The Pragya Solutions team in India works out of Gurugram in the National Capital Region. We conduct research studies for input into policies and programming, develop innovative models and techniques to improve development practice, and implement or guide development programs, often through close associates and partners. We have a highly diversified portfolio in India, spanning Natural Resource Management and Conservation, Livelihoods Development, Gender Empowerment and Rights (including Education, Health), Water and Energy Technologies, Disaster Management, and Civil Society Development.
Led a team of consultants on a project aimed at attuning financial products and their delivery to the mountain context,including a study on poverty and livelihoods issues in mountain regions of the world, covering 13 developing countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America, and a review of poverty alleviation projects and microfinance programs in these regions. Developed a microfinance model appropriate for mountain regions which adopts a Microfinance+ approach, delivers to double bottomline principles, and is differentiated by focus area/groups and livelihoods. Samriddha-pahad, an institution for the delivery of financial services based on this model, was set up and is currently operating in the Nepal Himalayas.
Administered a CIDA fund for a stipulated period which involved promotion of the fund, eliciting applications and screening and evaluating them, selecting projects for funding, liaising with relevant ministries of the Government of India, managing the disbursements and related procedures, as well as reporting and monitoring of results and impacts. A rigorous assessment tool was developed for the purpose, and multiple projects were managed, supported, monitored and reported on.
Evaluated programs aimed at improving smallholder agriculture in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand states. Involved consultations and field studies, extracting findings on program effectiveness and quality, and generating lessons learnt for future programming strategies.
Studied the practice of small-scale illicit opium cultivation control strategies in north-eastern India, against the socio-cultural and economic context. Findings and recommendations contributed to advocacy on the impacts of drug control policy on poor and marginalised communities .
Developed a prototype for propelling the growth of micro enterprise development in India, involving country-wise consultations. The model depicts a 6-year incubation process for development and establishment of micro enterprises, and is accompanied by a user-friendly toolkit, a strategy for its dissemination (involving SIDBI and NABARD) and a model for an Institutional Network for the MED sector to facilitate overall sectoral development.
Recast the Desert Development Program of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, originally designed for hot deserts, to incorporate norms & schemes suitable for cold desert areas of the country. Involved wide-ranging consultations and research into environmental conditions and development mediators in Himalayan cold deserts, and evolving a model for appropriate development and environment monitoring for the region.