Marga Institute - Centre for Development Studies

Policy Dialogues on Development Democracy Peace in the Eastern Province.

The Project (Aims)

  • The purpose of the project is to facilitate Civic Participation in public affairs in the Eastern Province and to empower the stakeholders through a series of dialogues, awareness building and training programmes in order to effectively hold the policy makers and local government authorities accountable for the human development of the area.
  • The policy dialogues would address and monitor three key areas that is imperative for sustainable growth and progress in the Eastern Province- Democracy, Security and infrastructure Development.

Why is it important to conduct Policy Dialogues at this point of time?

  • The political and administrative conditions in the Eastern Province have changed along with Provincial Council Elections and the restoration of civilian administration. This has created the political space and the opportunity for the people of the Eastern province to participate more actively in the governance of the Province.
  • For democracy to be effective there has to be sustained and constructive interaction between the people and those who hold power, make policies and take the key decisions that affect people’s lives.
  • A healthy democracy always provides the means for dialogue and interaction of this nature enabling citizens to participate in the processes of governance, monitor and evaluate the developments and changes that are taking place and ensure the accountability of those who hold power.
  • These processes are specially needed in the Eastern Province in its present state of transition from violent conflict to democracy and peace.

Activities completed

In the first phase three District Dialogues and a capacity building workshop was conducted. A District and Provincial Policy Dialogue was also conducted.

We have completed the following activities during the 2nd phase of the project

  • Nine District Dialogues in Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampare District ( 3 in each District)
  • Two provincial workshops.
  • A questionnaire was administered on Democracy and peace in each District.
  • Three Focus Group Discussions were carried out on democracy and peace.

Democracy and Peace

The Questionnaire was administered in all the three districts and the responses were obtained from 210 citizens. The specific topics covered were the conflict situation, security, peace, law and rights, institutions of governance, civic and popular participation.

The Focus Group Discussions were held on the above themes in the 3 districts and 28 citizens participated representing the Business Community, Farmers, Fishermen, Women and Youth.


Discussions, studies and workshops have been held to assess the gaps in capabilities and opportunities in the state of human development. The current status and issues have been analysed in order to recommend solutions in the following fields.

  • Connecting Communities (roads, transport, power, telecommunication, ports and aviation.)
  • Impacting on Livelihood (agriculture, fisheries and animal husbandry)
  • Promoting Economic Opportunities (industry, tourism, enterprise development and finance)
  • Developing Capabilities (education, health, ayurvedha, water and sanitation)
  • Safeguarding the Vulnerable (social welfare, probation and childcare and Samurdhi)

Based on the perceptions of the above matters, a Human Development Report is under preparation. have been analysed in order to recommend solutions in the following fields.


A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

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