First of ‘Colombo Development Dialogues’ next month

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Colombo Development Dialogues are convened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the South Asia Centre of the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE-SAC), bringing together a diverse group of development thinkers, practitioners and policy-makers from the public and private sectors to discuss relevant issues pertaining to current national regional priorities.

Held at least twice a year in collaboration with the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo, Dilmah Tea and Citra Social Innovation Lab, these Dialogues aim to generate awareness on different issues of interest and concern in Sri Lanka today, thereby setting an agenda for debates on development.

Each Dialogue will focus on a key theme relevant to national development priorities, and produce a post-dialogue Policy Paper that will contribute to policy-making at the national level. The distinct feature of the Dialogues is the range of experts who will come together to develop an agenda, and discuss possible solutions to issues concerning Development in Sri Lanka.

Speaking about this initiative, UNDP Sri Lanka Country Director Mr. Jorn Sorensen stated, “UNDP is pleased to partner with LSE-SAC, the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo and Dilmah Tea, to facilitate these knowledge sharing dialogues. Starting this year, we look forward to convening some of the best academics from all over the world, together with our partners, in order to start conversations around vital sustainable human development areas for Sri Lanka, thus contributing to the 2030 Agenda.”

Speaking about this partnership, Dr. Mukulika Banerjee, Director of the LSE South Asia Centre, said, “the partnership we have established with UNDP Sri Lanka gives us an opportunity to facilitate engaging and meaningful Dialogues around focused themes areas of importance to Sri Lanka, with conscious attention to their wider relevance in South Asia. We are delighted to initiate the Colombo Development Dialogues in collaboration with UNDP, a major knowledge broker in this region, with whom we share several concerns confronting South Asia in what promises to be the ‘Asian’ 21st century.”

The partnership with LSE-SAC further facilitates this knowledge sharing through their wide network of global academics. This exchange of expert knowledge will also benefit post-graduate and research students through a ‘Master Class’, which is an additional feature of the Colombo Development Dialogues, facilitated by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo.

Speaking about the Masterclass, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo, Professor Nayani Melegoda stated, “The Masterclass and the Dialogues provide an exclusive opportunity for our students to gain theoretical insights and exposure into the global literature on development from the visiting academics. We are happy to partner with UNDP to facilitate this initiative.”

The neatly crafted thematic areas of these Dialogues, along with the Masterclass, will contribute to Sri Lanka’s development discourse as we progress towards achieving sustainable human development in the 2030 Agenda.

The CDD is also conducted in partnership with Dilmah Tea. Commenting on the partnership, the CEO of Dilmah Tea, Mr. Dilhan C. Fernando stated, “Sustainable human development requires conversation and communication. This convening of global and local expertise together with voices from across Sri Lanka is vital to not only achieve the country 2030 SDG targets, but also to prepare it for the future. My father, brother and I, together with Dilmah colleagues, are privileged to partner with UNDP, the LSE-SAC and the University of Colombo in this exercise of shaping tomorrow’s minds and contributing to today’s policy.”

The first Dialogue on ‘Integrated Development Impact through Partnerships and Innovation’ will be held in Colombo on Wednesday, 4 April 2018.

Speakers include Minister of Science, Technology and Research Susil Premajayantha, , Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa, International Development, LSE Dr. Rajesh Venugopal, EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Tung-Lai Margue, Ms. Dulani Sirisena of Australian High Commission, Senior Lecturer, University of Colombo Dr. Maneesha S. Wanasinghe, Chairman, Unilever Sri Lanka Mr. Carl Cruz, and Policy and Design Specialist, UNDP Sri Lanka Ms. Sonali Dayaratne,.

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