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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
Sustainable Inclusive Economies
Employment and Growth
Climate Change
Institution Country
United Kingdom
Project Leader
Institution
Aston University

Land Conversion, Social Impacts and Legal Remedies: What’s Working?

India leads the way in terms of a well-established and abundantly used framework of laws and policies concerning people’s rights over land and citizens’ rights to information. However, the implementation of these laws leaves much to be desired.

Approaches to find effective and just remedies for affected communities are being explored through civil society interventions. Paralegal support to communities is emerging as a promising model, and its impact is being studied more systematically.

This proposed research builds on a previous IDRC-supported project that used paralegals to collect data on the lived experiences of communities in regards to the impacts of land use change in India. It will develop a framework to generate legally-actionable evidence of non-compliance to existing legal frameworks. The project will create a knowledge base on how long-standing impacts can be addressed through collaboration between communities and administrative bodies.

The overall objective of the project is to inform, develop, and disseminate learnings from the ongoing legal empowerment interventions by distilling the most effective strategies for helping communities, women, and vulnerable groups claim and secure their rights to manage communal resources, with the goal of creating greater ground-level impact.

Project ID
108933
Project Status
Completed
End Date
Duration
24 months
IDRC Officer
Navsharan Singh
Total Funding
CA$ 230,000.00
Location
India
Programs
Governance and Justice
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Institution Country
United States
Project Leader
Institution
Namati, Inc.

Research and development impact vouchers

The research and development (R&D) impact vouchers project seeks to incentivize collaboration between early-stage companies and public research organizations in low and middle-income countries. Through business-led research projects, the goal is to improve the products and services that companies seek to bring to market in low-income settings or to help them anticipate or overcome technical and operational obstacles.

Public research organizations possess talent, knowledge, and infrastructure that can support private sector innovation. A recognized challenge is that start-ups and small companies underinvest in research and development, lack internal research and development capabilities, and do not actively engage with public research organizations, which constrains their growth and innovation potential. The project will create opportunities for researchers and graduate students to apply their skills, develop new networks, and identify research directions.

This project will be managed by Impact Investors, in partnership with IDRC. IDRC’s funding to public research organizations seeks to complement the financial and business support that Impact Investors provide to companies in which they invest. Through a targeted expression of interest call, IDRC will identify and collaborate with Impact Investors, who employ an investment approach that supports beneficial social or environmental impact alongside financial return.

Project ID
108887
Project Status
Active
Duration
54 months
IDRC Officer
David O'Brien
Total Funding
CA$ 1,030,000.00
Location
India
Kenya
North of Sahara
Philippines
South of Sahara
Programs
Education and Science
Education and Science
Foundations for Innovation
Institution Country
Canada
Institution
Recipient(s) to be Determined -- Holding Tank
Institution Country
Kenya
Project Leader
Institution
Kenya Impact Innovations Foundation
Institution Country
India
Institution
Villgro Innovations Foundation
Institution Country
United States
Project Leader
Institution
Lutheran World Relief Inc.

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
Governance and Justice
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Institution Country
United Kingdom
Project Leader
Institution
The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge

Small voices, Small victories: A pathway to amplify the voice of youth civic engagement

Throughout the developing world, young men and women are facing high unemployment coupled with strong feelings of dissatisfaction with their quality of life in contexts of weak governance and institutions, increased political instability, and growing state authoritarianism — factors that render societies vulnerable and play a role in radicalization.
Current strategies to counter these phenomena remain state-centered, with limited participation of civil society stakeholders. Populations who suffer most from this violence, insecurity, and lack of civic engagement, such as young men and women, continue to be largely excluded from participating in policy and governance-related decisions. But youth are active in an array of movements associated with emerging social, economic, cultural, and political issues.

To understand these processes, a closed call for proposals was launched in June 2017 to generate knowledge on how to promote civic engagement of youth through social innovation for positive social change.

Small Voices, Small Victories, a project by Yugantar, India, in collaboration with Youth Circle, a community based youth organization in Hyderabad, proposes to work with youth at risk of criminalization with the objective of achieving their social recovery through civic engagement in order to prevent a further worsening in their status. An overwhelming majority of these youth belong to the Muslim minority religious group. Many times, mere suspicion or apprehension that the individual would commit a crime is sufficient ground to warrant an entry into what is known as a “history sheet”. Present day policing methods use these colonial practices and as a result, thousands of young men are under police surveillance.

Yugantar and Youth Circle will work together to generate critical practice through participatory interventions for working towards getting the names of these young men removed from the suspect list and reduce the risk of criminalization. The project will document the learning from this intervention and share and disseminate this strategy widely to promote uptake beyond the city of Hyderabad.

