With the support of the IU, SRC signed a five-year agreement with the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), designed to promote cooperation in survey-based research methodology, technology, and new research initiatives. Both institutions will jointly seek to develop a sample survey infrastructure to support academically rigorous social science research in India.
Following this agreement, the University of Maryland collaborated with the SRC IU and NCAER to seek funding to begin the National Data Innovation Center (NDIC). The NDIC is organized around three objectives for both existing and new data: (1) Innovate, incubate, and help develop and bring to market innovative data and quality assurance modules using new data collection methods and technologies, at the minimum in the areas of gender empowerment, financial inclusion, health and agriculture; (2) Build connections with diverse stakeholders, particularly early- and mid-career Indian data researchers, and data professionals located within government national data agencies; and (3) Enhance skills through formal and informal training and through the building of a broader collaborative network to ensure the diffusion and sustainability of innovations. These objectives will be delivered through four work streams detailed in the proposal. The Center work streams will comprise a series of data innovation activities, with each activity usually supporting more than one work stream. These activities are designed to yield deliverables within the grant time frame and longer-term capacity building dividends, and enhance the sustainability of the enterprise over the longer term. SRC is supporting this capacity-building effort through methodological consultation and technical systems support and innovation.