State Capacity Initiative

The State Capacity Initiative at CPR is an interdisciplinary research and practice programme focused on addressing the challenges of the 21st-century Indian state. The purpose of this initiative is to place the critical challenges of building state capacity at the heart of the field of policy research in India, where it has always belonged but remains surprisingly marginalised. We therefore start with first principles and ground ourselves in existing realities to deepen and expand the understanding of the challenges and possibilities of building state capacity in democratic and federal India. Our programme of work focuses on the changing roles of the Indian state; institutional design, implementation and administrative capacity especially at the state-level; the particular challenges of regulatory and fiscal capacity; and the complex and changing relations between society, politics and state capacity in India.

The Initiative will work across sectors and states to identify and address a number of critical, cross-cutting/ transversal issues and it will be both interdisciplinary and comparative in its approach, learning as deeply, broadly, rigorously and responsively as required.

The State Capacity Initiative at CPR is a long-term institutional commitment to developing and sustaining an ecosystem of engagement that will:

  • Build an analytical framework for understanding and addressing the challenges of state capacity in India
  • Generate a body of research based on high quality evidence, meaningful synthesis and high impact analysis
  • Deepen the public debate on state capacity in India and build a shared vision for reform
  • Develop and sustain networks and communities of practice across states, sectors and spheres (government, politics, development partners, academia, civil society and the media); and
  • Translate into catalytic design-support engagements with the State – across different levels, regions and sectors