CCD has primarily worked with the following sections of rural society for the livelihood intervention initiatives:

1. Rural women

2. Traditional Health Practitioners

3. Medicinal Plants Gatherers

4. Farmers

5. Coastal Communities

In the initial days in Pulvakkarai, CCD found that for ordinary as well as special expenses and circumstances, the women in the villages were forced to approach money lenders for lack of other credit options, and fell prey to the consequent vicious cycle of high interest rates and more loans. With these women, CCD has succeeded in building an organisation around their traditional strength of saving for contingencies and emergencies known in Tamil as Siruvaadu. The organisation of the women into savings and microcredit groups saw the immediate result of revival of this traditional habit of saving. A muchneeded and anticipated outcome was also that the women gradually left the clutches of money lenders, gaining control over their financial conditions and livelihood resources with the help of their own alternate banking system – the Kalasam (as they call themselves).
A disturbing trend that was noted during the studies by CCD in the area of Naattu Vaidhyam (Traditional health practice) was the decline in the population of Naattu Vaidhyars (traditional health practitioners) in the region. The study of local health traditions showed that 30% of savings was used for primary health care needs. An informal study conducted in CCD’s operational area showed that the majority of the population here preferred construction labour because of the quick ready returns that it brings, and there were not any who seriously considered traditional health practice for an occupation. The occupation of Medicine and health practitioners is also closely linked to the medicinal plants sector and issues related to medicinal plants, their trade and conservation. In order to combat this and revive the Naattu Vaidhya tradition, CCD set about mobilizing, validating and revitalising health practitioners and their knowledge by way of documentation, consultations and other programs, paving the way for a revival of traditional health practice as a livelihood option.
CCD’s increasingly significant work in the Medicinal Plants sector, both in research with traditional health practitioners and relevant studies, as well as community activity like the training for and promotion of kitchen herbal gardens, led the organization to look at communities that are directly impacted in the medicinal plants sector - the cultivators and collectors of medicinal plants (MP). CCD’s commitment to sustainable livelihood motivated the organization to explore new ways of making MP cultivation and collection a sustained revenue-generating community enterprise. MP Farmers and gatherers in the resource rich Natham area were organized into groups. The Gram Mooligai Company Limited (GMCL), an innovative business model, a public limited company where the majority of shares are held by MP gatherer and cultivator groups was floated in 2000. Another MP-allied community enterprise that was started was the Semi-Processing Unit (SPU) for producing value-added medicinal plant products.
CCD's interventions are primarily focused in the predominantly dryland tracts of Tamilnadu, where agriculture is still largely practiced using traditional methods. This includes by default organic agriculture in small and medium land holdings, and utilising traditional technical practices as well as crop varieties. CCD has found that the returns for the agriculture produce have decreased over the years, thereby forcing the farmers to give up agriculture and migrate to nearby towns in search of employment. The intervention of CCD has been to ensure that farmers get better returns, introduce sustainable agricultural practices, enhance their market negotitation powers through federating and networking the farmers and setting up of a rural supply chain to give them a captive market in their own neighbourhood
Since February 2004, CCD has been involved in promoting conservation efforts in the coastal region. Towards this, CCD has been working with several communities in the coastal region, in trying to establish enterprises enabling their traditional and local resources thereby strengthening their livelihood. These include farmers, communities involved in producing coir based products, fisherfolk, vendors, artisanal women as well as support service providers. Currently CCD works with coastal communities in four districts involved in 22 different enterprises. CCD is also involved in networking with similar institutions across the country.