The Leveraging Indices for Free Enterprise Policy Reform, or "LIFE," project was designed to promote policy reforms that demonstrably move the needle on economic policy, measured by marginal change in a specific prominent ranking or index. Such indices include the Doing Business Index by the World Bank Group, the Economic Freedom Index by the Heritage Foundation in partnership with the Wall Street Journal, and the Economic Freedom of the World Report by the Fraser Institute.
The program provided grants to Atlas Network partners to conduct research, advocacy campaigns, and media campaigns to affect change. The grant awarded $100,000 to each selected organization, divided over the course of three years, and was generously sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. In the inaugural iteration of the project, 16 think tanks were selected for participation. Lessons learned from three of the participating organizations have been detailed in three Atlas Network case studies.
The Centre for Civil Society (CCS) won Atlas Network's $50,000 LIFE Award at Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner 2017 in recognition of its numerous policy wins promoting the ease of doing business in India it achieved as a result of the LIFE program. One of its greatest victories was advocating for and realizing the elimination of minimum capital requirements for new businesses in 2016. Previously, India's minimum capital requirements stifled entrepreneurship throughout its economy by requiring 111.2 percent of per-capita income to be deposited before opening up shop. Those requirements are no longer a barrier to starting a business, nor is the need to obtain a government certificate before beginning business operations, because both were rescinded due to CCS's policy reform efforts.