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Democracy, Human Rights and Governance

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Sign language reporter Suranga Udari takes photos with her iPhone on a beach in southern Sri Lanka.
As part of her media training through USAID's MEND project, Suranga Udari reported on facemask disposal littering the coastal area of Hikkaduwa in southern Sri Lanka entirely through sign language, making her Sri Lanka's first sign language reporter.


USAID works in partnership with the people of Sri Lanka to strengthen democratic governance by improving the responsiveness of government institutions, elevating rights and tolerance, and increasing informed, public participation. Activities help to build a robust civil society; strengthen government institutions and accountability; increase access to balanced, accurate information through the media; promote dialogue and conflict mitigation among multi-ethnic communities; and build local capacity for disaster response and risk reduction.


INITIATIVE FOR SUSTAINED PEACEFUL INTER-ETHNIC RELATIONS THROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (INSPIRED): USAID’s INSPIRED activity advances reconciliation in Sri Lanka through inter-community engagement in the Eastern Province. By implementing people-to-people activities among ethnic groups, INSPIRED promotes inclusive economic growth. INSPIRED also strengthens models of inter-ethnic collaboration in the business sector through policy change and advocacy.  Implementing Partner: The Asia Foundation; Total Estimated Cost: $1.4 million; Performance Period: January 2018 – December 2021

SOCIAL COHESION AND RECONCILIATION (SCORE): The SCORE activity strengthens Sri Lankan-led efforts to advance social cohesion and reconciliation. Through a mix of quick impact and longer-term sustainable interventions, SCORE promotes a cohesive Sri Lankan identity; reduces socio-economic disparities and exclusion; and enhances community resilience. Implementing Partner: Global Communities; Total Estimated Cost: $19 million; Performance Period: July 2018 – December 2023

SCORE COLLABORATIVE ANALYSIS OF RECONCILIATION DYNAMICS TOOL (SCORE CARD): SCORE CARD serves as an external learning tool to inform and complement USAID's SCORE activity and provide localized data on community level understanding and dynamics of reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Implementing Partner: United States Institute for Peace; Total Estimated Cost: $700,000; Performance Period: August 2018 – August 2021

COHERENT, OPEN, RESPONSIVE, EFFECTIVE JUSTICE PROGRAM (CORE JUSTICE): USAID’s CORE Justice activity promotes the rule of law in Sri Lanka by working with justice sector institutions, including the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General, to modernize delivery of services. The activity works to increase the effectiveness of justice sector institutions and processes; improve transparency and citizen engagement in the justice system; and strengthen governance, skills, and diversity of the legal profession. Implementing Partner: Chemonics International Inc.; Total Estimated Cost: $8.5 million; Performance Period: August 2017 – October 2021

INCLUSIVE POLITICAL PROCESSES (IPP): The IPP activity works with Parliament and other government institutions to strengthen their capacity to respond to the democratic aspirations of the Sri Lankan people. It supports civil society institutions to increase the inclusion of youth, women, and other underrepresented groups in leadership roles. The activity also provides training for the Election Commission on conducting elections that safeguard democratic principles. Implementing Partner: National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, International Foundation for Electoral Systems; Total Estimated Cost: $17 million; Performance Period: July 2020 – June 2024    

INCREASED DEMAND AND ENGAGEMENT FOR ACCOUNTABILITY (IDEA): USAID’s IDEA activity encourages a vibrant civil society in Sri Lanka, which empowers citizens to advance democratic values of citizen participation and government accountability on a range of governance and reform issues. IDEA works with civil society organizations to strengthen their organizational capacity, improve the enabling environment, and support their ability to advocate for good governance reforms. Implementing Partner: Management Systems International; Total Estimated Cost: $12 million; Performance Period: February 2018 – February 2022

MEDIA EMPOWERMENT FOR A DEMOCRATIC SRI LANKA (MEND): The MEND activity strengthens the media sector in Sri Lanka to improve citizens’ access to balanced, reliable, and objective news. It works to improve media governance; strengthen media’s capacity to provide balanced, informed, impartial, and ethical reporting on key policy issues; and help media to serve as a forum for national dialogue around good governance and reconciliation. Implementing Partner: International Research and Exchanges Board, Inc.; Total Estimated Cost: $7.9 million; Performance Period: August 2017 – April 2023 


Last updated: April 14, 2021

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