, having focused on developing interactive visualizfaiotn tools for designers to identify and mitigate the environmental impact of their design decisions. Praveen has experience with different tools when it comes to information design and visualizations, and will be able to support the audience members to think through different use cases and problem statements involving data.

TechCamp trainer Parul Agarwala.

Parul Agarwala

Urban Development Advisor UN Habitat – Afghanistan

Parul Agarwala has over 12 years of experience in program implementation, thought leadership, policy advisory, public sector capacity building and change management. She also has experience in proposal development and client relations for international organizations, city government, and private sector. She is providing technical assistance to the country offices in the sustainable development and implementation of urban and housing policies, planning strategies and knowledge management for the urban sector in focus countries of Afghanistan, India and Sri Lanka.

TechCamp trainer Priyal Bhatt.

Priyal Bhatt

Program Assistant, Tech Innovation Team National Democratic Institute

Priyal Bhatt is a Program Assistant with the Tech Innovation team at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization that supports citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. At NDI, Priyal supports civic technology programs, human centered design initiatives, and DemTools–a suite of localized, open-source democracy tools for NDI partners.

Priyal has previously worked on governance issues in the Asia-Pacific region for the Anti-Corruption and Rule of Law teams at the UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub. Most recently, she served as a graduate student consultant for Transparency International to examine the potential of technology to help women combat land corruption in Uganda. Priyal has a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University and a B.A. in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley.

TechCamp trainer Julio May.

Julio May

GIS Analyst Municipal GIS Partners

Julio May is a GIS Analyst based in Chicago, Illinois. He has a strong interest in open source geospatial technologies applied to local government work. He has worked with and different branches of local government both in emerging economies and industrialized nations. He currently serves as a GIS Consultant for Municipal GIS Partners at the Village of Wheeling, Illinois. He has also worked for the City of Memphis in Tennessee, the Municipalities of Turrialba and Sarapiquí in Costa Rica, and the Jarabacoa county in the Dominican Republic. 

TechCamp trainer Dr. Vinay Shankar Prasad Sinha.

Dr. Vinay Shankar Prasad Sinha

Associate Professor Department of Natural Resources, TERI

Dr. Sinha has worked for applications of Remote Sensing (RS) & GIS in Urban and Regional planning, Natural Resource Assessment and Management, Groundwater Resource Modeling and others. He has regularly published papers in peer-reviewed journals and also presented in different forums including seminar/conferences/workshops and is well versed with geology, geomorphology and physiography including socio-economic configuration. His current initiatives are leading to “Development of GPS enable smart card for Vehicle Tracking system” while working for a State DST-Rajasthan research project. At the TERI University, he is teaching courses related to geoinformatics, supervising Masters’ and Doctoral research and strengthening application of RS&GIS in other disciplines. He is also adjunct professional to TERI and is advising activities related to applications of RS/GIS/GPS and allied technologies.