School of Social Work - Mumbai Campus


Research, Projects and Initiatives

The School of Social Work at TISS recognises the strong linkage between Understanding and Action. Our research approach is people-centred, interdisciplinary, evidence-based and adheres to methodological rigour, which enables the School to co-create knowledge in the streams of policy advocacy, program planning, implementation and evaluation, and training to diverse stakeholders in social work and development practice. We are proud to have many faculty members and practitioners who are leading scholars in their respective fields of practice, enabling diverse stakeholders and impact groups to find solutions to different social problems.

Our faculty members serve as Principal Investigators on grant-funded research and context-specific action research projects that positively impact the lives of many marginalised and vulnerable groups and communities. These projects also serve as a meaningful interface for social work students and doctoral scholars to advance their learning experience. Most of our projects are learning spaces for our faculty, doctoral scholars and post-graduate students to conduct research and co-create knowledge in partnership with diverse actors at the local, state, and national level. We thus, strive towards forging a culture of nurturing and strengthening diverse types of academic-community partnerships in bringing about meaningful social transformation.

Thematic Focus

Our thematic interests largely cut across various fields of practice, and it is often difficult to compartmentalise these focus areas. However, each of our Centres have shaped their own thematic thrust, to metion a few: Community Development, Social Policy, Criminology and Justice, City Spaces, Peri-Urbanisation, Conflicts, Disability Studies, Children and Families, Social Justice and Governance, Social Exclusion, Caste and Tribes, Sexuality, Gender Studies, Women-centred practice, Livelihoods, Social Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, Mental Health, Public Health etc. The word-cloud given below gives a bird’s eye-view of the contemporary research projects undertaken by our faculty.

We encourage you to read more on the research interests of our faculty members by visiting the Centre and Faculty profile respectively.

Ongoing and Recently Completed Projects

Departmental Research Support: Three Centres in our School namely, The Centre for Disability Studies and Action (CDSA), The Centre for Health and Mental Health (CHMH), and the Centre for Community Organisation and Development Practice (CODP) was granted the Departmental Research Support (DRS) Programme of University Grants Commission in this period 2007-12. All have moved to the phase II.

EPG Pathshala: The School of Social Work successfully completed the MHRD-UGC sponsored ePG Pathshala project. As part of this project we developed ten papers (containing of 40 modules each) in Social Work for which text, references, questions and video recording was done systematically and completed within the given deadline. Faculty from the School collectively shared the responsibility for coordinating the development of the papers; and many among them contributed as module writers and in recording the lecture. Needless to say, this endeavour provided us an opportunity for preparing quality teaching-learning material in the discipline of Social Work. We are optimistic that these learning resources will be widely accessed and utilised by the students, faculty and field practitioners in the country and outside. [ Read More ]

State Perspective and Implementation Plan (SPIP) for National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), Government of Chhattisgarh: The faculty of the School coordinated and contributed to the development of the SPIP for the NRLM, Government of Chhattisgarh.

International Research Staff Exchange Scheme: A collaborative research project under “International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) from the European Commission of the FP7 Marie Curie Actions”is underway. It explores varied theoretical and practice dimensions of Social Work and Civil Engagement in 10 countries ( ve BRICS countries and ve European countries). The research project maps the trajectories of social work practice in the select countries in the context of neoliberalism and its interface with civil engagement.

Research on Human Trafficking: Our faculty members are leading a National Research Study on Human Trafficking in India initiated by TISS, under the aegis of the National Human Rights Commission, and supported by UN agencies, National Commission for Women, and Ministry of Women and Child Development, GoI.

Swachch Bharat: Our faculty members are involved in the ‘Evaluation Study on the Construction of Toilets in the Schools by MCL under the Swachch Bharat-Swachch Vidyalaya programme in Odisha’ sponsored by Mahanadi Coal eld Ltd., Odisha.

Ashram Shalas: We are also involved in studying the Status of Government and Aided Ashram Schools in Maharashtra’ sponsored by the Department of Tribal Development, GoM, in response to a PIL led in Bombay High Court (CRPIL 69 of 2013 heard on June 18, 2014).

Women Empowerment: We have also undertaken two major research projects: a “National Evaluation Study of the Family Counselling Centres” commissioned by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, and an “Evaluation Study of Special Cell for Women, Maharashtra”.

Middle Classes and the City: The School of Social Work is also involved in understanding the complexities and the dynamics of the emerging middle classes in City spaces. This research gains immediate relevance in the context of the social work profession’s challenge to innovate meaningful solutions to contemporary urban problems among the middle classes.

Social Accountability and Social Audit: Our faculty members are involved in a project to offer the Certificate Course in Social Accountability and Social Audit. The course, which has been approved by the Academic Council of the Institute, has been designed and developed at the behest of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), GoI. It is being offered at the State Institute of Rural Development in each state across the country for district and block level functionaries appointed by State Level Social Audit Units. Till April this year, approximately 2,700 social audit functionaries across 14 states have completed the course in 75 batches. The Institute team worked closely with the MoRD, and National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj faculty members, for curriculum development and training of Master Trainers. Subsequently, faculty members from across all campuses of the Institute have participated in visits to the states to interact with participants and course coordinators, and to assess the performance of the participants.

Field Action Projects: The School anchors around 43 Field Action Projects (FAPs) which address a wide range of issues with a broad goal of a more equal and just society, through capacity-building, empowering people to exercise a more informed choice, and secure their rights. The wide range of issues covered through these FAPs are violence against women, rights and rehabilitation of persons processed by the Criminal Justice System, children in conflict with law, homelessness and beggary, education of tribal children, child and adolescent mental health, empowerment of tribal and dalit youth, access to health in rural and tribal areas, sustainable livelihood, food security, adult education, and health. [ View Field Action Projects ]