DC Jalandhar Ghanshyam Thori
Jalandhar establishes Public Policy Lab with Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Jalandhar, March 28,2021:The District Administration, Jalandhar has established a Public Policy and Good Governance Lab in partnership with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to promote government and academia linkages that can facilitate and address the pressing social, economic, and governance challenges of the district, and by extension the State of Punjab.
It is the first such initiative in the State of Punjab where a platform is being created to facilitate and support government-academia linkages to address district-level public policy and public administration challenges.
The Public Policy and Good Governance Lab would further support the work of the existing Policy Cell established within the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Jalandhar that facilitates evidence-driven public administration by integrating technology into governance practices.
“The Public Policy and Good Governance Lab would provide a unique platform for youth across Punjab to gain guidance from renowned experts in the field of Public Policy and Governance in India and contribute effectively to the socio-economic development of the district”, said Mr. Ghanshyam Thori, Deputy Commissioner, Jalandhar.
He further added that “The need for evidence-based public administration in implementing the public policy was always vivid in the day to day workings of a district. However, the COVID 19 pandemic has shown that there is also a need to undertake research to support policy design feedback mechanisms from the grassroots to counter niche or regional challenges in governance. The focus of this lab would be to ensure that the vision of the Hon’ble Chief Minister is realized on the ground and each citizen receives their entitlements without any structural or operational hindrance whatsoever.”
Echoing a similar sentiment, Prof. Shalini Bharat, Vice-Chancellor / Director of Tata Institute of Social Sciences said, “The COVID 19 pandemic has shown the significance of using district driven policy innovations and models, not only in managing COVID 19 but also in addressing the negative social and economic externalities of the pandemic. The districts were not only involved in policy implementation but also served as important sites for policy design and policy innovation. TISS has always been at the forefront of supporting state governments in promoting accountable governance embedded in a framework of equity and social justice. Therefore, we seized this opportunity to establish government-academia linkage in the form of the Public Policy and Good Governance Lab in Jalandhar, Punjab. This would be the third such lab launched by TISS to support policy innovation at the grassroots levels”.
Dr. Aseem Prakash, Professor at the School of Public Policy and Governance, who has conceptualized this initiative added, “The new discourse of Public Policy in India has been district-oriented. Since the restructuring of the Planning Commission into NITI Aayog, we have seen more freedom being given to federal states and districts to undertake innovative policy measures to increase efficiency in public service delivery and to improve the quality of life of the citizens.”
All projects and activities developed under the Public Policy and Good Governance Lab will be anchored at the School of Public Policy and Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad off-campus. External expertise, technology collaborations, and human resources will be drawn from across Schools and Centres of TISS and other external organizations as and when required.
The existing practice of the district administration to recruit young interns from local educational institutions to provide exposure to the workings of the government would now get integrated into the Policy Lab where dedicated expert guidance will also be available to the students to support the policy practices of the government.
The Policy Lab is expected to facilitate more efficient policy implementation that would be supported by periodic monitoring and evaluation studies. It will also undertake policy research to systematically understand emerging global and local policy trends. It will help the government to develop scientific tools and indicators for policy monitoring and evaluation at the district level and undertake M&E studies for existing policies and new policy experiments in the district.
By documenting the best practices in governance, initiated and implemented successfully by the district administration, and by conducting capacity building programs for line and staff agencies of the district administration, the Policy Lab is also expected to foster better policy implementation and good governance across the state of Punjab. Applications for internship at the Policy Lab are expected to open in the second week of May 2021.