Bhavya Joshi

Job title: 
Bixby Center Intern Summer 2022

As a first year Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) student, Bhavya Joshi is working at the intersection of global reproductive health and human rights. For more than 5 years, Bhavya has managed, implemented, and evaluated global public health projects in South Asia. Among other projects, she has worked on a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) human-centered design intervention on Maternal and Child Health (MCH); managed the evaluation of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Abt Associates project on Family Planning, Child Health and SRH and supported the development of the national strategy for India and Bangladesh on Sexual and Reproductive HEalth (SRH) for Deaf Young Persons for Deaf Child Worldwide, United Kingdom (DCW). Within India, she has worked in 18 of 28 states. Her research organization Women’s Sexual And Reproductive Rights Advocacy (WomenSARRA), works toward the full realization of Sexual and Reproductive Health as a Human Right. At the Bixby Center, Bhavya will be supporting Bixby Center Faculty Director Ndola Prata MD, MSc to develop modules integrating gender sensitive approaches to public health for the One Health platform. These modules are at the intersection of one health and gender. This project is funded by USAID and is in collaboration with University of California, Davis and regional partners in Asia and Africa.

Bhavya obtained a Masters in International Law and Human Rights from the United Nations mandated University for Peace. She is completing her second Masters in Peace, Security, Development and International Conflict Transformation from University of Innsbruck. Her bachelor is in Political Science (Honors) from Delhi University. Using her multidisciplinary academic background, Bhavya is passionate about using community-based approaches embedded in human rights mechanisms to aid women’s reproductive autonomy and informed healthcare decision making in low and middle-income countries. She is a travel enthusiast, fond of drinking coffee and experimenting with cuisines.

Bhavya Joshi's summer Internship Timeline, Objectives, and Outcomes:

Bhavya's internship is with the Women Human Rights Institute (WHRI), Costa Rica and Roda, Croatia. Both these organizations have collaborated in the past on creating trainings and advocacy products on reproductive rights for eastern Europe. The summer engagement will be full-time for 2 months between May- July 2022. 

Month 1.  The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to thousands of refuges in the eastern European countries. According to Roda, Croatia will also be receiving 250,000 Ukrainian refugees in the next month who would need continued humanitarian assistance. Roda, WHRI, and Bhavya are discussing ways for her to support with humanitarian assistance on improved access to SRH service in the Croatian refugee camps for a month. This will add to on-ground experience in SRH during times of conflict which will be weaved into the SRHR program development (month 2). The expected outcomes is to support Roda with their SRHR work with Ukrainian refugees.  The outcome would primarily include on-ground assistance, building in lived experiences into the SRH program, and an experiential blog.

Month 2.  In the wake of the pandemic, WHRI is creating a series of self-guided e-learning training programs- starting with “Introduction to the United Nations (UN) Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)” and “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).” For the second month of the summer internship, she is asked to support the institute to conceptualize and design the two programs using my academic background and on-ground experiences with CEDAW advocacy and SRHR. The development of the training program will contribute to the institute’s goal on capacity building of human rights defenders and knowledgemobilization.  Additionally, these trainings will be useful and accessible to women rights enthusiasts, from across the globe- including low and middle-income countries.

Bhavya's fieldwork will include working with UN SRH experts for content development. Interviews and conversations with them will be included as weekly lectures, for example, conversations with CEDAW members and human rights experts (at Geneva).  Expected Outcomes- At the end of my engagement this summer, the expected outcome is to develop a functional prototype of the two online training programs for WHRI. The expected outcomes will be measured using a project plan that will track tasks, progress, and deliverables.

This summer opportunity is in alignmentwith Bhavya's doctoral research goals which also focuses on the full realization of SRH as a human right.  In the long run, she hopes to build an expertise in SRH. For the same, she is taking a specialization in her doctorate in Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health (MCAH). Developing a training program with the expertise of the institute, UN experts, and key organizations working in this domain, and working with refugees on SRHR will not only advance my academic goals but also my career goals.