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Grants for Penn’s Center for the Advanced Study of India
January 27, 2009, Volume 55, No. 19

MacArthur Foundation Grant to Study Diasporas

The University of Pennsylvania has received a $366,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to support the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI), which will conduct empirically based case studies of diaspora/home country interactions.

The grant will cover a 26-month period that will include case study research examining Mexico, Russia, India, Argentina and will fund commissioned papers on institutional, policy and analytical issues for a book and for a workshop, to be held in Washington, DC, at the World Bank.

The project will investigate the increased importance of diaspora networks to home economies that goes beyond direct economic impacts alone, either through technology transfer or “knowledge networks.” The project will additionally help to understand how such institutional developments inform and advance policy debate.

Dr. Devesh Kapur, director of CASI and the Madan Lal Sobti Professor for the Study of Contemporary India at Penn, is the principal investigator and will lead the India case study team.

Some of the case-study researchers are from the Higher School of Economics in Russia, Flacso in Mexico and the University of California, Berkeley.

The World Bank will provide additional funding for South Korea’s study.

One of the projects main collaborators is Yevgeny Kuznetsov, senior economist in the Knowledge for Development Program at the World Bank Institute.

Founded in 1992, the CASI is the only research institution in the United States dedicated to the study of contemporary India. A national resource, it fills an urgent need for objective knowledge of India’s politics and society, rapidly changing economy and emerging major power. The Center’s key goals are to nurture a new generation of scholars across disciplines and to provide a forum for dialogue among the academic, business, and foreign policy communities.

Gates Foundation Grant to Develop an Indian Healthcare Ratings System

The University of Pennsylvania has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the Center for the Advanced Study of India, which will develop a method of rating healthcare at Indian hospitals. This is the second Gates Foundation grant since 2007 to support CASI, and it comes at a critical time when the healthcare industry in India is experiencing unprecedented growth in both the private and public sectors.

The $374,547 grant will support the initial phase of the project, focusing on the Indian state of Karnataka. CASI researchers will undertake a comprehensive series of consultations with stakeholders including patients and consumers, insurance companies, and healthcare providers. The information will be used to establish a methodology for rating hospitals. If successful, a rating program would be rolled out in a subsequent five-year implementation phase. Dr. Kapur is the principal investigator on the project. He said: “The Indian healthcare system faces severe problems in virtually every dimension and the rising healthcare needs of a rapidly growing patient population are putting ever greater pressures on resources. We intend to address one aspect of this complex problem, namely the poor quality of service delivery, by creating a healthcare ratings system that provides a sound basis for evaluating the quality of tertiary health providers. We are grateful to the Gates Foundation for supporting this vital project.”

Also participating in the project are three partner organizations in Bangalore: the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB), St. John’s Medical College and Hospital (a charitable hospital) and Brickwork India, a knowledge process outsourcing and consulting services company. CASI will also draw on the expertise of researchers from Penn Medicine to introduce perspectives from the US experience.

Also planned in the initial phase is development of an advocacy web group, which will connect experts and other interested parties from the large global Indian health community with counterparts in India to facilitate efforts to improve Indian healthcare.


Almanac - January 27, 2009, Volume 55, No. 19