Project ID
108780
Project Status
Active
Duration
24 months
IDRC Officer
Navsharan Singh
Total Funding
CA$ 196,600.00
Location
India
Programs
Governance and Justice
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Institution Country
India
Project Leader
Institution
Yugantar

South Asian youth for inclusive development: Empowering individuals; strengthening communities

Throughout the developing world, young men and women are facing high unemployment and strong feelings of dissatisfaction with quality of life in contexts of weak governance and institutions, increased political instability, and growing state authoritarianism. These are factors that render societies vulnerable and play a role in radicalization. Current strategies to counter these phenomena remain state-centered, with limited participation of non-governmental or community organizations. Populations who suffer most from this violence, insecurity, and lack of civic engagement, such as young men and women, continue to be largely excluded from participating in policy and governance-related decisions. But youth are active in an array of movements associated with emerging social, economic, cultural and political issues.

This project will build capacity and empower youth from caste, religion, and sexual minorities in Bangladesh and India to help contribute to better development and security outcomes for their communities, while also reaching out to youth from majority backgrounds through forging a common cause for rights and dignity for all.

Law and Society Trust, based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in collaboration with a consortium of minority-focused groups in Bangladesh and India, will work with caste and religious minority youth in India and sexual minority youth, including transgender, in Bangladesh to uncover the specific links between discrimination and youth radicalization and the ways they can be broken by mobilizing youth agency and civic engagement. The project will build youth capacity to document and analyze discrimination and civil and political rights denial on the ground; mobilize local communities through awareness raising on rights and entitlements; and enhance platforms and networks and collective advocacy to try to improve development and security outcomes.

Project ID
108731
Project Status
Completed
End Date
Duration
24 months
IDRC Officer
Navsharan Singh
Total Funding
CA$ 200,000.00
Location
Bangladesh
India
Programs
Governance and Justice
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Institution Country
Sri Lanka
Project Leader
Institution
Law and Society Trust

Stepping Stones: Engaging with youth in South Asia – PANOS

Throughout the developing world, young men and women face high levels of unemployment coupled with strong feelings of dissatisfaction with their quality of life in contexts of weak governance and institutions, increased political instability, and growing state authoritarianism. These are all factors that render societies vulnerable and play a role in radicalization. Current strategies to counter these phenomena remain state-centered, with limited participation of civil society (non-governmental sector) stakeholders. The young men and women who suffer most from this violence, insecurity, and lack of civic engagement, continue to be largely excluded from participating in policy and governance-related decisions. But youth are active in an array of movements associated with emerging social, economic, cultural, and political issues.

To understand these processes, a closed call for proposals, “Giving youth a voice: promoting spaces for civic engagement, inclusion and violence reduction in South Asia and Latin America”, was launched in June 2017 to generate knowledge about promoting civic engagement of youth through social innovation for positive social change. The Stepping Stones project is looking at finding new ways of preventing sexual violence by working with young people in educational and training institutions.

This project builds on previous projects that looked at recent histories of sexual violence in five countries in South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) and a media initiative that built capacities of young journalists to bring the voices and lived experience of women in conflict regions into the mainstream media. It aims to take these learnings further using new ways to communicate with youth. While the previous projects made progress in analyzing difficult and complex issues around sexual violence, they did not address the prevention of these issues. Panos South Asia will collaborate with New Delhi-based Zubaan to work towards an activism of prevention rather than reaction. Working with youth and using different creative forms, such as theatre and art, the project aims to deepen civic engagement and generate discussions on specific findings of the two research studies among students and youth.

Project ID
108729
Project Status
Completed
End Date
Duration
24 months
IDRC Officer
Navsharan Singh
Total Funding
CA$ 200,000.00
Location
India
Nepal
Programs
Governance and Justice
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Institution Country
Netherlands
Project Leader
Institution
Stichting Panos South Asia

Shiv Nadar University – Program on Water Science and Policy

India faces a multi-dimensional water crisis with ever-increasing demands on water posed by agriculture, rapid urbanization, and industrialization. This project responds directly to a call from the Prime Minister of India to improve the quality of water education in the country and to expand the pool of qualified professionals needed to manage the significant challenges of urgently reforming India’s water sector.

This project will seek to address the challenges around incorporating the essential multi-disciplinary character of water and the policy requirements of the sector, especially in the context of the far-reaching reforms required. It will support the efforts of Shiv Nadar University, which designed a new multi-disciplinary postgraduate water science and policy program. By training MSc students and mid-career civil servants in water science and policy, the project aims to increase the number and capacity of professionals with a multi-dimensional perspective on water, and to enable them to guide the development of policies, programs, and solutions to the growing water crisis in India and around the world. The teaching program will be supplemented by a rigorous research program designed to understand and find solutions for the most pressing problems in the areas of water science and policy.

Project ID
108687
Project Status
Active
Duration
36 months
IDRC Officer
Marco Rondon
Total Funding
CA$ 550,000.00
Location
India
Programs
Climate-Resilient Food Systems
Institution Country
India
Project Leader
Institution
[Trustees of] Shiv Nadar Foundation
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