Investigating in South Asia: Skills, tips and challenges

Three investigators share their experiences and offer insights into their work and lessons learned from collaborating, fact checking and conducting investigations across South Asia.

Many individuals and organisations are taking up investigation as a tool to expose wrong doings and understanding power structures. But investigation raises many challenges all over the world. With the expansion of investigations, we take a look at some of the skills employed by practitioners.

We invited three speakers based in South Asia to talk about their work, the challenges they face and how they overcome them within the context of digging up information on various topics like human rights abuse, natural resource conflicts or disinformation, among others.


Deepak Adhikari

  • How do fact-checkers hold public officials and social media influencers to account?

A robust database, evidence-based research and digital record/archives are the foundations for fact-checking. But Nepal and many other countries in South Asia have fallen behind in generating such a knowledge base. In such a situation, how do fact-checkers hold both public officials and social media influencers to account?

Deepak Adhikari, editor of South Asia Check, a pioneering fact-checking platform based in Nepal, will speak about the challenges.

Ankita Anand

  • Lessons in logistics: the unglamorous part of investigations.

Ankita Anand is a journalist-writer-poet based in Delhi. She has been awarded the European Commission's Lorenzo Natali Media Prize and Statesman Award for Rural Reporting. She specialises in long-form reporting (rural, urban and cross-border) with a focus on gender, labour, climate, environment, land, corruption, human rights and indigenous communities. She has also contributed to Tactical Tech's 'Exposing the Invisible Kit' for investigators, including a guide on collaborative investigations.

Nitin Sethi

  • Constraints on journalistic investigations amidst a brittle economy and even more brittle politics in India.

Nitin is a journalist who has written, reported and investigated for two decades on the intersections of India's political economy, natural resources, environment, climate change, economy, public finance and development. He is a founding member of The Reporters' Collective that produces investigative reportage in many Indian languages and formats. He is also a partner at Land Conflict Watch, which documents and researches land and natural resource conflicts in India. It currently maps more than 650 such ongoing conflicts.  

Alongside, as the Media Lead of the National Foundation for India, Nitin oversees India's largest fellowship programme for independent journalists. It provides one hundred fellowships annually to journalists working with different Indian languages. He has previously held senior editorial positions at The Business Standard,, The Hindu, The Times of India and Down To Earth magazine.

About the Organisers

Tactical Tech is an international non-profit organisation that engages with citizens and civil-society organisations to explore and mitigate the impacts of technology on society. Exposing the Invisible is a Tactical Tech project that develops resources, training and collaborations promoting investigation as one of the most important forms of public engagement.

This event is funded by Sida


This text reflects the author’s view and the funder is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

First published on May 8, 2022