The substantive focus of the Institute’s research programme is to provide an integrated analysis of the medium to longer term development challenges facing Sri Lanka in order to meet the fundamental policy objectives of sustainable growth, equity and poverty alleviation. The IPS’ research programme is carried out under Research Units headed by a senior researcher. The Research Units are:


arrow right 2Macroeconomic Policy
arrow right 2International Economic Policy
arrow right 2Labour, Employment, and Human Resources Development Policy
arrow right 2Industry,Competitiveness and Regulatory Policy
arrow right 2Poverty and Social Welfare Policy
arrow right 2Agricultural Economic Policy
arrow right 2Environmental Economic Policy
arrow right 2Health Economic Policy


Research Programme (2014-17)

The IPS’ medium term research programme envisions a ‘smarter growth path for Sri Lanka’ to align it with the country’s ambitions to bridge the low middle-income gap and make the additional leap to upper middle-income status, post-2016. Sri Lanka has made rapid progress on many socio-economic indicators since the end of a 30 year conflict in May 2009. Higher growth, however, has come primarily from a public investment-led infrastructure drive, with limited engagement from the private sector. The current sources of growth generate employment in relatively low labour productive sectors such as construction, retail and tourism. In view of new threats to be overcome – a changed global economic landscape on the external front and internal constraints from a shrinking labour force and significant gaps in skill competencies – Sri Lanka faces challenges on sustaining long term growth. It calls for public policy reforms that will raise efficiency and productivity, promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and strengthen institutional arrangements that can foster economic transition.

Tackling these multiple, new challenges will require Sri Lanka to adopt a ‘smarter’ – more efficient, sustainable and inclusive – path of economic growth. Different elements of the economy must come together to pave the way to a smart growth path. The IPS research programme focuses on five of these elements: (i) innovation, (ii) productive jobs, (iii) effective policies and institutions, (iv) natural resources and eco-system services; and (v) infrastructure. Drawing on these elements, the cross-cutting thematic areas that will form the core of IPS’ medium term research are:


arrow right 2Policy Efficiency and Competitiveness
arrow right 2Migration and Development
arrow right 2Human Resources for Sustained Development
arrow right 2Private Sector Development
arrow right 2Poverty and Vulnerability
arrow right 2Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture