Gayatri Sahgal

Headshot of Gayatri Sahgal

Postdoctoral Fellow

Gayatri Sahgal is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania.

Her research interests centre around the broad themes of state capacity, taxation and the political economy of development. Prior to beginning her post-doctorate, Gayatri received her PhD in Area studies from the University of Oxford in 2023. Her thesis, examined how fiscal relations emerge in fragile contexts where the idea of a centralised authority, such as a state, is either suspect or contested. Using the case study of Somalia, she interrogated the factors motivating tax compliance of large private sector actors and discussed the implication of such relationships for long-term institutional development and growth. In her post-doctorate, she will be working on publishing her findings.

Gayatri’s research is informed by a decade of work as a research and monitoring evaluation specialist. In this capacity, she managed and led evaluation studies for various governance and development organisations, including the World Bank, European Union, Foreign Commonwealth Office for Development, and the United Nations Development Programme. Her work spanned several countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia, India and Afghanistan.

Gayatri holds a postgraduate degree in Public Policy from Brown University and a Master’s in Development Studies from the Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex.