Path-breaking village-level studies with over 40 years of data will be available at ICRISAT for further research with support from the Jim and Wendy Ryan Endowment Fund. Instituted by the former Director General of ICRISAT, Dr Jim Ryan and his wife Wendy Ryan, this new fund will support researchers undertaking agricultural economics studies with data from the Village Level Studies (VLS) and the Village Dynamic Studies in South Asia (VDSA) that have been carried out by ICRISAT.
The VLS and VDSA data have provided various socio-economic insights on policy and on institutional constraints in agricultural development. Recognized by World Bank as an International Public Good and ‘the goose that lays golden eggs’, these datasets have been extensively cited since they provided valuable insights on development concerns.
Snapshots from the past: Vintage pictures of Dr Jim Ryan and Wendy Ryan. Photo: ICRISAT
Leader of the Economics Program at ICRISAT from 1974 to 1983, Dr Jim Ryan served as the institution’s Director General from 1991 to 1997. Speaking of why they set up the fund, Dr Ryan said, “My wife and I have a deep affection for India and for ICRISAT. Having spent almost 15 years there, we thought we would like to leave a legacy that builds on the work. I was associated with ICRISAT in the early days, setting up Village Level Studies and putting in a lot of work, that built an international reputation. We thought the best way we could encourage people to make use of that database, which is rather unique, was to lend support to magnetizing scholars from around the world to make effective use of that data, for the rural poor of the semi-arid tropics.”
Several new research papers are expected to be published using this data.
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