IFMR LEAD is a non-profit research organization conducting high-quality scalable action research and outreach in development economics and finance. We are dedicated to leveraging evidence-based research to further economic and financial development of poor people living in India and other low-to-middle income countries.
Our vision is to foster improved financial access, better legal and physical infrastructure, and targeted social services for individuals, households, and enterprises, to help them attain their socio-economic aspirations.
We are driven by the belief that innovative action, paired with rigorous research generates a distinct public good that promotes human freedom and capability to lead better quality lives.
To have any bearing on social, environmental and economic change, the fruits of research must be integrated into markets, policies and practice, bridging the gap between the often disparate worlds of academic research and practitioners or policy makers.
To this effect, we have built strong partnerships within the public and private sectors with a shared commitment to promote evidence-driven development. These partnerships help ensure that research results are effectively disseminated, and that the demand for new, relevant and practical knowledge is being satisfied.
The Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR), Chennai, is one of India’s top-rated B-schools. IFMR was established in 1970 jointly by ICICI, the House of Kotharis and other major industrial groups as a non-profit organization with a strong focus on finance.
In 2005, IFMR in addition to academic programmes, academic research and executive training, decided to actively start conducting action research in the field of microfinance, thanks to a donation from the ICICI Foundation. Subsequently, we opened the doors to our centres, created with a focus on specific areas of economic development and finance, and in 2007, started hosting JPAL South Asia as well.
In January 2014, IFMR LEAD was created as a common support and outreach structure for the research centres. Today, the centres jointly represent more than a hundred researchers and extensive field teams. Additionally, we collaborate with many academics from around the world to implement our projects.