Impact Diary 2011-2015: Resources, greenhouse gas emissions, technology and work in production and distribution systems: Rice in India

This is a pilot project ( RES-167-25-MTRUYG0 ; ES/1033768/1 )

funded by ESRC-DFID under their Poverty Alleviation stream

It has been devoted to developing new methods measuring, fusing and analysing trade-offs between environmental, social and economic parameters for parts of an economy that are ‘informal’: out of direct policy control and usually very poorly measured.

The substantive case study is of a series of production-distribution systems in the Indian rice economy.

Cross cutting themes include the politics of labour gains and of innovation in the informal economy and the informalisation of policy.

Practical policy implications were tested in a consultative  multi-criteria application.

Definition of impact in our proposal

– short term – on learning (through feedback/dissemination workshops; website; correspondence and networking; conference presentations; publications)

– longer term – on new applications and collaborations ( through interactive collaboration ; networking and workshops; successful new proposals and research initiatives).

Our jointly agreed philosophy of impact

 –  to expose the project to outside feedback and engagement  with three user groups from start ( policy (P);  food governance/ rice/ innovation (R); advocacy, activist, research and education (AE); while ensuring that results are not presented prematurely.

-         to talk to politicians and not only to policy-makers.

-         to expose wide audiences to the method including research minded journalists.

-         to have a direct public impact through the Multi Criteria Mapping experiment.

-         to nurture and develop individual capacities for possible future applications.

Measurement of impact

– short term and long term: public engagement / learning opportunities and

-         long term : further applications and further developments

There are ten aspects to our achieved impact activity: 1. Activity throughout the life of the project (four kinds of activity); 2. Major international conference; 3. Teaching ourselves with others (four kinds); 4. Impact through H E teaching and learning; 5. Impact with civil society; 6. Longer term follow-up ; 7. Conference presentations; 8. Seminars and special lectures; 9. Discussions; 10 Publications.


1.1.EXPERT NETWORK -  worldwide network of expertise and advice is under continual development – currently numbering about 700 experts -  many meetings and discussions  - e – and real - with experts on this network.  Deployed for advice, peer review  and dissemination. Dissemination through the network takes the form of nested abstracts: 100 words -> 500 words -> link to entire paper/report in site of publication and will also be trialled in 2015 through Facebook.

Indian Partner: the Institute of Human Development in New Delhi has responsibility for the network and dissemination.

March 2013 +  D Narasimha Reddy and B Harriss-White recruited as Members of the Advisory Council for the RRA Network (Revitalising Rainfed Agriculture) -  chair: Prof Rajeswari Raina National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS - CSIR), New Delhi ). 2015: A Gathorne Hardy  (AGH) and B Harriss-White (BHW) recruited to START Network - "Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR)" linked to RRA;  

 also see long term follow up – and policy – below.  

April 2013 WIEGO, Harvard  – BHW is recruited as member of WIEGO network of informal economy experts on the basis inter alia of the contribution of this project to their agenda.


Fairly constant contact with rural affairs / science journalists: Economic Times; Frontline; Hindu; Times of India; 

Nov 2011

Press release Oxford University – taken up in UK and in India; Nature Climate Change write up;  

January 2013 Climate Change news write-up

February 2013  Le Monde Commodities section :  rice and sustainability (AGH)

August 2013: advice to Sci dev net

October 2013 Aseem Prakash used  his field knowledge of informal economy and policy in Op Ed in the Hindu ‘A development index with missing links’ Published: October 22, 2013 02:47 IST | Updated: October 22, 2013 02:47 IST

November 2013 ESRC press release prepared by Judith Oliver

July 4th 2014 Aseem Prakash used his knowledge of informal politics, policy and caste in an article in The Hindu.

July 14th 2014  B Harriss-White published a letter on the Indian Government’s 2014 Budget’s, para 102, on the informal economy – in the Hindu

and in ‘Oxford University Research Coverage’ internal news bulletin for 16th July 2014.

Reaction fed back from  a city and regional planner “Your piece in the op-ed is needless to say, very powerful.  We have been interacting with the DIPP (Dept of Indl Policy and Planning) almost on a weekly basis. I will read it out to them in order to address concerns in our projects and policy.”

This led to a request to write on informal economy  for Yojana, the Planning Ministry’s monthly journal which is translated into all major languages and has circulation of over 200,000. Only non-Indian in the recent records. 

‘Top story’ in October 2014.

2014: The project is showcased in Oxford University’s International Strategy team’s 2014 brochure on Oxford-India relations.

