Compassionate Wisdom, Service from the Heart

The Tarayana Centre for Social Research and Development (TCSRD) is the think tank and research arm of the Tarayana Foundation, focusing on rigorous action-oriented research. Established in 2015, it is evolving into a centre for excellence in action-oriented social research for development. The Centre is home to pre-existing and ongoing research that documents social, environmental and cultural change on the ground, especially for grassroots communities and vulnerable women, men and young people. TCSRD aims to exemplify development innovation, as one of Bhutan’s first community-oriented, CSO-run social research institute and think tank. 

TCSRD contributes to realizing Tarayana Foundation’s vision of a happy and prosperous Bhutan through three  objectives: 

1) to carry  out action-oriented social development research in the areas of socio-cultural landscapes, political-ecology, behavioural science, anthropological approaches, indigenous knowledge, and rural innovation that ensures bottom-up knowledge and actionable research; 

2) to enhance development efforts by creating a repository  and storehouse of knowledge from original research by the  Centre and rural development initiatives of the Tarayana Foundation, and to provide  networking opportunities, knowledge-sharing and linkages amongst researchers, scholars, development practitioners and other agencies in Bhutan; and 

3) to develop reflexive approaches and social change pathways and theories of change that help to assess the impacts of the Centre’s research and activities on the ground. 



TCSRD’s new research programme, Bhutanese Knowledge for Indigenous Development (B-KIND) focuses on transdisciplinary action-oriented research in the areas of adaptation to climate change, sustainable organic agriculture, holistic food systems, gender transformative change and wellbeing. The programme is supported by the Canadian government through the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). TCSRD is pleased to partner with implementing research institutions including College of Natural Resources, Lobesa; College of Language and Culture Studies, Taktse; and Out of the Box Research and Action, Canada. B-KIND aims to enhance adaptive capacities and resilience of economically vulnerable rural women, men and youth, by developing rigorous evidence-based scientific and citizen-research that informs gender transformative climate adaptation practices and policies for improving sustainable rural livelihoods, integrated organic agricultural-food systems and gross national happiness. 

B-KIND takes a holistic, integrated approach that addresses the climate change-agriculture/food systems-gender equality nexus for sustainable and equitable development and wellbeing. It’s overall objective is to develop and apply evidence-based scientific and indigenous knowledge to promote and inform gender transformative practices and policies for enhancing adaptive capacities, sustainable livelihoods and wellbeing of vulnerable rural communities in Bhutan.

In light of rapidly changing contexts in rural Bhutan where climate change, COVID19 and socio-economic vulnerabilities exacerbate economic poverty, food insecurity, unhealthy food consumption and nutrition, gender inequality and differences in gross national happiness, B-KIND’s specific objectives are:

1. To generate knowledge about locally appropriate organic agricultural-food systems, tradeoffs and gender transformative practices. 

2. To implement action-oriented research on the use of best organic farming practices and holistic food systems that enhance the livelihoods of rural communities while strengthening local adaptation capacities, exchange networks and gender equitable benefits. 

3. To strengthen the trans-disciplinary expertise, scientific capacities, leadership and equitable opportunities of researchers, students, research institutions, and science-policy networks.

4. To inform evidence-based policy processes in Bhutan related to national plans for resilient organic farming, climate change, gross national happiness, gender equality, and food and nutrition security and to enhance leadership/expertise on multidisciplinary research in the country.