Devendra Raj Panday, born in 1939, has a Ph. D in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, USA. He conceptualized the original idea of Swabalamban and the methodology of learning by doing as RSDC engages with the poor and other rural households, accepting the latter as the subject rather than the object of development. Enriched further by contributions from staff and members of the organization, especially RSDC motivators in the field, Dr. Panday’s original idea of leaning Swabalamban by doing has brought RSDC to its present stage. He believes that the enthusiasm and the sense of ownership and partnership Swabalamban generates among the increasingly self-confident and self-respecting rural households are behind the success of RSDC, more than the material resources. Dr. Panday is the founder patron of RSDC.
Dr. Panday is also well known for his professional contribution and civil society engagements in the interest of democracy, human rights, probity in public life and people-centered development. He has been associated with a number of national and international civil society organizations, including the Transparency International in Berlin and South Asians for Human Rights based in Colombo. Previously Dr.Panday held the posts of Finance Minister of Nepal in the interim government of 1990, and, till 1980, Secretary of the Ministry of Finance.