IDFC Institute has been set up as an independent, economic development-focused think/do tank to investigate the political, economic and spatial dimensions of India's ongoing transition from a low-income, state-led country to a prosperous market-based economy. We provide in-depth, actionable research and recommendations that are grounded in a contextual understanding of the political economy of execution.

Our approach to public policy issues rests on a solid foundation of evidence-based research. We use this to parse symptom from the disease, to get to the “what” of diagnosing problems correctly and developing appropriate solutions. Yet the common concern from government is how to get even the manifestly obvious done. A critical part of our work is therefore liaising with relevant stakeholders on “how” to get solutions implemented and institutionalised.

Framework Stakeholder engagement across sectors is one of the founding principles of the Institute. Our work and events are designed to create a non-partisan platform that builds bridges between various communities, academics, practitioners, government, business and implementers of all kinds, and build a core constituency focused on well-thought out reform and execution.

Our flagship event, the IDFC Institute Dialogues, brings together a highly-curated group of such people to freely and frankly deliberate execution issues around some of the thorniest policy challenges.

Our Research The Institute’s research is structured around two pillars - Transitions, and State Capacity. All our research, reports, databases and recommendations are in the public domain and freely accessible through our website.

Transitions We study multiple dimensions of India’s transition from rural to urban, informal to formal, farm to non-farm, and a low to high productivity economy, and the corresponding impact on poverty reduction. These transitions have been the single biggest job creation and poverty reduction engine around the world; for instance, poverty in China is almost entirely a rural phenomenon with the incidence of urban poverty dropping to just 1.6 percent. Moreover, well paying and secure jobs are central to economic development and poverty alleviation. As agricultural productivity increases, millions are freed from farm labour to take up jobs either in manufacturing or in low-skill service sector jobs. Globally, SMEs drive this job creation, accounting for 80% of all jobs in the US, and over 90% of jobs in Europe. Therefore it becomes imperative to have a policy environment supportive of SMEs, keeping in mind their catalytic role as job creation engines. Sub-national competition is a very effective driver for creating SME-friendly environments.

State Capacity There can be no inclusive growth without adequate institutional capacity, especially for robust implementation and strong governance. This is the single biggest issue in virtually every developing country with a massive transmission loss between the “intent layer” of pubic policy and the “execution layer” of governance. IDFC Institute works closely with various stakeholders, including government, to try and plug this transmission loss through innovative programmes.

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