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Homepage > Archive > Numar: 3 > The Response of Social Work Research to the Needs of Decision Makers in Meghalaya, India

 The Response of Social Work Research to the Needs of Decision Makers in Meghalaya, India

  • Nongrum Melari Shisha (Department of Social Work, Martin Luther Christian University, Block 1, Dongktieh, Nongrah 793006, Shillong, Meghalaya, India, Tel: +91 8413031745, E-mail:

Social work research has been well established in developed countries like the United States of America. In India, social work research is yet to establish its distinctiveness in research. This paper seeks to assess the contribution of social work researchers towards the needs of policy decision makers and the challenges faced by them. Two studies were conducted, acting as reference points to discuss the objective of this paper. These studies were conducted in the North Eastern region of India, in the State of Meghalaya, which is largely inhabited by people of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo origins. These studies were commissioned by the Indian Government. One of the studies (on single mothers) was commissioned by the Department of Social Welfare. In this study, focus group discussions were conducted in 2 villages and a household survey in another 7 villages. The second study was commissioned by the National Commission for Women, and assessed the status of women in the State. The household survey was conducted in 1,081 households within 7 districts. It is difficult to claim that social work researchers in India have been able to contribute towards the needs of policy makers, as social work research is treated as falling within the ambit of social science research. The challenges faced by social worker researchers include aspects like epistemological differences, the difficulty to use the research process as an empowering tool, the cultural insensitivity resulting from already designed data collection tools, the limited access to peer reviewed journals, financial resources, and the limited platform to publish social work research. These aspects are also discussed in the paper.

Keywords: social work research, social work researcher, social work in Meghalaya, social work research in Meghalaya, India