Since 1993, the Research Unit of the College has been conducting a number of social work research studies. The Research Unit conducts independent research as well as commissioned research studies for Local, State and National Government and National-International Agencies. The Research Unit focuses on systematic, fact-based and action-oriented research that creates user-friendly social work related knowledge for social work education and practice, social policy and advocacy. It aims to find effective field practice methodologies and person cantered interventions to better the quality of life of the people.


  • To conduct research studies and programme evaluation for voluntary and governmental organizations concerned or working on social development and related issues, such as primary education, health, income generation, poverty alleviation, mother and child care, health, environmental concerns and so on.
  • To disseminate the significant findings of the research studies through reports, seminars and workshops and influence the policy decisions of government and non-governmental agencies.
  • To develop a strong research base to build indigenous theories of social work.
  • To produce quality research related to actual practice in order to move the social work field toward developing practice guidelines based on evidence.
  • To stimulate practitioners and students to access research and to be educated consumers of scientific literature.
  • To organize and conduct research methodology course for social work educators and practitioners with a knowledge base in research content and methodology
  • To establish research infrastructure for students and provide mentoring opportunities for their research studies and projects
  • To assist faculty in conducting research and develop their competencies in research methodologies.


The Research Unit is intended to reflect a focus of expertise and necessarily, though not only, has research as its main focus. It consists of academic and research staff drawn from one or more disciplines. The Research Unit has a nominated Director a Senior Faculty member, with a PH.D. In addition to the Director, the core team of the Research Unit comprises of the three permanent non teaching staff - a Research Coordinator, a Senior Research Assistant and an Accountant. Qualified and experience personnel preferably with a Master’s degree in social work or social sciences and research training are employed as Research Assistants on a project basis as and when required. The Research Unit also hires external research staff as resource personnel/ consultants with expertise on specific issues for a defined task depending on the requirements of the study. Although, the Research Unit has a clearly defined structure, the hierarchy is not rigid and team work is emphasised. All staff members (those belonging core team as well as those appointed on a project basis) work together as a cohesive and seamless team.

The Research Unit has provided staff members with the means of achieving visibility and raising the profile of their work. With the experienced acquired in the research unit, some of the former staff of the unit are continuing with their doctoral programme in the UK and US, others are engaged in research and documentation in organisations in India and abroad while still others have moved into profession of music, journalism, law and joined faculty position. The Research Unit has created a cadre of young social workers committed to pursuing quality research and indigenous documentation.



The Research Unit has particularly facilitated and promoted interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary activity through its various activities. Over the years, the Research Unit has gained visibility to the public recognition as a node of excellence and provided groups and external users with a common and easily identifiable face. Public recognition as a node of excellence also assisted interactions and collaborations with external organizations, research institutions and government, as well as help to attract excellent staff and students. Since its inception the R U has evolved and created a process of the current research environment and changes signaled by recent government and NGO requests for research and training.


  • Independent Research Projects: The Research Unit takes up independent research studies, based on the needs of the people. In order to develop effective intervention strategies as well as for social policy and advocacy. The Unit has in the past conducted action as well as academic research independently.
  • Research Projects for NGOs: A number of NGOs across the country, from time to time approach the Unit to conduct research studies for their programmes and activities. These studies include needs assessments, evaluation, surveys and social assessments. A number of National-International NGOs such as Aga Khan Foundation, Population Services International (PSI) and PLAN-International have assigned their research work to the Unit.
  • Research Projects for National-International Agencies: The Unit has, since inception, been closely working with a number of National-International agencies such as UNFPA, UNESCAP, and UNICEF, to name a few.
  • Research Projects for Governmental Agencies: A number of research studies for the Sate as well as National government, for the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Women and Child Development – Government of India (HRD-DWCD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment-Government of India, Municipal Corporation of Mumbai as well as State Government of Maharashtra have been taken up by the Unit successfully.
  • Training: The Research Unit also organizes a number of training programmes on a regular basis. The training component is interwoven in the work of the Unit in the form of the Advance Research.


    Over the years, the Unit has carved out for itself a niche in a number of specialised research areas, such as Child Protection, Women, Needs Assessments, and Evaluations. Research Projects undertaken by the Research Unit.

