Understanding Public Policy Research – A schematic

Here is a ‘discipline neutral’ way of understanding policy research. This stuff comes out from a course on Introduction to Policy Research that I take this term. Interestingly enough this is the first time that we have a specific course titled as that – Public Policy, as a part of any graduate program in an … Continue reading Understanding Public Policy Research – A schematic

Paving the road to hell with agricultural productivity

Here is a brief of a new policy study that my colleague Praveena and I begin this month. We are excited about this idea as agriculture and development has been sectors of our interest since long and that a sector fatigue (from our work in water sector) is slowly kicking in. We would sharpen this … Continue reading Paving the road to hell with agricultural productivity

Sociology – Is it necessary to take sides?

The editors of n+1 magazine have gone whacking at the weeds that have grown in sociology as a discipline in their recent issue. Too Much Sociology discusses what is wrong with the nature of knowledge produced by sociology and the way it is used, appropriated or more often, tapped into, by arts, literature, politics and culture … Continue reading Sociology – Is it necessary to take sides?

Microfinance in India: A case of development’s bull run

Talking to some friends who work in NGOs I have noticed an increased pace of activity in NGOs running microfinance programs. And some programs around the other buzz word 'financial inclusion'. This made me think if microfinance really has the kind of emancipatory potential that many in the non-profit sector see. I dug up a … Continue reading Microfinance in India: A case of development’s bull run

Post development critiques: the scare-crows of development sector

Use of ‘post-‘ as a prefix to established paradigm like ‘modern’ and in our case ‘development’ is often used as an entry point into advancing an alternative and in most cases a polemical theory. I argue that post-development critiques of development operate in this mode – where they take a polar opposite position on what … Continue reading Post development critiques: the scare-crows of development sector

A methodological note on field work & research

On conducting research in development sector and doing field work it appears that there are divergent views on how a question of interest (enquiry) should be pursued. These academic concerns - epistemological and ontological, were clearly unknown to us in our comapny where we have done contract research for small businesses, funding agencies and NGOs. … Continue reading A methodological note on field work & research

Work, Health & Rights – MFC Discussion [1]

Medico Friends Circle completes 40 years with this annual conference in Hyderabad. Seeing the energy and quality of discussions this morning is admirable. The gathering is quite diverse – activists, NGOs, researchers, development professionals, engineers and doctors (although the name suggests that it is a group of medical professionals. Theme of this MFC meet is … Continue reading Work, Health & Rights – MFC Discussion [1]

It is not his job! On politicians, development and development agencies

From a recent report that we prepared for an NGO, a reader asked "What is that MLA's incentive to push for proper/improved drinking water system" referring to a small case study on a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) in a constituency who was trying to help the drinking water crisis in his town. So here … Continue reading It is not his job! On politicians, development and development agencies