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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.

Indicative Projects

Design of a Mountain Microfinance Model and Initiation of a Delivery Institution

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.

Grant Administration and Program Coordination for programs across multiple sectors and states in India

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.

Evaluation of Economic Justice and Livelihoods Programs in Backward Areas

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.

Assessing the Impacts of Illicit Drug Policy in India

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 .

Assessment of Rural Livelihoods Programs, and Creation of a Prototype Microenterprise Development Program along with Design of an associated Institutional Network

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.

Assessment of Desert Development Program and developing program strategies and norms specifically for Cold Deserts

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.

Developing Strategies for Conservation and Development of Medicinal Plants for diverse Agroclimatic Zones in India for the National Medicinal Plants Board, Govt of India

Development of an Eco-sensitive Tourism Masterplan for a specific circuit in the eastern Indian Himalayas for the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India.

Assessment of Status and Development Needs of NGOs in Backward Areas in India and Developing a Resource Directory for UNICEF

Establishing a Dairy District in a drought-prone district in southern India for PLAN International.

Assessment of Afforestation & Eco-development Projects in India for the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt of India

Developing Food Processing Clusters as engines of growth for semi-urban North India for the Ministry of Food Processing, Govt of India.

Design of a Program for the Development of Non-Farm Enterprises in the Eastern Himalayan Region for the Ministry of Labour, Govt of India

Assessment of 'Child Labour' situation in fireworks industry in southern India and formulation of Program Strategies for PLAN International

Research & Development of Best Fit Water Management Methods & Technologies for Cold Deserts in collaboration with the Water & Power Consultancy Services, Government of India

Assessment of a drought-prone area in southern India, followed by development of a Perspective Plan for PLAN International.

Requirements and Norms related to Provisions for Police Deployment in High Altitude Areas for the Bureau of Police Research & Development, Govt. of India

Assessment of education programming in India and preparation of a white paper for Aide-et-Action.