A five-minute loan to unlock micro-entrepreneurship in India
Vibhor Goyal , Niloufer Memon , Varad Pande
Posted on: 11 Jan 2017
Topics:   Finance

Micro-entrepreneurs are grossly underserved by traditional lenders, as they typically do not have collateral or credit histories to make them creditworthy. In this article, Pande, Memon and Goyal of Dalberg Global Development Advisors, describe how digital infrastructure created by ‘India Stack’ can help provide paperless, presence-less, and cashless credit to micro-entrepreneurs, in a way that is sustainable for lenders.
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Demonetisation and rural cooperative banks
Ajay Vir Jakhar
Posted on: 22 Nov 2016

The RBI has barred rural cooperative banks from exchanging or accepting the denotified Rs. 1,000 and 500 notes. In this article, Ajay Vir Jakhar of Bharat Krishak Samaj - a non-partisan association of farmers - argues that if rural cooperative banks sink, so will farmers.
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Policymaking in the ‘grey zone’?
Prerna Mukharya
Posted on: 17 Nov 2016

Prerna Mukharya, Founder of Outline India – a social enterprise that focuses on data collection, impact assessments and evaluation studies, predominantly working with rural populations in remote areas – discusses the impact of the currency ban on their work.
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Data openness and the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill
Samayita Ghosh , Khusdeep Malhotra
Posted on: 05 Sep 2016
Topics:   Political Economy
Tags:   data , IT

According to the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016, the acquisition or use of any geospatial information will require permission from a government authority. In this note, Ghosh and Malhotra highlight the importance of reliable geospatial information for development work. In their view, instead of restricting the production and use of such information, the government should regulate its quality and promote learning around it to ensure responsible and ethical use.
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How participatory is work planning under MNREGA?
Akshay Ahuja
Posted on: 26 Aug 2016

In 2014, the Ministry of Rural Development introduced the ‘Intensive Participatory Planning Exercise’ (IPPE) framework in 2,500 most backward blocks of the country, with the objective of making the work planning process under MNREGA more participatory. In this note, Akshay Ahuja, senior project officer at HCL Foundation, shares his experience of supporting the local administration of Hardoi district in Uttar Pradesh in implementing IPPE on the ground.
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‘I Paid A Bribe’: Using technology to fight corruption in India
Venkatesh Kannaiah
Posted on: 06 Jun 2016
Topics:   Corruption
Tags:   bribes , IT

‘I Paid A bribe’ (ipaidabribe.com) harnesses the collective energy of Indian citizens against corruption by enabling them to report anonymously on the nature, number, pattern, types, location, frequency and values of demands for bribes. In this note, Venkatesh Kannaiah, the editor of IPAB discusses the initiative and the value of technology in tackling corruption, both in India and globally.
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How a corruption scam brought MNREGA to a standstill in Nanded
Sangita Jadhav , Ashwini Kulkarni , Aysha Shamsuddin
Posted on: 28 Jan 2016
Topics:   Corruption , Jobs

Nanded district in Maharashtra demonstrated exemplary performance in MNREGA until 2012-13, when the exposure of a corruption scam brought the programme to a virtual standstill. In this note, researchers from the NGO Pragati Abhiyan show how the manner in which the incident was dealt with discouraged local authorities from actively implementing MNREGA and hence, adversely affected villagers that had earlier benefitted from the programme.
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From the top to the bottom of MNREGA
Megan Sheahan
Posted on: 08 Jan 2016

MNREGA – the world’s largest public works programme - is intended to be demand-driven and has local implementation at its core. In this note, Megan Sheahan, Research Support Specialist at Cornell University, shares her experience of visiting MNREGA work sites in some of the most deprived communities in Andhra Pradesh. She finds that while the scheme has enabled a jump in earnings and created useful assets for villagers, beneficiaries have little control over the timing or type of work allocated to them.
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Building a movement, assessment to action
Rukmini Banerji
Posted on: 23 Sep 2015
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling

While citizen-led assessments of children’s learning have been applauded for building awareness around the issue, observers have pointed out that information does not automatically galvanise action. In this article, Rukmini Banerji, of the education NGO Pratham, contends that citizen-led assessments can lead to citizen-led action for improving learning by making the problem visible, engaging with people, and demonstrating how change can be brought about.
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Beyond toilets: Improving the sanitation value chain
Sujaya Rathi
Posted on: 21 Jul 2015

Besides access to toilets, proper treatment and disposal of waste is essential for effective sanitation. In this article, Sujaya Rathi - Principal Research Scientist at CSTEP who is currently involved with developing decision-support tool for sanitation - discusses alternate sanitation systems and the importance of adopting a system that is well-suited to the context and needs of particular cities.
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