Launch of the Sri Lanka Human Development Report 2012 (UNDP)

The launch of the Sri Lanka Human Development Report 2012 (UNDP) titled, “Bridging Regional Disparities for Human Development,” took place on October 5, 2012 at the IPS.

This year’s report focuses on issues if disparity and inequality that prevail in the country.

The report finds that according to the Human Development Index (HDI), Sri Lanka’s Human Development has increased by 28 percent between 1980 and 2011, despite the secessionist conflict and the 2004 tsunami which mired human development within this period. Within the country, Northern province has the lowest level of human development, but it still outdoes most SAARC countries (except Maldives) in its achievements in human development. For districts for which data is available, the human development is highest in the Gampaha district. The report also finds that although health is the best performing human development sub index for the country, it is also the biggest contributor to multidimensional poverty. This is mainly due to the high morbidity and high incidence of malnutrition in the country. Sri Lanka’s performance in different indicators measuring gender inequality is mixed. Although the country does well in terms of gender equity in health and education, gender equity in female empowerment and labour force participation can improve in the country.

IPS undertook extensive research and analysis for the preparation of the report. The authors and key contributors from IPS were, Dr. Nisha Arunatilake (lead author), Mr. Wimal Nanayakkara, Ms. Sunimalee Madurawala, Ms. Priyanka Jayawardena, Ms. Ayodya Galappattige and Mr. Anushka Wijesinha.

Chief Guest at the occasion was Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Senior Minister for International Monetary Co-operation.

The Welcome Address was made by Dr. Subinay Nandy, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Sri Lanka and Prof. W. L. Lakshman, Chairman, IPS.

The Keynote Address was delivered by Dr. Ajay Chhibber, UN Assistant Secretary General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Chair, UN Regional Director’s Team, Asia and the Pacific. Dr. Nisha Arunatilake, Lead Author of the Sri Lanka NHDR 2012 made a presentation on the report. Review of Way Forward on Education Aspects was made by Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama, Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo, Review of Way Forward on Health Aspects were made by Dr. Palitha Mahipala, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health, Review of Way Forward on Governance Aspects were made by Prof. Savithri Goonesekera, Former Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo while Review of Way Forward on Employment Aspects were made by Dr. Anura Ekanayake, Immediate Past Chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

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