Indian states are testing a new way of setting development priorities
What if, instead of promoting favoured schemes, Indian governments instead challenged experts to propose the cleverest interventions they could think of?
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Rajasthan is the largest Indian state. It has a diversified economy, with mining, agriculture and tourism. Rajasthan has shown significant progress in improving governance and tackling corruption. However, it continues to face acute social and economic development challenges, and poverty remains widespread.
What should local, state and national policymakers, donors, NGOs and businesses focus on first, to improve development and overcome the state’s remaining issues? Education and literacy? Women’s and children’s rights? Energy and the environment? Infrastructure? Health? Within each of these areas, there are many different possibilities. With limited resources and time, it is crucial that priorities are informed by what can be achieved by each rupee spent.
To fulfil the state vision of “a healthy, educated, gender sensitive, prosperous and smiling Rajasthan with a well-developed economic infrastructure", Rajasthan needs to focus on the areas where the most can be achieved. It needs to leverage its core competencies to accelerate growth and ensure people achieve higher living standards.
Rajasthan Priorities, as part of the larger India Consensus – a partnership between Tata Trusts and the Copenhagen Consensus Center, will work with stakeholders across the state to identify, analyze, and prioritize the best solutions to state challenges. It will commission some of the best economists in India, Rajasthan, and the world to calculate the social, environmental and economic costs and benefits of proposals.
Rajasthan Priorities will engage institutions, NGOs, decision makers, sector experts and businesses from all parts of society, as well as the public through newspapers, radio, and TV.
Once new research is available on responses to Rajasthan challenges, we will ask everyone - from Nobel Laureates to everyday citizens - to set their priorities for the state, sparking a conversation about the most effective and efficient solutions for Rajasthan.
Sector Expert Consultations
Between June and November 2017, Rajasthan Priorities held a total of 19 sector expert consultation meetings in Jaipur. Over 600 interventions were suggested during these consultations, with over 430 sector experts participating in the consultations.
The purpose of the sector expert consultations was to introduce policy makers and decision makers in Rajasthan to the India Consensus, the Rajasthan Priorities project, and to describe the kinds of outcomes and how these can be used in prioritizing policies.
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