Jovitta Thomas is a community development expert from India, specializing in development work in fragile and conflict states. In her over 20 years of international work, largely in the Balkans and Afghanistan, she focuses on helping new/ transitional governments design and implement very large development initiatives covering the sectors of local governance, poverty reduction, community development, conflict management, emergency support, and core public services. Her expertise is focused on implementing projects in highly volatile environments and adapting international best practices to local contexts.
In the Balkans, Jovitta worked to remove parallel structures and integrate minorities into the judicial system of the newly independent Kosovo. In Afghanistan, she was first Deputy Director and later Advisor for the Government’s flagship ($2.7 billion) National Solidarity Program covering 35,000 communities in all 34 provinces, including many outside the control of the Government. She was part of core teams designing several national priority programs, and, until recently, served as Program Expert to the Ministry of Economy, and Senior Advisor to the Deputy Ministry of Municipalities in the Independent Directorate of Local Governance in the Afghan Government. Jovitta has just joined the World Bank's Social Development sector, supporting, among other programs, the Covid-19 socio-economic response projects in Afghanistan.