The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries account for around 26% of global population and 25% of earth’s land surface. Being dispersed over four continents, the member countries show different characteristics in terms of economic sources and capabilities, which are rich and diverse in some member countries. Nevertheless, they can collectively account for only a limited share of global production, trade and investment. There are also large discrepancies within and across countries in terms of social and economic development.
Recognizing the potentials for greater economic cooperation and development within the OIC region and noting the challenges in fostering socio-economic development, the SESRIC was mandated to "study and evaluate the economic and social developments in the member countries to help generate proposals that will initiate and enhance co-operation among them". In its capacity as the main socio-economic research organ of the OIC, the Centre assumed the role of being a major knowledge-hub for the member states in supporting socio-economic development at individual country level, sub-regional and regional level by studying and evaluating the economic and social developments, opportunities and challenges in the OIC member countries, and providing solutions.
In this connection, the SESRIC plays a vital role in supporting policy design and implementation for enhanced intra-OIC cooperation and development. The Centre presents alternative sets of policy actions for intra-OIC cooperation in all its technical background reports prepared in a wide range of socio-economic fields. By preparing or significantly contributing to the preparation of major strategic documents in various fields, the SESRIC also remains a pivotal organ of the OIC in promoting partnership and cooperation among national development actors within the OIC area.
Over the years, the SESRIC has invested considerable efforts in ensuring that its development agenda resonates with the evolving trends in the various sectors and, in parallel, remained focused on the areas where an impact can be ensured and sustained. A call for OIC economies to become more integrated, smart, sustainable and inclusive has been at the heart of socio-economic research activities of SESRIC.
Today, as a main research organ of OIC, the SESRIC continues to provide with information that helps to understand the socio-economic trends, identify issues and shape future policy for the benefit of the member countries. Although the number, scope and depth of the research areas embarked by the Centre is constantly growing, it is adopting innovative tools, mechanisms and systems to provide better services to the member countries in line with its mandate. Currently, it structures its research activities around four main research areas. These are (i) economic development studies, (ii) human development studies, (iii) infrastructure development studies, and (iv) resilience building studies.