Negotiating precarity: governance and agency in hydropower development in the Eastern Himalayan margins of India
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Through the ethnographic case study of downtown Srinagar locality of Indian administered Kashmir, the thesis depicts the employment of informal institutions in response to zulm. From the range of experiences of residents living under the prevalent social condition of zulm, the thesis unpacks the interplay of informal institution of rasookh (with the formal institutions of the state) as a significant means to ease the experience of zulm. This way, the thesis brings in novel insights nuancing the region from mainland India with respect to clientelist networking. In the Indian context, the studies depict use of networks vis-à-vis competing material aspects, whereas, in Kashmir they get employed to mitigate violence and ensure physical security of life, much like other imprisoned sites in the world. Further, the thesis adds to understanding of the neo-institutionalist literature within peace and conflict studies by visibilising the mostly invisible aspect (of the society) in the debate.
In this context, impact investing (a mix of private and public money for social and environmental good) is increasingly used for aid delivery as it aims to deliver with greater value for money than aid funds alone. How social and environmental impact is measured in these investments is important in how they make a positive difference in the lives of the most vulnerable. It is easy otherwise for huge amounts of money to be directed towards that which is easy to measure over that which has the most impact.
This seminar explores the extent to which current measurement practices can capture the aspects that beneficiaries of those investments value. The research asked Vanilla farmers in Veracruz, Mexico and Development banks in the country to see common ways of understanding. The common features can help us start to look at measurement in a way that helps it direct money to the most impactful and sustainable projects.
Speaker: Jeanette Baxter – Anglian Ruskin University