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About CEPA

The Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) is an independent, Sri Lankan think-tank promoting a better understanding of poverty-related development issues.  CEPA believes that poverty is an injustice that should be overcome and that overcoming poverty involves changing policies and practices nationally and internationally, as well as working with people in poverty.  CEPA strives to contribute to influencing poverty-related development policy, at national, regional, sectoral, programme and project levels.

Vision

A world in which decision-making, especially where it affects the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable women, men and children, is based on non-partisan, robust evidence.

Mission

To be a leading organization providing independent analysis of poverty, with a view to shaping policy that affects the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable women, men and children in Sri Lanka and the region.

Core Belief

Poverty is an injustice that should be overcome. Overcoming poverty involves changing policies and practices nationally and internationally, as well as working with people in poverty.

CEPA’s Values

CEPA’s work and relationships are guided by basic principles that are based on five core values:CEPA’s work and relationships are guided by basic principles that are based on five core values:

Respect

CEPA values the contribution of all those who participate in and contribute to CEPA’s work. We respect the rights, dignity and potential of all those involved in our work.

Integrity
CEPA acts according to its mission – we are honest and transparent in what we do and say, and accountable for our collective and individual actions. Our work will always be guided by the principles of balance, independence and impartiality.
Excellence
At CEPA we constantly challenge ourselves to achieve the highest level of learning and performance in order to achieve greater impact and make a difference.
Collaboration
At CEPA we are committed to continuously sharing our knowledge and engaging with a wide range of people and institutions in order to achieve our goals.
Flexibility
CEPA strives to be flexible and will adapt to and accommodate changing or extenuating circumstances in order to best meet its mission and objectives.

The Beginning

The Centre for Poverty Analysis was established in May of 2001 by nine Sri Lankan professionals working on poverty related issues. CEPA was founded with the intention of institutionalising poverty impact monitoring and poverty analysis within the Sri Lankan institutional landscape and incorporated (on 24th April, 2001) under Section 21 of the Companies Act as a non-profit company.

The catalyst for founding CEPA came from an assessment of the need for special emphasis on applied policy relevant advice. CEPA sought to fill this void by providing practice oriented services that were grounded in sound empirical research which responded to the needs of the market and was oriented for policy making in the development field. The establishment of CEPA was facilitated by the Poverty Impact Monitoring Unit (PIMU) which was supported by the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ).

Contributions and Achievements
In the past decade CEPA has succeeded in developing a body of knowledge on poverty to become the leading institution on poverty and poverty-related research in Sri Lanka. It has developed fresh and challenging perspectives on poverty; explored alternative dimensions; conducted in-depth analyses of specific poverty conditions; contributed to a better understanding of poverty in Sri Lanka and formulated policy initiatives to alleviate the multi-dimensional facets of poverty. It has been at the cutting edge of poverty research - contributing to the development of ideas on poverty related issues and the formulation of conceptual frameworks for poverty analysis and context specific issues, one of its most important contributions is its multi-faceted approach to poverty research. Its research encompasses inter alia, health, education and socio-cultural dimensions of poverty, as well as political, conflict and traumatic poverty conditions.
Capabilities
CEPA’s young researchers have an open mind, keen to discover new information and data, give novel interpretations and develop new theories and methods of resolving the problems of poverty. CEPA has developed a research capacity with innovative research methodologies and practices. It has also contributed to a transfer of technology as CEPA’s researchers have worked with partners in different parts of the world while its services have been sought by numerous national and international organisations. CEPA’s research has been funded by international organisations, foreign donor agencies, NGOs and government agencies. Regardless of the funding body, it has not compromised on the integrity of its research. Further, in order to maintain its independence, CEPA has developed its own Development Fund to generate a capacity to carry out research of its own.