  • Qualitative Research: The Unit has, over the years, developed an expertise in Qualitative Research, and knowing the significance of this methodology for social work research, practice as well as education, the Unit has conducted many research studies using Qualitative methodology.
  • Quantitative Research: Quantitative methods are very important and significant in terms of assessment, evaluation and so on. The Research Unit also has an expertise in Quantitative methods and conducts many quantitative researches regularly.
  • Action Research: What works, what doesn’t and how the field experiences can enrich and enhance research as well as practice, based on the interventions and experimentations, takes us to an altogether different kind of research method – Action Research. Action Research has tremendous scope and significance in social work research, and hence the Research Unit also involves itself in a number of action researches, in order to bring theory closer to field, and vice versa.
  • Participatory Research: The Research Unit has in the past also conducted research projects using the participatory method such as PLA methods.

List of Research Projects Undertaken By RU since 1994

Sr. No.

Name of Study

Commissioning Agency


Duration of Project


1 Study & Action Research on the Girl Child Especially in Difficult Circumstances UNICEF, New Delhi 1994 Action Research on Girl Child
2 A study to evaluate the effectiveness of Community Health Workers in Health Posts in Greater Bombay Under IPP – V Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay (India Population Project – V) 1994 Health
National Consultation on Child Prostitution UNICEF & Department of Women & Child Development, Ministry of Human Resource Development 1994 Child Prostitution Child Protection
A Descriptive Analysis of the Physical and Pedagogical Techniques in BMC Schools Implementing the UPEFA Project UNICEF, Bombay 1995 Education
An Evaluation of the Impact of Sponsorship-Aid Provided by CASP-PLAN in the Resettlement Area in Malad (E), Mumbai CASP - PLAN 1995 Family & Child Sponsorship
Survey of Low Income Goan Households with School Dropout Adolescent Girls: Assessing Need and Interest in Vocational Training and Income Generating Program Maria Coelho Charitable and Social Trust 1996 Education & Skill Training
Working Conditions at the Dumping Ground Sites of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Participatory Research in Asia(PRIA) 1997 Dumping ground - health
A Study to Evaluate the Bhiwandi She Buffalo Generation Program of the CASP-Plan International CASP-PLAN 1997 Income generation
Qualitative Impact Assessment of the Bombay Red Light District Project (PSI) Population Services International
Women Adolescent girls (Commercial Sex Workers)
An Evaluation of the School Social Work program run by the Pearl S. Buck Foundation (PSBF) and the Ho chi Minh City Child Welfare Foundation (HCWF) Pearl S. Buck Foundation, Vietnam 1997 Family & Child Sponsorship
Social Assessment Study on the District Primary Education Program in Maharashtra Prathmik Shikshan Parishad Government of Maharashtra (D.P.E.P. – 2) Maharashtra Prathmik Shikshan Parishad 1998 Education
12 The Social & Health Needs of Sexually Abused and Exploited Children (UNESCAP) United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific 1998 Health and social services of Sexually Abused and Exploited children
A Baseline Study to Assess the Housing Conditions of the Allottees of PVHP in Pune Prior to Relocation Muniwar Abad Charitable Trust (MACT) 1998 Housing condition and Standard of Living
A Right to Happiness: Positive Prevention and Intervention Strategies with Children abused through Sexual Exploitation (Report of a Workshop for Practitioners in South Asia Mumbai India (BICE) International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE)
Report on the Needs and Aspirations of Blind Adolescent Girls in Mumbai Proctor and Gamble, India Ltd. 1999 Adolescent blind girls
Raids, Rescue, Rehabilitation Academy for Educational Development under Associate Award No. 386-A-00-03-00123 for the project ‘South Asia Regional Initiative Equity (SARI/Equity) Support Programme & UNICEF - Delhi 1999 Publication on the Mumbai Raids of 19996