2015: a further set of pan-Indian journalists linked through Facebook

Planned: a popular article by Prof Deepak Mishra on the project’s findings in Oriya and English for Down to Earth


2011-14: meetings with Four Rajya Sabha MPs;  three cabinet ministers, one MP,  Lok Sabha;  the Vice President of the Indian National Congress. 

1.4.WEBSITE – full details of the project:

18 working papers, almost all of which have been peer reviewed and revised as of June 2015:

2013 ‘Conference Book’:

2.   MAJOR INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE – June 2013 – co-organised with the Institute for Human Development, New Delhi – 67 participants  -  drawn from all three impact groups - opened by Minister for Science and Technology Mr Jaipal Reddy and closed by the IPCC chair Dr Rajendra Pachauri



An innovative concept of ‘learning workshops’ has been created and developed for this project. See the project website for the pedagogical principles of learning workshops:

1.  in Pune, India (host: World Institute for Sustainable Energy –Feb, 2011) ‘The materiality of rice: multiple scientific fields’  (12 participants – drawn from all 3 impact groups). WISE and Oxford compiled an 800 page Workshop Book of published readings from 12 academic subfields across social and environmental sciences.

2. Mulshi, India (host: Anthra/ Crompton Greaves Management Development  Centre  – Nov, 2013)  ‘Research Methods in Science’   (10 participants – academics, NGO professionals, journalists)

3. Somerville College, Oxford, March 2014,  International Impact learning workshop:: ‘Caste and Waste’ (15 participants – academics from science and social science)

[ spin-offs: 1. Wolfson College, Oxford (British Council, Jan 2012)  also co-developed for an environmental project with the Solvay Business School, Brussels: ‘Ecological crisis and micro-finance’ (20 participants)

2) Oxford-India Sustainable Development Centre, being planned for late 2015: ‘Economic policy and party politics in India’


Deepak Mishra (JNU) trains 5 graduate researchers in LCA-VCA field methods. 

D Narasimha Reddy (NIRD) trains two;

Hema (MSE) trains one.

The Centre for Workers’ Management trains a team of seven in field research on retail workers.  Impact: Mohan Mani of CWM writes “(t)his satisfied an important capacity-building objective of the project, to enable women activists in the informal sector to gain first-hand experience of conducting surveys and doing basic research”

Alfred Gathorne Hardy and Barbara Harriss-White (Oxford) train and collaborate with Gilbert Rodrigo, an already seasoned fieldworker and NGO activist.

MCMapping. This is a technique never previously used in rural India -  with an immediate impact from field interviews on

1. Dalit activists. These are engaged in village level conscientisation and empowerment among dalits in southern TN  - interest in MCM for future local evaluation of policies for dalits.

2.  The field method is to be translated into Tamil and is being intended to be used for environment activist work and research-minded journalism.

3. An NGO, GUIDE, was provided with research material from SPRU, Sussex University that is used in the MCMapping research. GUIDE intends to apply the method to gender and development and fishing contexts. Varied village-level applications envisaged.

4. A postgraduate research assistant is trained in the software.


November  2012: Over 90 people drawn from all the three impact groups  we defined in our original proposal learn about LCA-VCA-MCM methods and the results for rice, in Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai.

In Pune, via the livestock NGO Anthra,  10 NGO and university experts in industrial technology, ecology and environmental science, livestock plus an environmental journalist and writer discussed the methods used in our research.

In Hyderabad, at the National Institute of Rural Development , DNR, MV,  AGH , DM, MM, GM, BHW use the project to educate and train 40 experts in rural development from local universities, NGOs, state research institutions, ICRISAT and think tanks at the inaugural workshop under the Sankaran Chair of Labour Studies. Team member Prof  D Narasimha Reddy.

At the Madras School of Economics – another audience of 40 from the Madras Institute of Development Studies, IITMadras, Centre for Development Alternatives, Gandhian Unit for Development Education,  Asian College of Journalism , TN Planning Commission, TN Civil Supplies Corporation,  Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems, Akash Ganga (Pvt)Ltd.

June 2013 Climate Justice Coalition, New Delhi : a half-day workshop on the project results with  30 NGO, trade union and civil society movement activists.


Sep-Oct 2013: We did not locate life cycle analysts in India interested in social science applications until meeting Dr Vinod Sharma of IGIDR after the end of the project. Meanwhile we learned from the experience of the dissemination workshops (above) that social scientists become aware of the potential of the new methods we have developed but cannot use them without further training.

