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eNews Feb 2015
               Celebrating 10 years of research at IFMR

Executive Director's Note


Featured Expert

This week, IFMR LEAD reaches a milestone of 10 years of research! We have achieved a lot in this decade, and we are grateful for the continued support from all of our stakeholders. While we are proud of our progress, there are still a lot of challenges ahead to achieve our mission. We are more motivated than ever to address those challenges and ensure that every individual, household and enterprise attains their socio-economic aspirations.

True to our mission, our researchers have been actively presenting our studies to attentive crowds. Recently, IFMR LEAD, in collaboration with College of Agricultural Banking-Reserve Bank of India, held the 6th Conference titled “Translating Research into Policy and Action” on Financial Inclusion and Livelihoods Finance. Our researchers presented key findings of our work to a pleasant mix of bankers, academics, regulators, and a diverse crowd of esteemed practitioners.

It is always an enriching experience to get direct feedback and insights at such events. It is an opportunity to learn and reflect, and at the same time it gives that dash of energy required to further think through crucial issues in financial inclusion.

In another event a few months ago, some of our lead researchers discussed about their Impact Evaluations of Women Empowerment programs at the “Making Impact Evaluation Matter: Better Evidence for Effective Policies and Programs" hosted at the Asian Development Bank in Manila. It was delightful to see the progress on promoting the importance of Impact Evaluations. Despite these achievements, one important take-away from this event is that much more needs to be done. There are still very little programs that are evaluated and monitored. The real change in this process is to not only aim to evaluate the effectiveness of programs one by one, but instill a true culture of systematically testing and evaluating programs at their inception. This will allow us to solely focus on effective solutions that will bring us much closer to our poverty alleviation goals. IFMR LEAD has so far conducted more than 50 randomized controlled trials on a variety of topics related to poverty alleviation. Some of these studies have led to successful outcomes and real changes. We hope you enjoy reading our newsletter!

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Sharon Buteau

  #Giorgia Barboni is a Principle Investigator on a few IFMR LEAD projects. She was recently in India conducting research work. We took this opportunity to ask her about her research experiences in India and more.

According to you, what research areas should India currently be focusing on to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth?

I believe that promoting entrepreneurship and business innovation, particularly by facilitating firms’ access to credit, is an essential feature to enhance economic growth. Financial inclusion and, more in general, the determinants of MSMEs’ growth, represent two research areas where India has already been devoting a large, significant effort, starting from early works related to the “microfinance revolution”.

Yet, not all research questions have been entirely addressed. For instance, further evidence is needed to understand how to foster Indian MSMEs’ productivity beyond subsistence level by relaxing credit constraints.

Some important lessons can already be drawn from the recent changes the Indian banking landscape is experiencing (an increasing number of MFIs offering individual loans, the introduction of a “bank licence” to facilitate the creation of small banks and payment banks, as well as the provision of secured loans by a few NBFCs). These transformations will deeply affect the type of credit contracts Indian MSMEs are offered. At the same time, they provide the unique opportunity to understand how firms’ productivity (measured, for instance, through returns on capital), is affected by credit supply.

What challenges do you face working within the Indian socio-economic and political set-up? What strategies do you use to adapt?

As a person who grew up and completed her studies in Europe, I must admit that it is not always easy to understand the cultural, socio-economic and political complexity of a country like India...Read More

Giorgia Barboni is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Trinity College Dublin and Research Affiliate at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, in Pisa (Italy), where she received her PhD in Economics in October 2012. Before joining Trinity College Dublin, she spent a visiting period at the University of St. Gallen and at the London School of Economics, as a Robert Solow Post-doctoral Fellow. Her Research focuses on...


Featured Projects

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# New Project
# Ongoing Project
# Completed Project
Evaluation of the MP solar policy
Technology enabled business training for MSMEs
Fiscal instruments for environment and climate change
Affordable day care project
Implementation of the National Action Plan...
Barriers to basic banking: Results from...

LEAD Researchers in the Spotlight

    #   CAB Conference 2015-Translating research into policy and action

IFMR LEAD, at Institute for Financial Management and Research, and College of Agricultural Banking-RBI, successfully organized their 6th international conference on financial inclusion and livelihood finance, titled “Translating Research into Policy and Action,” held at the College of Agricultural Banking campus in Pune, Maharastra, on January 16th and 17th, 2015.


In the News

Financial literacy: When, what and how
Why do small-scale business owners prefer cash transactions?
New research on barriers to basic savings accounts
The need for financial literacy and its importance for financial inclusion have been acknowledged by all possible stakeholders...
Imagine running a small-scale enterprise where payments for business transactions are made in bags of cash…
CFI refers to a study by IFMR LEAD researchers, Amy Mowl and Camille Boudot, to critically review the PM Jan Dhan Yojana.

Development Outlook Blog

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  Yale Economic Growth Center's Tamil Nadu Socioeconomic Mobility Survey Part 2 - Predicting toilet take up in rural India   Can qualitative research be rigorous? Part 3: Sample size   Electronic Data Collection – An overview for beginners  



LEAD Careers

February 19, 2015: Financial Inclusion Workshop

March 27, 2015: Workshop on Industry and Firm Data in India

January, 2015: CAB Conference -Translating Research into Policy and Action

April-Sept, 2014: Six Roundtable discussions with Pradan
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