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

How COVID-19 Could Change Social Protection in India

Raka De, Anjani Balu | January 8, 2021

Ever since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on 11th March 2020, the ongoing discussions and debates have centred around scrutinizing the effectiveness and adequacy of government emergency responses.  In this blog post, we explore how last-mile delivery systems have adapted to the slew of relief measures introduced, and provide recommendations on how these adaptations and innovations can create a robust and sustainable welfare infrastructure.  Key Recommendations Developing new systems to meet the demands of the

COVID-19 and the Future of Seafood Markets in Chennai

Rahul Muralidharan | January 8, 2021

While it is still early to fully understand the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on small-scale fisheries, rapid insights from the ground are important to shape policy actions and programs. This article is based on interactions with small-scale fisherfolk, co-operative, and union leaders in Chennai. The observations are likely to have broad relevance to small-scale fisheries in other parts of the Indian coastline.  Fish as a lifeline Fish is a lifeline for several coastal communities in India, as a nutritious

MSME Week: Part II – Stories Of Resilience In Adversity

LEAD Research Team | January 8, 2021

From local kirana stores to home-based food businesses, handicraft clusters to small manufacturers, MSMEs are a cornerstone of India’s growth story. MSMEs create employment at scale and are an integral pillar of their local communities. COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown has adversely impacted the sector in India and compounded the challenges faced by microbusinesses, which have been particularly hit hard. For the second part of the series, we take a closer look at the challenges faced by microbusiness owners across