Team member, Prof Deepak Mishra of JNU therefore organised a Workshop on “Using Life Cycle Assessment and a Systems Approach to Sustainability” at the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University jointly with Oxford University.

The five day event ran from 27th Sept-1st Oct’13.

A total of 59 young researchers and faculty from diverse disciplines such as geography, population studies, environmental science, economics, science policy studies, business management, urban study and veterinary science participated in the workshop, and working in more than 10 different institutions from different parts of India participated in the programme.

Several applications of the LCA-VCA method are expected.

Unsolicited feedback:

Vibha (Assoc Prof from IITD) to AGH:  “ It was a memorable great learning are really inspiring and I realized how much I miss Oxford when you led us on this learning journey. I am in the nomination-running for the Buttel award for my research in environmental sociology for 2014 International Sociology Association conference at Yokohama....but I think I will deserve it better when I write a methodological paper on how to combine LCA with HDI, Quality of Life indicators for comprehensive policy planning. I already have experimented with GIS, HDI and Quality of Life indicators during a student’s  PhD thesis which is upcoming as I here I am raring to go forward and do something inter-disciplinary and meaningful.”

Prof D Mishra (JNU):

“Many of the participants seemed very excited and happy at the end. Alfy conducted the workshop in a new way. I had suggested that Alfy should use our project data as a template and demonstrate the steps of calculation after covering the conceptual part. In addition Alfy divided participants into groups and encouraged them to come up with their own proposals - from topic to methods and steps. Alfy discussed the steps and data with these relatively smaller groups. Because they were not ready with the topics or the data available to them, they did not complete the LCA during the workshop, but in the end they learnt more than they would have learnt otherwise. The kind of proposals the group presented were diverse - LCA of a handmade poster in JNU, PDS procurement from Punjab to Bihar versus local procurement, electricity, wheat....”


Aseem Prakash, 2011 - 2014, Assistant Dean, Public Policy, Jindal Global  University: M.A. in Public Policy   ‘The research framework developed during the course of the research projects for understanding regulation both through policy and in the informal economy was used to teach post graduate students in public policy in their core course entitled State, Markets and Regulations.  The project’s policy case studies of Transport and Rice Mills have been adapted for class room teaching and students encouraged to develop new case studies of their choice to reconceive the ‘blurred boundaries’ between formal and informal institutions as a political space in which informal institutions regulate and influence formal regulatory apparatuses’.

from 2014: Prof Aseem Prakash, Dean of the School of Public Policy and Governance,  Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad Campus.

In the informalisation stream of research in this pilot project, Prof Aseem Prakash explored policy regimes for rice with a case study close to his then place of work on the outskirts of New Delhi in Haryana, starting with land.

He found i) official subsidy policy informalised in implementation caste, ethnicity, class and gender identities playing economic regulatory roles;  and ii) rice farmers had diversified into transport and real estate – hence these sectors were also researched. In all three cases, neo-liberal new policy management the formal regulatory apparatus is repeatedly breached by informal norms and social practices in a deliberate politics of policy involving ideas, regulation, execution, monitoring, capture and judicial intervention. The great variety of outcomes of policy on the ground reflects the local balance of power between the state and local social structure (social groups/ powerful individuals/ big corporate capital).

This new understanding of regulation in the neo-liberal era where markets are considered to be supremely efficient and unadulterated by social identity, informal institutions, patron –client relationship etc. has fed directly into the development of a distinctive stream (a ‘Policy Area Concentration’ (PAC)) of postgraduate teaching (with compulsory dissertation research involving up to 4 months’ fieldwork) in Public Policy and Governance.

An entire PAC: ‘Regulation and Institutions’ has been developed from the ESRC-DFID project’s theoretical and empirical work. It consists of three courses:  1. History and Perspectives on Policy and Regulation; 2. ‘Small Town Capitalism’; and 3. ‘Big Policy Sectors’.

In 2014/15 it  has been the most popular PAC in TISS’s Masters in Public Policy. Dissertations are being written on topics like land, waste management, housing, electricity etc using the framework for the informalisation of policy developed under the research project.

Jan-Feb 2013 Alfy Gathorne-Hardy: developed and delivered a post-graduate (masters) option course in Food Security, Oxford University Centre for the Environment

Prof Hema, Madras School of Economics.  Our project is comparative and  Hema has taught about methodologies that could be used to compare production-distribution systems to students on Madras School of Economic’s  MSc in Economics.  At MSE, the Director of CIKS (Centre for Indigenous Knowledge Systems) which has developed close links with our project in Tamil Nadu has presented to masters’ economics students the kind of development work CIKS is doing in the context of organic cultivation.

