Rural Research maximizes the impact of poverty alleviation initiatives for rural communities through using participatory research and impact assessment as practical tools informing action, outcomes and learning.

Rural Research is a cross-cutting initiative that bifurcate its work into two broad themes, that is, Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation, and Development and Policy Research

1. Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation (MLE): This focuses on integrating all components of the research process which are undertaken to design and implement interventions by Sehgal Foundation in the rural pockets of the country. These components largely include needs assessment, baseline surveys, mid-term monitoring and impact evaluation studies. Process documentation is also a part of MLE as it guides the evaluation process. It emphasizes on qualitative and quantitative measurement of trends through surveys, participatory rural appraisal tools and techniques.

2. Development and Policy Research (DPR): This focuses on strategic and policy level studies. It attempts to understand poverty dynamics in a rural context and throws light on concepts of vulnerability, exclusion and marginalization. The theme also attempts to contribute to the larger body of knowledge through participating in thematic discourses which align with the ambit of Sehgal Foundation’s work. Organizing roundtables and conferences on key development issues is an important component of this theme which furthers the purpose of disseminating knowledge created at the grassroots.