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 to support other divisions to develop socially relevant technology interventions and to understand their social impact. It also envisages to undertake research activities in the areas of marginalization, education, local area development and livelihood of the marginalized community. The division has 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 for the social science division. It has undertaken research and development projects funded by Kerala Local Government Service Delivery Project (KLSGDP) supported by World Bank, Training impact assessment of Kerala Institute of Local Administration and has conducted policy study and action research programmes with the support of Kerala State Planning Board and international agencies such as UNICEF.
SSD has offered training programmes on research methodology and participatory rural appraisal (PRA). The division 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. Students from institutions such as TISS, IITs and various central universities have made use of these opportunities. The SSD has also taken initiatives for preparing monographs and publications of IRTC, which have public interest.
The major projects undertaken by the SSD includes DPR preparation for backward panchayat (World Bank-KLGSDP), 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 Board), Luca Online science quiz, Padanodhyanam, Documentation of the interventions District Panchayath in Secondary Education of local panchayat in higher education in Thrissur District (UNICEF).