Research has played a vital role for
SEWA since inception. The purpose of the research is to help in
bringing positive changes in the lives and conditions of the
unorganized women workers.
The Main Objectives of SEWA Research are:
Understand the socio-economic conditions
and issues of women in the informal economy.
Conduct impact studies on the eleven
principles of SEWA.
Evaluate SEWA interventions and
Document the history of women’s
struggles for economic and social security.
Bring, research on women in the informal
economy, into the mainstream.
A Journey from 1991 to 2009:
Since 1991, the types of research studies conducted by the Research
Unit vary from impact evaluations to technical studies, census,
longitudinal studies, baseline surveys, socio-economic surveys, and
diagnostic studies. Till date SEWA Research has completed over 140
studies on topics ranging from
Globalization of Garment sector
Gum Collector's struggle for survival
Financial crisis and its impact on its
members, price rise and its impact on our members
Impact of financial Crisis on Self
Education and social security need of
women and girls
Empowering Adolescent Girls through
Micro insurance- Need Assessment Study and many other.
In addition to meeting internal research
needs, SEWA Research also conducts studies commissioned by other
organizations and works in partnership on joint studies.
1. Action-oriented Research
Research projects are directly linked to action and immediate
usefulness- supporting SEWA's organizing, programme development and
advocacy campaigns. Research at SEWA never sits on a bookshelf. It
is actively shared and used as tool to guide action. In fact, the
demand for SEWA research often comes from those organization and
departments who are formulating, testing or evaluating an
2. Linking the Micro and Macro
SEWA research links grassroots’ issues and the local development
context to government policies and the economic development process.
Through its research, SEWA strives to understand the effect of macro
policies on women in the informal economy. Moreover, SEWA documents,
alternative solutions at the grassroots and then lobbies for them at
the macro level.
3. Mainstreaming the Invisible
Country's total informal employment accounts for 93% of all total
employment of the country, they are the significant contributors to
the economy but still their contribution is not visible. SEWA
research tries to fill this gap and encourage others to study the
informal economy. SEWA’s Research findings have been used as the
basis to influence policymakers and call for widespread policy
change at the national and international levels.
4. Grassroots Presence: Building Strength from Within
One of SEWA’s most fundamental values is its commitment to ‘build’
the capacity of its members through training. In this tradition,
members have been trained to be an integral part of the research
team and to establish a decentralized research structure.
For further details on SEWA Research please visit