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Understanding ongoing transitions within Indian pastoral communities: Livelihoods at the limits of resilience

Pastoralism has been part of rural livelihoods for thousands of years, withstanding climate extremes, wars, geopolitical transitions, and natural disasters. This form of animal husbandry, historically used by nomadic people who moved with their herds, constitutes a unique asset of resilience under ongoing and anticipated climate change. There are 200 million pastoralists worldwide, 35 million of whom live in India, where they breed and manage a large part of the country’s domesticated goats, camels, and buffaloes.

Pastoralists produce food and other products in the harshest of environments. Their contribution to rural livelihoods and economies is significant yet poorly understood. Pastoralist systems are also at a crossroads: forces such as ill-informed policies, increasingly frequent and intense droughts, land degradation, and other factors menace the livelihoods and subsistence of pastoral communities. Consequently, sedentism (settling in one place) is on the rise, along with the associated drastic lifestyle changes that can worsen gender inequalities and create a cadre of unemployed youth and dietary changes that frequently result in nutritional deficiencies.

In India, there are successful interventions to improve the sustainability of pastoral communities by integrating their production systems into value chains supported by the dairy industry. This has a positive economic impact at scale and shows signs of stemming the outflow of pastoralist youth. However, it may also have unintended environmental and gender-related consequences that have yet to be investigated. As various regional governments are demanding similar interventions in their states, it is necessary to understand their potential mid- and long-term consequences before scaling up a model that may become irreversible. This project will provide science-based evidence to guide future decisions around the development of pastoral communities in India and beyond.

Project ID
109230
Project Status
Active
Duration
36 months
IDRC Officer
Marco Rondon
Total Funding
CA$ 725,000.00
Location
India
Programs
Climate-Resilient Food Systems
Climate-Resilient Food Systems
Agriculture and Food Security

Women’s agency and the gendered impact of violent extremism in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and India

Several Asian countries are currently witnessing new waves of violent extremism that are making global headlines. Not only is there an increase in violence, but the cadres of extremist organizations have expanded to include the participation of young women in acts of violence. Brutal attacks are being committed in the name of various religions on schools, places of worship, and busy railway stations.

The analyses and policy responses to this increasing violent extremism have often been limited to state-centric perspectives of counterterrorism focusing on border security, military collaboration, and punitive criminal justice. However, violent extremism is not just a question of violence perpetrated by extremist groups; it is also a question of individuals who are inspired by extreme ideologies. Combating this type of violence means understanding the actors, their motivations, and the effects on ordinary lives. Limited efforts have been made to understand the ways that violent extremism affects the lives of ordinary people, and even less is known about its impact on women and girls. A gender perspective of violent extremism is missing in scholarship and policy.

This project will address violent extremism from a gender perspective, with a focus on its effects on the lives of women. The research will focus on how young women have experienced and navigated the forces of violent extremism in their lives, personally and in relation to marriage, family, community, and nation, and how they have participated in violent extremism or have resisted it through organizing and mobilizing. The research will contribute to developing rights-based strategies, including preventive strategies to address violent extremism through women’s leadership.

The project will develop a new feminist framework for viewing and analyzing violent extremism and will identify new ways to build bridges with the communities and individuals whose collaboration is key to combating it. Finally, the project will develop new policy directives for national and international interventions by foregrounding women’s experience as victims, participants, and resisters to violent extremism.

Project ID
109231
Project Status
Active
Duration
30 months
IDRC Officer
Navsharan Singh
Total Funding
CA$ 400,000.00
Location
India
Indonesia
Sri Lanka
Programs
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Governance and Justice
Institution Country
Sri Lanka
Project Leader
Institution
Women and Media Collective

Building on CARIAA learning on women entrepreneurs, migration and climate-resilient development

Climate and Resilience (CLARE) is a partnership co-funded by IDRC and the UK’s Department for International Development. CLARE selected a group of recently closed or near to closing IDRC-supported research programs to further develop and scale their results for greater impact. The selected recipients are expected to participate in a mid-term learning review in late 2020 to reflect on their efforts to achieve scaling and research uptake.

One of these recipients is the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA), which supported a network of consortia to conduct high-calibre research and policy engagement to build resilience to climate change in hot spots in Africa and Asia. This project integrates results from CARIAA by supporting three initiatives with strong potential for further scaling or uptake of results to achieve greater impact.

