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Social and Political Networks in Indian Slums

This project seeks to understand the vast range of policy needs across urban slums as well as the different social and political strategies slum residents employ to address these needs. This follow up survey in Jaipur builds on a major study of over 200 slum settlements from Bangalore, Jaipur, and Patna conducted between 2015 and 2017. The current project will examine changes in Jaipur’s slum settlements over time and will contribute further evidence on the following research questions: 

  • What explains differences in political mobilization strategies across Indian slum settlements? 

  • What are the implications for development trajectories?  

This study will also generate preliminary evidence on additional topics, including the following: 

  • What explains gender gaps in political preferences, behavior, and leadership in urban slums? 

  • How do slum residents experience and adapt to increasing environmental vulnerability driven by climate change? 

Funding Partner 
Louisiana State University

Principal Researcher
Emily Rains

Social Slums

Reaching Smallholder women with information services and Resilience Strategies to respond to climate change

Climate change is already affecting the livelihoods of small farmers around the globe, particularly in marginal environments where farmers lack resources to address the climate challenges they face. Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is a set of guiding principles to identify technologies, practices, tools and policies to sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes, and resilience to climate change, while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

However, research shows that women tend to have less access to information on climate change and CSA practices, leading to lower adoption rates among women compared to men. To address this constraint and facilitate women’s contribution to CSA, the project “Reaching Smallholder Women with Information Services and Resilience Strategies to Respond to Climate Change” aims to reach more than 30,000 women in smallholder farm households with information on CSA approaches using innovative information services in parts of India, Kenya and Uganda.

Information on CSA will be tailored to local needs and preferences and gender-sensitive dissemination approaches will be used to facilitate uptake of CSA practices that will increase resilience to climate change, and contribute to closing gendered yield gaps, improving food security, and reducing natural resource degradation. To do this, the proposed project will work with grassroots women’s organizations and university institutions, including the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in India, GROOTS in Kenya, and Uganda’s Africa Institute for Strategic Animal Resource Services Development (AFRISA) of Makerere University to pilot innovative information services featuring locally-appropriate CSA practices.


Outputs -

  • Identified set of viable, locally effective, gender-responsive climate-smart agricultural technologies and practices based on the knowledge of national partners, literature reviews, household survey data and on ex-ante simulation modeling;

  • Innovative video-based extension approaches and methods developed to reach women farmers;

  • Extension messages deployed to reach more than 30,000 farmers; and

  • Cross-country learnings and synthesis.

Funding Partner
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Principal Researchers 
Claudia Ringler


Baseline survey among public sector health facilities and health care providers to understand availability and use of medical oxygen therapy in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab

Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) is a health organization committed to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease while strengthening and sustaining high-quality health systems. With funding support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), CHAI aims to achieve equitable, sustainable oxygen access by supporting national and state governments of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab to build robust, comprehensive oxygen ecosystems. The proposed baseline survey to capture the program specific indicators, establish benchmarks and streamlining program strategies to address bottlenecks identified in the three states. The baseline survey will take place in over 800+ facilities spread across the three states , and aims to answer the below questions:


  1. Assess the extent to which pulse oximetry is used to screen patients for hypoxemia, and the extent to which oxygen therapy is used to treat patients with hypoxemia at target facilities

  2. Assess the extent to which pulse oximetry and oxygen services are available at various points of care (i.e., adult medical wards, pediatric wards, emergency departments, COVID-19 treatment centres/wards, etc.) at target facilities and during transportation in emergencies

  3. Assess the extent to Health Care Workers (HCWs) in the selected facilities are aware of the need, utilization, and maintenance of medical oxygen systems

Funding Partner 
Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)

Principal Researchers 



Debiasing Law Enforcement Officers: Evidence from an Expressive Arts Intervention in India

Preventing gender-based violence (GBV) and addressing institutional service delivery of GBV in weak states, is an essential component to encouraging women's mobility, entry into the labor market, human capital accumulation, and ensuring safety and access to justice for women and girls. The study aims to develop and generate evidence through an innovative, cost-effective, and scalable intervention that uses applied theatre, expressive arts, and behavioral science tools to address the micro foundations of male police officers' behaviors and decision-making towards GBV.

