In Conversation with Ms. Rushda Majeed, India Representative, Bernard van Leer Foundation
Rushda Majeed is responsible for the Foundation’s work in India. Previously, she helped manage Bloomberg Philanthropies’ India Smart Cities Challenge, a competition to select 100 cities for central government funding as part of the country’s Smart Cities Mission. Rushda has led research in 11 countries for Princeton University’s Innovations for Successful Societies to analyze reforms that improve government performance and accountability. She has also served as a core team member on the re-election campaign of a two-term Member of Parliament, advised a World Bank team on case study research, and managed a global leadership program for a New York-city based non-profit.
Rushda has written numerous case studies on institutional reforms, and her writings on the subject have appeared in Foreign Policy magazine’s Democracy Lab. She has a master’s degree in international affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Eastern Kentucky University.
In her conversation with Deepak Nanda from CSRBOX, she elaborates on the following questions:
1. Can you shed some light on the Foundation’s work in India and how are you approaching the same in collaboration with the private and public sectors?
2. What is the “Urban95” initiative focused around and how has it helped cities like Pune, Bhubaneshwar, and Udaipur become not only smart cities but also child-friendly?
3. In the past, the Foundation has funded and guided multiple projects around early childhood development and making neighborhood-friendly cities for children. What have been the selection criteria for the same and how do these fit into your larger vision?
4. Your newest initiative “Nurturing Neighborhoods Challenge” in collaboration with the Ministry of Urban Affairs and WRI India has been gaining traction in the past few months to create sustainable, inclusive, and young child and family-friendly cities across the country. How did this materialize and what efforts have been aligned to take it further?
5. All these changes are great from a long-term perspective but in the short term, these do pressurize an existing system trying to sustain itself amongst all, that’s happening. How is the foundation looking to ease the same by providing knowledge resources, funding, and execution support and thereon scale these projects?
6. Lastly, what areas, themes or geographies is the Foundation looking to explore in the future? And any suggestions for organizations looking to work with the government?
Impact-Talk is a series of views and interviews of CSR heads, impact leaders and change-makers, addressing development challenges in India. If you have an impact-maker in your network, please suggest/share details at shilpi@csrbox