As a result one master’s student has compared costs and returns for organic and control HYV farmers in 5 districts of Tamil Nadu (where CIKS has its centres) and evaluates the economic value-addition in his dissertation.

The larger objective is a policy framework of organic agriculture competing with subsidies to HYVs.


1. 2012-13:  Two women worker-activists in the informal sector in Chennai were trained on the project to manage and conduct survey research on employment and conditions of work. Five other women activists participated in training-discussions about the retail sector.

 2. 2011-13: In Chennai, initial contacts were made with women workers in large retail sector (4 large retail supermarkets in Chennai) through the Women Workers’ Union.  Details of employment conditions, especially for women employed in large and medium supermarkets, will also be of critical importance when the union takes up organising in the sector.

 3. In New Delhi, the project was invited to meet and discuss the research with the India Climate Justice Network (ICJN), an informal network of professionals and activists engaged with climate change issues, on June 11th 2013 in Delhi. This was an opportunity to discuss and take forward some of the issues in the study, especially around climate impact of rice cultivation, and the validity of a methodology trying to bring together different disciplines of environment, value chains and labour rights.

4. 2013, in Tamil Nadu, the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge Systems  - CIKS -  is interested in developing an in-depth study comparing the economics and resource use patterns of organic rice cultivation with that of intensive HYVs using the LCA-VCA approach.

March 2015: Invitation by Ecorys and IDS Sussex to participate in the survey to evaluate the impact of the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation.

May 2015  - Presentation of project concepts at ‘LiveFriday’ showcasing interdisciplinarity in social sciences at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford –  about 3000 visitors.

May 2015: Invitation by Imperial College, Centre for Business Research, Judge Business School University of Cambridge and University of Bath School of Management to participate in research on the engagement of HE institutions with  external private public and charitable organisations funded / commissioned by RCUK, Dept of BIS and HEFCE.

See also sections 3.2 Learning by Doing and 3.3. Dissemination and Feedback


2013 +  Prof D Narasimha Reddy who organised the SRI research in AP  also collected data on the declining use of labour in agriculture and incorporated it into a project on small farmer agrarian development  forming  part of the new programme of the Sankaran  Chair, Centre for Agrarian and Labour Studies, NIRD, Hyderabad.

The team in AP also used the opportunity of the project’s fieldwork to assess the problems associated with the introduction and expansion of methods which require augmenting the knowledge base of the community.   

From the perspective of policy, the findings on the various aspects of the process of adoption are likely to be helpful in evolving an appropriate strategy for expansion of SRI, which goes beyond the mandate of the scientific findings on GHGs in rice cultivation. Links have been made by BHW and AGH with Prof Shambu Prasad, Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar, Prof Norman Uphoff, Cornell University, Prof Willem Stoop, Wageningen and the three doctoral students examining SRI at Wageningen.

Reddy has showcased the project results in conferences on SRI held in India in 2014 and 2015. In June 2015, he writes: ‘There is a lot happening in SRI (Systems of Rice Intensification) and there is a series of regular reports on these developments which are the results of several hundred researchers (and in this case activists as well). Our research is contributing to this work stream. 

March 2013; Deepak Mishra who organised the Rainfed Rice research in Orissa applies to ICSSR for follow-up project on backward agriculture, expanded to three states. (Successful proposal)

May 2013: Capacity building and research outcome: Oxford-India Centre for Sustainable Development:  £3m gift from Government of India was signed and delivered to Somerville college, Oxford University, liberating equal matching funds from Somerville and from Oxford University for  postgraduate scholarships in Indian sustainability sciences in the name of Indira Gandhi.

From inception P-I, BHW was directly involved in the preparation of this project (contact Somerville Principal Alice Prochaska). Co-I, Alfred Gathorne-Hardy has been recruited competitively as the first Research Director from January 2014; BHW is recruited to advisory committee: Oxford-India Centre for Sustainable Development.

July 2013-15 Aseem Prakash (responsible for the field research on the informalisation of policy and the regulation of the informal economy) applied to ICSSR for a follow-up project on the informalisation of policy (all applications currently frozen however)).

October 2013 and ongoing:   Champaka Rajagopal,  Principal, (architect and planner) Urban Development,  Egis India Consulting Engineers Pvt. Ltd. and International Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore,) who has expressed interest in, and engaged with,  the research on informality from the outset, is accepted to read for a doctorate at Amsterdam University with Prof ISA Baud (President of EADI) – developing applications of this project’s  methods to the Indian construction industry and the informal practices of city and regional planning.

