Specific Projects

The Colombo University Community Extension Centre (CUCEC) has all the capabilities needed to carry out any related study mentioned under categories below:

  • Research Studies
  • Mapping
  • Needs Assessments
  • Information Gathering/data bases
  • Surveys/satisfaction indices
  • In any areas of
    • Civil society
    • Peace building
    • Capacity development programmes
  • ICT Development programmes

Major Activities during the period of 2009 – 2011

Research

Base-Line Study for the Negombo Area Development Programme sponsored by the World Vision Lanka (August 2009 to October 2009)

The Colombo University Community Extension Centre (CUCEC) conducted this study to find out the Socio-economic and Demographic levels and behaviors of the people who are live in the Negombo area and the progress and the effectiveness of the programmed activities which was sponsored by the World Vision Lanka.

Major findings are, the land and house they lived were mostly owned by them or their parents, programmed activities have brought the communities education to a satisfactory level, most of them have ever used some type of family planning method, their knowledge about STDs show some lack of awareness which needs to be improved, the parents have paid attention to their children’s health by obtaining the required vaccinations, the nutritional statue both of children and  women demonstrate some deficiencies.

Survey on Nature and Extent of Trafficking of Women and Children in Sri Lanka(June 2009- December 2009)

The Colombo University Community Extension Centre (CUCEC) carried out this study sponsored by the Ministry of Child Development & Women’s Empowermentin Colombo, Anuradhapura and Kurunegala Districts to find out the nature and extent of trafficking of women and children for various reasons in Sri Lanka.

Findings of the research are , the majority of the internationally trafficked respondents had been deceived by their agents, there is a large number of cases where the trafficking takes place as a joint plan of migrants and the traffickers, lower wages and lower rank jobs were obtained than what was promised and overloaded work were the main problems faced by the people whom are migrate to Europe, Sexual and other types of harassments were reported by the migrants trafficked to South East Asia and Middle East, extreme poverty and low or no education was identified as the key characteristics of the internally trafficked women, Child victims of human trafficking are belonged to a very specific social segments as, they are utterly poor, less or uneducated, and homeless. All the trafficked child victims are associated with sexual abuse and other harassments of children.  

Study on the Nature of the Illicit Alcohol Trade in the Western and the North Western Provinces of Sri Lanka(April 2009- October 2009)

The ColomboUniversity community Extension Centre had carried out a study on the Nature of the illicit alcohol trade in the Western and North-western provinces in Sri Lanka, sponsored by the Department of Excise. Major findings of the study are, Production of illicit is done at least at three levels: large scale, medium scale and small scale, Production, distribution and marketing of illicit liquor are a well organized trade conducted by well organized groups. Every GN division has a local illicit liquor industry at least at household levels, Individuals who have good communicational, social and personal skills and high branded vehicles are used to transport illicit liquor in large scale.  Labor used in this business comes from the very lowest strata of social classes and often connected with previous crimes and/or addicted to alcohol. Women from extremely poor families, including widows, separated, and/or with children engage in this trade for the survival. There are incidences where laborers offer to become imprisoned on behalf of others (who are directly connected to the business) for financial and other benefits and thereby catering the uninterrupted operation of the illicit liquor business.      

Dry Zone Livelihood Support & Partnership Programme (DZLiSPP) 2010/2011

The Colombo University community Extension Centre carried out a study on the Dry Zone Livelihood Support & Partnership Programme 2010/2011, sponsored by IFAD and the World Bank,

The objectives of the study are to carry out an economic and financial analysis on the investment made under each component by assessing the effectiveness of the inputs used and strategies adopted, to find out Cost of effectiveness, returns on investment etc.

Previous Experience: Some Selected and Related Project

Impact of Humanitarian Aid and Conflict

The CUCEC was engaged in a study of “Impact of Humanitarian Aid and Conflict”. This was being carried out in collaboration with the Oxfam America. This study was being executed in 5 districts in the country. The main objective of this research study was to study the conflicts related to aid distribution in Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (RRR) work for the people affected by the tsunami, war and poverty in Sri Lanka and to recommend conflict perceptive programs for the aid delivery agencies. The study provided a useful conceptualization as how humanitarian aid activities need to be carried out when more than one district is considered. This study attempted to develop very useful indicators in order to understand the impact of tsunami, war and poverty in a comparative perspective. The study categorizes the selected study areas in to four groups in order to generalize the findings such as: Poverty stricken areas, Poverty stricken and tsunami-affected areas, Poverty stricken, tsunami-affected and war-affected areas, Poverty stricken and war-affected areas. The CUCEC implemented this project in partnership with other universities, namely University of Jaffna, Eastern University and South-eastern University. This collaboration served also as an in-built capacity-building mechanism, where the CUCEC trained and transfer expertise to faculty and research staff in the regional universities. The final report was submitted to the Oxfam on time.

