Priyanka Jayawardena is a Research Economist with research interests in skills and education, demographics, health, and labour markets. Priyanka has around 15 years of research experience at IPS. She has worked as a consultant to international organisations including World Bank, ADB and UNICEF. She has conducted numerous research studies relating to the human resource development in Sri Lanka for a variety of development partners and various government ministries. Her research has been published in peer reviewed national and international journals and book chapters. She holds a BSc (Hons) specialised in Statistics and an MA in Economics, both from the University of Colombo.
Sectoral Committee – Formulation of National Human Resources Development Policy
Member of Committee (2021)
National Human Resources Development Council
Served in the Committee on ‘Labor Market Study’ at National Human Resources Development Council (NHRDC).
Served in the committee on prioritising issues for increasing the allocation for secondary education
Served in the National Steering Committee for Employable Disables, Department of Labour.
Jayawardena, P., and Weerasekera, H., (2021). Talking Tobacco: How Reduced Consumption Benefits the Economy, Health and Education Research Series – No 20, Colombo: Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka.
Jayawardena, P. (2020), A Proactive Path to Combat Malnutrition in Sri Lanka, Health and Education Research Series – No 16, Colombo: Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka.
World Bank (2020), Public Expenditure Review (PER) for Nutrition in Sri Lanka: Assessing Public Financing for Nutrition (2014–2018) Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.
Thibbotuwawa, M., Jayawardena, P., Arunatilake, N. and Gunasekera, N. (2019), Living Wage Estimation for the Plantation Sector in Sri Lanka, report prepared for Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC), ISEAL Alliance, London, UK.
Jayawardena, P. and Miller, R. (2017), ‘Bridging Skills for Employment in Sri Lanka’ in Fostering Skilled Workforce for a Competitive Economy: Sri Lanka, Manila: Asian Development Bank and International Labour Organization.
Jayawardena, P., 2017, Why People Choose to Participate in the Non-Standard Forms of Employment in Sri Lanka, Labour Economics Series No 19, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka
Arunatilake, N. and P. Jayawardena, 2017, “Accounting for Social Effects of Tax Reforms” in Tax Policy in Sri Lanka, edited by Saman Kelegama, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka
Jayawardena, P. and M. Abeyawickrama, 2016, Barriers and Opportunities in the Provision of Education for Children with Learning Disabilities in Sri Lanka, Report prepared for UNICEF
B, F. Kratke, P. Jayawardena, L. Rodrigues and A. Wijesinha, 2015, Manufacturing Progress? Employment Creation in Sri Lanka, Overseas Development Institute (ODI).
Jayawardena, P. (2014), Underlying causes of child and maternal malnutrition in the estate sector of Sri Lanka, Journal of South Asian Studies Vol 02. No(03), 241-255.
Jayawardena, P. (2014), “Can People in Sri Lanka’s Estate Sector Break Away from Poor Nutrition?”, Health Economics Series No 1, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka
Jayawardena, P. (2014) “Healthy Youth for Development” in “Youth and Development, Realizing the Millennium Development Goals for Sri Lankan Youth”, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development/Sri Lanka Youth National Youth Services Council & Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka.
Jayawardena, P. (2014) “Education for Youth” in “Youth and Development, Realizing the Millennium Development Goals for Sri Lankan Youth”, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development/Sri Lanka Youth national youth services council & Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka.
Arunatilake, N. and Jayawardena, (2013), “School funding formulas in Sri Lanka”, background paper prepared for the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2013/2014, Paris: UNESCO.
Jayawardena, P. (2012), “Socio-Economic Determinants and Inequalities in Child Malnutrition in Sri Lanka”, Well-Being and Social Policy Journal, Vol. 8 Number 1, pp. 1-22.
N, P. Jayawardena, A. Wijesinha, (2012), “Tax reforms in Sri Lanka – will a tax on public servants improve progressivity?” PEP Working paper 2012-13
Jayawardena, P, (2012), Chapter on “Bridging Human Development Gaps: Education” in Sri Lanka National Human Development Report, UNDP/IPS.
N and P. Jayawardena. (2011) “Equity in Education and Health Services in Sri Lanka” in ” Equity and Well-Being Measurement and Policy Practice”, Ed Hyun Hwa Son, Routledge
N, P. Jayawardena. and D. Weerakoon, (2011). “Migration, Remittances and Development in Sri Lanka” in “Migration, Remittances and Development in South Asia”, Ed Saman Kelegama Sage Publication Pvt Ltd
Arunatilake, N. and Jayawardena (2010) “Why people choose to participate in the informal sector in Sri Lanka?” The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Vol. 53, No.2, p 225-250.
