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Sneha Sarah Mani

Doctoral Candidate in the Graduate Group of Demography

Sobti Family Fellow, 2021-22

CASI is pleased to announce Sneha Sarah Mani as one of two Sobti Doctoral Fellows at the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) for the 2021–22 academic year.

Sneha joins CASI from Chennai, India, and is currently entering her fourth year as a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Group of Demography of Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences. Her research interests include inequalities in adult health, treatment of non-communicable diseases, and evaluation of the quality and potential uses of civil registration data.

Sneha worked in the development research and public policy space for over four years before beginning her Ph.D. She worked with a team of researchers in evaluating a randomized control trial of a large-scale microfinance model and process assessments of government nutrition and health programs in India. She has also worked as a researcher at the Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, and at LEAD at Krea University (formerly Centre for Micro Finance at the Institute for Financial Management and Research), Thanjavur, India.

In Sneha’s words: "My research broadly focuses on mortality and morbidity in India. With my collaborator, Aashish Gupta, I investigate the quality of civil registration data in Kerala. This work explores the potential role of vital registration data in understanding levels and trends in various causes of death, and provides for an examination of the pathways between socioeconomic disparities and mortality. Furthermore, the Sobti Family Fellowship will establish the foundation for an ecosystem of well-maintained register data across India that will aid policymaking at the state level. The fellowship will also support my research focused on further exploring unequal outcomes in adult health in India. To this end, I examine two distinct but related questions. The first investigates the effect of providing hypertension information on whether an individual seeks diagnosis and initiates and adheres to treatment and how these effects vary based on socioeconomic status. The second explores the debt burden faced by socio-economically disadvantaged households due to health shocks among adults."

Sneha is affiliated with the International Max Planck Research School for Population, Health, and Data Science (IMPRS-PHDS). Before entering the Ph.D. program at Penn, she received her MA in Development Studies from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and her BA (Honors) in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University.