People’s Consultation on Post-tsunami RRR in Sri Lanka

The CUCEC was engaged in a study of “People’s Consultations on Post-tsunami RRR in Sri Lanka”. This was being carried out in collaboration with the Disaster Relief Monitoring Unit of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and the United Nations Development Programme. This study was being executed in 1142 tsunami-affected villages in 13 districts in Sri Lanka. The main focus of this study was to bring people into a process in such a way that at one level it involves consulting them in a meaningful and effective way, and at another level it involves informing the relevant authorities of the needs of the ground. This project was a response to the findings of the needs assessment carried out by the multilateral agencies, in which the lack of people’s participation was highlighted as a significant gap in the post-tsunami recovery process. The CUCEC implemented this project in partnership with other universities, namely University of Jaffna, Eastern University, South-eastern University and University of Ruhuna. This collaboration served also as an in-built capacity-building mechanism, where the CUCEC trained and transfer expertise to faculty and research staff in the regional universities. The final report was submitted to the UNDP on time and available for reference.

North-western Province Five Year Development Plan 2005-2009

The objective of this plan was to prepare a user-friendly implementable five-year development plan for the North-western Province. The plan has identified the relevant sectors of the North-western Province and drawn up detailed sectoral plans. The information was gathered from various sources both at local as well as district/provincial/national level. Although sectoral plans were presented separately for the identified sectors, sectoral integration also was done in order to increase the efficacy of the plan and presented a comprehensive regional development strategy. One of the salient features of the plan is the presentation of the projects with their potential and specific locations. In addition, development strategies are also presented to enhance the implementability. The most interesting and also the most important outcome of the plan is the proposal on establishing Focal development centers which have never been incorporated in any development in this country either at regional or national level. This provides a unique opportunity to develop the province simultaneously through identified strategic locations. When this plan was presented in the North-western Provincial Council, it was highly commended and approved by both ruling and opposition parties of the North-western Provincial Council. This plan has been approved by the Finance Commission of the Treasury and all the funds are being given to the province according to the annual activity plan presented.

UC-JICA Project and University-Community Extension Services: Conceptual Perspectives

This project attempted to make distinction between university academics and others who are involved in community development process since academics are capable in conceptualising such processes so one can easily replicate the successes in similar contexts. This seems very important as we hither to have failed in employing various strategies of rural development without adhering to proper conceptual base. For this, many examples can be drawn through the experiences of Integrated Rural Development Projects, which were commenced in the early 1980s and ran through even to the subsequent decade. It was with some failures of the IRDP programmes the University of Colombo was given the task of to explore an improved method of participatory rural development. This project was implemented from 1998 to 2003 in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This project proposed an improved method of participatory rural development, which has been named as “multi-level participatory methodology”. It appears this methodology has many advantages over other methods and strategies participatory rural development since this has proved and guaranteed the sustainability of rural development work. With this experience, the project went on further developing a system of University-Community Extension, which has the potential of changing the traditional functions of the university system in this country.

Policy Briefs: MONDEP Formative Process Research Project

This project produced policy implications arising out of the MONDEP Research Project carried out by the University of Colombo during the period 2001-2004 with financial assistance from the Royal Norwegian Government that funded the Moneragala Integrated Rural Development Project implemented by the Government of Sri Lanka from 1984 through 2004. The MONDEP Research Project also addressed the issues of regional development in general. With the ‘Policy Briefs”, it was decided to get feedback from the stakeholders before the research findings and recommendations are presented to the policy makers. The Policy Briefs were set out of the individual research studies and from the point of view of the researchers. Furthermore, the research programme was based on dialogue research method – one that recognizes potential for effecting improvements whilst research is being carried out.

Study, Verification and Evaluation of Price Mechanism and Trade Practices in Operation – Dambulla and Meegoda Wholesale Markets

This project was undertaken on the invitation of the Rural Economy Resuscitation Fund of the Ministry of Rural Economy in latter part of the year 2003. As few other wholesale markets were going to be commissioned during the period 2002-2204, it appeared that it was essential to review the experience of the Dambulla as well as Meegoda wholesale markets. In this context, the following were investigated in this study:  Study and review the market operation and practices identifying the hidden areas in the wholesale markets;  Examine the informal market practices in both demand and supply perspectives;  Examine the chain of activities from rural producer to whole seller including the pricing and determining the ways and means to increase the rural producer’s share of the price; Make recommendations to streamline the activities and compile lessons for other markets to follow.

Social Mobilization and Poverty Alleviation

 This project was designed to delve deeper into the extent which the Social Mobilization programme in Moneragala district has achieved its major objectives such as: Mobilzation of the poor;  Group formation and organization building;  Credit delivery mechanism;  Savings; and Alleviation of poverty. A combination of methods such as personal observations, questionnaires, interviews, and discussions/mini-workshops with social mibilizers, social mobilizer groups, officials responsible for implementation of the social mobilizer groups, official responsible for implementation of the programmes and other officials both at district and national level who are familiar with participatory poverty alleviation programmes were adopted in order to collect relevant information.  

Institutional Development & Capacity Building

This project focused upon the prevailing state of, Information and communication technology capacity; and human rights sensitivity and awareness in Moneragala district. This study made recommendations as to how these could be improved and mechanisms for their improvement. In addition, it was made to produce a training manual/tool kit in order to be used to improve capacity of the different stake-holders in the area. This project included field visits and deskwork. A combination of methods such as personal observation, questionnaires and interviews were employed to garner information on existing state of affairs and attitudes & perceptions of stakeholders.

How do Sri Lankan Institutions Respond to Relief and Rehabilitation After Tsunami: A study of interface between national and international institutions

 The following areas are being investigated in this project, Political economy of aid;  Capacity of sub-national institutions to manage aid;  Role of civil society organizations;  How do local communities respond to aid? The project focuses on the sub-national levels of governance. Batticaloa and Kalutara districts have been selected for investigation. This study is being carried out in collaboration with Norwegian Institute of Urban and Regional Research (NIBR). The methodology builds on the concept of Formative Dialogue Research, which has been developed by NIBR. The project will collect a mix of qualitative and quantitative data. These databases will be upgraded at regular intervals. A mixture of tools will be employed for different areas of investigation such as surveys, semi-structured interviews, focus-group discussions and documents.

Community-Based Sustainable Tourism Development

This project was mainly based on a field survey conducted to explore the potentials for community based sustainable tourism promotion in Moneragala district. This district s considered as the poorest district in Sri Lanka although it has abundant untapped resources to develop a number of key economic activities including tourism to accelerate the economic growth and development in the district. This project examined the tourism potential and then proposed strategies to promote the tourism industry with the community participation in sustainable manner.

Bibliography: Literature of Hambantota Integrated Rural Development Programme (HIRDEP)

This bibliography covers three types of literature:  Reports and academic literature concerning IRDPs and regional and local development approaches in Sri Lanka from 1990s to 2002;  Reports and academic literature concerning approaches to private sector development and employment creation in Sri Lanka;  Types of quantitative data existing with HIRDEP and Hambantota in general. The information for this bibliography was obtained mainly from two sources: Regional Development Division of the Western Province Development Ministry (formerly under the Ministry of Plan Implementation) and  HIRDEP Office in Hambantota district. In addition, various other sources such as libraries, academics and Institute of Policy Studies were consulted for obtaining relevant literature. A short annotated bibliography was also prepared for certain selected reports and literature by considering their importance.

Human Resource Development in the Context of Participatory Rural Development

The main objective of this project was to provide a conceptual base and improved methods of participatory rural development in the context for improving the present status of human resources in the rural sector. Most of the strategies, plans, policies etc. in Sri Lanka have been concentrating on the national level human resource development or in-house training. This study hypothesized that “if human resources are developed in an appropriate manner by linking the internal environments with external environments in order to utilize the physical resources properly, then the villagers will improve their living standards”. This project carried out an action oriented experimental research programme, which conducted not only research but also interventions designed as experimental development activities. The financial support for this was obtained from the Japanese Food Production Grant Counterpart Fund.

Utilization of Physical Resources in the context of Participatory Rural Development

The purpose of this project was to explore how human resources development can be linked to utilization of physical resources in villages in order to uplift the socio-economic status of the villagers’ lives within the context of participatory rural development. The project hypothesized that “if physical resources are utilized properly by linking internal environment with the external environment, the village community will improve their living standards”. Two villages in Puttalam district and one village in Kurunegala district were selected for this project. In this particular study a special emphasis was placed in: i. The identification of the availability of physical resources; ii. It’s potential as an income generating activity; and iii. The ways of converting physical resources into income generating activities and exploring whether there is a sustainable market. The financial support for this was obtained from the Japanese Food Production Grant Counterpart Fund.

External Linkages in the Context of Participatory Rural Development

 Considering the fact that all villages are getting integrated with the external environment, this project investigated whether the external link is important to be focused in rural development approaches. This project was carried out in six villages selected in the North-western Province as an action-oriented research programme. The project proposed that the development of human resources and utilization of resources would require the resources drawn from the external sources such as the public, private or other sectors. This would improve the capabilities of the rural communities to exploit the opportunities available in the external environment. As an action-reaction process the exploitation of opportunities in the external environment in turn enhances the development of human resources and the utilization of physical resources. The financial support for this was obtained from the Japanese Food Production Grant Counterpart Fund.

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