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 interventions 2021: Lib tech will be supporting village volunteers to ensure early screening and identification of COVID cases, ensuring timely medicines and treatment through PHCs, and also mobilise and motivate communities for testing and treatment and for vaccination. In ITDA areas working with the government to help sending out audio messages to people using Libtech's broadcast system and setting up helplines.
  • The Fellowship to Improve National Schemes (FINS) The Fellowship to Improve National Schemes (FINS) is an effort designed to support activists and organisations working to improve NREGA and other public services. We have developed this programme in partnership with the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) and are collaborating with them in 26 blocks across Rajasthan, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. We are also collaborating with PRADAN in a few blocks of Jharkhand.
  • MGNREGA The research is part of a larger project conducted by Samaj Pragati Sahayog (SPS), Dewas and members of the MGNREGA Consortium. It involves secondary data analysis and primary data collection in a number of states in which CSO partners of the Consortium have been working. The key research question is how well did MGNREGA performits role as a safety net during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Strengthening last mile delivery of welfare schemes and entitlements to tribal communities in Andhra Pradesh Strengthening last mile delivery of welfare schemes and entitlements to tribal communities in Andhra Pradesh: Using government data from websites, and supplemented by rapid surveys and village audits in Paderu in Visakhapatnam, the studies identify bottlenecks in the delivery of MNREGS, Rythu Bharosa and Amma Vodi schemes. These reports are used to monitor the implementation at ground level, and for advocacy with district and state level officials to bring about necessary changes in the implementation processes.
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