Lowy Institute

The Lowy Institute is an Australian think tank with a global outlook. Our research interests are as broad as Australia’s interests, and we host distinguished speakers from around the globe on foreign policy, defence, politics, aid and development, journalism, sport, science and the arts.

As an Australian think tank, Asia touches everything the Lowy Institute does. Our research and events calendar have a special Asia focus, and our experts produce commentary for the world’s leading news outlets on events in the region.

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Participatory Action Research (PAR) engages people in communities as agents of change. Traditionally, development project ‘beneficiaries’ have rarely been included in researching issues, finding solutions, designing indicators or measuring change.  PAR provides a way of changing this, offering an inclusive community-driven approach to development. It is also an effective way of building participatory learning into organisations supporting development and social change.

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Community driven development in Bangladesh: post-harvest storage for improved livelihoods

In much of the developing world, agricultural production is the main source of income for households in rural areas. These areas are also home to high poverty rates and low access to basic services. Many rural farmers do not have access to the use of cold storage facilities or warehouses to store their produce throughout the seasons. Consequently, a large portion of their produce is spoiled or they are forced to sell it below the cost of production. This substantially undercuts their income generating potential. In light of these constraints, and the potential impact improved farming methods could have on poverty, post-harvest storage solutions should serve as a key component of food security oriented social protection initiatives in rural areas. Local community driven initiatives can...Read more

As a response to the devastating earthquakes in Nepal in April and May 2015, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) developed and implemented a large-scale Emergency Cash Transfer Programme (ECTP), in collaboration with the Government of Nepal (GoN). UNICEF provided financial and technical support to the GoN to expand the existing social assistance cash transfer programme in earthquake-affected areas in two phases. UNICEF’s financial support to the GoN for both phases of the cash programme amounted to $26 million.

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Increasing numbers of development agencies and individual projects espouse objectives of women’s empowerment, yet there has been little systematic work on mechanisms by which interventions can enhance women’s empowerment. This gap exists because of the lack of consensus on indicators as well as the lack of attention paid to measuring the effects of different types of interventions on empowerment.

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How can social protection systems be used in disasters, as a complement to, or substitute for, humanitarian assistance? Oxford Policy Management (OPM) led a two-year research project investigating this question, looking at the role of social protection in both mitigating the impact of large-scale shocks and supporting households after a crisis hits. We identify factors that can help and hinder effective disaster response, and consider how social protection actors collaborate with others working in humanitarian assistance and disaster risk management (DRM).

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This is the full case study report for Pakistan. It presents an overview of the social protection, disaster risk management and humanitarian systems in Pakistan, and discusses both Pakistan’s flagship social protection programme, the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), as well as emergency cash transfers provided as disaster response since 2005. A summary briefing note is published separately.

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Delhi School of Economics

The Delhi School of Economics is one of India’s premier institutes of higher learning. It was established in 1949 with the vision that a newly independent nation, which aspired to social and economic progress, needed a vibrant centre for advanced studies in the social sciences. The department of economics, along with its sister departments of geography and sociology, has produced many of the country’s leading academics, educators, administrators, policy makers, corporate leaders and journalists.

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India’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) constitutes a major component of the country’s strategy to extend social security, and it provides the legal basis for the biggest employment programme in the world. 2 It can be considered as one of the central pillars of India’s national social protection floor, bearing in mind that it provides temporary employment and a certain level of income security to millions of rural households (ILO, 2014).

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The topic will be Social Protection and Disability and It will include talks by leading experts as well as an opportunity for discussion.

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