The Council is leading multiple institutions in the RASTA initiative, which uses a collaborative research platform to track India’s progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to enhance in-country capacity for producing high-quality, timely, and disaggregated data.  

Why it Matters: In order to respond to program and policy questions with high-quality evidence, there is a need to strengthen India’s in-country capacity for data analysis and program-oriented research. Greater efforts are needed to thoroughly monitor India’s SDG progress.  

The Approach: This six-year project began in 2017 and will conclude in 2023. 

What we are doing: 

  • Organizing consultations with the central government, state governments, and other key stakeholders to collaboratively identify research topics and to organize workshops.  
  • Promoting evidence use and enhancing coordination across a range of partners.  
  • Providing recommendations for improved program implementation and learning across numerous research domains, including maternal and child health, family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH), communicable and noncommunicable diseases, education, gender, climate change, and migration.  
  • Engaging with 15 young researchers who represent 11 Indian states to strengthen analytical skills. 

The Big Picture: 

  • The initiative has filled critical evidence gaps and has informed program, policy, and investment decisions, including those concerning adolescent health and family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) access in the context of COVID-19.  
  • RASTA scholars have published more than 40 research papers in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals.