The Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) is an independent, Sri Lankan think tank providing quality research on poverty relevant development issues. We were established in May 2001 as a not-for-profit company under the Companies Act No 17 of 1982.
At CEPA we believe 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’s mission is to be a leading organisation providing independent analysis of poverty, shaping policy and practice in Sri Lanka and the region
CEPA’s work involves provision of independent analysis, capacity building of development actors, and seeking opportunities for policy influence. We have a commitment to research that is grounded in sound empirical evidence and a strong orientation towards responding to the needs of the market. CEPA maintains the market orientation through providing services to clients on demand. Our own, independent research agenda is focused on five thematic areas: post-conflict development, infrastructure, migration, vulnerability and environment and climate change.
The CEPA team is organized into three skill areas: poverty impact monitoring, poverty assessment and measurement and communications and policy analysis and influence, and is supported by a strong finance and administration team. We aim to be a trilingual organization, working in Tamil, Sinhala and English. CEPA also draws on the knowledge and expertise of its subscribing members and Board of Directors, who are sometimes actively engaged in the research.
Over the years CEPA’s established expertise in qualitative research has been complemented by increased capacity in quantitative analysis, and the ability to carry out relatively large surveys. CEPA’s interest in the Q squared approach that mixes both qualitative and quantitative methods in a complementary way, our experiments with measuring the multiple dimensions of poverty, and our use of audio and visual media to share the outcomes of our research, have put us at the cutting edge of the use of research and research communications.
CEPA’s work is funded through fees obtained for client services, long-term research programmes on different themes, and a core contribution from the CEPA Development Fund. Clients include government, bilateral and multilateral donors and local and international NGOs. Research partners include the Overseas Development Institute, the University of Oxford, the NTNU, University of Sussex, etc. In 2010 we were pleased to be selected as one of two Sri Lankan think tanks to receive support from IDRC’s Think Tank Initiative, support that has facilitated our ability to pursue our research and policy influence agenda more strongly, and contributed to building the capacity of our team.
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
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.
CEPA’s young researchers have had 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.
|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.|
|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.|