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Sushant Kumar

PhD in Public Policy

Sushant is a PhD Candidate in Public Policy, focusing on health policy. He is broadly interested in the politics of global health, reproductive health, and problem construction. He takes a long historical approach to studying current policy problems as a product of historical discursive contestation between competing ideas. His doctoral research concerns the politics of population control policies in the Indian and global context. He uses a constructivist approach in his research to understand how ideas come to be, the role science plays in legitimizing policy ideas, and how scientific evidence itself is socio-politically situated. He deploys theoretical frameworks from policy studies and political communication such as framing theory, problem definition, and agenda setting to understand discursive contestations and formation of the dominant ideas. He is conducting historical archival analysis across the U.S and India, semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, and quantitative content analysis of media narrative to answer his dissertation questions.

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In his various research works, he has worked on a range of qualitative and quantitative projects including developing, designing, and analysing surveys and interviews using Qualtrics, SPSS, and NVivo. He is also passionate about and has worked on quantitative textual analysis projects in Python using libraries ranging from nltk for natural language processing, to sci-kit learn for topic modelling. He has also worked with Northeastern University Public Evaluation Lab (NU-PEL) for several semesters working on program evaluation projects looking at public health initiatives in the state of Massachusetts and nationwide. He has also worked with NSF ADVANCE project focusing on gender equity in academia creating citation networks and managing large scale datasets. He is currently working with the city of Boston on the ARTery project aimed at equitable revitalisation of historically disadvantaged neighbourhoods.


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