Women’s Collectives and Individual Enterprise: A Livelihoods Model for Rural Women in Central India

Tanushree Bhan | July 7, 2021

This blog presents an example of an existing livelihoods model to undertake a critical evaluation of how entrepreneurship is conceived for rural women in self-help groups (SHGs) in two parts. The purpose of this two-part blog is to show that the dominant construction of entrepreneurs as autonomous economic agents who move with, and towards, opportunities does not necessarily apply to our sample of rural SHG women in Chhattisgarh. Using data from an ongoing impact evaluation study, Part 1 describes the design and

Point of View: LEAD in Conversation with Samik Sundar Das

LEAD at Krea Universiry | June 29, 2021

Introducing our new feature series ‘Point of View’, where we speak with experts from different sectors to unpack some of the complex development challenges that they are working on and learn from their experiences. LEAD has been working in the MSME space for over a decade and a half – looking at questions such as why are small businesses stuck in low productivity traps, and what kind of interventions can help them access capital, technology and build skills in new

Menstrual Hygiene Day 2021: Shifting Norms and Improving Women’s Access to Safe Alternatives

Sujatha Srinivasan | May 28, 2021

The adoption of the human right to water and sanitation by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly in July 2010 helped ensure that a human rights perspective is integrated into the design and delivery of water, sanitation and hygiene programming. Global experiences, however, suggest that it has been difficult to fulfil the right to sanitation and uphold equality and non-discrimination as foundational principles of human rights law. In regions where sanitation gaps are highest, severe disparities in access

LEAD’s New Website is Live – Marking our Complete Transition to a New Visual Identity

Sharon Buteau, Preethi Rao | April 22, 2021

At LEAD, we believe in the power of communicating knowledge effectively to create impact – at every step in our journey, we have endeavoured to bring out the best possible outcomes for all stakeholders involved. As a leading action-oriented research organisation in the development sector, we also understand the value of timely thought leadership and making insights easily accessible to the broader ecosystem – especially in the current context, as decision-makers are navigating increasing uncertainty and must make informed decisions

The MSME Budget: Will a Rising Tide Lift All Boats?

Kartikeya Bhatotia, Nilanjana Bargotra | April 13, 2021

The Budget for 2021 raises important questions on scheme-wise allocations in the MSME outlay. Kartikeya Bhatotia and Nilanjana Bargotra delve into the fine-print and explain what this year’s Budget really means for the MSME sector.


Valuing Water Quality this World Water Day

Sujatha Srinivasan | March 30, 2021

The world achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) drinking water target in 2010, well ahead of the 2015 deadline. Even so, a key lesson from the MDG period for the water sector was that access to drinking water is not an effective proxy for the quality or safety of water accessed by households. Globally, waterborne diseases have emerged as a significant public health risk in recent years and are principally linked to contamination of drinking water with fecal matter and

Behind the Numbers: What is Helping Bangladesh get ahead of India in the wake of COVID-19?

Kartikeya Bhatotia | March 14, 2021

In this piece, Research Associate Kartikeya Bhatotia examines the factors that have contributed to Bangladesh’s incredible economic growth story, and draws lessons for India.


Social Protection Through a Digital Tool Reaches the Milestone of 100,000 Applications

Anoushaka Chandrashekar, Raka De | January 8, 2021

“Living in a tier-2 city in the state of Rajasthan in India, I had to take half a day off from work to apply for an Aadhaar card. I had to travel to the Aadhaar center, which was about 7kms away, stand in line for one hour for my turn to come, only to realize that the machine was not accepting my iris scan. The three officials at the center could not figure out the problem, after struggling for 20

Strategies to Support Women Entrepreneurs: Highlights from #WERISETwitterchat

Diksha Singh | January 8, 2021

A significant majority of enterprises led by women in India operate at a subsistence level, with weak access to formal finance, mentoring and skilling support, and poor market linkages. In the wake of COVID-19, these enterprises have been disproportionately affected by economic uncertainty and instability. These enterprises have also demonstrated their spirit of resilience and ability to innovate, by supporting community-building efforts and adapting to market changes. Despite these noteworthy contributions, women-led enterprises are vulnerable to economic shocks and at

Can The Farm Bills Promote Agricultural Prosperity?

Sabina Yasmin | January 8, 2021

The recently passed “Farm Bills 2020” are a welcome change as the historic ordinances in agriculture aim to reshape how agricultural produce is stored, marketed and sold in the country. The three bills on agricultural market reforms are:  (i) ‘Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill’, 2020  (ii)‘Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill’, 2020 (iii) ‘Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill’, 2020 One India, One Market The bills aim to promote the vision of