CMRD launches Inclusive Urban Infrastructure research project in Sri Lanka along with University of Sussex and SEVANATHA

Housing inequality in Mahaiyawa

On Tuesday 27 July 2021, the Centre for Migration Research and Development (CMRD) and SEVANATHA Urban Resource Centre, together with the University of Sussex, conducted the online research launch workshop ‘Inclusive urban infrastructure for underserved communities in Sri Lanka’. The workshop covered how services like housing, water, sanitation, transport, energy and communications are provided, how they are consumed, and how they shape people’s ways of living and well-being in 6 low-income urban, semi urban and estate communities in Colombo, Kandy and Badulla.

The University of Sussex’s Professor Michael Collyer, the project’s Principal Investigator, introduced the multi-country research, and discussed its significance and objectives. He highlighted the ongoing large household survey for mapping patterns of inclusion and exclusion when accessing basic services. According to Dr. Rajith Lakshman, Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, more and more people in Sri Lanka are living in cities. However, equal growth is not occurring in urban areas, resulting in poor quality living conditions for marginalised populations. While speaking about underserved communities in Sri Lanka, Mr. K. A. Jayaratne, President at SEVANATHA Urban Resource Centre (the non-academic local partner for the project), said that the Sri Lankan government’s policies can regularly change and lack pro-poor approaches.

Dr. Danesh Jayatilaka, Co-Investigator at the CMRD, presented some early findings from the study sites. Concerns around housing and water grids are most evident. Mr. Udeni Chularathna, Executive Director at SEVANATHA Urban Resource Centre, presented the possible demonstration interventions, which would be carried out by the organisation in the final year based on the research findings. The workshop was moderated by Malkie Rodrigo, Research Officer at SEVANATHA Urban Resource Centre.   

Click here to watch the full workshop.

Click here to access the presentation by Dr. Danesh Jayatilaka and Mr. Udeni Chularathna.