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eNews Nov 2015
               Celebrating 10 years of research at IFMR

Executive Director's Note


Featured Expert

It is an exciting time in India – serious efforts are being promoted to pave the way for economic growth.

With merely 2% of the country’s labour force having a formal skill certification, skill development is being recognised as an imperative to improve the employability and productivity of the working poor. In addition, there is an increased focus on tapping into the enormous potential of ‘Digital Inclusion’ to expand the outreach of financial services to the poor, and other sectors including agriculture, transportation, water, health, education, and clean energy.

Such huge challenges are being addressed by equally strong campaigns aiming to push the country forward – ‘’Make in India’’, ‘’Invest India’’, ‘’Skill India Initiative’’, and ‘’Digital India’’ to name a few. These initiatives aim to address the crucial gaps preventing sound economic development.

However, to make any positive impact, it is important that the new development programs and policies are designed keeping in focus the demand of the beneficiaries - those who will truly benefit from them.

Rigorous efforts need to be put in to understand the realities of their lives, and what do they need to improve their socio-economic status. Gaining an understanding of how initiatives can change and improve the lives of the poor will lead to better decisions and ultimately better outcomes. Moreover, there needs to be an increased focus on delivery mechanisms for development initiatives to achieve success. With a vast majority of India still in rural areas and living modestly, it is important to ensure the most effective ways that any programme or innovation will reach out to them.

At IFMR LEAD, we are excited to see this new wave of big national campaigns, and the positive changes it may bring about in due course of time!

And, before I sign off, in addition to reading our newsletter, I encourage you to visit our website for our on-going studies, covering various development areas.

Here's the link to our website www.ifmrlead.org

Sharon Buteau

  #Charity Troyer Moore is the India Director for Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard University. She is leading the project, "Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE)," implemented in India by EPoD and hosted at IFMR LEAD. We recently took the opportunity to speak to her about her views on evidence-based decision-making.

In the Indian context, what, in your opinion, are the key barriers experienced by decision-makers in integrating research into policy decisions?

Frequently, decisions have to be made quickly, or more quickly than it would take to generate direct evidence to answer a specific question of a policymaker. Similarly, policymakers are very busy and they, along with their staff, often do not have adequate resources or knowledge to assess what learning to date can tell us about the problems they must address. Other problems that limit how evidence informs policy are public expectation and lack of institutional demand: if media or institutional procedures or norms required that policymakers justify their decisions using data and research already available, policy discourse and decisions may be quite different. Finally, the major challenge in India is probably not policy so much as implementation, and research on how to improve implementation is frequently lacking. These implementation challenges often are under-appreciated and overlooked by sweeping policy announcements, yet they are the crux of the issue in India.

Can you tell us the key objectives of the BCURE project? And, how has your experience been working with the government institutions in India.

The idea of BCURE is to encourage the use of data and research evidence in policymaking and program implementation, while also encouraging researchers to try to ensure the questions they ask in their research are relevant to pressing policy challenges in India today…Read More

Charity is the Country Manager for the DFID-funded Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE) programme. She holds an M.A. in Economics and Ph.D. in Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics from The Ohio State University.


Featured Projects

    #   #   #    
# New Project
# Ongoing Project
# Completed Project
A field experiment on mobile cash transfers to vulnerable populations in Bangladesh
Understanding competition and growth in India's construction brick industry
Implementation of the National Action Plan on Climate Change: Progress and evaluation

LEAD Researchers in the Spotlight

    #   3ie Delhi Evidence Week 2015

3ie organized an event on 7th and 8th October, 2015, to mark the Delhi Evidence Week. Our researchers Charity Troyer Moore and Shannon Maloney presented in two individual sessions on Open Data and Impact Evaluations.

    #   Sa-Dhan's National Financial Inclusion Conference

IFMR LEAD recently collaborated as a knowledge partner with Sa-Dhan, for its National Financial Inclusion Conference held on 8th and 9th October, 2015, at The Ashok Hotel, New Delhi, India.


In the News

Performance-based contracting in sanitation delivery
The New York Times- Opinion pages
Mystery shopping for financial services
Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) recently published a research paper developed by IFMR LEAD on their website.
The Op-ed section of NYT featured an article by Charity Troyer Moore and Rohini Pandey titled ‘Why aren’t India’s women working?
A recent study by CGAP featured our project- 'Barriers to basic banking- results from an audit study in South India'.

Development Outlook Blog

  #   #   #  
  2015: The year of digital and financial inclusion in India?   WASHing away poverty with awareness and investment   Basic field research pitfalls that sabotage our research  



LEAD Careers

December 8-9, 2015: Technical partner - Inclusive Finance India Summit

November 2-6, 2015: Financial Inclusion 2020 Week

June 9, 2015: National Action Plan on Climate Change Workshop

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