Three steps to better flood risk policies in India

Jyotiraj Patra
Jyotiraj Patra
Research Awards

The gap between research and policy can be wide, but 2014 IDRC Research Award recipient Jyotiraj Patra has identified three steps for bridging it: trust, time, and transition. “I came to IDRC with limited understanding of the complexity around science-policy interface,” he says. “My mentor’s guidance exposed me to the political economy dimension of this interface. This helped me refine my research.”

Patra sought to understand how research could influence policies to reduce flooding risks in India. Through fieldwork, he learned that building trust between the local and policy communities is essential. Timing is also crucial: you have to seize the moment — a disaster or a change in government, for example — when there is an appetite for research. The third challenge is to maintain that openness to new ideas, he says. “This is all the more critical when the frequency and severity of natural hazards such as floods and cyclones are on the rise, as they are in India.”

“Each day at IDRC was filled with new energy and passion to work,” he says. “I have always been excited about knowledge-into-action linkages. My stint at IDRC amplified this passion.”


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