Social Science division of IRTC is a recent initiative started in 2014. The core objective of the division is to bring a technology- society interface and support other divisions to develop socially relevant technology interventions and to understand their social impact. It also undertake research activities in the areas of marginalization, education, local area development and livelihood of the marginalized community. The division has got extensively involved in the watershed development plan preparation and waste management DPR preparation of Local Self Governments in collaboration with NRM and SWM divisions of IRTC respectively.
Since its inception, tribal development has been a core area of intervention of the social science division. It has undertaken research and development projects funded by Kerala Local Self Government Service Delivery Project (KLSGSDP) supported by World Bank. Policy studies and action research programmes are being carried out with the support of Kerala State Planning Board and international agencies such as UNICEF. Training impact assessment of Kerala Institute of Local Administration is yet another involvement.
The division has offered training programmes on research methodology and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). It has led an initiative to form a research scholar’s collective in Kerala and organised workshops on Research Methodology under the collective. It has also provided project guidance and internship to more than 150 students in a short duration of five years. The SSD has also taken initiatives for preparing monographs and publications of IRTC, which are of public interest.
The major projects undertaken by the Social Science Division includes DPR preparation for backward panchayat (World Bank-KLSGSDP), Evaluation of Model Residential Schools in Kerala (Kerala State Planning Board), Evaluation of Child Friendly Local Governance Programme and Training on Urban Governance (KILA), Youth Employment Training Programme at Attappady (Integrated Tribal Development Project), Luca Online science quiz, Padanodhyanam– an educational intervention for tribal students, Documentation of the interventions of District Panchayat in Secondary Education in Thrissur District (UNICEF).