From entrepreneurship to education, the IIC's eight 2017-2018 projects touch on a range of key development priority areas. The projects launched in September of 2017.
We are continuing one of the 2015-2016 education projects with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF). An IIC team is working with the state of Rajasthan to build their education department's capacity to make data-informed planning decisions and ultimately to improve learning level outcomes across the state. In the first year of our partnership, Project Associates focused on reforms in primary education. In the second year, our new cohort is taking best practices learned from year one and applying them to secondary schools.
Tata Trust’s Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (Social Alpha) in Bengaluru will host an IIC team with strengthening its core functions. Social Alpha’s mission is to help social-impact minded technology entrepreneurs to convert their innovations in to a product and a business, and ready them for seed-funding.
Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) is an infrastructure finance company that provides loan assistance to various state power utilities and private sector developers across the power and sustainable energy value-chain. The TCD has partnered with the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) to provide high-level implementation support with bearing upon electrification efforts across the country. An IIC team will assist REC on a number of strategic initiatives designed to maximize REC’s impact in building the ecosystem of public and private entities expanding electrification across India.
The IIC has a new rural economic development project with the Irrigation and CAD Department (ICADD) of the government of Telangana. This project is part of the new Tata Centre for Development at UChicago. ICADD is repairing water tanks in mass across the state to improve access to water for irrigation. An IIC team is helping agricultural communities maximize benefits of this increased water supply by developing a local infrastructure to ensure proper management of tanks and fair distribution of resources. The team is also helping educate farmers about the benefits of diversifying crops and connecting with alternative markets to sell goods at more competitive rates. The University of Chicago is also conducting an evaluation of the project to assess the environmental impact of the water tank rehabilitation project.
We have a health care project with Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust (SAST) of the government of Karnataka. This project is part of the new Tata Centre for Development at UChicago. An IIC team will assist SAST in the implementation of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), a government health insurance scheme for families with income levels below the poverty line. The scheme's objective is to reduce these families' out of pocket expenditures on health and increase their access to healthcare. Project Associates will support data analytics, recommend improvements to the enrollment campaign based on research findings, and help increase awareness about free health insurance to improve access to affordable health care across Karnataka. The University of Chicago is also conducting an evaluation of RSBY in Karnataka to evaluate the impact of RSBY on health and economic outcomes.
IIC has partnered in a consortium with the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) and Ernst & Young (EY) in a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) funded project called "S3 Andhra." The consortium is working in three riverside "pilot towns" in Andhra Pradesh's West Godavari District to design and implement a number of sanitation improvements, focusing on Fecal Sludge Management, with the goal of transforming these municipalities into models of total sanitation that the rest of the state (and country!) can follow. Simultaneously, other team members are working in Vijayawada, the state capital, to provide operational assistance and support the state government in developing and scaling up sanitation policies on a statewide level.
In addition, a Project Associate is partnering with the University of Chicago's Institute for Molecular Engineering (IME) and leading an effort deploy water-quality sensors into the Godavari River to develop a cost-effective and system to monitor water quality.
MAHARASTHHRA WATER DE-SILTING
With the support of the Tata Trusts, a group of volunteers adopted 100 villages that de-silt local dams and re-layer the soil with the fertile silt to enhance agricultural output and access to irrigation. In May 2017, the Government of Maharashtra has adopted the project wholesale. The state has 86 large dams, 258 medium dams and 3106 small dams.