About Cord

Collaborative Research and Dissemination (CORD) is an independent research group that seeks to articulate the problems of the disadvantaged based on field work and analysis of secondary data and documents. CORD endeavours to influence policy and public opinion by making its research findings accessible to the public. CORD's research dates back to 1994, when a larger team of researchers from various universities and institutions came together to bring out a public report on the status of basic education in India. The outcome was the publication of PROBE (Public Report on Basic Education, OUP-Delhi, 1999) in English and later in Hindi.

The LibTech Centre

From 2012 onwards CORD expanded its area of work to looking at issues related to governance. This initiative, known as LibTech, consists of a team of dedicated researchers, fieldworkers and engineers who use technology to understand the problems faced by beneficiaries of different welfare schemes and find resolutions. The first project under this initiative was "the use of mobile phones to arrest corruption in government schemes in Telengana and Jharkhand". Since then, several projects of this nature have been undertaken. This strand of CORD's work has been consolidated now as a separate Centre called "LibTech," short for Liberation Technology.

Using a rights-based framework, LibTech has worked on different policies, trying to make them transparent and disseminating data about them to those who can use the information to make the state accountable to them. The work is based on the belief that it is critical that policy design is people-centric and arrived at through wide consultation with all the stakeholders; the workers/beneficiaries, bureaucracy, field functionaries, etc. As a team, LibTech leverages digital technologies to improve how citizens obtain information about public programmes. One of the key goals is to harness public records available online and disseminate relevant information to citizens and civil society organisations (CSOs) in ways that are easy to access and consume. The key pillars of the work include Learning, Dissemination, Policy Intervention and Research.

Vivek Srinivasan heads the LibTech Centre. For more details on LibTech, see www.LibTech.in

Current Projects
  • COVID-19 relief activities: Presently CORD is supporting Libtech India in providing access and relief to much needed support systems and resources for the communities on the ground. This includes supplying dry rations to vulnerable tribal communities in Paderu region and migrant communities in Anakapalle of Andhra Pradesh. Efforts have also been made to help migrant labourers in travelling to their home village- this includes collaborating with other organizations and developing a data base of such migrants, organising their local as well as inter-state travel and supplying food during their journey. These activities have been supported by Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiative.
  • Strengthening last mile delivery of welfare schemes and entitlements to tribal communities in Andhra Pradesh: This project is in collaboration with Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiative and the Andhra Pradesh Government, and CORD and Libtech India are working together on this. It involves action research and interventions for improving delivery of the different welfare programmes for Tribal communities in Andhra Pradesh. The initial focus is on the functioning of MNREGS, Rythu Bharosa and Amma Vodi schemes. The working of the schemes will be analysed using website data and conducting rapid surveys and audits in three Gram Panchayats in one Mandal of Paderu division of Andhra Pradesh. The learnings will be used to conduct outreach activities and case studies in additional panchayats with the help of two other organizations, also funded by APPI.
  • Ensuring coverage of all the eligible citizens under various welfare schemes for tribal communities in Andhra Pradesh: CORD and Libtech India worked together on this pilot three month project (November 2019 to January 2020) to help the Tribal Welfare Department of the Government of Andhra Pradesh to eliminate the barriers and ensure coverage of all the eligible citizens under various welfare schemes being implemented for the welfare of the tribal Communities in the ITDA areas.
  • Gender budgeting in education: In collaboration with National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, CORD is doing a study on the extent to which budgets of Education Departments are sensitive to gender needs and in what ways can public finance be an enabler in bringing about gender equity in education. This study is conducted with and supported by National Coalition of Education in India and its member organizations.
  • Raising learning Outcomes in Diverse Contexts: As part of the Impact Initiative for International Development and Research CORD and other Indian research teams funded under the Raising Learning Outcomes Programme (RLO) for ESRC and DFID are collaborating to integrate the learnings from all the projects and present them to state and national level policy-makers.This is expected to enhance impact through leveraging the expanded geographical and contextual scope as well as widening research sub-domains. CORD is coordinating the effort.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation projects with Quest Alliance: In this 3 year project, CORD proposes to develop an end-to-end monitoring and evaluation framework including developing a monitoring and evaluation plan and conducting baseline and endline surveys. The project will focus on evaluating the challenges faced by disadvantaged students in continuing schooling, and out-of-school adolescents in acquiring further education and skills training.
  • Evaluation of Impact of Cluster Leadership Development Program (CLDP) In Delhi Schools CLDP focuses on developing leadership within the school system, so as to transform schools into learning organizations. Creatnet Education has asked CORD to do an impact evaluation of CLDP between February and September 2019.
  • People's Experience of Government to Citizen Payments: This is a collaborative research project with several independent researchers and is funded by Azim Premji University. The objective of this project is to study people's experiences of the last-mile of NREGA payments in government to citizen payments.
  • Combating Corruption with Mobile phones: The project is a collaborative venture between CORD, several other NGOs and independent researchers. This is the second phase of a project that was initiated by the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University with CORD as the implementing partner in India. The present phase of the project is supported by Tata Trusts and aims to scale substantially and create a social business model with revenue streams that could sustain the work in the future.
  • The Women's Empowerment in Nutrition Index (WENI): This is a joint research project under the IMMANA grant program that involves CORD, University of Texas, Austin and IGIDR, Mumbai. This project seeks to advance the understanding of the role of women's empowerment in mediating the relationship between agriculture and nutrition.
  • Learning Outcomes and Teacher Effectiveness for Children Facing Multiple Disadvantages- India and Pakistan: This is a research project involving CORD, University of Cambridge and IDEAS, Pakistan and supported by a grant from ESRC/DFID. The objective of this study is to identify the effective teaching practices that can best serve to raise learning outcomes for children who face multiple disadvantages related to disability, poverty and gender.
  • The Right to Education and the Emergence of Non-state Actors: The Case of India: CORD is collaborating with the University of Western Ontario for a research project that seeks to examine the development of the right to education in India. It aims to understand the changing relationships between the state and non-state actors. This project is funded by SSHRC.
  • End-Of-Programme Evaluation Of The Kusuma Schools Partnership Initiative Kusuma Kusuma Trust UK has commissioned Collaborative Research & Dissemination (CORD) for an end-of-programme evaluation of the Kusuma Schools Partnership Initiative. This project is focused on improving access to quality secondary education and other life opportunities for disadvantaged children and young people in Odisha and UP. The main purpose of the evaluation is to highlight key lessons learned and identify examples of good practices for wider dissemination.
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