Voluntary Sector Response to Food Scarcity during COVID 19

A survey of over 100 organisations and individuals describes a diversity of civil society efforts targeting food scarcity during the Covid-19 lockdown and the challenges they have faced. The survey includes responses from individuals and organisations that are/were facilitating the distribution of food and raw materials to those facing acute shortages across different parts of the country. Despite the continued need and demand for such efforts, the survey points to the fact that most of them do not have resources to continue. The results bring out the need for more active government intervention in hunger relief efforts across the country.

Leaders Perceptions and Experiences during COVID 19

A survey of over 65 civil society leaders, between 3rd to 10th May 2020 points to the urgent need for greater coordination between government(s) and civil society. Conducted to gauge their experiences and perceptions about their on-going work to combat the Covid 19 crisis, the survey includes leaders from organisations of varying sizes and working in diverse geographies across India.

In reaction to the results, Professors Madhukar Shukla and MS Sriram -- actively engaged researcher scholars of civil society -- emphasize ways for civil society to reconfigure it’s strategies and practices in these unprecedented times.

COVID 19 Followup Survey

The insights reported in this particular brief are drawn from conversations with around 130[1] households between April 23rd to May 2nd, 2020. This is an update from surveys conducted with over 600 households from March 24th to April 22nd 2020.

COVID 19 Follow up Survey

The insights reported in the follow up survey are drawn from conversations with around 110 households between April 10th to 22nd, 2020. This is an update from surveys conducted with over 500 households between March 24th to April 9th 2020.


Volunteers at IIMA reached out to around 500 low-income households (as on 9th April 2020), to assess their needs and circumstances during the 21-day lockdown announced on March 24th, 2020. These households were selectively accessed because of a prior relationship through community outreach programs that IIMA conducts. Consequently, while these households belong to vulnerable groups (clearly indicated by their primary sources of income), the sample is unlikely to be representative of the challenges faced by the most vulnerable groups in Ahmedabad for whom the situation is likely to be even worse.

Child Tracking Study

RTERC ran an awareness campaign during February to March 2015 in more than 200 localities utilising a variety of media. Anganwadi workers and field volunteers were a central figure in this awareness campaign. Data collection was carried out during September to December 2016, with the objective of going back to the households who were contacted during the awareness campaign to obtain more detailed information. A sample of over 1600 households who were thought to be eligible to apply to the policy in the 2016 application cycle were surveyed to collect information about socioeconomic backgrounds, extent of information about the provision, experiences in applying to the provision, experiences in schools, and learning outcomes of children.

The project aims to track these households over a period of time to gauge learning outcomes, schooling experiences and retention of students in schools through the provision of Section 12 (1) (c).

A third round of data collection is scheduled to be conducted in September 2018.

Role of Urban Local Elected Representatives in Social Protection

In India, constitutionally, the administrative and policy making functions related to education were in the state list, till 1976. Through the 42 nd constitutional amendment, education has been transferred to the concurrent list, making both the central and state Government responsible for the provisioning. Then the Article 21-A inserted through the 86th constitutional amendment marked the transition towards rights based approach in provision of education in India. This was further strengthened by the Right to free and compulsory education act, 2009, under which the State is responsible to provide free and compulsory education to all the children in the six to fourteen years age group. This has cast obligations on the central, state and local governments for provision and completion of basic education. Participatory governance entails involving citizens in government decision-making to make governance and policy more democratic and just, by the creation of democratic spaces in which citizens representing all socio-economic statuses can voice their grievances, and make requests from their government representatives about policy decisions.

School Choice: Public Vs Private Schools

The last decade has witnessed a sustained fall in enrollment of children in government schools across India, in lieu of the rising number of private primary schools, especially low-fee schools. The overwhelming preference for private schools over government schools has been associated to provision of English medium, a perception of higher quality education in private schools, and/ or a disdain for government institutions.

In the context of Gujarat private schools preference due to English- medium preference is ruled out, further that private schools are of better quality than government schools is a point of contention among scholars.

In March 2018 NCERT hosted a conference to discuss methods of branding government schools to address falling enrollments. This study attempts to understand the process by which parents make school choice, and the school-level attributes they consider important in order to make informed suggestions on how to re-brand government schools by changing adversarial perceptions of parents about them.