Ashani is an Economist with research interests in labour economics, economics of education, development economics, and microeconometrics. She holds a BA in Economics with Frist Class Honours from the University of Peradeniya and a Masters in International and Development Economics from the Australian National University.


School Funding Formulas in Sri Lanka
4th South Asia Economic Network Conference
South Asia Network for Economic Modelling (SANEM)

7-8 September 2019
BRAC Centre Inn, Dhaka

Pension Coverage in Sri Lanka
OECD Korea Policy Centre

13-14 June 2019
Seoul Garden Hotel, South Korea

Presentation on ‘Sri Lanka’s NEETs: An Analysis of Youth not In Education, Employment or Training’

Fifth International Conference on Economic Development in South Asia
Organized by South Asian University
21 February 2019
South Asian University, New Delhi’

Presentation on ‘Sri Lanka’s NEETs: An Analysis of Youth not in Education, Employment or Training

Conference on Economic Development in South Asia
Organized by IPS and Monash University
08 January 2019
Hotel Avani, Kalutara

Presentation on ‘School Resources and Education Outcomes: Evidence from Sri Lanka

Australasian Development Economics Workshop 2018
Organized by the Australian National University (ANU)
06 June 2018
ANU, Australia

Presentation on ‘Shadow Education in Sri Lanka’

IPS In-house seminar
24 April 2018

Presentation on ‘Better Schools and Teachers for Better Education Outcomes in Sri Lanka

Organized by the Ministry of Education
11 April 2018

Presentation on ‘Education in Sri Lanka’

At the New Thinkers’ Symposium
Organized by IPS
27 February 2018

Presentation on “School-Level Bottlenecks in Improving O-Level Performance in Sri Lanka

IPS In House Seminar
10 July 2017


Lowering the Rates of NEETs in Sri Lanka, Development Asia: Asian Development Bank, August 2020.

Girls in STEM: How is Sri Lanka Faring?, Talking Economics, February 2020.

“Building a more English-Literate Sri Lanka: The need to combat inequities” , Talking Economics, April 2018. (

“Improving the quality of Education in Sri Lanka” (with Nisha Arunatilake), GlobalDev, March 2018. (

“Towards a knowledge based economy: Start with quality STEM teachers for every child!” (with Nisha Arunatilake), Talking Economics, February 2018. (

“Improving education in Sri Lanka: Priority Areas for Action” (with Harini Weerasekera), Talking Economics, February 2018. (

(With Nisha Arunatilake) “Path to skills development: Helping Sri Lankan youth navigate the hurdle of O-Level”, Talking Economics, July 2017.


Should we scrap Grade 5 Scholarship exam?The Island, 24 February 2019

‘Better Schools for Better O-Level Results in Sri Lanka’ Report Launch, on State of Business by Art TV

Shortage of qualified teachers in math and science linked to poor O/L results: IPS – Daily FT, 29 Nov. 2017

Poor teacher recruitment policies hamper academic performance of govt. schools: IPS – Daily Mirror, 29 Nov. 2017

Sri Lanka experiencing shortage of teachers, despite surplus – IPS – News First, 29 Nov. 2017

Teach the teachers – Daily FT, 30 Nov. 2017

‘Better Schools for Better O-Level Results in Sri Lanka’ draws attention to the shortage of qualified and experienced teachers – The Island, 30 Nov. 2017

Lack of education faculties means poor quality teachers – Sunday Times, 03 Dec. 2017