Articles authored by Datta, Dipankar

Practical Notes

Rice banks are increasingly used in South-East Asia as a means of addressing seasonal food crises facing poor communities. Despite general agreement about the effectiveness of community-managed rice banks in improving food security, there has been almost no research into their effectiveness in reaching the poorest, or the prospects of sustainability linked to regular repayments of rice.


The present article documents the programme strategy that has been used to address the challenges of social assistance schemes in Orissa, India. Key aspects of the strategy are: community mobilisation; use of mobile technology, web and media for community-led evidence-based advocacy at the local level; and graduating this effort to address structural issues at the state level. Key challenges in the process were to minimise tension among different stakeholders, and to bring changes in attitude of communities who were habituated in receiving services instead of demanding them.