|Charity Troyer Moore||Abhishek Kumar Sinha||Neeraj Trivedi||Sitaram Mukherjee|
|Research Director, India||
Senior Research and
Senior Research and
|Thomas van den Aarssen||Kartikeya Batra||Sujoy Bhattacharyya||Prachi Jadhav|
|Senior Research Manager||Senior Research Associate||
Senior Research Associate
|Tamara Mathai||Sayantan Mitra||Prateek Mittal||Ramita Taneja|
|Policy Manager||Research Associate||
Senior Research Associate
After decades of strong economic growth, the Indian state now has the resources, technology, and potential to improve the lives of its citizenry – which includes over a quarter of the world’s population living in extreme poverty. But governance challenges remain. Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) works with India’s key policy influencers – in both the public and private sectors – to strengthen information systems and align the goals of policy actors with the choices of the public. By collaborating in an iterative process of Smart Policy Design and Implementation we help create policies that can harness India’s growth to deliver effective and efficient public services, a healthier environment, and equitable opportunities for all citizens.
EPoD India at IFMR is a joint initiative by Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard Kennedy School and the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR). Building on nearly a decade of collaborative work by the two institutions, EPoD India at IFMR is housed at IFMR and was established in 2013. It now has a team in India of approximately 20 managers, research associates, and administrative personnel working across 12 states and territories in India, with additional projects in other South Asian countries. We operate with a variety of state and central governments building capacity and conducting projects to improve governance, environmental protection, and gender equality. We collaborate with India’s evidence-based media and data journalism outlets to provide the public with easily comprehensible analysis of difficult policy issues, and we mentor and provide research opportunities to students from Harvard and local institutions.
EPoD India at IFMR:
T-95 A, CL House, Third Floor
Near Green Park Metro Station
New Delhi, India 110049
Ministry of Rural Development: Open data & data analytics for improved services to the poor
“Impersonal Government is Good” The Indian Express, 30 December 2015
Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB): Data systems & policy innovations for cleaner air
Our collaboration with the GPCB has its roots in a large-scale experiment conducted with research partners from J-PAL, Yale, and the University of Chicago and published in 2013. The intervention severed the ties between environmental auditors and the firms they monitored, and showed that this not only led to more truthful reports by the auditors, but reduced emissions by the factories. The GPCB incorporated several components of the scheme into their practice and invited us to train regulators in data analysis and the use of research evidence. Since then, we have worked closely with the GPCB developing and testing a device installed directly in factory stacks that allows emissions readings to be fed directly to regulators in real time via a digital interface. The project not only promises to deliver a leap in the quality of information that regulators can access, it is being watched closely by India’s Central Pollution Control Board, who know that future market-based mechanisms to control air pollution will depend on quality, real-time data.
“Paying Auditors for Honest Appraisals” Wall Street Journal, 17 July 2013
Comptroller and Auditor General’s Office (CAG): Better auditing for better governance
We provided technical assistance and training India’s watchdog agency, which is responsible for auditing any government program or ministry. For an audit of a state-level social security program, we provided insights on survey techniques and sampling methods, and in an audit of a major national program, we guided auditors in using existing research evidence and administrative data to set audit objectives. Our input led the CAG to access data from a range of sources that they wouldn’t usually consider. Two formalized Practice Notes containing the methods of data analysis and sampling we recommended are becoming part of the handbook all CAG officials use when evaluating the performance of programs. Furthermore, the collaboration helped galvanize a movement toward rigor in the CAG that culminated in the 2016 inauguration of the Centre for Data Management and Analytics (CDMA).
Government of Madhya Pradesh: Technology to facilitate women’s financial autonomy
“Getting India´s women into the workforce: Time for a smart approach” Ideas for India, 10 March 2017
LBSNAA: Training a generation India’s civil servants in the use of data and evidence
Since 2013, EPoD has worked in collaboration with Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) to enhance the abilities of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officials to access, analyze, and appraise data and research evidence. We have trained over 350 officers at different phases of their service period. We have also conducted “training of trainers” where we prepare officials to implement our blended-learning platform sustainably among future cohorts. Given that national and state ministries and departments across the country are typically led by IAS officials, this ongoing partnership provides us a unique perspective on how to best foster evidence-informed policymaking in India. Moreover, the trainings have helped our team identify potential “evidence champions” who can encourage evidence-informed policymaking and implementation, both through their future participation in high-potential engagements with researchers and through their advocacy for evidence among other policymakers.
Our work in Nepal: Advancing evidence-based policy at a critical juncture
Since 2015, EPoD India at IFMR has served as a base for EPoD’s growing presence in Nepal, a country at a point of great possibility as it determines how the state will function under its new constitution. We are training civil servants in data analysis and evidence use in collaboration with the Nepal Administrative Staff College. Also, we are aiding the Nepal Reconstruction Authority in using surveys and designing housing lotteries so that citizens at risk of earthquakes and landslides have a greater say in how their communities are relocated. As we explore further opportunities for collaboration, we are finding a willingness to innovate and a demand for evidence where its wide application would impact some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
“Transparent policy-making makes people less cynical of their government” myRepública, 25 March 2017