At ISHD, we believe that the university must be an engaged social actor.  Its  task is not only to produce and disseminate knowledge – but to foster non-exclusionary methods of knowledge production, and to open up potential alternative practices.

At present our activities are focused on two main thematic areas.  The first concerns alternative knowledges – which focuses on issues related to knowledge and knowledge partnerships. The second concerns issues of  alternative economies, including the social economy, fair trade and similar innovations that challenge conventional wisdom.

Amongst ISHD’s current partners are ART-Universitas, an initiative that involves several UN agencies, the UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)  and the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies (CEBEM), Bolivia.  We also have ongoing collaborations with the Women’s Development Network (WDN) Costa Rica, a network of women’s groups from different Latin American countries. Since 2009, we have also begun to work with Kudumbashree in Kerala, India which involves almost 4 million women.

ISHD has worked with leading and international organizations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), Geneva; United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), Rome and United Nations Development Program (UNDP); as well, it has received research support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, and similar organizations.