Inclusive Economic Growth and the Buddhist Circuit
The World Bank has selected Emerging360 to develop a strategy for facilitating inclusive economic growth and women’s participation in the tourism sector along the Buddhist Circuit in India, and South Asia more broadly.
South Asia’s remarkable heritage, as a source of livelihood and identity, represents a previously untapped engine of inclusive economic development and job creation. Investing in tourism in general, and Buddhist heritage tourism in particular, provides a unique opportunity to unlock the region’s heritage assets for the development of some of the poorest communities, who reside in and around the sites.
As part of the broader World Bank support to selected South Asian governments in inclusive tourism development along the region’s Buddhist Circuit, Emerging360 is researching constraints to women’s participation in key locations along the circuit. We’ll ultimately be developing a suite of actionable recommendations for improved and inclusive economic development across the region, with a focus on opportunities for women, youth, and the poor.
Methodology for Engagement with the Buddhist Circuit
- First, we’re conducting a strategic assessment of tourism-related value chains at select Buddhist Circuit destinations. These include Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh) where the Buddha gave his first sermon, and Sanchi (Madhya Pradesh) where emperor Ashoka commissioned a set of important Buddhist monuments.
- Next, we’re identifying constraints to local economic development, value chain upgrading and MSME growth. We’re also investigating the underlying challenges to increasing women’s participation and women’s entrepreneurship within the value chains.
- And finally, we’re conducting a gap analysis and developing a suite of actionable recommendations to improve the overall competitiveness and development of these value chains, with a focus on women’s participation. We’ll be utilizing the Global Value Chain framework as the basis for structuring our recommendations. Targeted interventions may include specific approaches to skills upgrading, access to finance, strengthening backward and forward linkages, business development, gender sensitization, and various forms of community collaboration.
As with many of our recent projects, Emerging360’s field methodology incorporates Human-Centered Design practices through which we co-create solutions with the target communities themselves.
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