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Showing posts from November, 2015

Govt. inaction hurts RBI’s efforts, dismisses favorable International Environment

These are times when Central Bankers across advanced economies are finding it difficult to avoid polarization of opinion on the merits of their policy paths.  The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s Governor though has received an almost unequivocal endorsement from both domestic (with some exceptions) and international stakeholders on the bitter medicine he has prescribed to control India’s inflation problem. Notwithstanding charges that his tough position has dampened economic activity, Dr. Rajan has stuck to the orthodox stance of Central Banks being primarily responsible for maintaining price stability.

Inflation’s Downward Path

Among the RBI’s major achievements over the last two years is the moderation in India’s retail inflation rate. Numbers suggest that despite short-term volatility, inflation data points across all the constituent sub-groups, viz. Food and Beverages (and tobacco), Fuel and Light, Housing, Clothing and Footwear, and other Miscellaneous items point towards a downward …

Interview with Charity Moore on evidence based decision-making in India

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 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 nor…

Why Aren’t India’s Women Working- The New York Times Op-ed

The Op-ed section of The New York Times recently featured an article by Rohini Pandey, Co-Director of the Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) Initiative at Harvard, and Charity Troyer Moore, Senior Research and Policy Manager,IFMR LEAD, Director, EPoD India.

Usually, economic growth in lower-middle-income countries creates more jobs for women. But as India’s economy grew at an average of 7 percent between 2004 and 2011, its female labor force participation fell by seven percentage points, to 24 percent from 31 percent. Despite rapidly increasing educational attainment for girls and declining fertility, the International Labor Organization in 2013 ranked India 11th from the bottom in the world in female labor-force participation.

Research shows why this matters: Working, and the control of assets it allows, lowers rates of domestic violence and increases women’s decision-making in the household. And an economy where all the most able citizens can enter the labor force is more efficient an…

IFMR LEAD at 3ie's Delhi Evidence Week 2015

3ie organized a day and a half of public events on 7 and 8 October to mark Delhi Evidence Week. The theme of the conference was " Using evidence to tackle development’s ‘wicked problems." Our researchers presented in the following sessions organized by 3ie for the event.

1) Doing and using impact evaluations: what does it take? 

The objective of the session was to bring together researchers and their implementing partners to reflect on their work on 3ie-funded impact evaluations. Below is the presentation by Shannon Maloney, Research Manager, IFMR LEAD.

2) DATA: Big, open and rapid 

The objective of the session was to discuss the opportunities and limitations that technology, and open and large data present in generating high quality evidence and specifically impact evaluations. 
Below is the presentation by Charity Troyer-Moore, India director, Evidence for Policy Design, Kennedy School and Senior Research and Policy Manager, IFMR LEAD

To know more about IFMR LEAD's project, …

WASHing Poverty Away with Awareness and Investment

A good part of my college days was spent in commuting from my home to college in a train. A lot of passengers, including me, would know that the station is approaching from the stench caused by open defecation by the people in slums living near the railway tracks. As a routine, daily commuters would hold handkerchiefs to their nose and complain. However,  there seemed to be no wider debate or awareness around the issue of sanitation in general. This was some four years ago. Compared to that time, I started as a researcher in the WASH (the triumvirate of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) sector in relatively more interesting times. The Swacch Bharat Mission was launched in October last year with the Prime Minister himself taking to the streets about sanitation, literally. While the global MDG target on sanitation was missed (India reporting 594 million people defecating in the open – over 50 per cent of the population!), 193 countries adopted “ensuring availability and sustainable managem…