The first initiative will scale up climate adaptation learning and understanding among female-led enterprises in Africa’s semi-arid regions. New research will further investigate the behaviours, barriers, and conditions that hinder or support female-led micro, small, and medium enterprises in Senegal and Kenya. This work will improve the understanding of and support the strategic role that female entrepreneurship has in unlocking broader resilience.

The second initiative will synthesize results on the migration and adaptation nexus. New work will inform adaptation policymaking to include migration and mobility, contribute to ongoing global initiatives, and develop a future research agenda on migration, mobility, and adaptation.

The third initiative will synthesize results from research in semi-arid regions in Africa and South Asia. It will map the environmental and economic trajectories of change and explore how select countries could improve alignment between proposed development trajectories and alternative development pathways to deliver more equitable and climate-resilient futures.

Expected results include contributions to knowledge through synthesis reports and peer-reviewed publications, policy reports, briefs, and a position paper on a research agenda; strategic engagement and research-into-use activities to inform policy and practice; and strengthened cross-consortia collaboration amongst the network of researchers previously engaged in CARIAA.

Project ID
109223
Project Status
Active
Duration
20 months
IDRC Officer
Georgina Kemp
Total Funding
CA$ 652,200.00
Location
India
Kenya
Namibia
Senegal
South Asia
South of Sahara
Programs
Climate-Resilient Food Systems
Climate Adaptation and Resilience
Institution Country
United Kingdom
Project Leader
Institution
London School of Economics and Political Science
Institution Country
United Kingdom
Project Leader
Institution
University of East Anglia of the Registry
Institution Country
United Kingdom
Project Leader
Institution
The University of Exeter

Uptake of climate change adaptation research results in South Asia

Climate and Resilience (CLARE) is a partnership co-funded by IDRC and the UK’s Department for International Development. CLARE selected a group of recently closed or near to closing IDRC-supported research programs to further develop and scale their results for greater impact. The selected recipients are expected to participate in a mid-term learning review in late 2020 to reflect on their efforts to achieve scaling and research uptake.

One of these recipients is the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA). This project integrates results from CARIAA by supporting three initiatives in South Asia with strong potential for scaling or research uptake for greater impact.

The first initiative focuses on scaling adaptation trials to inform climate financing in Bangladesh. The research will build upon earlier CARIAA results to evaluate the suitability of a set of adaptation options and work with government departments to develop an adaptation funding proposal to invest in and scale promising strategies and increase resilience in coastal Bangladesh.

The second initiative focuses on reducing the health risks of rising temperatures in India. The team will follow up on CARIAA pilot studies to assess the effectiveness of the first year of India’s heat stress warning campaign. Working with the Indian Meteorological Department, it will prepare tailored heat stress advice for 50 rural villages.

The third initiative will identify pathways for climate-resilient development in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. The team will map outcomes, explore the effectiveness of livelihood innovations piloted in four countries under CARIAA, and critically examine the opportunities for scaling, creating climate resilient development pathways, and integrating promising strategies into adaptation planning.

Expected results include contributions to knowledge through peer-reviewed publications, contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report, policy-oriented outputs, and practice through strategic engagement and research-into-use activities. It will also strengthen collaboration amongst the network of researchers previously engaged in CARIAA.

Project ID
109220
Project Status
Active
Duration
18 months
IDRC Officer
Heidi Braun
Total Funding
CA$ 635,900.00
Location
Bangladesh
India
Nepal
Pakistan
Programs
Climate-Resilient Food Systems
Climate Adaptation and Resilience
Institution Country
Netherlands
Project Leader
Institution
Stichting Wageningen Research
Institution Country
Bangladesh
Project Leader
Institution
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka
Institution Country
Japan
Project Leader
Institution
United Nations University

Exploring the transformative power of feminist research to address knowledge gaps in sexual and reproductive health rights and gender-based violence

Many organizations and donors, including IDRC, are increasingly invested in supporting gender-transformative research efforts, defined as those aiming to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls not just for individual progress, but to transform gender power dynamics and structures at the community and societal level.

Understanding how shifts in gender and power relations happen and the contributing factors to these shifts, including the role of research, is critical. Yet, these processes are seldom captured. To address this knowledge gap and inform IDRC’s programming directions on gender, the Centre launched a call for proposals targeting new partners to carry out action research using feminist approaches.

