What is Institute of Livelihood Research and Training?

It is now widely accepted that promotion of large number of livelihoods, especially for the rural poor and women has emerged as the most significant development challenge of the century. Some estimates show that 12 to 15 million new livelihoods need to be promoted every year in India to ensure near full employment. However, there are two significant bottlenecks, which are witnessed in the field of livelihood promotion: inadequate availability of knowledge base on how to support/ promote large number of livelihoods; and inadequate availability of trained human resources who can participate in this work effectively.

The Institute of Livelihood Research and Training – ILRT, (earlier The Livelihood School) is a practice-based academic institution promoted by the Basix Social Enterprise Group – a livelihood promotion conglomerate. The mandate of the ILRT is to build up a scientific knowledge base on livelihoods and disseminate the same to livelihood practitioners for enhancing their understanding and implementation capabilities, who in turn will promote large number of livelihoods. In other words, knowledge building (KB) and Knowledge Dissemination (KD) is the main strategy and approach being followed. This is achieved through various activities such as research, action research, case documentation, trainings, capacity building, hand-holding and accompaniment support, study programs (exposure visits), etc.

ILRT has trained more than 20,000 practitioners on livelihood promotion, undertaken over 50 research studies, engaged with more than a 100 accompaniment support programs, published 40 papers, developed 200+ case studies and conducted 21 writeshops.

In addition to this, ILRT has also conducted over 130 Study Programs/Exposure Visits/Knowledge Exchange Visits – both national and international – that cater to the needs of learning from Indian experiences. Over 150 organizations and close to 3,000 professionals in India and 30 countries across the globe have benefited from these programs which include The World Bank, UN agencies, International Networks, National Banks, Government agencies – both National and International, state governments as well as NGOs.

ILRT works in ‘Pockets of Poverty’ in India and other developing countries which have issues related to livelihood promotion. It works closely with government agencies, NGOs and other like-minded development organizations that focus on livelihood promotion. While our engagement with grassroots entrepreneurs, farmers and other stakeholders help us understand the issues better, we also engage with activities that positively influence the approaches and strategies at the policy level.

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