December 12, 2022

SARDI India MSME Tech Policy Fellowship Program – Inception Workshop

Partners: United States Agency for International Development (USAID), DAI

USAID through its South Asia Regional Digital Initiative (SARDI) has launched a fellowship program to conduct policy research at the interface of digitalisation and MSMEs in India. Overall, SARDI is managed by DAI. The fellowship program is anchored at LEAD.

As a formal launch to the fellowship, LEAD hosted a panel discussion inviting experts from government, industry and academia. The event provided the fellows and the think tanks an initial platform to engage on the pressing issues related to MSME digitalisation. It aimed at helping guide the fellows and the mentors at the think tanks in sharpening their lens to design actionable and impactful recommendations at the end of the fellowship.

The agenda was threefold:

  1. Provide evidence on any implementation gap in current policies to improve the digital uptake among MSMEs
  2. Draw attention to the possible policy course corrections needed to assist digital adoption among MSMEs
  3. Envision a new stream of policy ideas to incentivize the digital transformation of MSMEs

The learnings made at the panel are expected to help fellows and the think tanks engage in a sustained period of engagement and follow-ups with the relevant stakeholders. This will help in the continuous improvement of the research design and ensure a sharp set of recommendations that can be readily plugged into policymaking.