Rural Development Training and Research Institute (RDTRI) was established in 1974 and at that time, the institution was making its involvements in the field of rural development only through its programmes. Within the traditional rural development, in an approach where the priority had been given to physical development, issues with regard to achieving rural development targets came to exist. As a result of the strategic endeavor to initiate Change Agent Programme as the functional training and research programme of applying participatory development approach in 1978, Research and Development Division was instituted. As such, the regulatory activities of experimenting the participatory development concept as a novel development approach were introduced to the scope of the Research Division. Accordingly, from 1978 to 1998, the operational functions of the Change Agent Program became its main responsibility. Following the end of project period in 1998 and with the decision to make independent and institutionalize the 64 stations where the Change Agent Programme was implemented, Prajashakthi organization network was established. It was the role of the Research Division to provide necessary guidance and consultation to the said organizing network.

Participatory development as a development approach targeting poor families was developed as a functional program through the Methodology Research Division. Similarly in 2000, in collaboration with Canadian International Development Agency, the division was also involved in the training and research activities of incorporating/absorbing the concept of Gender Identity concept for development programmes. Over a period of nearly 40 years, engaging in research activities such as functional research, social research, surveys and case studies across broad areas of rural development and poverty alleviation, knowledge sharing activities such as experience exchange workshops and open dialogues, and the activities such as publishing of research papers and the publishing of the newspaper called "Sathya", are amongst the primary functions carried out by the Research Division.

Research Programmes in progress-2021

Research Programme Output Objective
Action Research to develop 50 model villages Construction of 50 Model Villages Empowerment of 5000 Samurdhi beneficiary families
Social research on the various dimensions of poverty Research Report - 01  Identifying the various dimensions of poverty
Case studies on poverty alleviation Case Study Reports - 25

Identify the field experience of poverty alleviation.

Open dialogue program Open dialogue - 02 Identify the different forms, approaches and methods of poverty.
Capacity Development of Institutional Officers Training Programs - 02 Improving the efficiency and productivity of institutional officers.



Action research program to identify the socio-economic impact of the Samurdhi Production Model Villages and Prosperity Production Cluster Villages and to strengthen the development process.

Ministry of Samurdhi, Home Economics, Microfinance, Self-Employment and Business Development, Ministry of Prosperity Production Village Programs with the objective of building a prosperous country that achieves the social, economic and environmental well-being of the community by making the concept of “Beautiful Villages” a reality by 2021. Will be done. It is expected to strengthen the national economy by expanding investment in the export sector and strengthening small and medium scale entrepreneurs to build a productive economy. Impact of the Samurdhi Development Villages and Prosperous Cluster Villages Achieved by the Department of Samurdhi Development and the Ministry of Agriculture implemented under this Ministry during the last 03 years with the objective of improving the living standards of the community, promoting export products and meeting the local consumption needs. Study has the potential to further strengthen the existing development process in those villages.

View more >>

Accordingly, the Rural Development Training and Research Institute has the potential to study in depth the impact on the living standards of the community in the manufacturing villages and has the potential to further strengthen the development process in these villages.Therefore, out of the 200 villages where the Samurdhi Production Villages and Prosperity Production Cluster Programs were implemented, 50 villages identified in the districts of Kandy, Kurunegala, Kegalle, Matale, Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara were studied and the socio-economic change that has taken place in those villages and the development process. The Institute of Rural Development Training and Research has come forward to improve the living standards of the community by contributing to strengthening.