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CDF comments on MoEF proposal to create NEPA
Author(s):Rajesh Rangarajan
Membership:Environmental Quality and Justice

In order to improve the effectiveness of the environmental governance regime in India, the Ministry of Environment & Forests has proposed the creation of a National Environment Protection Authority (NEPA). A discussion paper has been posted on the Ministry's website for public comment. In response to this, CDF has developed and submitted comments and suggestions analysing the the various options laid out in this proposal that are aimed at integrating the existing agencies such as the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and clearly delineating responsibilites under the proposed new regime.

Context of Poverty
Author(s):Jessica Wallack

Author(s):Muthukumaran Krishnamoorthi

De-mystifying Impact Assessment
Author(s):Joanne Sprague
Membership:Impact assessment methodology

This note aims to provide a basic summary of the field of impact assessment (IA) in development, and to de-mystify this seemingly complex topic to some extent. We start by defining what we believe impact is - the difference between what actually happened as a result of an organization’s program implementation and what would have happened if the programs had not been implemented at all. Next, we explore how to assess impact. Historically, the challenges of isolating the impact of a program have led organizations to assess themselves on measures that fall short of impact, such as outreach quantity or fund utilization. More recently, the development sector is moving towards assessing actual changes in the lives of clients, which is a much more accurate but far more difficult task. Moreover, there seems to be no consensus on terminology for this field of study – the following terms are often used interchangeably: impact assessment, impact evaluation, impact management, performance management, results measurement, monitoring and evaluation, and so on. We believe that no matter what the preferred jargon, a holistic approach to the topic of impact assessment would lend clarity of purpose to the task.

Environment Sustainability Index for Indian States 2008
Author(s):Rupanwita Dash
Membership:ESI:Environmentally Sustainability Index

Full report on Environmental sustainability index for indian states with complete methodology, framework and analysis of comparative performance of various states across various dimensions of environment.

Expenditure Governance and Information Technology: Assessing India’s Situation and Potential - Nirvikar Singh
Author(s):Jay Chaudhuri
Membership:From Outlays to Outcomes


Given the acknowledged poor quality and effectiveness of much government expenditure in India, it is important to analyze ways of improving effectiveness through better monitoring of expenditures and outcomes. Improvements in outcomes include better targeting of redistributive measures and more efficient spending on productive projects. Improvements in information and monitoring are an essential component of better accountability, which in turn can provide incentives for better expenditure quality. Information technology provides an important potential tool for achieving these goals. This paper examines the problems of expenditure quality in India, discusses a conceptual framework for improvements in accountability, and analyzes the role of information technology, drawing on international experiences where possible to derive guidance for future expenditure governance IT applications in India. IT has a dual role to play in increasing expenditure efficiency and effectiveness. First, its use can improve internal government processes. Second, transparency, accountability, and responsiveness can be enhanced by using IT to alter the citizen-government interface. The two roles are connected, and are best integrated for benefits to be realized.