Professor Sanyal’s research work spans a wide range of developmental problems ranging from urban agriculture, to affordable housing as income earning opportunities for new urban residents, to planning theories of good public sector performance, and international planning education.
- Comprehensive Initiative for Technology Evaluation
- Good Performance in the Public Sector
- International Planning Education
Comprehensive Initiative for Technology Evaluation (CITE)
Professor Sanyal co-leads this major effort to evaluate technologies for the poor that is being sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). CITE is an effort to assess what technologies work in meeting challenges in the developing world.
Good Performance in the Public Sector
Understanding good performance by the public sector in developing nations—and what, beyond individual personalities might explain it—has been another key focus of Professor Sanyal’s research. Contrasting the dominant view that planners are rent-seeking individuals working in their own interest, he demonstrated that many planners believe in the notion of public interest and do their best to serve such interests with incremental efforts to circumvent political opposition. The focus of Prof Sanyal’s research – explicitly on institutional settings, not individual personalities, and why certain settings allow some planners to performs well despite all the problems associated with the bureaucracy.
Professor Sanyal has long been concerned with developing an appropriate curriculum for international planning students in US universities. His seminal paper entitled “Poor country students in rich universities,” Created a new emphasis in planning education which called for a better understanding of interdependence between developed and developing nations, and how contemporary planning required the creation of new breed of planners who can help create a global consensus regarding how such interconnected problems can be addressed with joint action.