A Study of the Children of Prostitutes in the Red Light Areas of Mumbai in View of Their Rehabilitation Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Mumbai 1999 Need assessment of children of sex workers and availability of services
Evaluation of Nine Social Development Projects of the College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan Financed by Bilance NetherlandsIn house study 1999-2003 College Field Action Projects
Resilience – A Joyful Growth: Action Research on Promoting Resilience in Children Report and Manual of Exercises International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE) July 2001-Feb 2002 Risk factor in children Manual of the Action Research
Evaluation of Sponsorship Programme of Family Service Centre Child’s Rights and You (CRY) Jan 2002- June 2002 Family & Child Sponsorship
Needs Assessment of Beed District, Maharashtra Provincial of the Pune Province of the society of Jesus(sj) June 2002- Dec 2002 Need assessment of landless labourers
A Study of Pre and Post Adoptive Concerns of Adoptive Parents in Mumbai. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, New Delhi May 2003- Nov 2003 Child Adoption
Qualitative Documentation on Rescue and Rehabilitation Interventions on Child Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation UNICEF & Department of Women and Child Development Ministry of Human Resource Development Government of India September 2002 – May 2003 Child Trafficking & Sexual Exploitation of children in India
Evaluation Study of Day Care Centres – Aasara Aasara Feb 2004- June 2004 Day Care Centres
A Situational Analysis of the Prostitution of Boys in the City of Mumbai, India ECPAT August 2004 – May 2006 Prostitution of Boys
A Manual for Social Workers / Caregivers of Child Victims of Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation – UNICEF UNICEF & Department of Women and Child Development Ministry of Human Resource Development Government of India July 2004- May 2005 Manual – care Child Victims
Evaluation of Prevention of Trafficking In Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh Society to Help Rural Empowerment and Education (STHREE) 2004- 2005 Girl/Women Trafficking
A Study of the Alumni of the College of Social Work in its Golden Jubilee Year – 1955 – 2005. College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan 2004- 2005 Alumni of the CSW
Anti-Trafficking Action Plan for years 2005 – 07 UNICEF & Department of Women Development and Child Welfare, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh March 2005- September 2005 Child Trafficking
Access to Care Study on Tuberculosis Services in Mumbai Inter-Aide Dost Dec 2004- March 2005 Health
Falling Sex Ratio in Maharashtra – Female Foeticide Report All India Association for Christian Higher Education(AIACHE )Publication Dec 2005-March 2005 Female Foeticide
Report on the analysis of a baseline study carried out in shelter homes in Mumbai which house rescued victims of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation The South Asia Regional Initiative / Equity Support Program - SARI/Equity October 2004- July 2006 Publication of the Action Research - Shelter Home Victims - Rehabilitation
Enquiry into Ethical Dilemmas in Social Work in India Publication financed by Ratan Tata Trust 2006 Ethics - Book
Factors Associated With Adherence/Non-Adherence to Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) Among HIV/AIDS Patients Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine, University of South Florida Jan 2007- April 2007 HIV/AIDS
35 Evaluation of the Community-based Sponsorship Programme Children of the World (India) Trust 2007- 2008 Community based Sponsorship Program
36 Mapping of the Criminal Justice System in Maharashtra Public Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT) 2007- 2008 Governance
37 Development of Materials for the National Convention of Children Against Child Labour Organized by CACL – Central Secretariat CACL (Campaign Against Child Labour) 2007- 2008 Child Labour - Booklet

Exploration of Women’s Daily Lives and Participation in the Informal Labor Market in Mumbai, India Department of Economics & Department of Psychology, California State University, San Marcos 2007-2008 Improve employment condition of women
Exploration of Women’s Daily Life and Participation in the Informal Labour Market (Phase –I) Rohuk Consultants 2007-2009 Improve employment condition of women
Mapping Nowhere Children: Registering the Births of Children in Vulnerable Circumstances in Mumbai Plan India 2007-2008 Birth registration of Children
Evaluation of the Cooperatives and Micro-finance Initiatives of Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action( YUVA) YUVA 2007-2008 Micro finance for Women
Action Research on Prevention of Unintentional Injuries Among Children (0-14 years) in Mumbai Safe Kids Foundation (India) 2007-2009 Action research - Road Safety among (0-14 years)children
A Process Evaluation of the project titled ‘Communication of Health Messages affecting Malnutrition through Traditional Folk Art Forms Impact India Foundation, Mumbai. 2007-2009 Malnutrition among mother and child
Potential for Change: Needs Assessment Study Holy Cross Hospital, Kalyan 2008-2009 Child Health
Rapid Appraisal of the Read India Campaign in Mumbai Pratham, Mumbai. 2008-2009 Education
Impact of Bhonga Schools on Tribal Children Vidhayak Sansad 2008-2010 Education
Assessment of the Rotary Club of Bombay Mid-Town Assisted Agricultural Program in Thane District Rotary Club of Bombay Mid-Town 2008-2010 Agricultural activities affect employment
My Dream House: Impact Evaluation of Habitat India’s Cost Effective Housing Solutions in Karjat, Maharashtra Habitat For Humanity 2009-2011 Housing
Helping families care for their children: A feasibility study to determine the viability of initiating SOS’s Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) in Alibaug SOS villages 2009-2011 Family Strengthening
Developing a curriculum for Universal Birth Registration (UBR) for student of social work or related humanity fields Plan India 2009-2011 Curriculum on Birth Registration of Children
Multi Sectoral development of areas prone to communal tensions in Maharashtra. Minority Affairs Department, Mumbai 2009-2012 Communal violence
Compilation and Preparation: A Directory of Minority Institutions in the state of Maharashtra Minority Affairs Department 2009-2012 Minority Education Institutions
Study of the Conditions of Women Affected by Communal Violence in Kandhamal District, Orissa National Solidarity Forum, Orissa) 2010-2011 Women violence
Evaluation of the Mumbai- Thane HIV AIDS Project. World Vision 2010-2011 HIV/AIDS
Evaluation of Muktangan Tech Mahindra Foundation 2010-2011 Education of children
Baseline survey of the Demonstration site for the Girls Gaining Ground (GGG) program Bhavishya Alliance 2011-2012 Adolescent girls health
Development Initiatives by Voluntary Organizations Working for the Muslim Community in the State of Maharashtra Nasreen Contractor 2011-2012 Muslim Community
Dandi village: a survey on maternal and child health JSW Steel Ltd 2011-2012 Maternal & Child Health
Needs Assessment Survey of Sriji ka Kheda College of Social Work 2011-2012 Housing, Health , Education, income, occupation, employment
A Rapid Appraisal of Teach for India Programme (TFI) Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) 2011-2012 Education of Children
Formative Process Evaluation Of Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) Project Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) 2011-2012 Education
To Strengthen Child Protection Systems and Addressing Violence Against Children UNICEF 2011-2013 Child protection mapping course
End line survey of the demonstration site for the Girls Gaining Ground (GGG) program Bhavishya Alliance 2011-2012 Adolescent girls health
A Baseline Needs Assessment of Baddi, Nallagar and Barutiwala (Chandigad,Himachal Pradesh) Nirmala Niketan Institute 2011-2013 Health , Education and other domains
Going Beyond the Known: Understanding Exit Strategies used by Commercial Sex Workers (CSWs) in the Kamathipura Area in Mumbai Navjeevan trust and College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan 2011-2013 Commercial Sex Workers
Economic Opportunities for the Marginalized in India –Juhu Moragaon’ Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, (RGICS), New Delhi 2012-2013 Economic opportunities for Koli Community
Baseline Survey of Villages in Pilibhit District, Uttar Pradesh Asha Deep Amaria 2012-2013 Baseline – Need Assessment
Preparing a compendium of NGOs in Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad that prepare gifting items” Ishanya Foundation, Pune 2012-2013 Gifting articles
Impact Assessment of Resettlement Implementation- Mumbai Urban Transport Project Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) 2012-2015 Housing
Socio Economic and Rehabilitation perspectives of the pavement dwellers in Mumbai Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA) 2012-2013 Housing
Evaluation of Vidyadeep Community College, Bharuch, Gujarat Vidyadeep Community College, Bharuch, Gujarat 2013-2014 Education of Tribal girls
Addressing Child Malnutrition in Maharashtra: 1000 Day Window of Opportunity Save the Children India 2013-2014 Maternal and neo-natal health
Impact Assessment study on the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives by Mahindra & Mahindra group Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. 2013-2014 Effectiveness of activities
A Needs Assessment Study in the Tribal Villages of Vikramgarh, Thane District Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. 2014-2015 Education, Health
Evaluation of UMEED Project Plan India 2014-2015 Education, Health
Baseline Survey of Villages in Pilibhit District, Uttar Pradesh Asha Deep Amaria 2014-2015 End line - Need assessment
Impact evaluation study on the CSR initiatives of L&T Limited Larsen & Toubro Limited 2015-2016 Health, Education, Skill Development for youth
Impact Evaluation of Soch Ka Parivartan module of YUVA Parivartan Kherwadi Social Welfare AssociationYUVA Parivartan 2015-2016 Livelihood, Employability of the youth
Study on Sanitation facilitiesand its effect on protection of children in Dharavi, Mumbai World Vision India – MCI Mumbai 2015-2016 Hygiene & Sanitation(Health)
Assessment of Nutritional Status in Elderly in the slums of Mumbai (ICMR multi-centric Task force study) Indian Council of Medical Research 2015 -ongoing Nutritional Status of Elderly Population
82 Socio-Economic Survey of Households in Planned Nodes in Navi Mumbai City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd 2015-ongoing Social , cultural, environmental, health and security aspects of Navi Mumbai
83 Impact Assessment Study of Sanjeevani-Life beyond cancer Sanjeevani Life beyond cancer 2017-ongoing Health
84 Study of Children of Migrant Construction Workers in six Indian cities Don Bosco Research Center 2017-ongoing Health – children and adolescent
Evaluation of Drivers Welfare Project and Village Adoption Project in Aware Village, Thane Mahindra Logistics 2017-ongoing Social Welfare

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