Arunatilake, N. and Jayawardena, (2010), “Labor Market Trends and Outcomes in Sri Lanka”, Gunatilaka. R, M. Mayer, and M. Vodopivec, eds., The challenge of youth employment in Sri Lanka. Washington, DC : The World Bank, pp: 19-48
Arunatilake, N. and Jayawardena, (2010), “Explaining Labor Market Imbalance in Sri Lanka: Evidence from Jobsnet Data”, Gunatilaka. R, M. Mayer, and M. Vodopivec, eds., The challenge of youth employment in Sri Lanka. Washington, DC : The World Bank, pp: 69-88
Arunatilake, N. and Jayawardena, (2010), “Formula Funding and Decentralized Management of Schools; Has it Improved Resource Allocation in Schools in Sri Lanka?”, International Journal of Educational Development, Vol. 30 issue 1, pp. 44-53, January 2010
Jayawardena, P. (2008), “The employees’ provident fund of Sri Lanka – Management and performance challenges in the investment of Fund” , Sri Lanka Labour Gazette, 59 No. 2 2008
Tilakaratna G, Jayawardena, T. Kumara, and R. De Silva, October 2006, “Economic Growth, Employment and Poverty Reduction in Sri Lanka” Sri Lankan case study for UNDP regional centre in Colombo International Labour Office Geneeva, (2007), “Asian Experience on Economic growth, Employment and Poverty”
Presentation on ‘Sri Lanka’s Traffic Light Labels: Steering Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Choices’
Delivering for Nutrition (D4N) in South Asia: Equity and Inclusion
1-2 November 2023
Presentation on ‘Gaps in Fiscal Policies SSB Tax and TLL Regulations to Promote Healthy Diets in Sri Lanka’
Workshop on Healthy Diets and Physical Activity: Legal Issues in Policy Design and Implementation
Organised by the World Health Organization
16 February 2021
Presentation on ‘Nutrition interventions and data collection tool for Public Expenditure Review for Nutrition in Sri Lanka’
Technical Working Group Consultation
Organised by the World Bank and UNICEF
12 December 2018
Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo
Presentation on ‘Precarious Employment Practices in Sri Lanka & Protecting Labour Rights’
Conference on Addressing Labour’s Precariousness in Sri Lanka and Beyond
Organised by the International Centre For Ethnic Studies
01 – 02 February 2018
Presentation on ‘Socio-Economic Determinants of Child Malnutrition & Disproportionate Burden on the Poor
Investing in Nutrition for Economic Prosperity, Annual Scientific Sessions of the Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka
Organised by the Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka
27- 28 January 2018
Hotel Galadari, Colombo
Why People Choose to Participate in the Temporary Forms of Employment in Sri Lanka
Organized by the Department of Manpower and Employment
12 September 2017
Department of Manpower and Employment
At the Stakeholder Validation Workshop
Organized by IPS, Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC), and Fairtrade International (FLO)
24 August 2017
Dr. Saman Kelegama Auditorium
Distributional Impact of Fiscal Policy
At the Evidence-Based Policy for Poverty Reduction Workshop
Organized by the World Bank
08 May 2017
Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo
“Why People Choose to Participate in Non-Standard forms of Employment in Sri Lanka?”
National Symposium on Labour and Employment
Organized by Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations
4 November, 2016.
“Bridging Skills for Employment in Sri Lanka”
ADB Country Diagnostic study Consultation Workshop
Organized by ADB
19 August, 2016.
Workhop to facilitate the “Formulation of 10 Year National Plan of Action for Social Development of the Plantation Community”
Organized by Ministry of Plantation Infrastructure Development
Taj Samudra Hotel
30 April, 2015.
“Wage Differentials in a Segmented Labour Market”
World Statistics Day: National seminar
Organized by the Department of Census and Statistics, Colombo
20 October, 2015.
Socio-economic Determinants of Child and Maternal Malnutrition in the Estate Sector of Sri Lanka
Second International Conference on “Global Public Health”
Organized by International Center for Research & Development (ICRD)
Negombo, Sri Lanka
3 – 4 July, 2014.
Socio-economic Determinants of Child Malnutrition and the Disproportionate Burden on the Poor : Sri Lanka
International Conference on Global Public Health (GPH 2012)
Hotel Galadari, Colombo
3-4 December, 2012.
