The International Growth Centre (IGC), based at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), has been awarded a $4.2 million grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a new programme helping researchers, practitioners and policymakers seeking sustainable poverty alleviation in India.
The three-year programme, Building evidence, evaluation capacity and use, with an emphasis on Bihar, will draw from the IGC’s extensive experience in India to provide demand-led, evidence-backed policy advice to Indian policymakers on promoting sustainable economic growth.
This is the first major philanthropic grant from the Gates Foundation awarded to LSE. The grant will support the programme in helping to strengthen and develop an effective and sustainable research, monitoring, and evaluation ecosystem from its base in Patna, the state capital of Bihar. In alignment with the Gates Foundation’s work, this research will focus on issues related to health and development in Bihar.
Professor Jonathan Leape, Executive Director of the IGC, commented: “This partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation represents an exciting new stage in our research and policy work in India. By building on our existing close collaboration with stakeholders in Bihar this grant will enable us to support Bihar in developing an even stronger culture of using evidence to make better policy decisions.”
Usha Kiran Tarigopula, Country Lead, State Health and Community Systems in the India Country Office, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, commented: “This investment with IGC will help build a stronger ecosystem of health and development research and evaluation in Bihar, by co-generating evaluation with policymakers and strengthening local research capacity to address evidence gaps in priority areas for the state.”
Dame Minouche Shafik, Director of LSE, welcomed the announcement: “We are excited by the IGC’s new partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It serves to demonstrate that LSE is a natural partner for visionary philanthropists and a natural home for research expertise with real world relevance. By enabling the IGC to research and apply best academic evidence to solve some of Bihar’s biggest social and economic development challenges, the Gates Foundation is making a major contribution to addressing inequalities and alleviating poverty. We look forward to seeing the impact of this programme in India and beyond.”