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Mission

The Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) engages faculty and students through interdisciplinary programs to advance and deepen the teaching and research on global issues relevant to South Asia. 

About SAI | View the South Asia Institute video

Upcoming Events


Tue, December 13, 2016 from 08:00am - 10:00am

Webinar: Home-Based Workers: Invisible and Voiceless

Livelihood Creation Webinar

Click here to register.

 

Home-based workers produce goods or services for the market from within or around their own homes. In countries both rich and poor, they produce a wide range of low- and high-end goods and services for both domestic and global markets. Some of them are self-employed while others are sub-contracted. Today, these workers represent a significant share of urban employment in some countries, particularly for women, and especially in Asia.

6:30pm IST (8:00am EST)

This webinar will highlight that:

  • Homes are workplaces, especially for women workers.
  • Most home-based workers do not enjoy adequate economic opportunities, legal rights, social protection or representative voice.
  • Working from in or around their own homes, home-based workers’ contribution to the economy remain largely invisible and undervalued.

 

Dr. Martha (Marty) Chen, Harvard Kennedy School; Harvard Graduate School of Design
Professor Chen is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and an Affiliated Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is also the Co-Founder and International Coordinator of WIEGO. A renowned development scholar, Marty has steered WIEGO since its inception, turning the research, policy and action network into one of the world’s leading organizations focused on the informal economy. Her specialization includes employment, gender, and poverty with a focus on the working poor in the informal economy. Marty’s expertise is sought globally by a range of major institutions, from the European Commission and the International Labour Organization to the World Bank and the United Nations.

Sudhaben
Sudhaben is a home-based worker from the slums of Delhi. A migrant from eastern Uttar Pradesh,  she works as an embroidery worker, often doing embellishment work on products for global companies and brands. Suhdhaben’s income is critical to the well being of her family, and for the education of her children.

Moderated by Shalini Sinha, India Country Representative and Home-based Sector Specialist, WIEGO
Shalini’s work focuses on developing and documenting decent work and livelihoods opportunities for women workers in the informal economy, especially women home-based workers in urban locations in India. Shalini specializes in labour, gender and social development issues and has worked with several national and international NGOs and funding agencies.

START
Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 08:00am

END
Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 10:00am

Dec13 Webinar_NEW
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Tue, December 13, 2016 from 12:00pm - 01:30pm  /  CGIS South, S450

Assessing Impact of Feed-in-Tariff on Electric Grids in Developing World: A Socio-economic Perspective

Science and Technology Seminar

Fahad Javed, Aman Fellow, Harvard South Asia Institute

Discussant: Afreen SiddiqiVisiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Feed-in-tariffs to support solar photovoltaic (PV) cells deployment for home consumers has been one of the most actively supported policy measure across the globe for a greener, more resilient, and cost effective electric grid. However, as experience in some of the leading nations in solar PV deployment has shown, faulty tariff design may be very costly for all the stakeholders and sometimes result in detrimental outcomes.  Understanding how this policy will impact the consumers and the grid operations is of significant importance. Incidentally, feed-in-tariffs are being considered and offered in different regions in developing world including South Asia. To this end in this talk we discuss how energy demand simulations based on socio-economic realities of the region can be used to evaluate the impact of feed-in-tariffs on the electric grids. Furthermore, we discuss how such simulations can aid policy makers in improving the impact of policy measures, such as tax rebates etc., through better visibility provided by simulations of consumer behavior.

START
Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 12:00pm

END
Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 01:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S450

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

1213 Fahad
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Wed, December 14, 2016 from 08:00am - 10:00am

Webinar: Cities and Home-Based Workers

Livelihood Creation Webinar

Click here to register.

 

6:30pm IST (8:00am EST)

Local government policies and urban plans have a direct and strong impact on home-based workers. Because their home is their workplace, home-based workers are more directly affected than other workers by government policies and practices regarding housing (notably, slum upgrading and/or slum eviction-relocation schemes), basic infrastructure services (notably, the availability and cost of electricity but also water and sanitation), and zoning regulations (notably, whether commercial activities are allowed in residential areas). They may also be affected by the accessibility and cost of public transport, especially if they are forced to relocate at great distances from their customers, markets or contractors.

