Current Research Projects

Designing and Strategizing Implementation of Sustainable Livelihood Interventions in Dhemaji and Lakhimpur Districts of Assam

Team: Prof. Pramod K Singh, and Prof. Harekrishna Mishra (Coordinators) Prof. Madhavi Mehta, and Prof. Ram Manohar Vikas (members).

IRMA entered into an agreement with the NHPC to work on promoting collective enterprises for livelihood augmentation in the command area of Subansri dam in Assam. This project is a collaborative action research envisaging active participation of NHPC, partner organizations, district administration, and communities. The project also envisages identifying sector based value chains, climate resilient livelihood opportunities by creating productive assets to be owned by the communities. While NHPC has plans to support the project based interventions to be jointly planned with IRMA, it would be the endeavour of the project team to encourage government agencies and local communities to contribute keeping in view the convergence of various sector specific development schemes. The project further envisages that interventions would be time bound and agents would withdraw. Withdrawal strategy involves training and capacity building of collective enterprises promoted, and linking these enterprises to sustainable supply chains.

Case Research: Climate Change Adaptation Practices for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods

Coordinator: Prof. Pramod K. Singh

This study supports knowledge requirements of the Indian National Mission for Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change. It scrutinizes and evaluates adaptations for replication and up-scaling in view of future climate change. Finally, it attempts to develop a holistic and balanced approach to respond to the challenges of climate change in the most effective and equitable ways. A semi-quantitative, fuzzy cognitive mapping (FCM) approach has been deployed to create a climate change vulnerability index for sustainable livelihoods based on peoples' perceptions. Sensitivity and adaptive capacity captured through the FCM approach allows for scenario generation that provide policy insights into the effectiveness of adaption practices and strategies for climate resilient pathways.

The study is being carried out in 26 districts across 10 agro-climatic regions of India to capture diverse adaptation practices and assess livelihood vulnerability to climate variability and change while providing insights for decision making. Table 1 gives the brief account of study area and community's participation.

Table 1: Overview of Study Area and Participation of Community Groups

Total Number of Agro-Climatic Zones 10
Total Number of States 12
Total Number of Districts 26 
Total Number of Villages 160 
Total Number of Male Groups >500 
Total Number of Female Groups >350 
Total Number of Community Groups >850 
Total Number of Respondents >4000 

Map showing study areas

Collaborative Research: Climate Change Adaptation Approaches for Sustainable Livelihoods

Coordinator: Prof. Pramod K. Singh

This is a collaborative study involving multiple institutions namely IRMA, International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria; National Institute of Hydrology, IIT Roorkee; and Centre for Water Resources Development and Management, Kozhikode. Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), GoI privides financial support to Indian institutions under the India-IIASA programme.
The study aims at providing evidence-based strategies to mainstream adaptation into development planning in Gujarat while ensuring livelihood security. It seeks to develop knowledge, strategies, approaches, measures, and processes enabling vulnerable communities in Gujarat to cope with and adapt to the impending impacts of climate change in ways that are effective and responsive to a specific environmental and resources' context and is also widely applicable, replicable, and up-scalable at the same time. The study is expected to generate a range of scenarios for climate change, future biophysical foundations of land-based production systems, and plausible trends of demographic patterns and socioeconomic development parameters. Adaptation options will be elaborated, in view of the range of scenarios developed in the study, to enhance vulnerable rural livelihoods. Finally, the study is expected to provide guidance in the context of policies and governance mechanisms for effective adaptation and better management of resources.

Developing cases of collectives in dairy and agriculture

Team: Prof. Madhavi Mehta, Prof. Harekrishna Mishra and Prof. KV Raju

As per agreement between IRMA and Land-O-Lakes (International Development Division), six mini cases of collectives in dairy and agri space need to be developed. The team has visited the case-study organizations and is working on developing the cases.

Institutionalization of Geo-ICT Enabled Micro-Planning for Inclusive Development

Coordinator: Prof. Pramod K. Singh

The present paradigm of India's development strategy is ‘inclusive growth'. Inclusive growth is a process involving opportunity, capability, access and security of the community. Most economic, social, and environmental processes being inherently spatial, there is a growing realization that the geo-spatial dimension can no longer be ignored if the process of planning has to be grounded and effective. The Geo-ICT becomes a relevant tool in such a context.

The NRDMS division of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India had requested IRMA to demonstrate a GIS-enabled, bottom-up, and participatory micro-planning in a district. The proposed study aims to develop a methodology for the Local Development Plan (LDP) and Integrated District Development Plan (IDDP). As part of the study, a gram sabha will refer to objective information, along with IDDP, for preparation of the LDP. The entire process requires the active involvement of gram sabhas, municipal body and line departments, along with the support of DPC. To begin with, IDDP needs to be prepared stipulating active involvement of the planning department, all the line departments, and DPC. The IRMA team will facilitate access to all the objective information on GIS platform to the gram sabha so that the LDP may be prepared based on objective criteria. This approach could become a model for other districts.

The study also explores the role of technical, organizational, institutional, socio-cultural, and financial factors in the implementation of GIS-enabled participatory micro-planning in India. Insights gained during the study will be used for the development of models in areas concerning organizational and institutional dimensions of geo-ICTs with specific reference to micro-planning in India.

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