Bridging Gaps Between Citizens and the Bureaucracy – Part 2

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

In the previous blog, I highlighted two of the common themes emerging from stories shared with you over t

Bridging gaps between citizens and the bureaucracy - Part 1

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the seventh part of an eight-part series on the challenges and life hacks in experiencing and accessing government benefits and services. 

Since th

Aadhaar in Public Service Delivery: Enabler or Disruptor?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the sixth part of an eight-part series on the challenges and life hacks in experiencing and accessing government benefits and services.

Empowering Grassroots Governance Institutions

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Ever wondered how government initiatives such as the Swachh Bharat Mission are implemented at the village and district levels?

Accountability Initiative’s

Measuring People’s Thoughts, or Corrupt Transactions?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

I ended my last blog by observing that questionnaires on corruption related surveys are often cut and paste jo

Right to Whose Education?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the fifth part of an eight-part series on the challenges and life hacks in experiencing and accessing government benefits and services.

A Useful Measure of Corruption; how it could be designed

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

If a mere ranking of States on a scale of corruption doesn’t mean anything, what is the solution to the problem of measuring corruption? A check on some of the approaches

सच्चाई की जीत

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the fourth part of an eight-part series on the challenges and life hacks in experiencing and accessing government benefits and services.

Crafting a Meaningful Measure for Corruption: Some Suggestions

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

My last three blogs have been a critique of a recent study undertaken in In

सूचना का अधिकार- एक पहलु यह भी...

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the third part of an eight-part series on the challenges and life hacks in experiencing and accessing government benefits and services.

The ‘Avoiding Accountability’ Series – A Case Study of Public Housing in Karnataka

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

In his series, T.R Raghunandan, author of

Water Problems in a South Delhi Slum - Challenges of Access, Usage and Awareness

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the second part of an eight-part series on the challenges and life hacks in experiencing and accessing government benefits and services.

Perceptions and Incidence of Corruption – a Critical Analysis

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

The Corruption Study 2017 has covered both the perceptions

Life Hacks to Avail Government Benefits and Services

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Knowing about government schemes, their benefits and how to avail basic public services should be essential courses taught in schools, especially in a l

Ends over Means – Questions on the Implementation of the Swachh Bharat Mission

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Bill Gates recently wrote that India is winning its war a

The Corruption Survey – a Critical Analysis

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Recently, the newspapers extensively covered the survey undertaken by the Centre for Media Studies, New Delhi on the prevalence of corruption in India.

Saturation and Collaborative Construction; a Way Out of the Conundrum

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the sixth part of the Raghu Bytes series on 'Avoiding Accountabil

सामाजिक क्षेत्र के लिए आवंटित बजट का असल हश्र

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Original article was published in Huffington Post India available

Budget data for accountability

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

It isn’t easy to understand budgets in India today. A citizen who looks at a budget website out of curiosity will be bewildered by the number of documen

Law, Technology and Tensions

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the fifth part of the Raghu Bytes series on 'Avoiding Accountabil

Frontal Assault Turns to Stealth: MLAs Sneak Back

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the fourth part of the Raghu Bytes series on 'Avoiding Accountabi

Rural Housing Wars in Karnataka; the Empire Strikes Back and Gets Shot Down

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the third part of the Raghu Bytes series on 'Avoiding Accountability'.

Challenges in the implementation of School Management Committees: A case study

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

The School Management Committee (SMC), is a legal provision[1] for a partnership between community and school. The point is to implement a sh

Beneficiary Selection for Housing Programmes

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the second part of the Raghu Bytes series on 'Avoiding Accountability'.

Money for nothing: lessons from PAISA studies

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is an article written in the ASER 2016 Report

The Public Housing Sector - A Case Study of Karnataka

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Public Housing is a government service that garners a lot of attention, for several reasons. It is of course, an essential service and hugely important

A Handbook for Passing on the Blame

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

The essence of what the government does boils down to two things, in a financial sense, it collects taxes and delivers a basket of services. In today’s day and age, these

Breaking Down the Budget - Learning videos on how to navigate Budget 2017

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Digging through budgets for stories is a complicated task. Budget documents, meant for public accountability, are usually jargon-heavy and cryptic. The changes expected in

Why is Accountability so Important in India? Watch this video to learn more.