Champaka also uses Aseem Prakash’s field research : feedback:  “We are shortlisted on one of the largest green field development projects in India - the Delhi Mumbai, Bangalore Mumbai and Bangalore Chennai industrial/ economic corridors (freight and expressway). The project … has great ambition but is ridden with challenges pertaining to the messiness on the ground of various informal dimensions - land, labour- skill, logistics, infrastructure. I think Aseem Prakash's work highlights many of these challenges so well and is really helpful!”

Summer 2014 and ongoing: A new round of Life Cycle Assessment applications requiring field evidence - supervised by AGH. [ case studies: weaving technologies (handloom versus power-loom) (Karnataka) / fishing technologies (inland and coastal) (Tamil Nadu) / livestock intensification (Maharashtra)]

2015: Sumanas Koulagi – Janapada Seva Trust, Mandya, Karnataka: under guidance from AGH is to develop LCA-VCA for GHGs, costs and livelihoods  in handloom weaving (Khadi) and powerloom weaving – fieldwork 2014-5 and a PhD proposal.

June 2015:   Hari Om Dubey, Executive Director , CureIndia (‘Clean Up & Recycle for Environment’) is developing an initiative on e-waste for the Government of India’s ‘Swachh Bharat’ and has approached the PI and Co-I with a view to developing a LCA for e-waste in the informal economy.


Feb 2012  Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi:  Green Economics  Conference, with IPCC economists (Hema, AGH and BHW)

Oct 2012 First Annual Meeting of the Agriculture Ecology Group, British Ecological Association. Oral presentation: What is Sustainable Agriculture, case study of rice in India. (AGH)

April 2013  Oxford University : Future of Food Conference (AGH)

April 2013. Global Change and Biosphere Interactions Conference. “Oxen vs tractors, manure vs urea from the GHG and economic perspective” (AGH)

 July 2013   Beijing Normal University and International Development and Public Policy Alliance, Beijing, China, International Conference on “Life in a New Global City”, paper Presented on Small Town Capitalism: The Limits of Formal Regulation (Aseem Prakash).

August  2013 Technology and Management for Development (TMD) Centre, University of Oxford National Entrepreneurship Research Centre, / and Tsinghua University  Research Centre for Technological Innovation, Tsinghua University , China, 6th Annual Conference of the Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Inclusive and Sustainable Development. Paper on ‘Innovation in the informal economy’ (BHW)

2013, Living with Environmental Change, conference on negative emission technologies; (AGH)

September 2013 ClimUrb Conference Manchester University  on ‘Urban Poverty and Climate Change’ paper on ‘Innovation in the informal economy’ (BHW)

November 2013 University of Penn South Asia Centre and Wharton School , USA, conference on ‘ India as a Pioneer of Innovation: Constraints and Opportunities:  paper on ‘Innovation in the informal economy (BHW)

November 2013 Jeevika and Wolfson College, Oxford  workshop on  ‘The Dilemma for Rural India’ paper Appropriate Technology for Indian Agriculture. (AGH)

December 2013 Sud Asien Institut, Heidelberg Germany, conference on ‘Cultivating Futures: Ethnographies of Alternative Agriculture in South Asian Landscapes paper:  EXPERT KNOWLEDGE AND SITUATED KNOWLEDGE – A MULTI-CRITERIA MAPPING OF TRADE-OFFS IN TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS IN RICE PRODUCTION IN INDIA’S SEMI ARID TROPICS (BHW/AGH/GR).

January 2014 Pondicherry  University , Conference on ‘Agrarian Transitions’, paper on  ‘Multi Criteria Mapping’ – as above (BHW/AGH/GR)

February 2014, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Centre for Informal Sector and Labour Studies, Franco-Indian conference on informal labour Jawaharlal Nehru University: Keynote address: ‘Informal Labour and Production’  (BHW)

March 2014, Cambridge University, CRASSH, conference  on ‘Institutions and their Discontents’  - keynote paper on ‘Innovation and institutions’ (BHW)

June 2014, Gottingen University, Germany: conference on Informal Business in India; paper: ‘Local capital in the Tamil Nadu Rice economy 1973-2013’ (BHW)

June 2014 Oxford Brookes University,  Business School: International Research Collaboration Day – Keynote speaker:  Towards a lower carbon future : multi-disciplinary, cross-generational  and international collaboration (BHW)

Augus2014, Royal Geographical Society: annual conference of the IBG ‘Geographies of co-production’: Paper : ‘Innovation in the informal economy’ (BHW);

