Society for Development Studies (SDS) is a not-for-profit autonomous research, training and consultancy institution under the Societies Registration Act of India. Its agenda includes, among others, policy research, benefit monitoring & performance auditing of development programmes, providing capacity building inputs, advisory services and technical assistance in areas that are central  to the growth of local, nation and regional economies, but are often under-stressed or overlooked in the planning processes, especially the marginalised group.

Working world wide with a network of partners in more than 20 countries, SDS provides professional services to national, state and local governments, financial institutions, the public sector and development authorities, NGOs the private sector, international agencies inn the United Nations system and donor agencies. SDS policy research is based on data generation at the grassroot level, both urban and rural. Developing monitoring and performance auditing systems, transforming field level inputs into planning, and bringing about changes in policies have been major components of SDS work agenda. Knowledge Infrastructure has now emerged as a major instrument for supporting policy formulation and planning.

Numerous initiatives of SDS have been emulated by other institutions, both in areas of research as well as in training methodologies and practices. Its success in transferring the research and capacity building outputs to official policies and in the planning and programme development is rated as 60 percent. Capacity building inputs have sensitised decision makers at all hierarchical levels of governance. This is specially seen in the context of introducing an information-driven process, SDS has achieved significant success in introducing new approaches in urban planning and good governance. SDS methodologies relating to housing demand, housing investment and urban infrastructure investment have been used by major development and government institutions.