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Café Series

Space for Interaction hosts debates on topical and current issues related to poverty, development and social change, held at CEPA premises in an informal setting. The Café series focuses mainly on non-mainstream subjects, targeted towards non academic, non development and the youth. There are 4-6 Café series per year.

2017 as the Year for Poverty Alleviation

New Challenges and Opportunities

The Inaugural National Consultation

4:00 – 6:00 pm, 10th January (Tuesday) 2017 at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, 24, Horton Place, Colombo 7

CEPA was pleased to respond to a request by the Presidential Secretariat in September, 2016 to write a briefing paper on the status of poverty in Sri Lanka to the President of Sri Lanka. The President used this paper as a source to draft the Cabinet Note that declared 2017 as the Year for Poverty Alleviation. The declaration of 2017 as the Year for Poverty Alleviation by the President has revitalised the discussion on the subject amongst policy makers, researchers, practitioners, media and the general public. The appointment of a Committee comprising prominent Parliamentarians representing different political parties has further augmented energy on the subject.

Coinciding with the issuance of the Cabinet Note, CEPA in collaboration with the North Central Provincial Council and the Polonnaruwa District Secretariat organised a ‘Consultation on Responding to Poverty Alleviation’ on the 15th of October, 2017 in Polonnaruwa with the participation of the Provincial Council’s Chief Secretary, senior bureaucrats, the District Secretary, and Divisional Secretaries from Polonnaruwa. The Provincial and District-level Consultation was followed by two Divisional-level workshops in Welikanda and Elahera on the 27th and 31st of October 2017, respectively. CEPA hopes to continue this process amongst other Divisions as a pilot initiative while having a long-term plan of reaching other Provinces and Districts.

Poverty measured on the basis of real expenditure has reduced drastically from 23 per cent (in 2002) to 6.7 per cent (in 2012/13). While expenditure-based poverty measurement has its own limitations, severe regional disparities still exist. Inequality in the distribution of income is claimed to be widening. What then is the nature of poverty in the current context? What are the specific policies and strategies that would address particular forms of poverty and inequality that exist in Sri Lanka?

In this light, CEPA is convening a National-level Consultation to further build synergies between a variety of different stakeholders whose interests and expertise lie in poverty alleviation and related subjects.   This is the first in a series of consultations and workshops to be organised by CEPA in collaboration with other agencies. At this initial consultation it is hoped to identify strategies for research, policy intervention and programming. Participants at the consultation will be a selected group of policy makers, researchers and practitioners.  We take pleasure in inviting you, an important stakeholder in the field of poverty alleviation, to join this Inaugural Consultation.

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