September 2014, Manchester University: conference for the 50th anniversary of the Journal of Development Studies: paper on ‘Climate change, agriculture and livelihoods’ (BHW)

September 2014 International Institute of Dalit Studies, New Delhi:  10th anniversary conference, JNU, New Delhi,  – keynote address – ‘Caste in the informal economy’ (BHW)

September 2014 ESRC_DFID Impact conference – participation (AGH)

October 2014. IARU Copenhagen.  Sustainability Science Congress: Global Challenges, achieving sustainability, “Trade-offs - understanding the sustainability of Indian rice from field to finger” (AGH)  “Caste as a driver of environmental change” (AGH)

November 7-9th  2014 SOAS, London University, Historical Materialism Conference: panel on the Agrarian Question: paper presented :  ‘Towards A Lower Carbon Agriculture : An Experiment In Expert And Situated Knowledge In India’ (BHW)

December 2014 ICRIER, New Delhi India: International Conference on Jobs for Development , New Delhi. Keynote paper on ‘Jobs and Discrimination: informality in labour markets and Labour policy’ (BHW) (BHW)

December 2014 Invited Speaker at the American Geophysical Union Fall Conference, 2014. Social-environmental trade-offs for Systems of Rice Intensification in S. India” (AGH)

February 2015. Calcutta University, Kolkata, India: UK – India Agro-ecology initiative. Paper: Multidisciplinary analysis of rainfed compared to irrigated rice. (AGH)

March 2015. Chandigarh, India : Indian Society for Agro-Ecology.  Conference on “mainstreaming agro-ecology” 5th national organic farming convention. Paper: How good is SRI? (AGH)

April 2015 Manchester University, IDPM, International Workshop on Urban Informality. Paper The Indispensibility of Informality in an Indian Urban economy (BHW)

April 2015 UCL, Bartlett Energy Institute: London University International Workshop on ‘Energy-using people & energy-using things’ . Paper: Towards a lower carbon agriculture: an experiment in expert and situated knowledge (BHW)

June 2015 Sheffield University, International Law Conference: the Informal Economy: Global and Local.  Paper: A political economy of informality (BHW)


November 2011, Centre for Economic and Social Studies,  Hyderabad (BHW); Wolfson College Oxford (AGH and BHW)

March 2012, IIT Madras – Department of Development Studies (BHW);  June 2012 IFPRI – Pusa Campus, New Delhi  (BHW)

November 2012 NIRD Hyderabad and  Council for Social Development – First Sankaran Memorial lecture : ‘PUDUMAI’ - INNOVATION AND INSTITUTIONAL CHURNING IN INDIA’S INFORMAL ECONOMY: a report from the field.  (BHW with Gilbert Rodrigo)

January 2013  Oxford University, Food Security Seminar, initial results  presented (James Martin School)  (AGH) (BHW);

February 2013 School of Oriental and African Studies, London University (BHW);

Bordeaux University, France, Groupe de Recherche Economique Theorique et Applique ( in French: audience of 60 (BHW));

March 2013 JNU  Centre for the Study of Regional Devt – audience of 250 – follow up about life cycle analysis training for JNU researchers (BHW).

June 2013 National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi  (audience of 30: IAS policy makers, Oxfam, OUP, Planning Commission researchers, IARI, NSSO  experts as well as NCAER researchers)(BHW). 

July 2013, MSSwaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai  (140 people); Azim Premji University, Bangalore ( 80 people) ; National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, 4th (40 people)(BHW)  

October 2013 China Beijing Agricultural University   (About 150 people); Chinese Academy of Social Sciences  (about 30 people);  Hunan University of Commerce, Hunan  (25 experts);  University of Hunan,  (about 250 people) (BHW);

November 2013 USA  University of Pennsylvania  (innovation) (250 people)  (contact- Lisa Mitchell/Devesh Kapur) ; IFPRI  Washington, (contact - Shenggen Fan )  (20 people + wide internal circulation) and Cornell University (contact - Norman Uphoff)  (30 people _+ wide internal  and internet circulation)(BHW) ;

Jan to June 2014 Somerville College, Oxford, Oxford-India Centre for Sustainable Development – weekly seminars on biophysical and socio-economic sustainability (AG-H)

February 2014 JNU New Delhi, visiting professorship to work on  labour and informality  - curriculum development  (contact -  Praveen Jha) (BHW);


March 2014 Centre for Social Development, New Delhi (Leading Think Tank): ‘Innovation in the informal economy’ (BHW) ; 

March 2014: Oxford-India Summit 2014 IIC New Delhi, India. Oxford University Society of India -  environment panel – on informality and policy (AGH and BHW); 

June 2014 Reading University  Doctoral Research conference keynote address : ‘Materialities of food’ (BHW).