Women and men in informal sector – Sri Lanka
South Asia Gender Summit 2012
Paradise Beach Hotel, Negombo
4-6 September, 2012.
Tax reforms in Sri Lanka – will a tax on public servants improve progressivity?”
Annual PEP General Meeting
5-9 December, 2011.
Impact of Remittance on the Household Welfare of the Emigrants in Sri Lanka
Asia Forum on Remittances and Development organized by the Project Consultancy unit of SEEDS (Gte) Ltd in collaboration with Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI)
Hotel Taj Samudra, Colombo
11 – 12 January, 2011.
Employability of Disables
Steering Committee on the Employment of Disabled Persons
Ministry of Labour Relations and Manpower
1 September, 2010.
“Use of Official Statistics” to mark the World Statistics Day
Organised by Department of Census and Statistics
Sri Lanka Foundation Institute
20 October, 2010.
Population, Labour force, Employment and Underemployment in Sri Lanka
Economic Literacy Programme organised by National Association for Trade Union Research and Education (NATURE)
Grand Orient Hotel, Colombo
02 November, 2010.
Why People Choose to Participate in the Informal Sector in Sri Lanka
International conference on “The Informal Sector in South Asia: Organizational Dynamics, Institutional Determinants, Inter-linkages and Development”
Organized by the Institute of Economic Growth and the University of Delhi,
New Delhi, India
27-28 July, 2009.
Bridging the Gaps: The COVID-19 Crisis and Sri Lanka’s Healthcare Response, Talking Economics, 02 September 2021
Talking Tobacco: How Reduced Consumption Benefits the Household, Talking Economics, 24 March 2021
Education in Sri Lanka: Widening Access and Improving Skills, , GlobalDev GDN, 05 February 2019
Protecting Precarious Workers: Evidence from Sri Lanka, GlobalDev GDN, 11 January 2021
Tobacco Economics: How Reduced Consumption Benefits the Household and the National Economy, Talking Economics, 05 November 2020
COVID-19 and Sri Lanka’s Labour Market Gaps: Permanent Protection for Temporary Employees, Talking Economics, 09 September 2020
No School, No Meals: Sri Lanka’s Battle against Child Malnutrition amidst COVID-19, Talking Economics, 09 June 2020
Priyanka Jayawardena, Education Matters: Addressing Inequities and Skills Development Gaps in Sri Lanka, IPS, Talking Economics, 13 August 2018
Priyanka Jayawardena, Malnutrition in Sri Lanka: A Persistent Problem, IPS, Talking Economics, 09 April 2018
Arunatilake, N. and P. Jayawardena, Sep 25 2017 “The proof of the pudding is in the eating: Distribution and Revenue Implications of Sri Lanka’s New Inland Revenue Act”, Talking Economics
Jayawardena, P., June 19, 2017 “Bridging the Skill Gap: A Challenge in Sri Lanka’s Quest for Economic Growth”, Talking Economics
Jayawardena Priyanka, Nov 16, 2016 Burning health costs for poor in Sri Lanka, IPS Talking Economics,
Jayawardena Priyanka, Feb 19, 2016 Transforming Manpower employment to decent work of quality, IPS Talking Economics
Jayawardena Priyanka, Jul 17, 2015, Sri Lanka needs equal access to Science Education, IPS Talking Economics
Jayawardena Priyanka, June 26, 2014, Sri Lanka Needs a New Framework for ‘Precarious Workers’, IPS Talking Economics
Jayawardena Priyanka, Aug 06, 2013, Can People in Sri Lanka’s Estate Sector Break Away from Poor Health and Poverty?, IPS Talking Economics
Jayawardena Priyanka, May 08, 2012 Expanding Tertiary Education Critical to Sri Lanka’s ‘Knowledge Hub’ Aspirations, IPS Talking Economics
Jayawardena Priyanka, Nov 21, 2011, Sri Lanka Grapples with Child Malnutrition despite Major Improvements in the Health Sector, IPS Talking Economics
Jayawardena Priyanka, Feb 11, 2010, How do demographic changes affect economic growth in Sri Lanka?, IPS Talking Economics
Essential to integrate tobacco control measures into poverty alleviation policies and programmes – IPS, The Island, 13 November 2020
Sri Lanka should move towards income protection and unemployment insurance: IPS Researcher, EconomyNext, 10 September 2020
Interview with Inter Press Service reporter for news item on Sri Lanka’s Tea Estates, Maternal Health Leaves a Lot to Be Desired, September 23, 2014.