This project is one of the four selected to contribute to locally grounded evidence on gender-transformative change — in this case, addressing how the lack of knowledge and awareness of sexual reproductive and health rights and access to services is leading to an increase in gender-based violence, particularly against adolescent girls. This project proposes to conduct gender-transformative research on the intersection of these two critical themes in adolescent populations in India. Accompanying capacity strengthening and communications activities will contribute to the robustness of the findings and their potential use.

The project lead, Oxfam Canada, in collaboration with Oxfam India, will engage local organizations to apply feminist participatory methodologies, including focus group discussions and photovoice (where participants document aspects of the project’s research in their communities with photos), with an aim to inform policy recommendations that can render sexual and reproductive health rights systems more gender-equal and better suited to address gender-based violence.

Project ID
109083
Project Status
Active
Duration
30 months
IDRC Officer
Navsharan Singh
Total Funding
CA$ 215,775.00
Location
India
Institution Country
Canada
Project Leader
Institution
OXFAM-Canada

#Recognize-Resist-Remedy: A research project to combat gender-based hate speech against women in Brazil and India

Neither India nor Brazil have laws that effectively respond to sexism in online hate speech, in part because hate speech classifications in the law fail to comprehensively cover sexist speech. With only piecemeal legislation, the legal system ignores the violation of women’s dignity and the fault lines of class, ethnicity, race, and caste that lead to gender-based hate speech. There are also definitional and jurisdictional challenges in applying the law to the online environment.

#Recognize-Resist-Remedy will focus on institutional and individual transformation to combat sexist and misogynistic speech online in Brazil and India. This project will identify the main shortcomings that need to be addressed through legal reform. It will also harness the window of opportunity created by women speaking out in these environments to tackle the proliferation of sexist and misogynistic speech online. The aim of the project is to input recommendations into emerging policy processes, intermediary liability regimes, and governance frameworks for online content. The project will also work with young people to shift attitudes to demonstrate how deep change is possible.

IT for Change (India) and InternetLab (Brazil) will work together on the research in both countries using an interdisciplinary critical feminist framework. They will use a mixed methods approach incorporating legal and policy analysis, field research, case studies analysis, participatory action research, and validation through a global experts meeting.

Project ID
109058
Project Status
Active
Duration
24 months
IDRC Officer
Ruhiya Seward
Total Funding
CA$ 399,600.00
Location
Brazil
India
Programs
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Networked Economies
Institution Country
India
Project Leader
Institution
(name of President/Secretary) on behalf of IT for Change
Institution Country
Brazil
Project Leader
Institution
Associação INTERNETLAB de Pesquisa em Direito e Tecnologia

Promoting Responsible Value Chains in India for an Effective Contribution of the Private Sector to the SDGs

This project aims to develop sustainable and inclusive business models and practices in global value chains (GVCs) in India and to inform policy reforms and actions towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With constrained public budgets and aid, there is growing pressure on the private sector to contribute more effectively towards sustainable development. Sustainable development can only be achieved if private companies and investors are able to promote decent job creation and better economic opportunities for women and youth, and to address climate risks and opportunities. This is particularly important for countries such as India, where there is a critical need for job creation. The Indian private sector is dominated by suppliers/businesses that are part of GVCs and production networks and employ large numbers of vulnerable workers.

The project will undertake multidisciplinary research on different sectors of the GVCs to develop sustainable and inclusive business models; set up a multi-stakeholders platform to disseminate the results of the research and foster the necessary dialogue between stakeholders for policy reforms and actions; and communicate, discuss, and assess the impact of these platforms and outcomes of the research and dialogue. Sectors of interest include agro-based industry, mining and minerals, information and communication technology and electronics, and apparel and textiles.

Project ID
108951
Project Status
Active
Duration
36 months
IDRC Officer
Bouba Housseini
Total Funding
CA$ 660,800.00
Location
India
Programs
Climate Change
Sustainable Inclusive Economies
Employment and Growth
Institution Country
United Kingdom
Project Leader
Institution
Aston University

Strengthening the evidence for advancing tobacco control policy in Mexico, Colombia, and India

The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the implementation of which is a specific target (3.a) of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, recognises that raising taxes is the most cost effective tobacco control measure. India, Mexico and Colombia are all rapidly growing economies with a large share of the youth population and where effective and pro poor means of making smoking unaffordable and improving health outcomes for the over 115 million number of smokers who live in these countries is a critical priority.

