Sitaram Rao Case Study Competition


ACCESS instituted the Sitaram Rao Livelihoods India Case Study Competition in 2009, in the memory of Late Sitaram Rao, a Director on the Board of ACCESS and one of the pillars of India's microfinance movement. The Competition was instituted as a pioneering initiative by ACCESS to identify and collate models and practices that have significantly contributed to livelihoods promotion of the poor in India. The Sitaram Rao Livelihoods India Case Study Competition therefore aims at bringing together the collective intellect of the sector and assimilating innovative solutions, breakthroughs, good experiences and best practices that help in learning from diverse sector experience and impact poverty reduction. The Sitaram Rao Case Study Competition 2020 is being supported by Vaya Trusts.

The Case Study Competition is organized annually around a specific theme, under which entries are solicited, assessed and the 10 best case studies are brought together into a Case Study Compendium that is released at the Livelihoods India Summit. The theme for this year's Case Study Competition is Advancing Agro and Food Processing Enterprises for Rural Development.

When the Indian economy contracted by 23. 4 per cent due to COVID pandemic and nationwide lockdown between April -June, the agriculture sector saw a growth rate of 3.4 percent, highlighting the crucial role that agri-sector can play in reviving the Indian economy. Several developmental programmes, schemes, reforms and policies that focus on higher incomes for farmers have been launched since. An increased focus is on growth of the agro and food processing sector as it is one of the most critical links in the agri-value chain that has potential to boost farmers' income and create employment opportunities in rural areas.
Vast majority of the India’s poor live in rural areas and most of them rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. Not only do they suffer from lack of resources and assets, they also are affected by major changes in the agricultural sector brought about by globalization and market integration. Within this context, agro and food enterprise development emerges as a way forward for rural people to improve their lives and livelihoods. In India, only about 3 per cent of the work force, compared to 14 per cent in developed countries, finds employment in this sector revealing its underdeveloped state and vast untapped potential for employment. Properly developed, agro and food processing sector can make India a major player at the global level for marketing and supply of processed food, feed and a wide range of other plant and animal products.

For the year 2021 therefore, the Sitaram Rao Livelihoods India Case Study Competition invites cases from across the country that show evidences of sustainable impact to lives and livelihoods of the farmers & rural poor through promotion of agro and processing enterprises and creation of efficient agri-value chain. The cases could cover activities in sectors such as agriculture, horticulture, plantation, animal husbandry and fisheries.

Who can participate?

  • Representatives of NGOs
  • Representatives of Social Enterprises / Community led enterprises
  • Private sector
  • Government organisations
  • Students/ Researchers/ Academics  
  • Funding organisations
Submission can be made by individual author/ organisation. Researchers, students, funding agencies and others who wish to submit case studies on experiences of organisations with which they are not affiliated would be required to submit a Declaration Form on permission from a competent authority of the concerned institution/ organization whose case they are documenting.
  1. Plaque, certificate of recognition and cash award as follows to winners of best 3 cases:
  • Winner – INR 75,000
  • 1st Runner Up - INR 50,000
  • 2nd Runner Up - INR 25,000
  1. The top 10 cases will be brought together in the form of a Compendium that will be released at the Livelihoods India Summit 2021
  2. Authors of the 10 best cases will be invited to attend the Livelihoods India Summit 2021  

  • All participants are requested to send the case study abstract, not exceeding 700 words, by July 31, 2021. The abstracts should be submitted in word format and sent to or (Use subject line- Sitaram Rao Case Study Competition 2021)
  • The shortlisted candidates will be requested to send the full case study, not exceeding 5000 words, by September 30, 2021
  • Once the final cases are submitted, they will be reviewed and ten best cases selected by a Technical Committee
  • The authors of the 10 best cases will be invited to present their cases before an eminent Jury whereby the top 3 cases will be selected
  • The top 3 case study authors will receive cash prizes of Rs. 75,000, Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 25,000 respectively and a compendium of the 10 best cases will be released during the Livelihoods India Summit 2021 (December 16-17, 2021)



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