The principal activity of the Marga Institute has been the study and critical evaluation of past and on-going development processes in Sri Lanka. It approaches and analyses development as a process and as a condition in which economic growth, social equity, political freedom and participation are integrally linked and must reinforce one another. Its programme of research therefore covers three main areas of development-economic, social and political. Consequently, it draws on a wide range of social science disciplines and brings a multi-disciplinary approach to its work.
Since its inception, the Institute has been recognized the need to consider national issues in the wider context of regional concerns and global changes. As a result, over the years, Marga has established strong links with likeminded individuals and institutions both in the Asian region and at the international level.
During the last 40 years, The Marga Institute has gained wide acceptance and recognition, both locally as well as internationally. Today, it is recognized and known as one of the premier Centres for Development Studies in Sri Lanka. It has contributed positively to the formulation of development policy, both at the national and global level.
Marga Institute has completed approximately 1500 studies covering the following fields: