Taught by Seema Bansal, Shoikat Roy
The development sector in India today is a vibrant space especially for young professionals. There is an increasing openness of governments to civil society, not-for-profit grassroot organisations, social ventures, and professional services/external experts. This has been equally matched by shifting young adult preferences, especially from socially conscious and economically secure backgrounds, who are looking for opportunities to enhance their social contribution through their professional lives. The opportunities to affect social change have therefore grown exponentially – in the form of public sector fellowships, lateral entries into government, social sector/not for profit roles, research and think-tanks, entrepreneurship and start-ups, as well areas like social sector consulting and impact investing.
However, even as the inputs (people as well as money) increase manifold into this space, the improvement in outcomes is much slower. The quality of public-sector school education remains poor and successive NAS/ASER reports do not indicate a secular upward trend; even over decades. Public health systems still provide for only 30% of India’s population with 70% people paying out of pocket for healthcare needs. Metrics like IMR/MMR/immunization rates or stunting are barely moving. Despite increasing subsidies and numerous programs, agriculture that engages 45% of India’s workforce, it is not remunerative and holds limited attraction for youth as a talent pool. The average monthly income per agricultural household is just ₹10,218 with just 4-5% annual growth.
Where does this dichotomy of increased inputs and yet stagnant outcomes come from? Why do entrepreneurial innovations typically not scale and lead to transformative outcomes? What structural factors lie at the heart of it? How can those who are looking to enter this space understand and begin to tackle this dichotomy from day 1? We hope that this course will help you answer some of these essential questions and better prepare you for a professional career that interacts with this space in any shape or form.