Gayani is a Senior Research Manager at LIRNEasia. In her work, she has led mixed-methods research projects, supported the drafting of national policies and regulations, and facilitated capacity building programmes for government. Her work lies at the intersection of economic development, policy, and the use of digital technologies, applied in varied areas including poverty and social protection, digital access and use, and digital taxation.
She is also currently working as a consultant at the World Bank, with the Digital Development, and Social Protection and Labour practices. She has previously engaged in consultancies for the Ministry of Digital Infrastructure and Information Technology of Sri Lanka, and EY. Gayani holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the National University of Singapore, and a Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of London.
More information on Gayani’s focal areas at present:
- Poverty and social protection: She leads LIRNEasia’s work in assessing poverty levels and the state of social safety nets in Sri Lanka, using nationally representative surveys and qualitative research. Her work in the area includes identifying varied indicators and data sources to measure poverty and eligibility for social assistance schemes and improving delivery channels to reduce transaction costs for recipients. Additionally, she is also supporting the development of a national social protection policy.
- Digital access and use: She works on increasing digital access, focusing on demand side (user) and policy gaps. On the demand side, this includes managing, and analysing data from, nationally representative surveys across South and Southeast Asia (Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka) to understand levels of internet use, and challenges faced by women, persons with disabilities, and persons residing in rural areas. On the policy side, she evaluates the effectiveness of digital policies such as universal service funds and zero-rated services.
- Digital taxation: She assesses policy options for countries in South and Southeast Asia drawing on revenue and competition effects and engaging in capacity building for governments and civil society.