Centre for Community Organisation and Development Practice

About Us


The Centre began as the Department of Rural Welfare and Urban Community Organisation and Development in 1955. The Department was renamed 'Urban and Rural Community Development' (URCD) in 1967. Over five decades of its existence, the Department of URCD was actively engaged with several community development and organising processes across the country.

Post 1991 policy shifts and the visible impact of these changes after 2001, brought reflection on changing community practice. Efforts towards inclusive governance in a time when the state is withdrawing from social sectors and privatization of services is a gradual but sure process, are necessary. Struggles for survival, livelihood and basic services have added dimensions as displacement and forced migration of communities is increasingly witnessed in several regions of the country. The community is now more than ever before affected by the social, economic, political and cultural changes in the larger world.

Realising that development practitioners require multiple perspectives to analyse and engage with present day complex realities, the department initiated a process of restructuring in the year 2004. Dialogue with academia and practitioners led to reconceptualization of the department as a Centre for Community Organisation and Development Practice located within the newly restructured School of Social Work in 2006.

The Centre formulated a new programme of MA Social Work in Community Organization and Development Practice. The new programme curriculum, field engagement and research endeavours to understand and influence contemporary trends and processes within and across communities in varied development practice contexts.

Centre faculty members have been and continue to be actively involved in curriculum development and teaching in other programmes of the institute. These include the District Facilitator Programme, Diploma in CODP at TISS Guwahati, Post-Graduate Diploma in Child Rights, Women-Centred Social Work, Disaster Studies and the Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellowship Scheme.

Collaborative research projects along with student and faculty exchanges are undertaken with different universities in Europe and USA: University of Tampere in Finland, Centre for East and South East Asian Studies at Lund University and University of Gavle, Sweden; Department of Development Studies in School of Oriental and African Studies in the UK; School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University, UK; School of Social Justice, University College Dublin in Ireland; The Centre also has an enriching short-term customised exchange programme with the School of Social Services Administration (SSA), University of Chicago since 2009.

International Collaborations

The School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago in collaboration with Centre for Community Organisation and Development Practice (CODP) developed a module on “Poverty, Marginalisation and Challenges for Community Practice” for students from the University of Chicago in 2009. The module includes classroom sessions at TISS and field engagement in Mumbai city for one month in July-August every year. As part of this collaboration, four students from CODP undertake a one-month field practicum cum course work programme with SSA, Chicago.

The collaboration with Roskilde University, which started in the year 2013 on the theme “People Centred Development and Social Innovation in a Globalised Economy”, has matured into a phase where an MoU between the two institutions is being executed to foster inter-university academic engagements including joint researches and publications. The work on an edited volume on the theme has started with contributions by faculty members from the TISS and Roskilde University.

Prof. P K Shajahan has been nominated to the Scientific Committee of 5th EMES International Conference on Social Enterprises as well as to the International Programme Committee of the Joint World Conference of Social Work Education and Social Development to be held in Seoul, Korea, jointly organised by the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW), International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW).

Under the International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) from the European Commission led by a faculty member from the school, four research scholars from the school have visited two partner universities, Coventry University, United Kingdom and Kocaeli University, Turkey and contributed to the final document on global models of best practices in Social Work and Civil Engagement.

A program on Critical and Innovative Approaches to Higher Education in the 21st Century was organized by Critical Edge Alliance (CEA) in Roskilde University, Denmark on June 20-24, 2016.

Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development (SWSD 2016) was organized by Prof. P. K. Shajahan and sponsored by Korea National Council on Social Welfare in Seoul, South Korea on June 26-30, 2016.

Symposium on Social Work Education and Practice from the South: New and Emerging Areas of Social Work in India was organized by Prof. P. K. Shajahan and sponsored by International Council on Social Welfare in Seoul, South Korea on June 29, 2016.

Three days program on Critical and Innovative Approaches to Higher Education in the 21st Century was organized in Morocco on July 6-8, 2015 by Prof. P.K. Shajahan. The program was sponsored by Critical Edge Alliance.