The organisation has opted for a 4-S strategic approach, combining three hands of critical scholarship, shared learning and social transformation, with sustainability at the centre. The approach evolves from grassroots to link to local-national and international entities and maintains a circular flow. Both research and technical assistance are influenced by the principle of growth having rights, equality, justice sustainability and partnership for development through historic responsibility.
The UO strongly believes that research and solution contribute to achieving sustainability, but these do not lead to bring in social transformation. The organisation builds critical scholarship through rigorous research underpinned on robust science.
The Unnayan Onneshan has adopted an optimistic view on role of knowledge in country’s journey towards development wherein the empowered citizens enjoy their rights equally. The organisation involves much of its energy in innovating approaches where sustainability is central. Building empirical model with full and effective participation of stakeholders concerned is a strategy of knowledge development and dissemination wherein best practices are up -scaled based on local politico-economic dynamics.
The UO examines every issue critically to explore underlying causes as well as to build knowledge base for future. Sustainability is a longitudinal process. Evidence based action research leading to model building for practical demonstration is one of the major tools used by the UO for developing and sustaining new knowledge. The organisation also comes up with thought-provoking research for mainstreaming principles of rights, equality and justice that results in improved wellbeing in the society and collectively contributes towards social transformation, which upholds a sustainability regime.
Unnayan Onneshan deems learning as the core to sustainability based on the understanding that through learning actors assimilate information and update their cognitions and behavior. The organisation emphasizes on both dimensions of learning: the mechanism of learning (social versus individual learning) and the properties of the information being learned (empirical versus normative knowledge). The Unnayan Onneshan works in collaboration with other organisations, forms partnerships, participates in events and act as a bridging organisation between local, national and international organisations which promote learning systems and facilitates the development of better theories and empirically testable models of learning for sustainability.
Putting sustainability into practice requires knowledge about interactions among society, economy, politics and environment. Orthodoxy segregates operation of different interconnected spheres, which forge compartmentalised understanding on sustainability and puts obstacles towards social transformation. Unnayan Onneshan acknowledges that gap remains both in knowledge and practices and therefore research for sustainability demands cross and multidisciplinary cooperation on different levels of social sciences as well as between social and natural sciences. The Unnayan Onneshan transcends the disciplinary boundaries. Truly, sustainability presents many challenges, but creates many opportunities as well for research and knowledge generation. These range from conceptual clarifications, to the working out of new indicators and policy tools, to new forms of involvements in political decision making and social transformation at local and global levels.
Figure: Strategic approach of Unnayan Onneshan