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South Asia Research Institute for Policy and Development, SARID, is a tax exempt 501c3 non-profit US based corporation [EIN: 55-0829216], dedicated to identifying and promoting ideas that can help developing countries. Initially SARID was focused on development issues in South Asia alone, but for the past 10 years SARID has been working globally. Initially our work focused on teaching affordable and sustainable building strategies for poorer communities. Our building strategy promotes local manufacturing, employment generation, sweat equity participation, and phased growth.

Given emergence of Covid -19 we are currently looking into ways to help poor countries fight this pandemic. Strategies include providing low-cost preventive strategies and information on on-going vaccine research.

SARID in the past focused on teaching affordable and sustainable building strategies to the poor and economically marginalized. Objective was try to give a poor family in a 3rd world country their own home - by leveraging their sweat equity as well as locally available building materials. SARID has at the same time has also been exploring ways to provide safe and clean water to communities by promoting rainwater harvesting practices. SARID also promotes, through viable technologies, recycling of grey water for irrigating farms, and identifying ways to recycle black water with the help of bio-digesters and other technologies. SARID in the past has worked in Pakistan, Bangladesh, USA and Haiti and is currently working in Lesotho.

In 2015 SARID succesfully built a zero energy home in Lesotho, that utilizes solar PV for electricity as well as heats the home with solar hot water heaters.

Javed Sultan our chief architect/ engineer and the executive director has also been working for third parties on projects in the New Orleans (NO) area, coming up with flood resistant affordable housing strategies. Our NO project was succesfully completed in 2015 in an economically distressed area.

In 2018 our Lesotho home was a winner of a global contest organized by MIT's Climate CoLab. It was the winner of the contest for "Buildings" as well as the "Adaptation" - 2 out of 7 contest out of close to 500 proposals from all over the world.

SARID's building practices promote self-reliance, sustainibility, and utilize and leverage the local cottage industries. SARID has identified practices/ methodologies that are less dependent on fossil fuels and use more of a country's under-utilized and/or unemployed labor force - with a focus on the construction industry and building practices. All buildings designed by SARID are done by licensed architects and engineers - conforming to building codes of the host country.

SARID is hopeful that its building technologies will allow people, and poorer countries, to build homes as well as commercial buildings, at significantly less price than what is possible now. Homes and institutions will be more energy efficient, seismic and fire resistant, have a smaller carbon footprint, will contribute less to global warming, and will stimulate the economy and may be able to export value added construction goods and services to other countries. All these design advantages are due to better engineering design and extensive Research and Development (R&D) effort by SARID.

Mission Summary

SARID, through research, training and small to intermediate scale projects, aims to:

  • Provide technology and building strategies for affordable, owner driven, sustainable shelter for people living in developing countries

  • Identify strategies for providing clean water to poorer communities

  • Identify, promote and support appropriate, environmentally sound, humane economic development strategies Globally through research, training and small- to intermediate-scale projects

  • Identify technologies and processes, so as to increase the use of indigenous resources and stimulate the internal economies

  • Encourage inter-regional cooperation, respect and peace in the region by exchanging views, knowledge and ideas by means of articles, papers, seminars and interfaith dialogue

SARID is also engaged in web based knowledge dissemination strategies.

SARID's Board of Advisors and Directors

Javed Sultan, Executive Director
Kathleen Sultan, Director

Salma Shakir
Dr. Janaki Blum
Nael Hannan
Azeem Sultan
Dure Nayab, Adviser
Maharaj Kaul, Adviser


If you have questions or need to get in touch with us, please send us an email at:

Copyright 2003-2009 | SARID | 66 Middle Street, Lexington, MA 02421 | Tel: 781.315.1105| email: