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multidisciplinary resource centre to think globally and act locally in the arena of sustainable

Plots S1-S2, Air Force Nagar, T S P Road

Veerapuram, Chennai 600 055, INDIA
Tel: +91 44 26840209

September 2010
1. Origin of the ISD:

Institute of Sustainable Development is started by a group of social scientists

and social workers on realising the need for conducting research, training and
extension activities in sustainable development. It has been founded in the
year 2005 under the auspices of the Karalapakkam Society for Rural and
Sustainable Development, a society registered in the year 2000 under
Societies Registration Act XXVII of 1975 in Tamilnadu state of India. With due
consideration for the social, economical and environmental issues in
sustainable development, the ISD has prioritised selected issues viz, water,
sanitation and climate change in its activities for the first decade 2005-2014.

2. Focus of ISD

The concept of sustainable development evolved when the inequalities

prevailed in the world in social, economical and environmental got widened
and caught the attention of a group of experts in the 1980s. They have
defined sustainable development as the “development that meets the needs
of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet
their own needs” and include environmental protection, economic growth and
social equity (Brundtland Report 1987 Our Common Future). In the course of
developments taking place around the world, earth and its inhabitants are
facing unprecedented and enormous challenges for a sustainable future in the
form of depletion of natural resources, climate change, global warming, green
house gas effect, melting of glaciers, rising sea level, environmental pollution,
over population, so on and so forth. Many of them are man made situations
and can be arrested with appropriate action, and thus fact gives a respite as
well as poses a challenge. It can be averted with appropriate action though
how to get the ever growing human species to act in appropriate ways is a
challenge. Action should start at each level; at individual, community, state,
nation, region and global, to ensure a sustainable future. Besides, it should
address all different aspect simultaneously.

Taking in to consideration the social, environmental and economical aspects

of sustainable development, and the urgent need to work towards attaining
the Millennium Development Goals, the Institute of Sustainable Development
decided to focus on prioritised issues viz, water, sanitation and climate
change during its first decade of action 2005-2014.

3. Vision:
To think globally and act locally to enable sustainable development.

4. Mission:

To enable sustainable development through research, training and

demonstration of participatory and sustainable development.

5. Current Activities:

Currently work in:

 Water and Local Governance

 Water and Livelihood
 Water and Health

i. Rapid Assessment of the World Bank aided TN IAMWARM Project in

Phase 1 Sub basins.

ii. One Day Workshop on Impact Evaluation Methodology in association

with IFS, UK and supported by International Initiative for Impact
Evaluation, New Delhi and Center of Excellence for Change, Chennai

iii. Community Organisation for Water Governance (COWaG) in selected

village panchayats (VPs). The project aims to empower the PRIs, and
CBOs for efficient water governance with the participation of all the

iv. Empowering Water User Associations. Working with Water User

Associations in selected Village Panchayats in Thiruvallur district, along
with Center of Excellence for Change and TN IAMWARM Project.

v. Working with Farmer Groups for promotion of sustainable farming and

water management, in association with NABARD Tamilnadu Region.

vi. Watsan week in Middle Schools in Ellapuram Panchayat Union,

Thiruvallur district Create awareness among children about the
importance of Water and Sanitation.

v. Working with selected government schools in Ellapuram Panchayat

Union, Thiruvallur distict to enhance the quality of education by
ensuring the participation of all stakeholders in the development of the
school and schooling.
vi. Observed World Water Day 2010 by joining the World’s Longest Queue
for Toilet organized by World Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative
Council by holding a queue that was participated by about 500 youth in
Avadi, Chennai.

6. Activities in the recent past:

i. An assessment of the functioning of the Integrated Sanitary Complexes

in Avadi Municipality 2009.

ii. ‘Construction of National Youth Development Index and Preparation of

Youth Development Report’ –conducted field survey for the assignment
of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai funded by Rajiv Gandhi
National Institute of Youth Development, Sriperumbudur, Ministry of
Youth Affairs and Sports, GOI, 2009.

iii. Inter school competitions on water and sanitation themes: in

accordance with Children’s Day in 2005, 2006,2007,2008 and 2009 for
students of Government schools in Thiruavallur district. Compilation of
the poem, essays and drawings from the competition are available at
ISD library.

iv. Awareness programmes on water issues for Youth - Cultural events,

debate and exhibition for college youth on the occasion of World Water
Day held at DRBCCC Hindu College Auditorium, Pattabhiram 2008.

