Livelihood and sustainable livelihood ideas are integral to social development and reduction of inequality. Often lack of skills adversely affects the livelihood options of people belonging to disadvantaged and marginalised sections of the society. Secondly, livelihood needs to be sustainable from an environmental perspective.

Skill development is critical for employment creation and secure livelihood options. In India, for instance, millions of rupees are being spent for skilling the young population. Many NGOs and corporates have been actively engaged in such projects.

ISRF has been advocating for further rigorous studies to ensure better qualitative and quantitative outcomes – both in terms of number of people impacted and sustained change/improvement in the life. Good design would focus not only on outputs but also outcomes. And that needs social research inputs.

There are several grey areas that need to be mapped and analysed through focused social research efforts. For example, the whole process of designing and implementing a skill training project should be completely participatory and needs project based, not the target based.

ISRF has been developing suitable tools and platforms needed to track and measure the qualitative outcomes of the skill training programme. One such framework involves the use of e-commerce technology and social media marketing tools as a logical extension of production-based livelihood projects that involve remunerative marketing of goods and services produced by target communities.