Impact Update March 2016 to March 2017



Grant reference RES-167-25-MTRUYG0; ES/1033768/1



Progress of your research project: MARCH 2016 TO MARCH 2017






Project progress: March 2016 to March 2017.

Since March, Prof Deepak Mishra, JNU, is finishing work on rainfed rice in Odisha developed from his role in the project.

Prof Aseem Prakash, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad, has developed an ambitious master’s curriculum in Public Policy based on this project’s field research in the informalisation of policy.

Dr Alfred Gathorne-Hardy is research director of the Oxford-India Centre for Sustainable Development. Somerville College, Oxford, and feeds the project results directly into his professional work.  He is preparing a short book on research methods and guidelines for Life Cycle Assessment in the Informal Economy. The Palgrave Pivot series has expressed interest.

Prof Barbara Harriss-White has also made progress

1. finishing the project’s paper on the field-based application of multi-criteria mapping of mitigation technology for agriculture,

2. co-writing a paper with the field research staff from the New Trade Union Initiative on labour in the supply chain of rice for Chennai; (with Mohan Mani, Gautam Mody and Meghna Sukumar) forthcoming  ‘Provisioning Chennai: Labour in the Rice Supply Chain’. in  (ed) A Narayanamoorthy Agriculture and Rural India after the Economic Reforms  (Sage/Routledge tbc)


3. revising project-based papers on innovation in the informal economy for one high-impact journal 3.1. 2017 Rethinking Institutions: Innovation and Institutional Change in India's Informal Economy, Modern Asian Studies and two book chapters. 3.2.with Gilbert Rodrigo , 2016, ‘Innovation in the Context of Climate Change: What is happening in India’s Informal Economy, ch 11, pp 187-201 in (ed) Manoj Roy, S Cawood, M Hordrijk and D Hulme, Urban Poverty and Climate Change: Life in the slums of Asia, Africa and Latin America, Abingdon, Routledge; 3.3. 2017 ‘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) / (Univ of Pennsylvania)


Project Impact: March 2016 to March 2017

Conference cum meeting: complex recipe

12th-13th July 2016, Oxford-India Centre:

In a direct development from this project, two project participants (BHW and AGH) collaborated to organise an international conference at Oxford University, funded by Tata Trusts India, staged in the new Blavatnik School of Government and bringing together multi-disciplinary ideas about nutrition, the environment and social and political power.

Over 100 participants included academics from Europe, North America, South Asia and Africa as well as staff of multinational corporations involved in the food sector, UN agencies, third sector individuals from NGOs and thank tanks in the UK and India, international policy makers and high profile politicians, and media people (documentary film makers and public-artists).

More details and on-going follow-up can be found here:

February 2017

International workshop on Relational Agency Pathways Into and Out of Poverty, during Green Revolutions

Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai, India,

This project of SPRU, Sussex University and MIDS, Chennai will revisit villages studied in the project being reported here, under which the 5th round of village surveys since 1972 was carried out. BHW presented an overview of the relation between agricultural technology and development and rural poverty over five rounds of village surveys:’ THE GREEN REVOLUTION AND POVERTY IN NORTHERN TAMIL NADU – A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF RESEARCH IN THE LAST HALF CENTURY’


Publications since March 2016

Alfred Gathorne-Hardy, D. Narasimha Reddy, Motkuri Venkatanarayana

and Barbara Harriss-White,  2016,Venkatanarayana Motkuri ‘System of Rice Intensification reduces environmental impacts but at the expense of social sustainability - a multidisciplinary analysis in India’ Agricultural Systems.  Vol. 143, pp. 159-168.


Barbara Harriss-White, 2016, ‘From Analysing ”Filieres Vivrieres” to understanding Capital and Petty Production in rural South India’, Journal of Agrarian Change 16(3) pp. 478-500.

Barbara Harriss-White with Gilbert Rodrigo, 2016, ‘Innovation in the Context of Climate Change: What is happening in India’s Informal Economy?’, ch. 11, pp. 187-201 in (ed.) Manoj Roy, S Cawood, M Hordrijk and D Hulme, Urban Poverty and Climate Change: Life in the slums of Asia, Africa and Latin America, Abingdon, Routledge.

Alfred Gathorne-Hardy 2016 The sustainability of changes in agricultural technology: The carbon, economic and labour implications of mechanisation and synthetic fertiliser use Ambio.;45 (8):885-894. Epub 2016 Jun 6.

Alfred Gathorne-Hardy and Barbara Harriss-White 2017 ‘The environmental, economic and social impacts of organic rice compared to conventional rice in South India’ Ecological Economics


Teaching: summer 2016

Lessons from the ESRC-DFID funded project have been built into a new MSc options course at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University, on ‘Sustainable Nutrition’, taught by both AGH and BHW, with additional inputs from modellers, policy makers and NGOs.

Policy engagement

Prof Harriss-White has been nominated by the Sorbonne’s IEDES and approved by the French Government to serve in the ‘international college’ of  the French Government’s Conseil National de Developpement et Solidarite International which meets thrice a year to discuss French aid (top priority in which, post COP 21, is aid and finance for a low carbon transition).

So the project results are regularly fed into debates in the Quai d’Orsay (as they also have been when appropriate during BHW’s 6 year period of service on DFID’s Research Advisory Group for the Chief Scientific Adviser).


Capacity Building, March 2016 to March 2017:

March 2016 Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore, Pakistan :

Capacity-building Workshop on ‘Informality across the Frontiers’.  BHW was senior organiser, bringing mainly Indian literature to Pakistan to be presented and discussed by local faculty. 12 participants from economics, anthropology, history and politics from three top universities in Lahore participated in a fertile two-day brainstorming.


Non-academic Stakeholders, March 2016 to March 2017:

See collaboration with New Trade Union Initiative (under Progress above) and see the report on the Complex Recipe conference, (under Impact above).