No Place Like Home? Addressing Rising Domestic Violence During Lockdown

Vishaka Wadhwani, Jagannath R | May 12, 2020

Lockdown measures and stay at home orders as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in a sharp increase in domestic violence as victims find themselves trapped at home with their abusers. This blog piece looks into policy interventions that can help mitigate the current situation as well as become part of counter-measures to epidemics in the long run.


Boosting Financial Capabilities for Electric Vehicle Manufacturing in India

Arjun Malhotra, Soumyajit Bhar, Rahul Muralidharan | April 29, 2020

The second part of the blog series on Climate Finance in India, this piece looks at ways to leverage climate finance to push for more widespread adoption of electric vehicles in India.


Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 on India’s Agricultural Sector

Sabina Yasmin | April 23, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a halt of economic activity globally, raising concerns regarding the demand and supply shocks to the food and agriculture sectors. Despite assurances from the Central Government of adequate food storage which can last for the next four months, food security remains an area of concern. The matter becomes even more worrisome, given the uncertainty of the impact of the lockdown on the agricultural sector.  In 2019-20, the food and agricultural sector contributed to 16.5

Beyond Health: How the Covid-19 Pandemic is Impacting Financial Services in India

Neema Gupta, Fabrizio Valenti | April 22, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic will undoubtedly send long-lasting shockwaves across all sectors and segments of society. To understand what this means for the Financial Inclusion sector, LEAD is taking a journey – virtual, of course – across India, speaking with experts and industry leaders. By doing so, we will take the pulse of the sector and understand how the crisis will affect their business and the lives of their clients and members. Perspectives from Microfinance We will present findings in a

A Primer to Climate Finance in India

Rahul Muralidharan, Soumyajit Bhar, Arjun Malhotra | April 17, 2020

Introduction With an increasingly warming planet, climate change has been termed as an “emergency” by the United Nations Secretary-General, urging countries around the world to enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). Under the Paris Agreement, each country is required to declare a set of NDCs to meet their emission reduction targets. NDCs are crucial to meet the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the fact that an increase of global

From Custodians Of Traditional Knowledge To Community Change Agents

Deepanshu Khandelwal, Kanika Joshi | March 17, 2020

Kanika Joshi and Deepanshu Khandelwal share stories from their recent visit to Bikaner, Rajasthan, where they were present as part of LEAD’s collaboration with Rangsutra. Rangsutra is an artisan collective that has empowered and transformed the lives of thousands of artisans across the country. LEAD is supporting Rangsutra in their efforts toward digitizing their workflow and supply chain


Mobiles for Mobilization: can ICT Innovations Empower Women?

Shruti Sheopurkar | November 29, 2019

In this month’s story from the field, Research Associate Shruti Sheopurkar shares field notes and insights from a series of focus group discussions with women on the use of ICT and mobile phones. Twenty kilometers outside Raipur city in the village of Munrethi, Kavita, a masonry worker, welcomes us into her home with warm cups of tea. As we settle down on the chatai in her front yard, we are joined by seven women from her Self Help Group. Amidst

Has Demonetisation Fostered a ‘Shift to Digital’ for the Banked Poor

Preethi Rao, Suraj Nair, Shruti Korada | November 29, 2019

Two years ago, the government of India made a significant move by withdrawing from circulation India’s most frequently used bank notes. The ultimate aim of this move was to create a corruption-free and cashless society. Early evidence indicates that digital payments skyrocketed after the Rs. 500 (about $8) and Rs. 1,000 ($16) notes were withdrawn from the economy (incidentally, these notes represented 86 percent of the value of currency in circulation at that point). Before demonetisation (between April and October

How a Human Touch Agent can Make a Difference in Promoting Digital Financial Services

Misha Sharma, Shreya Chatterjee | September 21, 2017

It was almost three in the afternoon when we arrived at Padma’s house in the sleepy village of Katpadi in Tamil Nadu. In a state where 55 percent of women in rural areas don’t participate in the labor force, Padma is the only business correspondent (BC) in her village, working for the sole bank in the area. In 2006, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) passed guidelines that allowed banks to employ third party agents, using decentralized technology to provide banking services

Shifting Gears: On RCTs and Beyond

Mridulya Narasimhan, Advitha Arun | July 4, 2017

In addition to clinical biologists (and probably their assistants), every development-research enthusiast nowadays is fairly familiar with the term ‘Randomized Control Trials’ or RCTs, as they are fondly known. Since their inception in the early 2000s, RCTs have influenced research  in development economics, and consequently, careers of several aspiring economists or ‘randomistas’ (Ravallion, 2009).  Fast forward 17 years and today we ask ourselves the question ‘are RCTs the only way to measure and evaluate impact?’ or ‘are RCTs subject to availability