October 2014  Sustainability Dialogue New Delhi. paper; “The Role of Markets in Addressing Climate Change and Sustainability” (AGH)

October 2014 Northwestern Agriculture and Forests University, Xi’An, China:  lectures on agriculture and on the materialities of rice (BHW);

November 2014 Special lecture to Urban Resilience Group What does sustainable retail mean in India today?” (AGH)

November 2014, Oxford Networks for the Environment, Kellogg College, paper ‘How to measure sustainability? Employment, environment and rice in Southern India   (AGH)

February, 2015 Birla Institute of Technology and Science , Pilani, Goa : lecture; On the low carbon transition and the metabolic rift (BHW)

April, 2015  Oxford Brookes Business School: The indispensability of informality in an Indian urban economy (BHW)

May 2015  EU / Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs / University of Latvia. Riga, International Scientific Network: India-EU: Opening Keynote The low carbon transition: International, cross-generational and multidisciplinary research (BHW)


March 2012- end 2013; MSSwaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai: Post-docs in climate change division  - head of division Prof Nambi; head of MSSRF Prof Parida ; Value Chain Analysts, Prof Bhavani Prof Vepa;  Prof M S Swaminathan Rajya Sabha MP and chair of MSSRF  (BHW)    Private sector Innovators – Akash Ganga: S Sivakumar ; M Myilsami      Media- Arvind Sivaramakrishnan – the Hindu;     UNDP – Seetha Prabhu ;    Planning Commission – Pronab Sen;  Media: Rajshekhar –  Economic Times; PS Jha  Times of India; IARI-IFPRI Pusa Campus (also ICRISAT, IRRI and CYMMYT reps in India) (BHW)     DFID’s Informal Research Advisory Group:  summary of  priorities for climate change research agenda ,  based on project experience (BHW)    Mulshi- Pune:  Watershed Organisation Trust;  Bhavana Arjuna Prof Bajpai; Anthra, livestock applications Dr N Ghotge; World Institute of Sustainable Energy, renewable energy applications Dr S Ghotge; Azim Premji University Bangalore  – Ecology and Environment, Development Studies and Law  -  livestock applications – PG university level applications  Prof Punendu;    Head of Ecology Rishi Valley School -  LCA as a concept for college youth. LCA of people rather than things.   Team-work projects, Radha Gopalan (AGH/BHW);    Director of the Rajiv Gandhi  Institure for Contemporary Studies, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Mohan Gopal (BHW) and with 3 MPs.    JNU  Centre for the Study of Regional Devt –  follow up interest in life cycle analysis training for JNU researchers – plan a short course later in 2013. (BHW)     Cambridge University - meeting on food security with Harsh Mander (BHW);    New Delhi, Institute of Human Development   Chair Prof Yoginder Alagh – suggests LCA-VCA method be applied to for hybrid rice and GM rice in eastern India and the interface between private corporations and the informal economy be researched;     International Water Management Institute IWMI   Dr Bharat Sharma – solar applications to agriculture (AGH/BHW); JNU Centre for the Study of Informal Labour (Prof Praveen Jha).

2014-15 Mark Runacres, CBI, India;   Nasser Mukhtar Muniee, KPMG;    Karan Chanana, CEO, Amira;   Tom Norton-Lewis, Oxford Policy Mgt, New Delhi;    David Landsman, Chair Tata-Europe;   Judith Unwin, Export Finance, BNPParibas Bank; Shalinia Nagar, Head of Sustainability-India, Marks and Spencers;    Sir David John, Chair Royal Society of Arts for Asia ;    Henry Neufeld, World Agro-forestry Centre (ICRAF);   Prof Nandan Nawn (WB National University of Juridical Sciences);      Dinesh Abrol (JNU);      Dr Bruno Dorin Centre des Sciences Humaines, New Delhi;      Michael Ekers Assistant Professor Department of Human Geography , University of Toronto, Canada;       Prof Haroon Akram-Lodhi, Trent University, Canada;      Dr Arunabha Ghosh, Council on Energy Environment and Water, New Delhi;      Prof Nilaba Ghosh,    Institute for Economic Growth, Delhi University, India;   M Jahi Chappell, Director,  Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy;   David Strelneck, Nutrient Value Chain Framework, Ashoka Social Entrepreneurs;   Lucy Emerton, Environmental Economics consultant;  Ranjan Mattal, Indian High Commissioner to the UK;  Sam Saintha, CEO Lyca Money;    Nicholas Booker, CEO, IndoGenius;   Naini Lal Kidwai, Chair, HSBC India;  Arindan Bhattacharya, MD of Boston Consulting Group India;   Dr Harry W. Fischer, Research Fellow, Revitalizing Rainfed Agriculture Network, Hyderabad, India; Rebecca Heaton, Specialist, Strategic Issues, Shell;  Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons Ltd. 



for details of 18 working papers.

