Soma Wadhwa is an award-winning journalist and development studies academic, with a specialisation in impact evaluation methodologies. Her work focuses on the linkages between gender, education, technology and empowerment.
Soma is Fellow and Qualitative Research Lead at the India Development Foundation. Her work includes studies for India’s central and state governments, the UK government’s DFID, The Netherlands government’s WOTRO, multilaterals such as UNICEF and UNDP, as also various national and international Civil Society Organisations, Foundations and Trusts. Soma is also Visiting Faculty at the Indian School of Public Policy, the Indian School of Development Management and the VV Giri National Institute of Labour.
Soma has held senior editorial positions in national news publications, including: Deputy Editor, Open magazine; Editor, HT on Saturday (Hindustan Times); Deputy Editor, The Indian Express; Features Editor, Outlook; and Senior Features Writer, The Times of India. A Chevening Scholar, Soma worked at The Guardian in London. She is a recipient of the Sanskriti Award for Journalism and the Press Council of India Award for reportage on the state of education in India.
Soma has authored numerous peer-reviewed academic publications and impact-evaluation study reports for governments and international development agencies. Her work on adult literacy for women has been cited in the 2021 USAID academic review on the effect of education programmes on violence, crime and related outcomes.
As a recipient of the British High Commission’s Chevening scholarship, Soma studied journalism at the University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom. And as a Dutch-government-funded MFS-II researcher, she studied Impact Evaluation Methodologies at the Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen University & Research in The Netherlands. Soma has an MA in English Literature and a BA (Hons) English from St Stephen’s College, Delhi University, where she was awarded the Shri Ram Scholarship for Excellence in Academics.