Academic research both at Ph.D. and M.Phil, levels are application oriented.  At the Ph.D. level the research focus has been on Developmental Economics and at the M. Phil. level the focus has been on Environmental Economics.  The research projects undertaken by the students have given ample scope for a learned development intervention.  The Ph.D. and the M.Phil studies and research programmes are guided by the senior professors of CReNIEO.

CReNIEO Diploma Course in Rural Development and Management (RDM)- 1991-2003

CReNIEO designed and conducted a One Year Diploma Course in Rural Development and Management for potential leaders in rural development at the executive level.  The course is more practical oriented which enables those who undergo this course to realistically conceptualize, plan and initiate sustainable development programmes for rural India. The course is for NGOs from the country as well as for overseas students. 

The course was of two year duration when and it was launched in 1991 it was revised to one year duration from the academic year 2001-2002. The course is also in a modular form especially for over seas students. Eighty four development leaders from different States have undergone the training and they are holding important positions in organizations engaged in grassroots development work.

Twenty four overseas students from USA, Japan, Sweden, Norway and Germany have done modular courses and thirty overseas students have undergone short-term courses.

Project Work of Rural Development and Management Course students

All the students of the Rural Development and Management (RDM) course undertake an issue based field study  as part of their course.  The studies are supervised by the Director and CReNIEO Faculty. 

International Academic Programmes

Since 1993, CReNIEO started to conduct exchange programmes for students of American Universities as well as a few Norwegian and German Colleges. Students and faculty members spend about three months attending the Rural Development and Management (RDM) course, visiting various projects and they are oriented to various socio cultural dimensions which are unique to India. The students are placed in the various rural development projects of the Centre as well other NGOs in different parts of the country.

In August 2000 a voluntary organisation in Japan called SOMNEED organised a one moth training programmes for 14 Japanese students on rural development and Management. The students were placed in the field at Koraput and Pulicat. Short exposure programmes were conducted in January 2004 for faculty members from different colleges from Canada.

In 2002-2003 period a student from Newcastle University in the UK did a research study in the Pulicat Lake for her Ph.D.

In 2008-2010 people from the EU attended the Nature summer camp programme at Pulicat. In 2009 two volunteers from Germany worked for three months in the Pulicat project.

Orissa Development Action Programme (ODAF)

The network was established in 1989 and CReNIEO is one of the founding members. The ODAF is a network of 12 NGOs working in Orissa who cover a total of 831 villages, mostly tribal with a population of 85000. CReNIEO had played a crucial role in enabling different NGOs with different styles and different strengths to come together to harness the potential of the people of the region to cope with any disaster. A research study was undertaken by the centre in 1989 on the drought conditions in Orissa which paved the way to frame programmes that would address the core issues such as coping with drought and leading to a sustainable livelihood.

The Centre with ODAF had published three booklets on laws relating to people in Oriya. The Centre has also conducted a workshop on sustainable agriculture and on bio-diversity and patent rights.

The ODAF programmes are continuing by promoting education for Adivasi school drop outs, 841 students have been assisted. Twenty villages Educational Development committees to revive education have been established to assist in the running of government schools. The project helps the people to access government schemes such as PDS and MGNREGS.

Better cultivation practices such as systemic rice intensification schemes have been introduced. 1292 acres have been brought under organic farming. Fifty acres of wastelands have been developed into cultivatable lands and 32 acres of land has been brought under afforestation. 12000 horticulture plants have been distributed to 400. Village pumps sets for better irrigation has been provided. 380 under 5 malnourished children are being taken care of. 4 villages have established seed banks. 700 applications for Forest Dwellers Rights have been made and about 80 land rights have been awarded. These are some of the activities undertaken by the field unit in Nayargarh.

In 2008-2010 people from the EU attended the Nature summer camp programme at Pulicat. In 2009 two volunteers from Germany worked for three months in the Pulicat project.