The Gujarat Institute of Development Research (GIDR), established in 1970, is a premier organisation recognised and supported by the Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi and Government of Gujarat. It is an approved institute of Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar, Gujarat. GIDR undertakes analytical and policy-oriented research concerning development issues.
The broad thrust areas of research at the Institute include Natural Resource Management, Agriculture and Climate Change, Industry, Infrastructure, Trade and Finance, Employment, Migration and Urbanisation, Poverty and Human Resource Development and Regional Development, Institutions and Governance.
- In the area of Natural Resource Management, Agriculture and Climate Change, in-depth studies have been carried out relating to some of the major development interventions like Participatory Irrigation Management, Watershed Development Programmes, Joint Forest Management and Protected Area Management. The studies have focused mainly on aspects relating to economic viability, equity and institutional mechanisms. In the sphere of management of natural resources, these studies often explore the interrelationships between the community, government and civil society. Many of these studies, based on careful empirical enquiry at the micro level, have contributed to the on-going debates on sustainable environment and institutions. Issues in Common Property Land Resources and land use have also been researched extensively.
- The research in the area of Industry, Infrastructure, Trade and Finance focuses on the response of micro, small and medium enterprises to the changing government policies in the wake of liberalisation. The research has contributed to work on industrial clusters, flexible specialization and addresses issues involving intellectual property regimes, especially for pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Studies dealing with issues in provisioning of and access to basic infrastructure both in the rural and urban areas, the linkages between infrastructure, trade and finance, regional growth and aspects of governance have also been carried out at the Institute.
- Studies under the theme Employment, Migration and Urbanisation relate to population, demographic changes, labour, nature of employment, diversification of economic activities and migration. An emerging aspect has been to study international migration to trace social, economic, cultural and political influences through remittances, social spending and norms setting. Urban services and aspects of urban economy and governance have also been an important emerging area of research at the Institute.
- The research in Poverty and Human Resource Development focuses on population, labour and poverty issues. The studies relate to quality of life, education, social infrastructure, diversification of economic activities and migration. The informalisation process in the labour and production systems leading to poverty and social security issues forms another important theme. The research on health and family welfare has contributed towards developing a framework for target- free approach in family planning. In the informal sector debate the research has focused on the collection of social statistics to influence policies for better labour conditions and social security reforms.
- The enquiry in Regional Development, Institutions and Governance concentres on application of regional planning models, data collection and analysis for regional planning exercises, impact of area development plans on growth and development of the regional economy. Studies have also focused on studying the role and participation of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the development process, the changes in the characteristics of the NGOs and so on.
The major strength of the Institute is a thorough understanding of the micro processes and a consolidated effort to link these to macro issues. The faculty members have made considerable endeavour towards developing policy-sensitive database of the Indian economy, especially relating to the informal activities, including child labour. The Institute has played a useful role in promoting empirical research in the country and the evolution of related conceptual framework and approaches. Overtime, the Institute's research agenda has broadened to cover a fairly wide range of issues pertaining to development policy both at the regional and the national levels. The results of the Institute's research are shared with policy makers, non-governmental organisations and other academicians. The faculty members at the Institute also participate in government panels, committees and working groups to influence certain policy decisions. The Institute promotes public discussion through the publication of its research findings and through seminars, conferences and consultation. The Institute also undertakes collaborative research and has a network with NGOs, international organisations, government and academic institutions