Dr Gathorne-Hardy is senior author of a Palgrave ‘Pivot Series’ short book introducing the integrated LCA-VCA-MCM method in the context of Indian rice, expected in 2016.

Published Outputs

10.1 (2013) ‘SRI Cultivation in Andhra Pradesh : Achievements, Problems and Implications for GHGs and Work’.  Munich Personal RePEc Archive : MPRA_paper_52115.pdf Duvvuru, Narasimha Reddy and Motkuri, Venkatanarayana 

10.2 (2013) ‘Climate change, materiality and rice’    (Barbara Harriss-White, Alfred Gathorne-Hardy, D Narasimha Reddy, D Mishra and R Hema)

10.3 (2014)  ‘A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from SRI and Flooded Rice Production in SE India’ Special issue on SRI’ ed Norman Uphoff Taiwan Journal of Water Conservancy vol 61 no 4, pp 110-125 [Alfred Gathorne-Hardy, with D. Narasimha Reddy, Motkuri VenkatanarayanaVenkatanarayana Motkuri and Barbara Harriss-White]

10.4 (2014) ‘The Micro-political economy of gains by unorganised labour in India’s informal economy’ version Economic and Political Weekly vol XLIX no 9 pp 39-43 March 1st (Barbara Harriss-White with Valentina Prosperi)

10.5 (2014) ‘The Roles of India’s Informal Economy’ Yojana (Govt of India Ministry of Planning, vol 58, pp 21-30 (Barbara Harriss-White)

[English circulation 80,000.  Circulation in all major Indian languages over 200,000).

10.6 (2014)Labour and petty production’  Development and Change Special Issue: FORUM 2014 September Volume 45, Issue 5 pp 981-1000 (Barbara Harriss-White)

10.7 (2014) ‘Innovation in India’s Informal Economy’  Social Development Forum 1/2014, Council for Social Development, New Delhi  (Booklet)  (Barbara Harriss-White)

(also submitted to the IBG conference on ‘Geographies of Co-production’ , Royal Geographical Society, 2014 and (ed) (CLIMURB) Urban Poverty and Climate Change (Routledge Earthscan)

10.8 (2015)  The Foodgrains Economy in Northern Tamil Nadu, 1973-2010: local capitalist transformations’ ch 3 in (ed) B Harriss-White Middle India and its Urban-Rural dynamism: four decades of change in Tamil Nadu, New Delhi, Springer  (Barbara Harriss-White)

– accepted to date

 10.9  ‘Science-Policy Interfaces in an Era of Global Commodification’  chapter for ‘(eds) C.Raj Kumar, Shiv Visvanathan, R. Sudarshan and Y.S.R.Murthy The Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives, New Delhi, OUP  (BHW)

10.10   ‘Innovation in the Informal Economy of Mofussil India’  in (eds) L Mitchell et al India as a Pioneer of Innovation: Constraints & Opportunities, New Delhi, OUP  (BHW)


10.11‘Rethinking Institutions: innovation and institutional change in India’s Informal Economy’,  Modern Asian Studies (BHW

10.12 ‘Pulling in the right direction - the carbon, economic and labour implications of tractors vs bullocks, and manure vs urea’,  Ambio AGH

10.13 ‘System of Rice Intensification reduces environmental impacts but at the expense of social sustainability - a multidisciplinary analysis in India’ Agricultural Systems

Alfred Gathorne-Hardy, D. Narasimha Reddy, Motkuri Venkatanarayana, Venkatanarayana Motkuri and Barbara Harriss-White

10.14 ‘The environmental, economic and social impacts of organic rice compared to conventional rice in South India’ Ecological Economics Alfred Gathorne-Hardy and Barbara Harriss-White


10.15 ‘Pudumai – innovation and institutional churning in India’s Informal Economy- a report from the field’ invited for the Sankaran Chair Working Paper Series, National Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad,   [BHW with Gilbert Rodrigo]