Rekha Raghunathan

Lead – Word Lab | raghunathanr at iihs dot ac dot in

2000    MBA, University of Hartford, CT, USA
1997    BA, Corporate Secretaryship, Ethiraj College for Women, University of Madras, Chennai




Countries: India, USA
States: Tamil Nadu, Telengana, Karnataka
Cities: Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, New York
Languages: English, Hindi, Tamil

Rekha Raghunathan helped set up the IIHS Word Lab in 2015 which: anchors institutional editorial and publishing including the production of its interdisciplinary journal Urbanisation; explores questions of language and translation in publications and teaching; builds collaborations with digital and public media platforms; and curates an annual public writings festival, City Scripts. She has helped produce book length publications, working papers, grey literature, academic writing and public writing. She is part of the Editorial Collective of Urbanisation, and holds the book and film reviews section.


Rekha conducts writing workshops for external and internal audiences and teaches writing skills as part of the IIHS Urban Fellows Programme. She and her colleagues at the Word Lab have created a MOOC on Coursera titled, ‘Writing and Disseminating Grey Literature’, aimed at helping researchers and practitioners develop hands-on skills in writing across public facing formats such as op-eds, data stories, and social media posts. Articles edited by Rekha have been published in The Hindu, EPW, Scroll.in, The Wire and IndiaSpend, among other print and online media platforms.


With members of the Word Lab, Rekha co-wrote and won a grant from the Earth Journalism Network, and supported project work, publications and other deliverables. Rekha works across projects and themes at IIHS including climate change, disaster risk resilience, education, sustainable development goals (SDGs), water/sanitation (WASH), housing, digital labour, and solid waste management. She also helps manage the IIHS Library, and is focused on building its public engagements as well as a vibrant community of users. The Word Lab, with support from the Library team, curates and hosts a monthly series of talks under the banner Public Texts.


Prior to IIHS, Rekha ran India Water Portal (Arghyam) and was instrumental in building the portal’s connections with the media, resulting in its content being read by a diverse audience. She was an Editorial Consultant with several NGOs and think tanks, and anchored the production of boxed sets, book length publications, and other grey literature.


Commons Writing Skills Lab for the Urban Fellowship Programme 2016–2017, 2017–2018



Writing for Digital Media
Writing for Development Sector


Previous Teaching Experience

2016–2017 Writing for the Development Sector, IIHS (October 2016)
2015–2016 Writing for Digital Media, IIHS (June 2015)
2013–2016 Structuring and writing op-ed pieces (focus on water/sanitation), India Water Portal


  • Nishtha, V., Shyamala, S., & Raghunathan, R. (2017). Handbook of style and usage. Bangalore: Indian Institute for Human Settlements.


Other Writing

  • Suryanarayan, A., Vadehra, N., Raghunathan, R. (2020). IIHS rough writing guides. Indian Institute for Human Settlements. https://doi.org/10.24943/RWG.2020
  • Chakraborti, N., Ravi, M., Oviya, B., Natarajan, N., Murukesan, V., Kumar, K., & Raghunathan, R. (2020). Provisioning of health camps for sanitation workers. TNUSSP. https://muzhusugadharam.co.in/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Provisioning-of-Health-Camps-for-Sanitation-Workers_19-April-2021.pdf
  • Priscilla, L. S., Muniyandi, K., Rani, A. J. C., Rajeswari, R., & Raghunathan, R. (2020). Compilation of welfare schemes for sanitation workers. TNUSSP. https://muzhusugadharam.co.in/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Compilation-of-welfare-schemes-for-sanitation-workers_19-april-2021.pdf
  • Raghunathan, R. (2018, October 22). The kids are all right: An intergenerational tale of living and loving YA fiction. Torch Light. Retrieved from http://journal.bookwormgoa.in/the-kids-are-all-right-an-intergenerational-tale-of-living-and-loving-ya-fiction/
  • Raghunathan, R. (2017). The Very Tired Butterfly. Madras Courier. Retrieved from http://madrascourier.com/art-and-poetry/the-very-tired-butterfly/
  • Raghunathan, R. (2017). How Roger Federer Made Me a Mature Tennis Fan. The Ladies Finger. Retrieved from http://theladiesfinger.com/roger-federer-tennis-fan/
  • Raghunathan, R. (2016). The Yamuna, a Song, and a Dance. India Water Portal. Retrieved from http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/yamuna-song-and-dance
  • Raghunathan, R. (2015). Amazon’s Aur Dikhao Ad: All Show, No Tell. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.in/rekha-raghunathan/amazons-aur-dikhao-ad-all_b_7162384.html