November 20, 2018

IDR Select: November’s picks

From demystifying caste-based myths, blockchain, and M&E, to discussing women in the workplace, this month's selection has something for everyone.

3 min read

What we’re reading

Busting caste-based reservation myths

If you’ve heard people say “So many rich people are benefiting from reservation just because of their caste” or “Reservation has clearly not helped the poor” and have been unable to respond with as succinct an argument as you would have liked, well, worry no more.

This interactive feature breaks down myths around caste-based reservation and makes it easy to understand. And since it’s based on a deeper analysis, you can always choose to read more to make sure your rebuttal is in-depth and well rounded.

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Based on the analyses offered by Sukhadeo Thorat, Nitin Tagade, and Ajaya K Naik’s article Prejudice Against Reservation Policies: How and Why, this piece takes apart some of the most common myths regarding caste-based reservation policies.

Related article: 10 ways to address lack of caste diversity in your organisation

How did development come to stand for everything ideal?

This visual monologue illustrates social scientist and historian Rajan Gurukkal’s arguments against the development rhetoric.

While his view that capitalism is given free reign to propagate under the guise of development is rather extreme,

that capitalism is allowed to acquire social legitimacy under the guise of development is rather extreme, the narrative gives us some interesting questions to think over: Why is ‘first world’ development the barometer for measuring the progress of ‘underdeveloped’ countries, when their contexts are so vastly different? How have we allowed a singular definition of development to persist?


What we’re watching

Right fit evidence for the social sector

Organisations often employ M&E systems that end up being a cursory ‘box-ticking’ exercise, without actually engaging in impact evaluation. In this video (found at the bottom of this page), Mary Kay Gugerty talks about the motivation behind writing The Goldilocks Challenge with Dean Karlan, a book that lays out principals for how and when to use measurement to improve outcomes.

Ruth Levine (Hewlett Foundation) succinctly sums up the book when she says, “Chock full of practical guidance and real-world examples, The Goldilocks Challenge will help any practitioner or funder improve the collection and use of data for decision making. In clear and compelling language, this book demystifies monitoring and evaluation, and provides spot-on guidance to build a culture and practice of learning within non-profit organizations, funding agencies, and private foundations.”

Related article: M&E: Whose job is it anyway?

Understanding blockchain and it’s multipurpose capabilities

Blockchain seems to be all the buzz in the sector these days. But do you understand what it is and why exactly there is so much hype around it? Just in case you’re not quite sure, this video cleverly unpacks what exactly blockchain is, how it functions, and how it can be used for better governance.

From clarifying that it is not solely related to bitcoin, to discussing the decentralisation of data, this video will provide you with some clarity on the subject and equip you for that inevitable conversation around how we can start using blockchain in the social sector.

What we’re listening to

The podcast for working women

Related article: IDR Select: #MeToo

With a second season released not too long ago, Harvard Business Review’s Women at Work podcast dissects and discusses the problems faced by women in the workplace. While the episodes and guests function within a North American context, the topics discussed and issues faced are universal, and easy to identify with.

Episodes range from the art of claiming credit, managing parental leave, work after #MeToo, making yourself heard, the wage gap, and other gendered problems.

And if you’re interested in other podcasts, the lives of women in the workforce, or alternate career options, The Night Shift, is another series to check out.

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India Development Review

India Development Review (IDR) is India’s first independent online media platform for leaders in the development community. Our mission is to advance knowledge on social impact in India. We publish ideas, opinion, analysis, and lessons from real-world practice.