Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka research programme


Sri Lanka has recently witnessed the end of a war that lasted the best part of three decades. Post-war development strategies in the north and east of the country, pursued by both the government and donors, have focused largely on economic recovery.


SLRC’s Sri Lanka research programme looks primarily at processes of post-conflict resettlement, exploring how resettled populations access basic services, livelihoods and social protection in a post-war context. More specifically, the research programme mostly focused on the impacts of the actions of state, non-state and private sector actors on small-scale fisher households in the north and east of Sri Lanka during the post-conflict rehabilitation phase. Fishing is an important livelihood activity in the coastal north and east, and is also believed to be a sector which could potentially contribute quite significantly to the growth of the national economy. In SLRC Phase II, the research in Sri Lanka looks deeper at the state-society relations in Sri Lanka, including the commitment of the state to social protection. In addition, the programme will also look into entrepreneurship promotion as a development intervention and how the successes or failures of entrepreneurship are embedded in social relations


The research programme is guided by the following research themes:


  • Longitudinal studies of fisher household livelihood trajectories in the north and east of Sri Lanka
  • The relationship between citizenship, state legitimacy, and service delivery in Sri Lanka
  • Entrepreneurship promotion and its social embeddedness
  • Social protection in Sri Lanka and shaping state-society relations

Related Publications


In Phase I, the Sri Lanka research programme was led by the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA), based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In Phase II, CEPA continues to be a leading partner, with the addition of other Sri Lankan researchers, including those from the Social Scientists’ Association of Sri Lanka (SSA).