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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.

Reflections on Post-War Recovery

Six years after the end of the protracted conflict, both the government of Sri Lanka and the donor community, have focused largely on economic recovery as a key post-war development strategy. A 6-year research programme carried out by CEPA for the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC), focusing on selected areas in the North and East of Sri Lanka, examines how resettled communities have fared during the ‘post-war’ phase in accessing basic services, social protection and livelihoods, and economic, political and social dynamics that shape livelihood trajectories.

This forum features longitudinal data from a panel survey on shifts, fluctuations and consistencies in livelihood and wellbeing outcomes of individuals and households. While the longitudinal panel analysis revealed some fairly striking rates of ‘churning’ in livelihoods, masked by pictures of average change, the qualitative studies of SLRC unpick deep currents that underlie this churning. Together, evidence from the quantitative and qualitative studies tell us that

war-affected communities in Sri Lanka are engaged in an endless struggle to secure livelihoods and rebuild their lives while positioned along many inimical social, economic and political fault lines. These fault lines operate not only at the level of gender, class, caste and ethnicity and its multiple intersections, but also in relation to capital and labour, the market and the state and the centre and the periphery. SLRC research provides food for thought that endings, such as in post-war Sri Lanka remain open for continued critical scrutiny and probing interventions.

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