This webinar will highlight:

  • Why the city governments and urban planners need to integrate home-based workers and their livelihood activities into local economic development plans.
  • Why the city governments need to extend basic infrastructure to the homes-cum-workplaces of home-based workers and transport services to the settlements where they live and work.
  • Some promising examples of where and how this can be done.

 

Dr. Martha (Marty) Chen, Harvard Kennedy School; Harvard Graduate School of Design
Professor Chen is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and an Affiliated Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is also the Co-Founder and International Coordinator of WIEGO. A renowned development scholar, Marty has steered WIEGO since its inception, turning the research, policy and action network into one of the world’s leading organizations focused on the informal economy. Her specialization includes employment, gender, and poverty with a focus on the working poor in the informal economy. Marty’s expertise is sought globally by a range of major institutions, from the European Commission and the International Labour Organization to the World Bank and the United Nations.

Moderated by Shalini Sinha, India Country Representative and Home-based Sector Specialist, WIEGO
Shalini’s work focuses on developing and documenting decent work and livelihoods opportunities for women workers in the informal economy, especially women home-based workers in urban locations in India. Shalini specializes in labour, gender and social development issues and has worked with several national and international NGOs and funding agencies.

Bijal Brahmbhatt, Director, Mahila Housing SEWA Trust, Ahmedabad
Bijal is a civil engineer by training and is a recognized expert in habitat improvement, community development and housing finance. She oversees the MHT’s (Mahila Housing SEWA Trusts) operations at the national level and has experience in conceptualizing planning, managing and providing support for slum up gradation programmes across India. Bijal has authored several publication / papers on livelihood and habitat, housing finance and community development.

START
Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 08:00am

END
Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 10:00am

Dec14 Webinar
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Wed, December 14, 2016 from 03:00pm - 04:00pm  /  CGIS South

Weekly Tea Break

Harvard faculty, students, fellows, staff, and affiliates are invited to a weekly tea break at SAI’s office, 4th floor of 1730 Cambridge Street. Come enjoy tea and snacks and get to know SAI’s community.

START
Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 03:00pm

END
Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 04:00pm

VENUE
CGIS South, 4th Floor

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

Nice_Cup_of_Tea
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News


Student voices: Underground banking in Myanmar

Jasmine Chia, Harvard College ’18, started her summer in Myanmar intending to study Vipassana Buddhism, but became fascinated with a different topic: a banking phenomenon that explains the links between capitalist religion and political engagement.

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A change called NeHA

In an article for the Indian Express, Satchit Balsari and Tarun Khanna write that the proposed National e-Health Authority could launch a digital health revolution in India, but safeguards need to be in place to protect patients’ privacy. This is in follow up to the recently held Radcliffe Advanced Seminar, “Exchanging Health Information.”

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Election reflections: White with rage

In a column for the Indian Express, Ashutosh Varshney, Brown University, who studies ethnic conflict and peace, democracy, and political economy in India, argues that the Trump vote is not primarily born of globalization anxieties, but is rather the outcome of white nationalism.

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Student voices: Beef bans in India

Shaiba Rather, Harvard College ’17, spent her summer conducting research for her senior thesis on the bans of the production and consumption of beef in India. “This topic contributes to a larger question of how identity politics are mobilized in multicultural democracies,” she writes.

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Shafiqul Islam wins Water Prize

Islam is the director of the Boston Water Group, a diverse group of researchers and practitioners who but work around the world to address problems that involve water.

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Disease and politics: Lessons from Calcutta and Canton

At a recent meeting of the Brown/Harvard/MIT Joint Seminar on South Asian Politics on Oct. 14,
Prerna Singh, Brown University, compared the success of the smallpox vaccine in 19th century Calcutta and Canton to show that new medical technologies must be embedded in existing cultural norms to be effective.

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Alum Q+A: Lessons from Dadabhai Naoroji

Dinyar Patel, a Harvard alum who is now an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina, recently co-edited a volume of selected correspondences from the Dadabhai Naoroji Papers. “People like Naoroji were talking about a lot of similar issues to what politicians are talking about now in India,” Patel said in an interview with SAI.

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