How can India send a spaceship to Mars but not educate its children? Guest post from Deepak Xavier

Duncan Green - March 24, 2015

Oxfam is going through its own (belated but welcome) process of ‘Bric-ification’, with the rise of independent Oxfam affiliates in the main developing countries. Oxfam India is one of the leaders, founded in 2008 and focussing its work on 7 of the most deprived states in India. It is rapidly becoming an advocacy powerhouse within India, running campaigns on everything from gender inequality to ‘Stand strong …

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Why ending poverty in India means tackling rural poverty and power

Duncan Green - January 29, 2015

Vanita Suneja, Oxfam India’s Economic Justice Lead, argues that India can’t progress until it tackles rural poverty More than 800 million of India’s 1.25 billion people live in the countryside. One quarter of rural India’s population is below the official poverty line – 216 million people. A search for economic justice for a population of this magnitude is never going to be possible only by relying on …

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How Change Happens: Supporting tribal people to claim their rights to India’s forests

Duncan Green - July 16, 2014

Next up in the series of case studies in promoting ‘active citizenship’ is Oxfam India’s work in an impossible-to-spell new state. All comments welcome, full case study here [P&C case study. v2 12 June 14] India’s new and heavily forested state of Chhattisgarh is home to some of its most marginalized communities, whose traditional ways of living from forest products are under threat from encroachment …

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How is India’s iconic NREGA social protection scheme doing? Interesting research from Tamil Nadu.

Duncan Green - February 27, 2014

Some social programmes act as honey pots for busy bee researchers. A few years ago Brazil’s Bolsa Familia was the subject of choice, but it seems to have been overtaken by India’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) which has researchers all over it. A Global Insights paper from the University of Sussex has some great insights into the programme, based on a …

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Fighting inequality one city at a time: reclaiming public water and electricity in Delhi

Duncan Green - February 12, 2014

There’s a political earthquake going on in Delhi right now. Biraj Swain (Exfam India, now campaigning and researching on water) looks at its immediate impact on poor people’s access to water and electricity. Last month marked the first month in office of the anti-corruption movement turned political party, the Aam Admi ‘Common Man’ Party government in Delhi, India. Two days into office, they had made …

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An Uncertain Glory: Dreze and Sen’s fantastic introduction to India and its Contradictions

admin - December 5, 2013

India dominates many debates on development – home to a third of the world’s absolute (<$1.25 a day) poor, the world’s biggest democracy, an emerging power with a space programme, a buzzing beehive of political and social activism and experimentation. With their new book, An Uncertain Glory, Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen have given us a brilliant introduction to India’s political and economic ferment, setting …

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Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze on the changing nature of India’s caste system

admin - December 4, 2013

This excerpt comes from An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions, a wonderful new book from Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen. Review tomorrow. ‘It is often argued that caste discrimination has subsided a great deal in the 20th Century. Given the intensity of caste discrimination in India’s past, this is true enough, without making the present situation particularly close to equality. In large parts of …

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Is India breaking new ground by requiring corporates to spend 2% of company profits on CSR?

admin - December 2, 2013

This is a joint post with Avinash Kumar (right), Oxfam India’s Policy, Research & Campaigns Director Corporate responsibility in India is getting interesting – an unheralded aspect of the growth of its business sector. Recent legislation requires public sector enterprises to make social responsibility and stakeholder engagement part of their core business practices, while in July, 2011, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs came out with …

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Is village immersion a new approach to development studies? Is suicide a development issue?

admin - November 25, 2013

I was in Delhi this week, talking to Oxfam India and taking part in a conference on how to work on issues of governance, politics and institutional reform (more on that later). But on Wednesday I took time out to give a lecture (on poverty v inequality – powerpoint here – keep clicking) at Ambedkar University, a new social sciences outfit on the edges of …

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