Development and Change in India: Workshop at Essex, 26th June 2013

Schoolboy in Ahmednagar district, India. Photo: Zareen P. Bharucha

The great Indian Growth Story is one of the most exciting of our times.  Socioeconomic change is altering the lives of 1.2 billion people. For communities who farm, fish, hunt or forage for a living, development brings poverty-alleviation, but also displacement, vulnerability, violence and loss. How do communities adapt and navigate the complex terrain of ‘development-induced change’?  To address these issues, the Essex Sustainability Institute is collaborating with researchers from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi on a series of research workshops. We invite you to take part in this exciting new collaboration, and bring your expertise to bear on the new research questions which will present themselves! Papers will be followed by round-table discussion and the event will be followed by dinner, courtesy of the Essex Sustainability Institute.

The event is free, but places are limited. Registration is required for both the event and dinner thereafter. To register, click here. For further information, please email: zpbhar@essex.ac.uk 

Facilitators: Prof. Steffen Boehm and Dr. Zareen P. Bharucha

Speakers:  

Prof. Amita Singh, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University.Assessing development through the Ecosystem Well-being Index.This paper suggests that unless development policy is directed around the conservation and protection of ecosystems rather than protecting a few selected species,or diverting huge land areas into infrastructural projects , progress may neither be sustainable nor peaceful. Measures of progress towards development play an important role in measuring what counts as development and how much progress is being made. The Ecosystem Well-being Index (EWI) is a relevant and culturally-acceptable mode of evaluating progress towards development.  To explain its relevance, the paper analyzes land acquisition processes in India.

Prof. Sachidanand Sinha, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Development and Displacement of Land-based communities: The tribal population of Central India.

Projects such as mining, the constrution of new townships, urbanization and the development of major infrastructure projects has led to massive land acquisition during the last two decades in India. This paper will examine the magnitude of displacements of the agrarian populations in general and tribes in particular. It will examine the processes of land acquisition of the forest-based communities in Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh and the consequences it may have with respect to their livelihoods and survival.

Prof. Fiona Marshall, Science, Technology & Policy Research Unit and STEPS Centre, University of Sussex
Living on the edge: Perspectives on Sustainability in Peri-Urban India. 
As BRICS countries forge new development pathways, the pace and nature of growth in peri-urban spaces is unprecedented. Rapid urbanisation and industrialisation inevitably brings pro-poor benefits, generating jobs and resources that contribute to overall well-being. However the benefits remain very unevenly distributed and many of the costs to the environment and to human well-being remain little understood and under reported. This paper discusses a series of interdisciplinary research and policy engagement initiatives in India, which explored these issues. We have examined how a failure to address these apparently transitory issues results in a plethora of missed opportunities to benefit from rural-urban synergies, for example in waste management and provision of affordable and nutritious fresh food produce. Crucially, there is much to be learnt from peri-urban communities about adaptation in rapidly changing environments, which rarely contributes to the formal policy and planning making processes. Through empirical case studies we are currently exploring possibilities for a more positive relationship between the city and its periphery.

Download Flier-Final.pdf

Economic Analysis of Resilience: A Framework for Local Policy Response Based on New Case Studies

 

Figure 1; Regibeau and Rockett, 2011

Economic Analysis of Resilience: A Framework for Local Policy Response Based on New Case Studies

Pierre Régibeau and Katharine Rockett 

The full text is available for download using the link below / right.

Abstract: A recent set of case studies on resilience of ecocultures forms the basis for our review of and comment on the resilience literature.  We note the diversity of definitions of resilience and the confusion this creates in implementing resilience studies and develop a synthesis view that establishes a framework for defining resilience in an implementable way.  This framework emphasises the importance of defining the source of and magnitude of shocks as part of the definition.  Next, we outline measurement issues, including a variety of performance measures that can be used to gauge resilience.  We argue that self-determination and local ownership of resources is supported in the cases, and review the effectiveness of the informal insurance arrangements observed in the cases. We close with the variables suggested by the case studies to include in a resilience index and lessons for regional governments developing resilience policy.

About the authors: Pierre Régibeau is Visiting Professor at the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Group at Imperial College, London, and Academic Associate at Charles River Associates. Katharine Rockett is senior lecturer at the Department of Economics and was Dean (Social Sciences) between 2010 and 2011.



Download Régibeau-and-Rockett-2012-2.pdf