To accomplish this, we partnered with the Bihar Police in the Indian state of Bihar to implement a clustered randomized control trial across 400 police stations in 12 districts. The intervention and survey tools involve a comprehensive novel toolkit to measure and change the mindset of officers when dealing with GBV and women. We will test the effect of the intervention on various behavioral outcomes, general police performance measures, and understand how these changes may translate into improvements in women's experiences with the police and livelihood.

Funding Partner 
J-PAL's Gender and Economic Agency (GEA) and J-PAL’S The Crime and Violence Initiative (CVI)

Principal Researchers
Dr Nishith Prakash, Associate Professor (University of Connecticut); Dr Sofia Amaral, Economist (ifo Institute); Dr Micaela Sviatschi, Assistant Professor (Princeton University); and Dr Girija Borker, Economist (The World Bank)

Impact P2P

The impact of remote peer-to-peer sharing of local knowledge on effective parental engagement through a randomized trial in the state of Delhi

Home-learning experience with parental involvement is a powerful determinant of children’s academic achievement but can also be a source of sharp inequalities (Heckman 2006; Todd and Wolpin 2007). While leveraging parents has the potential to increase achievement, low socioeconomic status is a challenge to effective parental involvement, due to the lack of resources and knowledge (Evans 2004; Bacher-Hicks et al. 2020). Recent experimental evidence from developing countries, motivated by the widespread school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, suggests that low-technology interventions, such as SMS and direct phone calls to parents can be effective in mitigating learning losses from poor parental engagement (e.g. Angrist et al. 2020). 


We aim to evaluate the impact of parent-to-parent sharing of knowledge on effective parental engagement in home-schooling to mitigate children’s learning losses in the post-pandemic period. We intend to implement this using a randomized control trial (RCT) in elementary public schools in Delhi, India, in collaboration with a local education-focused NGO named Saajha.  In one treatment arm, parents will be provided with a custom-made handbook with suggestions for home-schooling and better parental engagement. In a second treatment arm, parents will be provided with the handbook, plus personalised counselling from experienced parents (“Mitras”) to facilitate its use. The control group will have neither. In addition, we also aim to study whether the gender identity of the Mitra and the receiving parent matters by examining differences across male-female and female-male Mitra-parent pairs. We will deliver the study in two phases: The first phase of the project will focus on curating the handbook using “global plus local” (glocal) knowledge of effective parental engagement. The second phase will evaluate the impact of providing the handbook and additional Mitra-led parent counselling on parental educational practices and children’s education outcomes. Our objective is to derive practical and potentially scalable lessons on whether and via what channels such an intervention can boost parental involvement in school learning.


This research is implemented jointly with an interdisciplinary group of researchers from the UK and the Netherlands, that have already cooperated successfully in other related projects. 

Funding Partner 
Glasgow University

Principal Researchers 
Theodore Koutmeridis (PI), Sayantan Ghosal, Michele Schweisfurth, Sanchari Roy, Patricio Dalton, Seemanti Ghosh

Empowering Entrepreneurs: Experimental Evidence from a Personal Initiative Intervention in India

This is a research initiative of the World Bank-South Asia Region Gender Innovation Lab (SARGIL)/Vazhndhu Kattuvom Project (VKP) with the primary objective to conduct a survey in Tamil Nadu focusing on understanding the activities and experiences of rural entrepreneurs.

Skill development programme in the form of Training programme is the key awareness being established as the baseline of the project.  This will lead us to a comprehensive understanding of the requirement and ability of rural entrepreneurship.

Funding Partner 
World Bank

Principal Researcher 

Sofia Amaral (Economist - The World Bank),

Associated Investigators 
Isis Gaddis (Senior Economist - The World Bank), Alreena Pinto (Rural Development Specialist - The World Bank), Jayathi Sethi (Social Development Specialist - The World Bank), Raisa Sherif, Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Society

Empowering Entre
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