Special IDR features and series, including editorial collaborations.

Hamster running in a wheel-education nonprofit

Accepting that you can only do so much
In an effort to meet new needs in the community during COVID-19, an education nonprofit almost jeopardised its future.
by Nisha Subramaniam | 8 min read

IDR Explains

A comprehensive introduction to a development topic, concept, or approach that captures expert views as well as the latest secondary research on the topic.

group of women with raised fists-democracy
IDR Explains | Local government in India
In just seven minutes and five questions, get an introduction to local government in India—what it is, its structure, functions, sources of funding, and some of the challenges it faces.
Gloved hand holding a stained petridish
IDR Explains | Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs)
In just seven minutes and six questions, get a quick introduction to RCTs—how they work, why they're used, and what some of the criticisms and challenges around them are.
Macro shot of financial concept
IDR Explains | Impact investing
In just six minutes and six questions, get a quick introduction to impact investing—what it is, the size of the market, and how we can make the ecosystem more robust.

The well-being series

A partnership with Stanford Social Innovation Review, Skoll Foundation, Schwab Foundation at World Economic Forum, and The Wellbeing Project, focused on well-being in the field of social change.

picture of a girl sitting at a table in a cafeteria and looking sad-collective well-being
Individual mental health depends on collective well-being
Our well-being depends on the groups we are part of and the COVID-19 crisis could play an important role in helping us recognise this.
puzzle pieces starting to come together-well-being practices
Reflections on our well-being journey through the pandemic
A glimpse into the well-being practices we tried to follow through our time working from home, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
nature and wellbeing - A picture of a forest and a river
Nature, well-being, and social change
Carlos Souza and Michael Jenkins talk about the interconnections between their environmental work and ideas of well-being.

Ground Up

Bite-sized stories from the people closest to the action.

Left high and dry
Location Icon Kalahandi district, Odisha

A fear of childbirth
Location Icon Samastipur district, Bihar

IDR Interviews

Conversations with visionaries on their life’s work, and their efforts to challenge the status quo in our country.

A day in the life of

Frontline workers and first responders share their insights from working at the grassroots.

Burn survivors of domestic violence engaging in group activities-picture courtesy: Jayanthi Damodaran/PCVC
“There’s a story behind each of those self-inflicted wounds”
A day in the life of a counsellor who works with burn survivors of domestic violence, building their confidence and self-acceptance one day at a time.
Migrant workers stranded in cities-migrant workers
Who is looking out for migrant workers during the COVID-19 crisis?
A day in the life of a volunteer at a collective that is providing relief and advocating for systemic change for migrant workers.
Sree Ramuli as the Corona demon raises COVID-19 awareness
A corona demon helps fight an invisible enemy
A day in the life of a community mobiliser, who plays the role of a corona demon to raise awareness about COVID-19 in rural Andhra Pradesh.

Failure Files

Social change leaders chronicle their failures and lessons learnt.

Hamster running in a wheel-education nonprofit
Accepting that you can only do so much
In an effort to meet new needs in the community during COVID-19, an education nonprofit almost jeopardised its future.
black and white image of a person reflected in a puddle-social change fellowship
Good intentions are not enough
In an effort to ‘bring change’ to a school, a young professional fails to consider the perspectives of one of the most important stakeholders—its teachers.
close up of a person walking on a tightrope-nonprofit sector
When ambition exceeds ability
In an effort to do everything at once, two co-founders lose out on the project of their dreams.


Op-eds and commentary that hold a mirror up to civil society, reflect upon its evolution, and unpack key trends.

Students wearing uniforms sitting on benches next to each other writing-board exams
Reform board exams to improve learning outcomes
The Indian education system needs to move towards testing conceptual understanding rather than rote learning in its board exams.
Public funds have been poorly allocated
Ahead of Budget 2021, India needs to rethink its overall strategy for the investment of public funds.

Who is ‘self-improvement’ for?
There are entire industries dedicated to selling productivity and self-improvement. We need to analyse their impact on mental health.