NITI Aayog has been engaging with State Governments to evolve a shared vision of national development and strategies from time to time to share the best practices. In this context, India Consensus - a partnership between Tata Trusts and Copenhagen Consensus which has undertaken more than 160 cost-benefit analyses across all main policy areas in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan presented their findings on 14th June 2018 in NITI Aayog. The presentation on evidence-based policy prioritisation model was chaired by Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog. It was attended by Chief Secretaries, Additional Chief Secretaries/Principal Secretaries/Secretaries dealing with the Planning Department of 32 States and Union Territories, Joint Secretaries from 14 Ministries, senior officers from NITI Aayog, eminent economists and researchers. Copenhagen Consensus President, Dr Bjorn Lomborg presented the policies and interventions which generate the most social, economic and environmental good for the States.
The focus of the presentation was on how this approach and method could be replicated across other States. There was extensive discussion on the cost benefit analysis of seven specific research themes- Conditional Cash Transfer for ANC visits, doubling teacher-pupil ratio at school, using technology enabled computer assisted learning at the right level, promoting secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, improving private sector TB care, propagating E- mandis to reduce middle-men super profits and improving land records digitisation.
The meeting demonstrated alternative ways to prioritizing policies using data on social and economic benefit and cost. The suggestions included how to use the evidence based tool in prioritizing policies and cost benefit studies. Shireen Vakil, Head Policy and Advocacy, Tata Trusts shared the initiative undertaken by Trusts across the states in partnership with various stakeholders including NITI Aayog and Copenhagen Consensus center.
The India Consensus project started a year ago with two pilot states with identifying more than 1200 interventions in Rajasthan and almost 1000 interventions in Andhra Pradesh. Almost 160 cost benefit studies were conducted in both states covering all major sectors. The cost benefit studies were done for both States. The final outcomes of the Rajasthan priorities were presented in an outcome seminar to Chief Secretary, Addl Chief Secretaries, Pr. Secretaries from the State and honorable Chief Minister of Rajasthan before presenting to NITI Aayog.
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