How about working with the government?

Only a few of my young acquaintances work with the government at the national or state level. Those who work in the areas of policy, strategy, monitoring and evaluation, and research are even fewer. Youngsters either don’t pursue the education which moulds them into suitable resources for governments or simply don’t see employment with the government as a promising career option. I believe this has to change. On the demand side, governments in India need fresh and contemporary ideas more than ever and youngsters need to be aware of the attractive career options available with the government. On the supply side, we need more courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels which create professionals for the government. Continue reading How about working with the government?

Multidimensional Poverty Index: The basics

Poverty is one of my core areas of interest, and fortunately, work. Good to work on what one likes. I’ve written on the subject a few times before on this blog, about its databases and recent numbers. This time, I would like to talk a bit about Multidimensional Poverty Index. Continue reading Multidimensional Poverty Index: The basics

Asian Development Outlook Supplement

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) this month released its latest Asian Development Outlook Supplement. Literally, it’s a supplement to the Asian Development Outlook published last April. This is how ADB releases its economic outlook documents for the region- Outlook every April; Update every September; and Supplements every July and December. Such an arrangement gives the opportunity to revise the latest estimates in the eventuality of any significant economic development.

So what does the latest Supplement say? Here’re some quick points: Continue reading Asian Development Outlook Supplement

Doing my bit in transformation

I consider myself extremely lucky to be a part of a recently concluded transformation exercise by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. The GoAP is collaborating with the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) of the Prime Minister’s Office, Government of Malaysia in conducting a problem solving exercise called the “lab”. It is a unique method which spans across 14 weeks during which elaborate stakeholder consultations are conducted, issues are identified, solutions are emerged, and initiatives are designed. I was part of the retail lab whose objective was to transform the retail sector in Andhra Pradesh and make it a key economic driver and employment generator. The team which I was a part of specifically focussed on improving the linkages of the small producers with the retail supply chain. Continue reading Doing my bit in transformation

The really big database on world poverty

The World Bank has an amazing tool which is the window to a big database on poverty numbers. They call it PovcalNet. For almost every country, it has figures for poverty headcount ratio, poverty gap, squared poverty gap, number of poor, and total population. Both the latest and historical data are available. Continue reading The really big database on world poverty

I think the idea of referendum is ridiculous

This is going to be a short piece, also a very basic one on the topic. My arguments may sound too naive- I don’t have much knowledge of this but still I wanted to write this here, at least it’s an original thought. We will see another referendum soon, in the UK, to decide whether it should stay in the European Union (EU) or not. Google defines a referendum as “a general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision”. Which means that the government asks the people whether it should go ahead with a particular decision or not. The last major referendum we saw was also in the UK- the Scottish people were asked whether Scotland should be an independent country or should it continue as a part of the UK. Majority of the people who voted wanted to continue and hence Scotland remains in the UK. One happened in Greece recently where the people were asked whether to accept a bailout package or not. People said yes.

My problem with any referendum is that it presents a very complex political question of serious and long lasting consequences of all kinds to people who may not be in the best position to judge. I mean, the average citizen is not equipped enough- with information and capabilities, to take a call on matters that referendums normally are about. Continue reading I think the idea of referendum is ridiculous