v. Awareness programmes on sanitation for children- observed Global

Handwashing Day October 15 2008 and 2009.

vi. A rapid appraisal of the functioning of Women and Children Sanitary

Complexes and School Sanitary Facilities in Ellapuram Panchayat
Union, Thiruvallur district, TamilNadu 2007

vii. Awareness programmes on water issues including the campaign on

March 22nd 2007, on the occasion of World Water Day 2007 covering
about 80 kilometres across 40 villages

viii. Data Collection and Field Assessment for Evaluation of Impact of User
charges and Change Management Training to Engineers on Water
Supply Management practices’ in the Village Panchayats, TNRWSP,
TWAD Board, Chennai 2006. The data collected formed the basis for
‘Randomised Evaluation Study to Investigate the Impact of User
Charges and Attitudinal Change Training on Water Management In
Collaboration with Poverty Action Lab: MIT & Harvard by the TNRWSP,
TWAD Board. This work was carried out in association with
Pragmatix Research and Advisory Services Pvt Ltd Gurgaon, and it was
funded by UNICEF through TWAD Board. The data was collected during
November 2005- March 2006 in two parts, one used Quantified
Participatory Assessment Methodology and the other used a
combination of interviews and secondary data sources.

ix. Socio-economic and health profile of rural population in Thiruvallur

District. This study using Participatory Assessment techniques along
with traditional survey technique has been completed in Vengal Village
Panchayat and formed the bench mark data for community
development projects in the panchayat 2006.

x. A study on Ground Water Demand Management in the pilot villages

under World Bank assisted TNRWSP, TWAD Board, Government of
Tamilnadu 2006

7. Plans for the immediate future:

7.1 A training centre with all necessary infrastructure at Veerapuram

7.2 Demonstration in sustainable farming and water management
practices in the 7 acre farm of ISD in Vengal village
7.3 Strengthen the Research and Documentation unit by engaging more
professional regular staff in research

8. Core team:

Prof. K.N.George (Chairman): An internationally acclaimed professor of

Social Work, in the field of social work practice, teaching, and research for
more than 55 years. As the Director of Madras School of Social Work, one of
the premier social work education institutions in South India, he was the
driving force behind taking the institution to its international reputation today.
He has been the guiding spirit and a fountain of inspiration for a number of
well known social service organisations in India today.

Dr. G. Vijayaram: Expert in Community Development academia as well as

development arena. Professor of Social Work at Madras School of Social
Work, has produced several Ph.D.s and served as member of various expert
panels in the specified area. He has completed a number of sponsored
research projects including World Bank assisted projects. He has been
instrumental in implementing a number of community development
programmes through various organisations he is associated with.
Dr. Rema Saraswathy: Researcher and Consultant in Social Development,
has been in the field for nearly 20 years. She has been involved in, and
completed more than 30 research projects on behalf of the employed
institutions and in individual capacity. Besides, she has successfully
implemented various community development projects funded by agencies
including European Commission. She has been focussing in water and
sanitation issues and has undergone Advanced International Training in
Integrated Water Resources Management (Sweden and Lao PDR) recently.
Provided consultancy services for many other voluntary organizations also on
project planning.

Dr (Mrs) Lalitha Nataraj: Dr Lalitha Nataraj is a political economist working

in the field for more than 25 years. She has been associated with Consulate
of USA, Madras School of Work, Guild of Service (Central) and few other

Dr. (Mrs) Nalini Rao: Dr Nalini Rao has to her credit about 25 years of
experience in the practice and teaching of social work. She is a Member of
Social Work Faculty at the Madras School of Social Work. She has contributed
significantly to the establishment and growth of a number of development
organisations in Tamilnadu as well as other states in south India.

Mr. P. Muniyappan: Post Graduate in Rural Development from Gandhigram

Rural University, has been in the field for nearly 25 years. His expertise is in
the field of rural community development and in working with people. He has
been involved in and successfully implemented a number of community
development projects funded by agencies including Indian Government,
European Commission etc. Before joining ISD he was associated with the
Madras School of Social Work, TVS Sundaram Clayton etc.

9. Contact: Member Secretary,

Institute of Sustainable Development,
Plot No S1 & S2, Air Force Nagar,
TSP Road, Veerapuram,
Chennai 600055, INDIA.
Tel: 044-26840209