• Sri Lanka

    Growth & Transformation

    CID's Growth Lab is doing in-depth, tailored analysis of Sri Lanka's economy – to diagnose growth constraints

  • Colombo Harbor Sri Lanka

    Trade Development

    Conducting research into reforming and improving Sri Lanka’s trade policy and implementation of trade commitments

About

In 2015, Sri Lanka elected a new government with a vision of promoting sustainable development and reconciliation. The Center for International Development at Harvard University is collaborating with the Government of Sri Lanka through a grant by the Open Society Foundations (OSF) to provide research support to help the country move toward this future. Read more >>

 

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New Research

Opportunity Analysis of Agriculture Products in Sri Lanka

Tim O'Brien, Dan Stock, Paula Marra, D.C.A Gunawardana, Sapumal Kapukotuwa, and Nandani Siriyalatha. 2/2018. “Opportunity Analysis of Agriculture Products in Sri Lanka.” Measuring markets and feasibility.Abstract

In August 2017, CID began focused work with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), specifically with their Agriculture Sector Modernization Project(ASMP) team. MPI requested Harvard assistance in the analysis of constraints and opportunities in the agriculture and fisheries sector, specifically in non-plantation, export-oriented activities. As a first step, CID worked with MPI research officers to compare the more than twenty agricultural and fishery subsectors being considered under the ASMP. These subsectors were analyzed across over 53 quantitative and qualitative variables, measuring market demand, feasibility, current strength, and poverty considerations. The analysis ultimately identified spices (especially pepper), aquaculture (especially shrimp) and plantains and bananas as especially promising subsectors for future research and ASMP activities. More broadly, the analysis identified the basic market and feasibility considerations that can provide a starting point for value chain analyses and public-private strategic planning. This presentation was prepared jointly by MPI project officers and CID Growth Lab researchers in order to inform MPI initiatives, both within the ASMP and beyond.

Agriculture Sector Opportunities Sri Lanka

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Learning to Improve the Investment Climate for Economic Diversification: PDIA in Action in Sri Lanka

Matt Andrews, Duminda Ariyasinghe, Amara S. Beling, Peter Harrington, Tim McNaught, Fathima Nafla Niyas, Anisha Poobalan, Mahinda Ramanayake, H. Senavirathne, Upatissa Sirigampala, Renuka M. Weerakone, and W. A. F. Jayasiri Wijesooriya. 10/2017. “Learning to Improve the Investment Climate for Economic Diversification: PDIA in Action in Sri Lanka”. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Many countries, like Sri Lanka, are trying to diversify their economies but often lack the capabilities to lead diversification programs. One of these capabilities relates to preparing the investment climate in the country. Many governments tackle this issue by trying to improve their scores on ‘Doing Business Indicators’ which measure performance on general factors affecting business globally (like how long it takes to open a business or pay taxes). Beyond these common indicators, however, investors face context specific challenges when working in countries like Sri Lanka that are not addressed in global indicators. Governments often lack the capabilities to identify and resolve such issues. This paper narrates a recent initiative to establish these capabilities in Sri Lanka. The initiative adopted a Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) process, where a team of Sri Lankan officials worked with Harvard Center for International Development (CID) facilitators to build capabilities over a six-month period. The paper tells the story of this process, providing documented evidence of the progress over time (and describing thinking behind the PDIA process as well). The paper will be of interest to those thinking about the challenges associated with creating a climate that is investor or business friendly and to those interested in processes (like PDIA) focused on building state capability and fostering policy implementation.

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Learning to Engage New Investors for Economic Diversification: PDIA in Action in Sri Lanka

Matt Andrews, Duminda Ariyasinghe, Krishantha Britto, Peter Harrington, Nelson Kumaratunga, M.K.D. Lawrance, Tim McNaught, Hemadree Naotunna, Ganga Palaketiya, Anisha Poobalan, Dilip Samarasinghe, and Prasanjith Wijayathilake. 10/2017. “Learning to Engage New Investors for Economic Diversification: PDIA in Action in Sri Lanka”. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Many countries, like Sri Lanka, are trying to diversify their economies but often lack the capabilities to lead diversification programs. One of these capabilities relates to engaging new investors—in new sectors—to bring their FDI and know-how to a new country and kick-start new sources of activity. This paper narrates a recent (and ongoing) initiative to establish this kind of capability in Sri Lanka. The initiative adopted a Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) process, where a team of Sri Lankan officials worked with Harvard Center for International Development (CID) facilitators to build capabilities over a six-month period. The paper tells the story of this process, providing documented evidence of the progress over time (and describing thinking behind the PDIA process as well). It shows how an investment engagement approach can emerge in a reasonably limited period, when a committed team of public officials are effectively authorized and engaged. The paper will be of particular interest to those thinking about investor engagement challenges and to those interested in processes (like PDIA) focused on building state capability and fostering policy implementation in public contexts.

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