OC1.3: Sri Lanka

Strengthening CSO advocacy for public education reforms in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka education has become an important vehicle for social mobility, security, and empowerment. But despite free education, large disparities connected to political, social, economic, and geographical realities still persist. Public education is criticised for its accessibility, quality, and relevance, while issues of gender parity need to be addressed. 

Through this project, the Coalition for Educational Development (CED) will work to achieve its mission of quality education for all in Sri Lanka. Over the course of the project phase, CED will expand and strengthen civil society participation in education policy development, implementation, and monitoring to ensure equitable, gender responsive, inclusive, and quality public education. The project will build capacities of CSOs to participate meaningfully in government efforts to transform education. 

To achieve this overall aim, the project has identified three main pathways to make the change happen: 

  1. CED engagement in educational policy and development at the provincial and national levels are improved and acknowledged. 

  2. Enhanced community participation in effectively and efficiently implementing educational policies and programmes at national and provincial level to ensure no learners are let behind. 

  3. Sustaining relationships and collaborations between CSOs and education authorities in monitoring and evaluating education sector projects. 

CED Sri Lanka is a new grantee in the OC1.3 portfolio and during coming phase, the main activities of CED will include: 

  • Conduct a study to identify the gaps in education policy implementation especially in marginalised communities. 

  • Organise awareness sessions on existing education policies and gap analysis at local and national levels with CED member organisations. 

  • Conduct capacity building workshops for education sector stakeholders and CSOs, including the youth sector, to promote inclusive and gender sensitive programming. 

  • CED to represent and share the good practices and lesson learned in regional and international forums. 

  • CSO led study on the progress of achieving SDG 4 in Sri Lanka. 

Through the successful implementation of these activities, the project will contribute to: establishing a collaborative mechanism for monitoring education sector projects with a strong CSO presence; CSOs are capacitated on meaningful participation in inclusive and gender sensitive policy formation at both national and provincial level; policy gaps are identified based on a review of existing education policies and analysis of the current context, including policy briefs on education financing and the impact of debt and tax on education; and establish provincial level educational committees to coordinate collaborative policy implementation. 

The project is expected to facilitate structural changes in the governance of the existing public education system with increased involvement of CED and other CSOs to formulate, implement, and monitor education policies and practices. The deepened knowledge and capacities of the CSOs in education development will also enable their continued engagement in forming and implementing more localised policies, to incorporate marginalised communities. Finally, the learnings and findings from CSO participation in monitoring processes is expected to be reflected in future policies and plans at both provincial and national level. Thus, the ownership and agency, which the CSOs develop through the project will ensure sustainable results. 

Coalition for Educational Development (CED) in Sri Lanka is a new grantee of the OC1 portfolio.

Project facts

Project period

Project start
Project end
Project countries
Project budget
323.000 USD
Project regions
Project contact
Shantha Kulathunge, manoshantha@gmail.com