Upcoming event: Social Safety Nets & the State of Poverty in Sri Lanka

Posted on May 31, 2023  /  2 Comments

As many countries entered the recovery phase following the COVID-19 crisis, Sri Lanka plummeted into an economic crisis. The need for social safety nets to protect the most vulnerable increased. The reform of social safety net system that was already underway gained urgency and importance as a key part of Sri Lanka’s reform agenda to receive a bailout from the IMF.  

Preliminary research by LIRNEasia demonstrated the need for improving targeting of social assistance programmes. There are numerous sources of inefficiency, and numerous challenges in targeting as well as disbursement of welfare benefits. With this in mind, LIRNEasia has conducted new extensive research that can directly contribute toward improving the targeting and delivery of social assistance in Sri Lanka, which will be launched at this event. The research includes a nationally representative survey of 10,000 Sri Lankan households between October 2022 and March 2023.  

LIRNEasia will be holding an event titled Social Safety Nets and the State of Poverty in Sri Lanka on Wednesday 7 June, 2023 at 1000-1200hrs in Colombo, which will involve a presentation of the findings of a recent nationally representative survey of 10,000 Sri Lankan households conducted by LIRNEasia, followed by a panel discussion, with representation of stakeholders from government, multi-lateral donor organizations, and civil society.  

The event will focus on evidence on the current status of social safety nets in Sri Lanka, and the opportunities for improving it in light of the current economic crisis.  

 The research presentation and panel discussion will answer questions such as:  

  • What is the status of poverty in Sri Lanka today? Who has fallen into poverty in the last three years?  
  • Who received social assistance under schemes such as Samurdhi? Did the right people receive assistance (how large are the inclusion and exclusion errors)? Was it adequate?  
  • What are the challenges and barriers to efficiency of Sri Lanka’s current social assistance programs? How can disbursement be made more efficient?  
  • To what extent will the Aswesuma scheme address these challenges? 

About the research  

Surveys were conducted amongst a nationally representative sample of 10,062 Sri Lankan households. The survey was conducted between October 2022 and March 2023 across 400 Grama Niladhari Divisions. National estimates can be made within a 95% confidence interval with a +/-1.4% margin of error. The margins of errors at a district level range from +/-6.2-7.3%. Additionally, qualitative research in the form of key informant interviews, focus group discussions and structured observations were undertaken with 300 individuals across 13 districts. This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada.  

Please click here to register for the event.


  1. I would like be a participant of any survey conducting by you

  2. I also wish to add value to your research programmes; I am Retired / 73 years of age Comments may NOT agree with present generation – Y gen & Z gen Wiz kids…..