The Global Tobacco Economics Consortium, led by the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública in Mexico, will use the extended cost effective analysis method to estimate the effect at the national and subnational level of tobacco tax increases on health care costs and poverty. It will also deepen the understanding the differential impacts of the household costs of tobacco use on gender over time. The consortium brings together research teams in Colombia, Mexico, and India, who will improve their understanding of how tobacco control policy is developed in their specific country context. This will allow them to better communicate the value of using economic tools and evidence for setting optimal tobacco taxes. The integration of evidence from across these three country contexts will contribute to global literature and momentum for large scale tax increases in low and middle income countries for progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

This project is funded through the Economics of Tobacco Control Research Initiative, a 5-year IDRC and Cancer Research UK partnership launched in October 2017.

Project ID
108819
Project Status
Active
Duration
46 months
IDRC Officer
Natacha Lecours
Total Funding
CA$ 1,001,900.00
Location
Colombia
India
Mexico
Programs
Global Health
The Economics of Tobacco Control Research Initiative
Institution Country
Mexico
Institution
Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública

Gender Lens Investing: Contribution to Women’s Economic Empowerment and Way Forward

The project seeks to document the gaps and the challenges faced by women-led businesses, as well as the social and financing impact, if any, that various actors are able to create through Gender Lens Investing, i.e. the use of capital to deliver financial returns and improve the lives of women, girls and their communities. A database of women-led and women-focused enterprises across the study countries in East Africa and South Asia will be constructed, and a mixed method approach combining quantitative and qualitative analytical tools used to draw cross-country learning across the two regions. To qualitatively assess the impact of Gender Lens Investing on the lives of women at the bottom of the pyramid, the team will engage directly with the beneficiaries of investing companies. The research findings will inform the design of a gender lens toolkit for adoption by various stakeholders contemplating a gender lens approach in their investment decisions. The toolkit will also be used to train Intellecap’s business, operations, programs, and project managers.

Project ID
108793
Project Status
Active
Duration
24 months
IDRC Officer
Flaubert Mbiekop
Total Funding
CA$ 723,600.00
Location
India
Indonesia
Kenya
South of Sahara
Programs
Sustainable Inclusive Economies
Employment and Growth
Institution Country
Kenya
Project Leader
Institution
Intellecap Advisory Services Private Limited

“Fair” community benefits and equitable land governance

During the last two decades, large-scale acquisition of agricultural and forest land, especially in rapidly developing and emerging economies, has become a key development challenge. While land is a key resource for development projects, there is a growing concern that people’s connection to their lands and livelihoods is being undermined and they are not being fairly compensated.

In several regions, women are resisting displacement and making claims to land through collective and individual protests. They are building public opinion against the arrangements in land tenure that differ between women and men, and questioning the institutions, social norms, and legal rules that shut most rural women out of land control, ownership, and any framework for compensation when lands are acquired.

Moreover, violent resistance against displacement in several regions is often met with state repression, leading to more violence, stalled projects, and protracted cycles of unresolved conflicts. In addition, in several regions, disputes over the division of resources are emerging between federal and provincial authorities. The lack of norms on distribution of gains and what constitutes a “fair” compensation for displacement only makes matters more contentious.

This project aims to provide context-specific, evidence-based understanding of the complex issue of land governance and compensation in land acquisition projects. It will examine the complex web of gender-differentiated costs to the communities and to the projects, aiming to strengthen policies for better acquisition and build capacities of women and men for negotiating more equitable and fair solutions.

Through a field-based study in Cambodia, India, and Indonesia, this project will engage with local communities and local governments to define entitlements for compensation and fair compensation models and to strengthen governance to develop models of just and fair compensation for women and men. At the same time, through an in-depth study of best practices in different countries, the project will also develop workable models for resource sharing between the central and provincial governments.

The project will be implemented by the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge, UK, in collaboration with the Community Legal Education Center, Cambodia; Ekta Parishad, India; and HuMa Community and Ecological Based Society for Law Reform, Indonesia. The research will build on mixed methods, relying on desk research and field experiences to arrive at policy-oriented understanding on just and fair compensation for large-scale land acquisition.

Project ID
108781
Project Status
Active
Duration
24 months
IDRC Officer
Navsharan Singh
Total Funding
CA$ 300,000.00
Location
Cambodia
India
Indonesia
Programs
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Governance and Justice
Institution Country
United Kingdom
Project Leader
Institution
The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge
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