For many years, Bihar lagged behind as India’s growth accelerated, and poverty declined more slowly in Bihar than in India as a whole. In recent years, there are some signs of change, with more effective state policy and faster growth, but the challenges are enormous. There are governance and institutional constraints, underdeveloped infrastructure, low levels of human development, lack of local non-farm employment opportunities, etc. Above all, the state is still caught in the classical vicious circle of poverty with acute shortage of investable resources. All of these have to be overcome. An inclusive growth path is required which creates opportunities for Bihar’s 10 crore people to share in India’s economic success. This calls for both public and private action and a much better understanding of the economic and social mechanisms responsible for underdevelopment.


The wide‐ranging programme of research of the Institute for Human Development (IHD) in Bihar aims to support policy design and implementation for inclusive development at local, state and national levels. It includes a cluster of individual projects on key aspects of development, carried out by IHD and partner institutions. These are designed to deliver:

  • Increased information and understanding of the pattern of growth and its determinants.
  • Better assessments of policy measures to raise productivity and employment and reduce poverty and social exclusion.
  • Wider debate and dialogue on Bihar development issues.

A common theme in all of these projects is the development of public and private institutions, and enhancing the quality of governance. Recent progress can be seen in government programmes which are starting to reach all communities at village level; these advances need to be studied and understood if they are to be replicated.

The programme draws on IHD’s extensive expertise in research and policy analysis in Bihar.
For details of the research programme, click here