About Us

Institute of Social Development (ISD)

Institute of Social Development (ISD) is a non-governmental organization based in Kandy Sri Lanka, established in 1991 by a group of activists who works in the field of human right, labour, gender, and advocacy. The group initiated a dialogue on measuring the impact of development activities implemented by various sectors including government and NGOs in the plantation sector since 1948. The findings indicated that there have been no major qualitative changes taken place in the lives of the plantation worker community.

The group concluded that unless the marginalized communities are not empowered to demand and defend their ensured rights, outsiders cannot influence them for sustainable change. Thus, ISD executed various awareness programmes to empower the marginalized plantation community.

The programmes focused on inclusion and governance, gender and politics, promotion of peace and harmony, health and education, Environment justice and lobby and advocacy.

Vision and Mission

In the year 2011, we broadened our programmes and as a result, we have changed our vision and mission as:


"Excluded communities and groups mainstream with dignity and equal rights".


"Strengthen the marginalized plantation, rural communities and groups towards sustainable social changes based on democracy, equity, social justice, freedom and peace".

"To empower the marginalized plantation community to demand and defend fundamental human, labour, gender and other rights".
The organization consists of a General Council and a Board of Directors. The General council consists of founder members, professionals, expertise and worker representatives. The General Council possesses the authority to elect the Board of Directors.The Board of Directors consists of 7 members including the Executive Director of the institution.

Following are the names of the current Board of Directors:

  • Mr. P Muthulingam (Director, Institute of Social Development)
  • Mr. U. R. Charles Dayananda(Retired Senior Lecturer)
  • Ms. Renuka Rajendran(Teacher)
  • Mrs.A. Anantha Kumar(Teacher)
  • Mr.S.Muralitharan(National Director, MInistry of Education)
  • Mr. K. G. Tilakaratne(Retired government worker)
  • Ms.Gowri Palaniyappan(Researcher)
The Working Women’s Front (WWF) was initiated in 1997 as ISD’s women’s wing; since 1997, WWF has lobbied and advocated for the labour and human rights of the working women of Sri Lanka.The members of the WWF have requested to register the Front as a Trade Union. Hence some of the veteran trade unionists also supported this request. Presently it is noted that more than 50% of women are employed in the unorganized sector. Taking into consideration of the feminization and the , we have registered WWF as a Trade Union in December 2011. Since 2011 WWF functioned as an independent women TU. WWF is the first women TU registered in Sri Lanka


"Women workers of formal and informal sector work in a sexual harassment-free decent work environment by enjoying equal labour rights".


"Mobilize and strengthen the capacity of working women of organized, unorganized, and informal sectors including domestic workers to enjoy ensured labour rights and decent work".

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