The making of the NEEMSIS survey

Over the past 15 years, a team of researchers from the French Research Institute for Sustainable Development and the French Institute of Pondicherry have designed, organised and developed field investigations in rural India to understand how structural changes in contemporary South India are reshaping the organisation of labour, social hierarchies and family livelihoods. These researchers in social sciences, which are economists and sociologists and anthropologists, use first-hand and original data collection tools, to produce so-called quantitative and qualitative data. Their long standing research partnership has formed today an Observatory of Rural Dynamics and Inequalities in South India (ODRIIS). One of the main quantitative data collection tools of this Observatory is the NEEMSIS survey, the acronym for Networks, Employment, dEbt, Mobility, and Skills in South India Survey. NEEMSIS is a longitudinal socio-economic survey which was initially implemented in 2016. But NEEMSIS is also the continuity of a first survey wave, on an initial rural population of 10 villages in Tamil Nadu, the Rural Microfinance and Employment Survey collected in 2010.


The French National Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD)
The French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP)
The Observatory of Rural Dynamics and Inequalities in South-India (ODRIIS:
LAKSMI programme at the French Institute of Pondicherry (

Documentary director:

Christophe Jalil Nordman (IRD, DIAL, IFP) – NEEMSIS scientific coordinator

With the funding of

The CHALLINEQ project (“Challenging Inequalities: A Indo-European perspective”, 2018-2022, ANR-18-EQUI-0003; Consortium indo-européenEqUIP)

The NOPOOR project (“Enhancing Knowledge for Renewed Policies against Poverty”, 2012-2017, European Commission)

Research and fieldwork teams

G. Venkatasubramanian

Isabelle Guérin
Sébastien Michiels
Cécile Mouchel
Antoni Raj
Vivek Raja
Arnaud Natal
Youna Lanos
Mary Di Santolo
Arnaud Natal
Anne Hilger
Santhosh Kumar


Jeremy Caroll
Christophe Jalil Nordman
Sébastien Michiels


Jeremy Caroll


Character Intro (BO documentary “One Side of the Road” theme): Shanks Kini
Mer-Ka-Ba – Jesse Gallagher
Grass – Silent Partner
Days Are Long – Silent Partner
Udukai theme (BO documentary “One Side of the Road”): Shanks Kini


Christophe Jalil Nordman
4, rue d’Enghien,

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