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Tucked away in the far corners of Pur

[Hindi] Why is Accountability so Important in India? Watch this video to learn more.

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

पूर्वी बिहार के पूर्णिया के दूर कोनों

Collective Responsibility – or Dilution of Accountability?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

In my last blog of 2016, I had asked the question whether there could be a middle path between the imperative of maintaining absolute confidentiality and collective decisi

Accountability Initiative 2016: The Year Gone By

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Season’s Greetings! 2016 has been a hectic year for Accountability Initiative (AI), as we continued in our effort to deepen understandings of the everyday workings of the

The Role of the School Leader in ‘Successful Implementation’

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

We are almost as pleased with the school leaders of two of the six schools we work with in Rajasthan, as we are with our own efforts with them1.

They have been cons

Making High Policy in Secret

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

In my last blog, I has asked how policies were actually made in the government. The answer is, they are made confidentially. Or at least, all efforts are made to keep matt

Beyond Toilet Construction – Challenges for Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban)

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Can constructing toilets end open defecation if they are not used? What might seem like a facetious question is actually of critical importance to India’s flagship sanitat

Understanding India’s bureaucracy through the IAS officer

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Accountability Initiative deconstructs the Indian bureaucracy through the IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer in a series of blogs by T R Raghunandan, a former bur

BASIC TENETS OF DECENTRALISATION

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Governments around the world are increasingly elected on a platform of greater citizen participation. The antagonist for progress in effective decentralisation is poorly c

Incubating and Selling Policy – A Case Study of Demonetisation

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Over the last month, the demonetisation saga has been holding centre stage in India. On 8 November, the Prime Minister announced the decision of the government to declare

Exploring the ‘symbols’ of Indian Bureaucracy

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

The Public Administration team at the Accountability Initiative (AI) brings to you a five part blog series that attempts to unpack some of the frequently heard terms and p

False News and Anger

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

In last week’s blog, I wrote about the challenges of converting information to content that can make people angry, because anger is a great motivator; a call to action. Ho

How Important are Deadlines in the Bureaucracy?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the final blog of a five-part series to unpack the meaning of some of the frequently heard terms and phrases in the Indian bureaucracy.


Information and Anger

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Several research institutions and think tanks in India track expenditure. They tell us that budgets were laid down for this and that, they speak of estimates and revised e

Fiscal Decentralisation through the Lens of Second Generation Thinking

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Our previous blog captured the First Generation Theory (FGT) on Fiscal Fe

A Circuitous Journey

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the fourth blog of a five-part series to unpack the meaning of some of the frequently heard terms and phrases in the Indian bureaucracy.


Data, Taxation, Expenditure

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Even as I write this blog series on government data transparency, a huge battle rages on the utility or otherwise of the Indian union government’s demonetisation exercise.

B is for Babu

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the third blog of a five-part series to unpack the meaning of some of the frequently heard terms and phrases in the Indian bureaucracy.


How Open is Open Data?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Even as I was reflecting upon the question as to whether data, when put into the hands of people, would actually lead to greater accountability, I got the opportunity to p

How to Conduct a Participatory Expenditure Tracking Survey

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

In 2009, Accountability Initiative (A

Of Authorisation Letters, Samosas and Chai

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the second blog of a five-part series to unpack the meaning of some of the frequently heard terms and phrases in the Indian bureaucracy.


The Worrying Status of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Implementation in Bihar

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Historically, Bihar has been a major centre for learning and education. In recent years however, owing potentially to population explosion and poor governance, the status

Public Financial Accountability – Who Cares?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

I found myself commuting into the city of Bangalore couple of weeks back on a Sunday. It was to join a human chain that would link their hands over a distance of a few kil

The ABC of Indian bureaucracy – a primer

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the first blog of a five-part series to unpack the meaning of some of the frequently heard terms and phrases in the Indian bureaucracy.

Poora

What makes for ‘Successful Implementation’?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

If you asked the Government administrative machinery its point of view, they would likely report that the key to successful implementation is the flow of messages through

How Honest is Honest?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Before one sets in place a system of 360 degree appraisal and expects it to work effectively, two pre-requisites have to be in place. First, there must be a shared underst

Understanding Bureaucracy from the Bureaucrat's Perspective

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

In the podcast below, Yamini Aiyar, Director of Accountability Initiative (AI), talks about underst

Fiscal Decentralisation Debate: Why and How?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

The debate started with a simple question: How does a society ensure that resources are distributed efficiently and equally to a diverse and heterogeneous society?

The Loneliness of the Ethical

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

I had ended my blog a fortnight back with a reflection on how difficult it is to maintain an ethical position, when the incentive structures within a society militate agai

Budget Briefs 2016: State of Social Sector Expenditure

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Every year Accountability Initiative

Human resources for health: “wicked” problems or misunderstood?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

India, like many other countries, struggles with governance of its human resources for health. It is common knowledge that there are too few qualified health workers, that

How Swachh is Bharat two years on?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

The most visible programme remains invisible on the ground, Accountability Initiative finds

October 2 marked the second anniversary of the Swachh

Ambition, Ethical Dilemmas and the Bureaucracy

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

One of the reasons why I think that peer reviews and 360 degree appraisals won’t work, is nothing more than my cynicism. The performance appraisal system has undergone sev

A Digression into Ethical Dilemmas

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Returning from an annual vacation, I was immediately informed that my blog had to resume forthwith. Apparently, the current blog series on confidential reports had generat

Decentralisation for Dummies

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

We come across the word ‘decentralisation’ in varied contexts. One place it is commonly used is in governance related literature. In spite of its extensive usage among pro

भाग 2 : शैक्षिक सुधार और स्थानीय प्रशासन : बिहार में एक केस अध्ययन

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

पहले ब्लॉग में, हमने बिहार में प्रारम्भिक शिक्षा के परिवेश और कामकाज के संबंध में अपना विश्लेषण प्रस्तुत किया था। हमारे विश्लेषण के अनुसार, प्रशासन में मौजूद नियम-कानूनवाद

Shift in Financial Year - Will It Change anything?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

After its last attempt in 1985, the Government of India is once again exploring the possibility of shifting the financial year (FY). A committee led by Shankar Acharya has

Understanding ‘Inclusive Development’ in New States – Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

In June 2014, we embarked upon a research project in the twin states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh in India. While we were cognizant of the depths that the study would tak

भाग 1: शैक्षिक सुधार और स्थानीय प्रशासन : बिहार में एक अध्ययन

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

भारत की स्थानीय नौकरशाही भ्रष्टाचार और भाई-भतीजावाद, नागरिकों की उपेक्षा, कोशिशों की कमी और अत्यधिक गैरहाजिरी के लिए बदनाम है। यह ब्लॉग बिहार के स

Local Interpretations of Implementation and Governance that Work

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Intent begins to take a beating when vision is cautiously tamed to become acceptable policy. At the end of its journey through pristine development planning checkboxes, bo

Accountability Initiative Public Finance Blog Series

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Accountability Initiative (AI) released a series of blogs to demonstrate our recent research on fiscal devolution and social sector spending in India. The research specifi

Tweetathon on Fiscal Devolution Research

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Accountability Initiative's tweetathon on fiscal devolution research

Accountability Initiative conducted a tweetathon between 26 August and 2nd Sep

How Commonplace is ‘Outstanding’?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Once a senior officer endures the tedium of commenting on various aspects of the officer’s performance, space is left for her to give her general opinion of the officer be

#5 The Future of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) in the New Era of Devolution

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

I promised, in my previous blog to offer some new thinking on the role of CSSs in the changing scenario of center-sta

#4 The 14th Finance Commission and the Way Forward in the States

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Introduction

The adoption of the 14th Finance Commission’s recommendations has resulted in states being brought into the limelight for having the responsibility of

#3 THE 14TH FINANCE COMMISSION AND SOCIAL SECTOR SPENDING

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

In India, most public services provided to citizens are delivered by the governments of the states they live in. The theory of federalism tells us that State governments a

Deciding the Wheat from the Chaff – The Bureaucratic Review Process

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Because there is very little room at the top in the bureaucracy, there has to be a way to select the best for the top job; a way to separate the wheat from the chaff. The

Catalysing Change in Implementation of Government Services by Deepening Knowledge about Middle and Front End Bureaucracy

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Development workers with targets to meet and reports to write know all too well the challenges of working with Government machinery as part of a project at the state, dist

#2 What has changed for Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) in 2015 – 16?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

In December 2013, my colleagues and I were about to embark on a new project in Bihar.

In April that year, the Government of Bihar had announced the launch of an amb

#1 Winners and Losers: How the 14th Finance Commission Recommendations Impacted State Revenues

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

In February 2015, the Union Government accepted the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission (FFC) and set the stage for a radical overhaul of India’s fiscal archite

Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Additional Crown

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Hierarchies are important in the IAS as anywhere else in the government. It is not only important as a positioning tool within the service, but also to peg oneself against

PAISA 2016: A New Era in Fiscal Devolution in India?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Tracking fiscal devolution to State governments and Panchayats in India.

On June 3rd 2016, Accountability Initiative (AI) released two re

No Space at the Top

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

It is nearing seven years since I quit the cozy confines of the bureaucracy and became a traveling salesperson of decentralisation and anti-corruption. I would be deluding

टाइम यूज़ स्टडी

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

एकाउंटेबिलिटी इनिशिएटिव द्वारा श्टाइम यूज़ स्टडीश् बिहारए महाराष्ट्रए मध्यप्रदेशए हिमाचलप्रदेश और राजस्थान में शुरू किया गया द्य स्टडी का मुख्य उद्देश्य जनशिक्षक के दैनदिन

Debating the role of India's frontline education bureaucracy

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

What does it take to build an administrative eco-system that substantially shifts frontline behavior to focus entirely on the conundrum of learning in India’s classroom? T

Bringing the education administration back in to the classroom

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This piece was written based on the ASER report released in 2014, and was published in January 2015 and still holds relevance to the state of educat

The Flowering of Buds

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

‘You must visit our ‘Buds’ school’, she said.

A group of us, members from India of the Local Governance Initiative and Network, LoGIN, were in Kerala on a three day

How Jayan transformed Manickal Grama Panchayat

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Jayan, the current vice-President of Manickal Panchayat, is an unusual individual. In Kerala’s politically charged society, he has remained politically independent, though

PART II - ACCOUNTABILITY INITIATIVE (AI) AND SCHOOL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEES (SMC)

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This is the second part of our blog on School Management Committees (SMC)Previously we illustrated the need for intervention with SMCs and the resonance of AIs 

Tales from the Panchayats

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

The last few weeks has been spent yo-yoing from interactions with policy makers and academia, to visiting local governments and interacting with elected representatives. T

Transparency, Accountability, and the Indian Government

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

A BIARI 2016 Presentation

“The narrative of [government] transparency and accountability in India

ACCOUNTABILITY INITIATIIVE (AI) AND SCHOOL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEES (SMC)

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

AI's determination to work with SMCs follows from its foundational beliefs on what accountability is and what is required to make it work

PART II: FIELD EXPERIENCE - NOT JUST ABOUT DATA

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This blog is a continuation from Part 1: Engaging with PAISA 2015. It star

Deconstructing A New Era in Fiscal Devolution in India

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

The Accountability Initiative (AI) at CPR has conducted extensive research on fiscal devolution in two separate studies—one that focuses on the effects of the Fourteenth F

Reforms in the Education Bureaucracy

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

The issue of quality in education has caught the attention of the nation like never before. Politicians and lay persons alike are raising questions around classroom transa

PART I – Engaging with PAISA 2015

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

On a relatively warm day with the sun surprisingly making its presence felt considering the last month of the year was upon us, I landed at the Bhopal Junction with a back

Seventeen Signatures

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

At first sight, this looks like a digression from my continuing tale of the tortuous way in which public expenditure happens in India, but read on.

 

Last we

Estimating earmarking of funds

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

It is common for governments to conceive of new schemes at the drop of a hat and then make grandiose pronouncements of the money allocated to these. It is another matter a

Expenditures at the Local Level: Untying the Gordian Knot

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Getting to know how much money is spent in each panchayat by the government, is easier said than done. At first sight, it might sound a simple thing to meet all officials

Following the Money: The PAISA for Panchayats Saga

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

The Paisa for Panchayats project aimed to track how funds flow into the Panchayats from the State government. We chose the district of Kolar in Karnataka and aimed to find

PAISA for Panchayats

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

The PAISA for Panchayats research project extends AI’s PAISA methodology to track fund flows and implementations processes at the Panchayat level. By focusing on understan

The PAISA Story

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

‘Let’s meet for lunch’.

A decade back, whenever I heard that voice over the phone, it always brought a smile of anticipation. I did enjoy those lunches with my good

Superheroes in school uniforms

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

“Didi, who’s your favourite super hero?” asked the six year old as he played with a toy figurine of the Incredible Hulk. “It would have to be Mulan,” I replied after givin

From the right to education to the right to food

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

From the right to education to the right to food, solving our development problems by clothing India’s citizens with new rights seems to be the flavor of our times. What s

Crafting Policy, the V. Ramachandran Style

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Working with the Expert Group on Participatory Planning chaired by Mr. V. Ramachandran was an object lesson in how to craft policy. The group had a mercurial composition a

A Role Model Slips Away

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

It was at a conference in Kerala, probably in 2003 or so, that I first met him.

Vijayanand, my friend and fellow traveller on the road to democratic decentralisatio

The Wicked Problem of Global Warming

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Over the last four, somewhat intermittent blogs, I had detailed the initiative taken by the Fourteenth Finance Commission in introducing a new factor, namely the extent an

How Conservation Payments Ought to be Used

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

As detailed in last week’s blog, the report on ‘High Conservation Value Forests: An Instrument for Effective Forest Fiscal Federalism in India’ suggested the devising of a

Funding for forest protection – peeping behind the Fourteenth Finance Commission Award.

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

One good feature of the way India’s Finance Commissions go about their jobs is that once their reports are finalized, they make public the data on which they based their r

Functional Assignment: Some (more) Thoughts on the Evolving Subject

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

(This is part 2 of 2 entries on Functional Assignment by the same author.)

In my previous blog post I initiated a discussion on some of the lessons I learn

Functional Assignment: Some Thoughts on the Evolving Subject

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Early in September I attended a workshop on Functional Assignment (FA) led by subject matter experts – Rainer Rohdewohld and Gabrielle Ferrazzi. Organised by LOGIN, the wo

Funding environmental services; fundamental questions or process issues?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

My apologies for a break from my weekly blog. After five weeks of skipping my schedule, I resume my series on funding of environmental services.

As expected, my blo

How data can mislead in analysing social policy

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

India needs a transformation in how data is measured and analysed to form policy

First published in Business Standard Punditry on August 20, 2015

A

Wicked problems; financing environmental services

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

‘Just letting you know, Raghu’, said my friend, a passionate advocate of participative urban planning. ‘Whatever you do, don’t try to solve the stray dog prob

Chhattisgarh Survey- Observations from the field

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Accountability Initiative (AI) has finished the field work for Chhattisgarh PAISA survey. Nearly two months of field based activities, preceded by months of preparatory wo

Imbibing Leadership skills through Institutional Reforms and personal habits

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

The coming years calls for adopting the new age strategies of bridging leadership and adaptive leadership if civil servants are to make a difference. Training alone cannot

Teachers' Strike and the Learning Problem

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

In the month of April and May 2015, there was hardly any academic work happening in schools in Bihar. Thousands of school teachers teaching in primary and secondary govern

Can the IAS learn Bridging and Adaptive Leadership?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

First and foremost, the IAS needs to consciously work on curbing swollen heads within their tribe.

By all means, let there be a genuine celebration of the fact that

Bridging Leadership and the Civil Servant

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

While some aspects of dysfunctionality within the government system have been built up through several civil-servant driven decisions that go against fundamentally accepte

Making the case for expanding Social Security Pensions: States show the way

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

The country has seen one of the most impressive mobilisations in recent times not by the urban middle class against corruption or farmers on the land acquisition legislati

Malnutrition: A response to the Gujarat Chief Minister Based on the Data

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Accountability Initiative, Centre for Policy Research is delighted to launch its Budget Brief Series, 2015 based on the Government of India's budget presented on February

Vote on it

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

The 16th Lok Sabha elections are round the corner.  In an attempt to keep up with the times, this blog seeks to provide some insight into voter turnout trends a

A Night in the Life of a Delhi Government Hospital

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Male, mid-thirties, native of Uttarakhand. Upper left arm disfigured due to incorrect vaccination received in childhood. No alcohol or narcotic intake. Working in Delh

Do Private Tuitions Improve Learning Outcomes?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Despite increased attention to school based learning over the past decade by policy makers, the ASER reports have shown that the learning levels of children in the Indian

Highlights from the Interim Budget 2014-15

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

This document highlights the key features of the interim budget 2014-15 that was released on 17th February, 2014.  

The final budget will be released post elections

Strengthening SMC to make SDP– Should be an Empowering Process

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

I had recently attended two training programmes on Strengthening the School Management Committee[1] (SMC) to make an effective School Development Plan

Through the Looking Glass

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

In all the debates about rights, social sector schemes and pushing towards ensuring quality services to citizens, there is but mere passing mention about the importance of

On Backwardness and Special Status – part 2

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

My previous blog outlined the manner in which funds are transferred from Government of India (GOI) to states and the need for a fresh approach in transferring funds in the

Not The Straight & The Narrow

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

With a new government coming to power in the capital and National Elections round the corner; there have been a lot of discussion over issues of government. The question o

Conditionally Yours: Cash Transfers and School Attendance in Bihar

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Student attendance in government schools in Bihar has been low for some time.[1] The Government of Bihar (GoB), with a view to boost attendance in its

New ways of conducting field surveys: Computerised data collection and responsive survey design

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

In November, I went for a talk at NCAER on “Computerized data collection and the management of Survey Costs and Quality” by James Wagner and Nicole Kirgis from the Univers

Notes from the field: School Management Committees – Somebody Else's Problem Field

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

“The Somebody Else’s Problem field is much simpler, more effective (in making something properly invisible) … This is because it relies on people's natural predisposition

Whistleblowers: Whose Protection?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

As the debate rages on about whether or not US whistleblower Edward Snowden should be

Highlights from the CAG Performance Audit of MGNREGA

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[field_date_blog]

Launched in 2005-06, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is Government of India’s most expensive flagship scheme costing Rs. 192322.33 crores since

How is Janani Suraksha Yojana performing in backward districts of India? - Part 2

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

As mentioned previously, this blog post discusses the findings from the PAHELI survey with respect to the JSY.

1. Institutional and home deliveries

Out of 31

For RTE grievances dial 1

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

An essential pre-requisite to any rights-based approach is the necessity of ensuring its enforceability. What does a citizen do in case their rights are violated or not ad

The Case of the Missing Records

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

If you have ever visited a government office, you would have been astounded (like I was) to see numerous files stacked in dingy offices, gathering dust. Yet, there often a

Mis-Management or Missing Management

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Over the last few years, India’s elementary education landscape has witnessed a lot of change. On the one hand, there has been a substantial increase in financial allocati

Rants of a Public Finance Junkie

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

For the past few months, my colleague and I had been holed up at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), trying to “uncover” the wonderful world of st

The life and times of Mamta Didi

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

 Ask anyone where the Anganwadi Centre (AWC) is in Paschimi Gaon (na

India's Financial Drain

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Global Fin

New RTI Act Rules Top Secret?

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

It appears that the Government

Local-Level Accountability: Lessons from Latin America

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Expectations of gains from citizen participation in governments is a strong motivator for proponents of democratic decentralisation. These

India and the Failed States Index: 12 Counts of Failure

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Foreign Policy and the 

There’s no such thing as a local Plan

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Recently, in a move that has been rightly acknowledged as the first tangible step toward radically overhauling the Five-Year Plan process, the Planning Commission unveiled

IMGSY: CCT or not to CCT

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

In a surprising turn of events, on October 22nd, 2010, the Government of India in departure from its usual torpidity approved the introduction of Indira Gandhi

Aid Transparency Assessment

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

Publish What You Fund has developed an

Data Matters: Linking Development Data to Government Performance

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

How come the government gets away with putting out data that is often inconsistent?  How come our politicians get away without having to justify their 'performance' in any

The RTI Act Turns 5

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

The cornerstone of the UPA government’s agenda when it was elected to government in 2004, the RTI Act celebrates its fifth birthday today, 12 October 2010.  Some might say

The RTI Act Turns 5

By [field_author_blog]

[field_date_blog]

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