All posts by Christophe Jalil Nordman


Venkatasubramanian of the NEEMSIS team presenting social and demographic indicators to the village (Manamthavizhnthaputhur, Nov 2021; C.J. Nordman)

Now that our NEEMSIS 2 data collection is over, we have started a new phase of restitution. This phase involves going back to some of our surveyed villages to present to the community and get feedback on simple indicators on the surveyed population. This restitution is meant to help people in the surveyed villages understand our work and provide them with insights into the social and demographic changes that took place in their village over the last 10 years.

Our first 2021 restitution took place this week in Manamthavizhnthaputhur where we decided to present a series of slides in the main public place in the village (temple). Our presence was welcomed by a crowd of around a 100 people who came to listen to our team explaining why this village had been chosen and how it had evolved since we first came here in 2010, as well as the more recent impact of covid and the lockdowns.

Woman speaking on her experience with NREGA (Manamthavizhnthaputhur, Nov 2021; C.J. Nordman)

This sparked many discussions that are interesting to our research. Both men and women of different ages took turn to discuss our findings and shared their opinions. The dynamics offered by this bigger crowd provided a new kind of insight from those offered during household and individual interviews.

To cite a few, there were debates about what a “good” or a “bad” loan is, about the benefits and drawback of recent government schemes, as well as the reasons as to why some farmers now focus more on sustenance crops rather than commercial crops.

We are eager to continue these discussions and we will keep on presenting similar information in different surveyed villages in the area.

President of the village speaking at the NEEMSIS restitution (Manamthavizhnthaputhur, Nov 2021; G. Bizel)

NEEMSIS 2 has started!

The data collection of the second wave of NEEMSIS has started on end of October 2020, after some weeks of delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NEEMSIS 2 fieldwork team

NEEMSIS 2 will become the third wave of a longitudinal data collection following the same population of households since 2010 (RUME survey) and 2016-17 (NEEMSIS 1).

Video interview of a migrant in April 2019 in Cuddalore district.

On March 24 2020, the Indian prime minister announced a nationwide 21-day lockdown to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. It was then extended to May 3. The NEEMSIS team is currently taking into account the current health, social, and economic crisis brought about by this worldwide pandemic in order to reflect them in the survey design.

Improvements have been introduced in both questionnaires, and extra modules and questions have been added. Among the noticeable improvements and modifications, the NEEMSIS team will:

(i) add a specific module to collect information on some consequences of the COVID-19 on the rural households and individuals’ everyday life (finance, job, food and government supports, forecast future, social interactions),

(ii) add a specific module capturing explicitly individuals’ working conditions,

(iii) improve the social networks module (name generator) to capture additional dimensions of social interactions (financial practices, family events, in addition to labour relations),

iv) collect geospatial information,

(v) depending on available resources, increase the sample sizes (both at household and individual levels), in addition to keeping the longitudinal information on the same population 2010/2016-17 (panel dataset).

The survey, organised prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, will be carried-out after the end of the lockdown on May 3.

NEEMSIS 2 will be one of the first in-person surveys conducted in rural India in a post-COVID-19’s crisis. Hence, a substantial part of the pandemic’s short- (in the summer) and medium-term (fall/winter) effects will be captured by our data.

Tracking of individual migrants

The NEEMSIS has now entered the phase of implementing an additional quantitative survey (a tracking) among individual migrants who have left the RUME-NEEMSIS survey area since 2010. These new migrant data allow us to capture different levels of networks (district/ regional/ national) while accounting for socio-economic characteristics of these migrants. The migrant questionnaire includes standard household and socio-demographic questions and adds specific migration, working conditions, social networks and (cognitive and non-cognitive) skills modules.

Video interview of a migrant in April 2019 in Cuddalore district.

Networks, Employment, dEbt, Mobilities and Skills in India Survey (NEEMSIS)

The NEEMSIS aims at understanding the links between labour, skills, social and professional dynamics and social networks formation in South India.

It explores how the formation of skills and social networks, especially those defined at the community and individual levels, influence the characteristics of individuals’ trajectories in terms of social status, employment and migration.

This NEEMSIS data collection is the continuity of Rural Microfinance and Employment Survey collected in 2010, and provides therefore a household and individual panel dataset in rural South India.

This blog gathers the results, data, pictures, events and publications stemming from the NEEMSIS, that was implemented from August 2016 to May 2017 in South India (Tamil Nadu), and supervised by a team of IRD and IFP researchers in Pondicherry.