Tag Archives: India

UK Education Aid Is Making Significant Impact in India

Professor Geeta Kingdon from the Department of Education Economics and International Development at the Institue Of Education (IOE), University of London has suggested that UK education aid has contributed to India’s opportunities for underprivileged school children.  Recently, there has been controversy in the press regarding the UK Government’s commitment of £1 billion to support educational provision in India over a five year period.

Continue reading


Free Trade Agreement could threaten medicines for world’s poor

India has been described at the ‘pharmacy of the developing world’, providing a high proportion of the cheap drugs used by people living in poor countries.  But this could now be under threat as the European Union negotiates a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India.  Campaigners from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and other NGOs are now calling for changes to be made to the agreement to ensure that life-saving drugs will still be available to many of the world’s poor. 

Continue reading

Microfinance controversies: should international aid support microfinance?

Recent media coverage of microfinance has focused largely on scandals surrounding the microcredit industry in Andhra Pradesh, India. Outlets from the BBC to the Financial Times to the Sydney Morning Herald have run stories about the implosion of the microfinance industry in Andhra Pradesh, and just today another article has appeared in the Guardian’s Poverty Matters Blog. So what really happened, and is it representative of the microfinance industry as a whole? Continue reading

Food: A constitutional right?

A New York Times article yesterday reported a push by the governing Indian National Congress Party’s head to create a constitutional right to food and entitle every Indian family to a monthly 77-pound bag of grain, sugar and kerosene. Some believe making food a legal right would benefit the poor by allowing them to demand what they are rightfully entitled to. However, others within the party question whether the current delivery system is the right way forward and argue for food vouchers and coupons that would free the poor from government choices and allow them to buy what they want.

Although India does not face food shortages, it continues deal with a population reeling from hunger and poverty. According to the UK Department for International Development, 456 million Indians – 42 percent of the population – live in poverty and comprise one-third of the world’s poor. This figure is higher than the number of poor people living in all Sub-Saharan African countries combined. According to the New York Times article, research has shown that 70 percent of the food budget allocated to help the poor is wasted, stolen or absorbed by bureaucratic and transportation costs.

Continue reading

Controversy over commercialisation of microfinance organisations

The rift between microfinance institutions (MFIs) who’ve decisively turned to commercialisation and those who believe that MFIs must retain their altruistic spirit by remaining non-profit organizations has further widened during the last few weeks, when it was revealed that SKS Microfinance, India’s largest MFI, which serves about 5.5 million clients intends to raise $250 million in an initial public offering (IPO). This means that they will be offering shares in the MFI to be bought by the public for the first time, and they will therefore become accountable to their shareholders for delivering a return upon their investment – effectively meaning that they will be required to make a profit. Continue reading

Women and Microfinance

As pointed out in our introductory post on International Women’s Day, it is estimated that 70% of the poorest people worldwide are women. Women accomplish two-thirds of the world’s working hours yet they only earn 10% of the world’s income and own less than 1% of the world’s property.

An extremely entrenched set of discriminatory attitudes and practices has fostered this situation and jeopardises any attempts at reversing the trend. Women in developing countries are thus trapped in a vicious circle of multiple discrimination related to gender and poverty; as a cause as well as a consequence, they are disproportionately excluded from access to economic resources in general and access to financial services in particular – access that would allow them to durably escape poverty.

Not only are these circumstances appallingly unjust and deserve to be tackled as such, but they also represent a colossal obstacle to development altogether.   Continue reading

Debbie leaves RESULTS UK for India

It is with great regret that we have to bid farewell to Debbie Laycock, the Coordinator for the APPG on Tuberculosis. After almost two years with the APPG – which is hosted by RESULTS – Debbie is off to  India to volunteer with VSO. She will be working with an HIV organisation in Kolkata supporting them to develop monitoring and evaluation systems. If her excellent work with the APPG is anything to go by she will do a fantastic job!

All of us at RESULTS are sad to see her go and wish her all the very best.

The APPG on Tuberculosis does have a new coordinator starting later in February, and we’ll be introducing him to everyone soon.