Beyond the conventional fad of “data” in the parlance of bureaucracy, the term evidence base has, of late, become more popular in the semantics of public policy and practice around the world. In India the practice still continues to be essentially one of “self reliance”, wherein governments are comfortable with the beaten track. On the supply side, the statistical departments generate data; on the other the programme administering departments use such data. But the experience so far is largely of a mismatch between supply and demand.
The problem is graver in the case of enterprise development where sensitive aspects such as knowledge, creativity, and achievement motivation are the driving forces of income opportunities of ordinary people. Here, beyond data, one needs solid evidence to tackle day to day issues of governance.
As part of the deliberations of the China Jubilee Kick off Meet, of the ISED Small Enterprise Observatory, an expert panel deliberated on the role of evidence base for enterprise, entrepreneurship development and livelihoods promotion in India. The debates where focused on four critical areas as follows:
- Local Economic Development
- Industry and Entrepreneurship
- Finance and Enterprise Development
- Gender and Enterprise Development
The distinguished speakers included Dr.Mridul Eapen and Dr.Jayan Jose Thomas, Members,State Planning Board,Dr. M.P.Sukumaran Nair, Chairman,RIAB,and Mr.Jiji Mammen,CEO,MUDRA. The speakers generally underscored the serious gaps as it exist today, and suggested measures for improving the knowledge base on enterprise, entrepreneurship, and livelihoods.