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Odisha Govt Partners with University of Chicago Trust for Data-Driven Innovation

As per an official declaration, the government of Odisha has initiated a five-year strategic partnership with the University of Chicago Trust (UCT) with the aim of utilizing data to promote progress in innovation and impact policymaking.

Shivam Dwivedi
Odisha Govt Partners with University of Chicago Trust for Data-Driven Innovation
Odisha Govt Partners with University of Chicago Trust for Data-Driven Innovation

DPIC announced at an event on 3rd of May 2023, 2023. The two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set up DPIC earlier this year. The centre will help with evidence based research in fields like energy & environment, health & education, agriculture & water & sanitation, and will also catalyze efforts to create a high quality data interface to help with evidence based governance of current programmes.

Tusharkanti Behera, Odisha's Electronics and Information Technology Minister, stated of the collaboration, "The establishment of the DPIC is a testament to the government's commitment to the state's development across various sectors."

He expressed his delight that researchers from around the world are conducting research in Odisha and disseminating their findings to the rest of the world, and he added that evidence and data-driven policies would greatly benefit the state.

DPIC seeks to allow rigorous, evidence-based governance through the use of new developments in econometrics, data science, and machine learning, as well as to serve as a centre of competence for collecting big data from multiple sources. The UCT is assisting the government in implementing DPIC through the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC India) and its other research units.

"Odisha has always been on the cutting edge of using data to test new ideas." We collaborated with the Government of Odisha five years ago to develop a first-of-its-kind data-driven transparency programme for industries. So, in a sense, it's a homecoming for us, and we're excited to work closely with the Odisha government to advance data and evidence-driven policymaking," said Prof. Michael Greenstone, Milton Friedman Professor of Economics and Director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.

The cooperation will take a thorough three-pronged strategy, focusing not just on research but also on building the capacity of government employees in Odisha to improve data utilisation and decision-making in the state.

Researchers from the University of Chicago will assist the government by providing insights into the efficacy of ongoing programmes, recommending changes to achieve government goals, and developing and evaluating novel large-scale research field pilots. Furthermore, the team will use the knowledge gained from research in Odisha to expand operations not only within the state but also throughout India.

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