Tara Appachu Sharma
Tara Appachu Sharma is a successful strategic development professional with over 28 years of experience and a track record of leading, managing and implementing development programs in diverse Sectors. She has a combination of skills in leading and managing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Policy development, Program and Grants Management, working with bilateral and UN Agencies, leading International NGOs and working with NGOs/CBOs and community.
Prior to this, she has served as ‘Country Director’ and team lead for four international NGOs for over 10 years, leading USAID-funded programs in various sectors. She has proven record of forming successful collaborations with international donors; central, regional, and local-level government functionaries and other stakeholders.
A major part of her work has been with the International organizations, including 14 years with the Norwegian Embassy in India, as Senior Advisor for development programs. She has worked as a consultant in Afghanistan and Bangladesh. She has also worked with 5 UN Agencies viz. UNDP, UN Women, UNICEF and briefly with UNHCR.
She is widely recognized in the development sector for her contribution in integrated approaches and strategies in the implementation of poverty elevation programmes. As a gender specialist she is served on national networks, for her high level of knowledge and experience of issues such as gender-based violence (GBV); sex selection; reproductive, maternal, new-born, child and adolescent health (RMNCH+A) issues; and for her work with women in Panchayats and the vulnerable population.
She has considerable experience with corporate groups; leading Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs successfully and establishing partnerships with 16 companies in health and education sector to work toward Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As Vice President of Reliance Industries Limited; she headed one of their CSR Programs.
She led efforts to form collectives of Women Producers, facilitating and supporting the promotion of women to the entrepreneurial arena with a 360 degree approach. Some outstanding examples are ‘The Usha Multipurpose Cooperative Bank’ in Sonagachi, Kolkata; ‘SABALA Women’s Bank’ in Karnataka; and ‘Muslim Women’s Collective’ in Rajasthan.
Tara is deeply committed to development and believes in providing equal opportunity for all. She has helped set up enterprises focusing on social development of the community. Addressing long term sustainability of development programs has always been the approach throughout her career. She is a leader with a vision who believes in inclusive development.