Trained as an urban planner and an architect, Ashok Das received his Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); M.Arch. and M.A. (in Environmental Planning & Management) from Kansas State University; and B. Arch. from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. Prior to coming to University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Honolulu (UHM), he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, San Francisco State University. He has worked as an architecture and planning consultant in the United States and India.
Broadly, Ashok’s research explores institutional challenges to and innovations in ameliorating urban poverty in developing countries; for over a dozen years his research has focused on Indonesia. Community participation and empowerment, slum upgrading, decentralization and local governance, and the role of civil society in fostering equitable development and inclusive urbanization are among his key interests. His recent work has focused on community-managed integrated microfinance for urban poverty alleviation, disaster risk reduction, and pro-poor shelter policies. He has offered expert advice to nonprofit international development/research agencies, such as the Ford Foundation and the World Resources Institute.