What is the challenge?
The 21st century will be dominated by a host of global and local challenges. Evolving geopolitical equations, a worsening climate crisis, increasing socioeconomic disparities, and widespread technological upheaval are set to shape and transform our societies. This rapidly changing context warrants a fresh approach towards public policy. Traditional decision-making in Indian polity is ill-adept to deal with the demands of an uncertain new normal. It relies on institutional memory that perceives crises as acute shocks to be remedied via tactical short-term quick fixes. This approach needs to be changed by viewing crisis events as parts of larger chronic stresses that can only be addressed by implementing long-term strategic solutions. Such solutions cannot be formulated in the absence of rigorous research and analysis. We at Jnana Prabodhini Foundation recognize the value of data-driven insights relevant to public policy. We are therefore happy to launch JPF Analytics, a computational social science platform engaged in evidence-based policy-making to build a resilient future.
JPF Analytics has two core objectives:
Produce original research and analysis relevant to social issues
Provide evidence-based public policy insights to social organizations
In the short-term future, we at JPF Analytics plan to build our expertise and experience in evidence-based policy-making within the context of COVID-19. Nevertheless, we aim to eventually broaden our scope to produce high-quality original research pertaining to public health, local economies, education, behavioral and attitudinal trends, cultural and political topics, climate and environmental issues. Community-based participatory research is at the core of our research philosophy. We therefore wish to establish long-term collaborations with local communities, institutions and stake-holders. Over the next decade, we see JPF Analytics growing into both a “fact-tank” engaged in scientific documentation and inquiry, as well as a traditional think-tank providing public policy opinions and recommendations. We are confident that this platform will help tackle the novel challenges of the 21st century.
 राष्ट्रार्थ भव्य पराक्रमाची कृती cannot be possible without अभ्यास देशस्थितीचा.
In the past, we have complemented public health survey methodology with insights from the ‘wisdom of crowds’ theory from behavioural economics and cognitive psychology to develop a Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices, and Wisdom survey that gauges awareness, beliefs, and behaviours. We collaborated with Carnegie Mellon University, as well as around 10 NGOs who work with slum dwellers from Pune city. We conducted surveying in two rounds: Round 1 in late 2020 (18 November - 31 December) and Round 2 during India’s second coronavirus wave of 2021 (5 April - 5 May). Both rounds of surveying involved answering 86 questions. Respondents could take the survey in Marathi or English. We employed a sample-of-convenience snowball-sampling method. This is a summary of our findings:
We also visualized datasets from the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC)’s Data Store in our geospatial portal. We will disseminate our findings both in the form of accessible policy reports and technical academic papers.
We collaborated with the Pune Knowledge Cluster to estimate the number of excess COVID-19-associated deaths in Pune City over the first and second waves of the pandemic. We combined data from statistical modeling, public surveying, and media sources to compute our excess mortality estimate. Read our report here:
We embarked on an in-depth investigation of the significant historical legacy linked to the forts in Maharashtra through a data project. The outcome is an interactive mapping tool, designed to provide an informative and engaging experience for history enthusiasts.
Future scope / Ongoing projects
Economic and educational impact of COVID-19: In 2022 and 2023, we plan to expand our existing work by conducting a survey to assess the nexus between the economic and educational impact of COVID-19 across diverse socioeconomic groups. Aiming to cover over 20,000 children, teachers, and parents across rural Maharashtra and slums in urban Pune, this project will assess the long-term fallout of COVID-19.
COVID-19 survey digitization project: In 2022, we plan to work with Pune-based grassroots NGOs to obtain and digitize their own data from surveys related to COVID-19. This project aims to build a library of open-source Pune-based COVID-19 survey datasets that can be accessed by scientists, NGOs, government officials, and the general public.
COVID-19 geospatial portal project: In 2022, we plan to expand our mapping tool to include ward-wise COVID-19 data broken down by age, gender, socioeconomic status, comorbidities, and other parameters provided by PMC’s Health Department. This project aims to deepen our understanding of the spread and variance of medical impact of the pandemic in Pune’s different regions.
COVID-19 encyclopedia and pandemic playbook project: In 2023 and 2024, we plan to conduct a meta-analysis of the data put together in the survey digitization and geospatial portal projects. This project aims to provide a comprehensive and credible summary about the overall impact of COVID-19 on Pune. This overview of the facts will be accompanied by commentary, insights, and recommendations about leveraging the social and institutional strengths of Pune in the face of future pandemics.
Meet our team!
40+ young volunteers, professionals, and students
Interdisciplinary: different backgrounds and skill sets
6 time-zones, 5 countries