Global Development Centre (GDC) at RIS: Promoting Sustainable Development through Demonstration and Dialogue

Mr Abhinav Jha
Policy Manager, GDC

Established at RIS, the GDC aims to contribute to the evolving alternative development paradigm and promotes the virtues of inclusiveness and sustainability. With deeper understanding of theories and practices, GDC intends to promote newly acquired knowledge from India’s successful programmes and initiatives among partner countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and facilitate learning from other country experiences through empirical research, sharing of skills, expertise and best practices, and exchange of human resources.

Started in 2019, the GDC has implemented a set of important activities to advance its core objectives, including the publication of the Development Cooperation Review, GDC Fellowship Programmes, meetings with policy leads and Line Ministries, to forge and consolidate links with partner countries and institutions. As the COVID pandemic paralyzed physical interactions, GDC adopted the digital path to reach out to constituents in India and abroad to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and the ensuing global lockdowns.

The Programmes conducted by the GDC are as follows:

GDC Fellowship Programme on Public Health Management:

The GDC Fellowship Programme on Public Health Management was a 14 day programme, conducted from 23rd February to 7th March 2020, developed for international delegates belonging to Asian and African countries with an aim to provide them with comprehensive orientation of Public Health Management Initiatives, India’s flagship health programs, implementation challenges and the innovative approaches for successful implementation. The objective of the programme was for the participants to understand the framework and technical features of the Indian flagship health programmes for its application in their own national contexts.

The study programme was attended by 9 delegates from 7 countries - Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan and Kenya, who are working with government institutions. The programme had 32 technical sessions by eminent leaders and experts in public health. A field visit to Jehangirpur public health centre and subcentre at Kherijatt village in Jhajjar district of Haryana was undertaken to showcase the rural healthcare system and implementation of national health programs at primary and community levels. Institutional visits to Mohalla clinics, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR) and National Health Authority (NHA) were also undertaken to provide a glimpse of flagship health programs including Ayushman Bharat. The participants provided excellent feedback on the programme content, accommodation and logistics arrangements and the rich learning that they acquired.

GDC Fellowship Programme Women's Economic Empowerment:

The GDC Fellowship Programme on Women's Economic Empowerment was a 14 day programme, conducted from 23rd February to 7th March 2020, developed for international delegates belonging to Asian and African countries with an aim to provide them with an orientation of how women in the informal economy can be strengthened by organising into member based organisations, India’s flagship programmes that lead to women empowerment at the grassroots level, implementation challenges, the innovative approaches for successful implementation, and the potential for translating these programmes into their own national contexts. The programme was undertaken in partnership with the Lok Swasthya SEWA Trust (LSST), an organisation that has had a strong track record in promoting the engagement of women in the greater economic and social arena.    

The study programme was attended by 15 delegates from 4 countries - Bhutan, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania. The delegates were drawn from a larger group nominated by their respective government organisations as well as the active civil society organisations working in the field of women's empowerment in these countries.

The programme had around 27 technical sessions by eminent leaders and experts working in the area of member based organisations of women. These sessions were held in Ahmedabad and also in Delhi. Apart from these there was an extensive schedule of field visits to various organisations including the SEWA bank, a federation promoted milk cooperative near Gandhinagar, the Shakti Kendras, the Sakhi Mandals operating in different sectors (Waste Management, Microfinance, and Handicrafts), Mission Mangalam under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), and SEWA Kalakruti (the SEWA federation's platform for empowerment of women artisans). All the participants provided excellent feedback on the programme content, accommodation and logistics arrangements and the rich learning that they acquired. They strongly supported the need for greater cooperation between their countries and India as well as the need for translating the Indian policies into their own national contexts.

GDC e-Workshops on various aspects of the Pandemic:

Since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic in India, GDC in association with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) has conducted 4 e-Workshops on COVID-19. The e-Workshops were held as follows:

i)                   e-Workshop Series on Management of COVID- 19: 15-18 April 2020

ii)                 e-Workshop Series-II on Management of COVID- 19: 25-28 April 2020

iii)               e-Workshop series “Occupational Health & Safety in the context of COVID-19”: 9-13 May 2020

iv)               e-Workshop series "Post Lockdown: Health Care Facility & Systems Preparedness and Response for COVID-19”: 6-9 June 2020

In all, with the help of these four e-Workshops GDC was able to reach out to over 800 participants from more than 40 countries of which 565 are affiliated to Government institutions, and 41 are affiliated to various ministries in their respective countries.

This was a most timely and relevant initiative which was immensely popular among the health professionals grappling with a new challenge, and it would enable GDC to forge further links with key government officials and others to further collaborate with them in this critical sector of health.

GDC Webinar on Strengthening Cooperation Initiatives between India and Cote d’Ivoire:

RIS in partnership with the Indian Embassy in Abidjan and the Government of Ivory Coast organized a Webinar on Strengthening Cooperation Initiatives between India and Côte d'Ivoire, on 7 September 2020.  

The webinar had the overall aim to provide the Côte d'Ivoire leadership with a comprehensive orientation of the development related policies, structures, organizations, reforms and ideas in the developing nation context showcasing the key flagship programmes of the Government of India as examples for understanding the challenges and the innovative approaches for successful implementation.

The webinar provided exposure to the work that India is undertaking in bringing about the development in the living standards of its population through its flagship programmes of Doubling Farmers’ Income (DFI), the National Horticultural mission (NHM), the Ayushman Bharat–Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) and the “Housing for All” by the year 2022 scheme.

The webinar concluded with special valedictory remarks from the Cabinet Director HE Minister of State SGPR, Koffi Georges Bolamo. He provided excellent feedback on the content and the rich learning that the delegation from Côte d'Ivoire acquired during the webinar. He said they strongly supported the need for greater cooperation between India and Côte d'Ivoire as well as the need for greater interaction with Indian experts, and hoped that over time our relations will get strengthened. He also hoped to continue this process and sharing of experiences between both our countries as well as the initiation of collaborative projects in line with the principles of South-South Cooperation between India and Côte d'Ivoire.

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