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Regional Impact Evaluation and Survey Methods Workshop
Evaluating the Impact of Development Programs: Turning Promises into Evidence
New Delhi, March 11- 22, 2013                                                  [Photo Gallery]


NCAER and the World Bank organized a two-week international high-level workshop, titled “Evaluating the Impact of Development Programs: Turning Promises into Evidence” in New Delhi.   NCAER and the World Bank collaborated to offer this unique training workshop for the first time in India.  The workshop trained more than 100 participants from around 14 countries, many from India, on how to answer questions such as:

  • Do government development projects and schemes have the desirable impact? 
  • How can that impact be measured in robust ways? 
  • Can the impact be attributed to the specific government project or to other factors? 
  • How to collect good survey data necessary to answer such questions?

The workshop familiarized participants with cutting-edge methods for identifying and measuring the impact of development schemes and for survey data collection.  A unique aspect of the programme was the hands-on training that participant teams received to develop their own evaluation designs for specific government schemes.  With the largest contingent from South Asia and India, the participants represented a wide spectrum of institutions interested in evaluation, including central and state governments, think tanks and research institutes, private firms, and international multilateral and bilateral agencies.

The plenary session in the first week of the workshop had special lectures by Mr. Nandan Nilekani, President, NCAER Governing Body and Chairman of UIDAI on Aadhaar: Direct Benefit Transfers in India and their Impactand by  Dr Abhijit Banerjee, Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on “Evaluating Impact: From Promise to Evidence

            The second week had Dr Abhijit Sen, Member, Planning Commission talking on “Indian Evaluation Experience” and Dr Rukmini Bannerji, Director, Pratham speaking to participants on “Evidence to Action: Learnings from ASER in India.”

           The workshop offered policymakers, researchers, and government officers a unique mix of conceptual and practical training where they worked together as project teams with world-renowned experts in the field. Rated as one of the best skill-building events in evaluation by previous participants from the same workshop around the world,  the two-week workshop included sessions on designing evaluations, building results chains, interpreting results, constructing survey samples, developing survey questionnaires, and managing field data collection. These were taught through a mix of lectures, small and large group discussions, and hands-on application of practical skills in impact evaluation, to participants.  A unique aspect of the workshop is its dual-track approach that will cater to both policymakers and technical researchers in separate specially designed sessions.  The workshop had participants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Chile, Egypt, Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Tajikistan, the United States, and Vietnam.

            The workshop ended with participants receiving certificates from Dr Shekhar Shah, Director-General, NCAER and Dr Ariel Fiszbein, Chief Economist, Human Development Network, the World Bank.


The Union Budget 2013-14: Reforms and Development Perspectives Budget Seminar, Saturday, 2 March 2013


New Delhi, 2 March 2013:  In what has become a  post- budget tradition, five leading Indian think tanks – NCAER, CPR, ICRIER, IDF, and NIPFP got together for the  seventh consecutive year to present their assessment of the Union Budget delivered by the Finance Minister on 28 February, 2013. The presentations by the heads of the five institutions, the panel discussion and the Q&A session that followed, provided a reflective review of the Union Budget 2013 -14 and its implications for the Indian Economy.   To watch a video of the entire event Click here to view the video.


CD Deshmukh Memorial Lecture
“Grassroots Welfare Schemes and Macroeconomic Choices: India’s Dilemmas
by Prof. Kaushik Basu; January 4, 2013

  Click here to view the Presentation with Video

NCAER, the National Council of Applied Economic Research organized the first annual C D Deshmukh Memorial Lecture on January 4, 2013, to honour one of India’s most eminent economists and one of its founding fathers.

The lecture titled “Grassroots Welfare Schemes and Macroeconomic Choices: India’s Dilemmas” was delivered by Professor Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at NCAER. Dr Rakesh Mohan, a member of the Board of Executive Directors at the International Monetary Fund, and a former Director General of NCAER was the Guest of Honour.  

Prof Basu spoke about the challenges that India faces in balancing its macroeconomic policies for higher growth with the need to protect the most vulnerable sections of society through welfare schemes.

He spoke about the need to bring down the inflation rate, which has persisted between 7 -11% in the last 3 years.  Taking the example of South Korea which  saw unprecedented growth as well as a high rate of inflation between 1950, when it’s per capita income was the same as India’s and 1990, by which time the per capita income was 22 times that of India, Prof. Basu stressed that curbing growth to control inflation is certainly not desirable.

He commended the recently launched direct cash transfer scheme of the government and felt that besides reducing leakages and ensuring people got the benefits due to them; it would also ensure choice for the poorest who can demand better service by paying the market price for food and other commodities.

Dr Mohan observed that to have a serious impact on the poorest, India’s growth rate must be more than 8% per year. He emphasized the need of infrastructure development in rural India, particularly, roads, electricity and sanitation to provide access to market and retain vital human capital in the rural sector to make a significant dent in poverty reduction.

About CD Deshmukh
Sir Chintaman Dwarakanath Deshmukh was the first Indian to be appointed the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India in 1943 and was part of the official Indian delegation to the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference. He subsequently served as the Union Finance Minister from 1950 to 1956 under Prime Minister Nehru and was a key member of NCAER’s founding Governing Body under the chairmanship of John Mathai, India’s second Finance Minister. Deshmukh also founded the India International Centre in New Delhi in 1959. He was the first Chairman of the University Grants Commission from 1956 to 1961, and then served as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Delhi from 1962 to 1967. He was knighted by the British Government in 1944 and honoured by the President of India with the Padma Vibhushan in 1975. NCAER owes its founding vision to Deshmukh and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Presentation by Dr. Sonalde Desai at Michigan
  Click here to view the Presentation with Audio

Emerging India: Economics, Politics and Reforms by Dr. Bimal Jalan

A work done by Dr. Jalan while a Honorary Senior Research Fellow at NCAER and link it to the Pengium Books website

Achieving Quality Universal Primary Education in India: Challenges & Opportunities by Karthik Muralidharan; Friday, December 23, 2011; NCAER Auditorium

Professor Muralidharan presented results from nearly 10 years of primary field research conducted across India on the quality of primary education, and discuss policy challenges and options for effectively implementing India’s Children's Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act that came into effect in April 2010.
Karthik Muralidharan is Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego.  He is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Junior Affiliate at the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development, and a Member of the Jameel-Poverty Action Lab network.  Karthik has an A.B. in economics from Harvard University, an M.Phil. from Cambridge University, and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard

  To download the entire 1:46:00 minute presentation and the accompanying audio recording of the event, depending on your connectivity speed, this may take some time.
Dr. Anil K. Sharma selected as NABARD Chair

The objective of establishing NABARD Chair is to encourage applied and empirical research of high standards on subjects which will cater to the research needs of policy makers in promoting agriculture and rural development with a view to gain insights and broadening awarenes            more on Dr. Sharma  

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