Janashakthi Foundation, the Philanthropic arm of Janashakthi Group, partnered with the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) and YUMA Foundation, to jointly sponsor Sri Lanka’s first Inequality Report. An agreement was signed recently, between the partners by signatories Ramesh Schaffter, Managing Director / Group CEO of Janashakthi Group, Karin Fernando, Acting Executive Director of CEPA and Christoph Feyen, Director of YUMA Foundation.
The research of the pilot phase of the project launched in July 2022 will be conducted over a 3-year period. The data of this study will be compiled and published as ‘The Inequality Report (TIER).’ The project intends to deepen the understanding of inequality, bringing together research, policy and dialogue. The first report to be launched in 2023 will specifically focus on the topics of income inequality, education inequality and inequalities in social protection. The report will be published in English, Sinhala, and Tamil and will capture the various dimensions of socio-economic inequalities and their implications. Prevalence, severity, changes, distribution of inequalities and implications will also be addressed in this research along with appropriate recommendations to reduce inequalities and associated problems. The project hopes to evolve over the next three years to become the flagship reference literature on inequality for Sri Lanka.
“Since its inception, Janashakthi has been a long-term supporter of nation building initiatives and we have always recognized our responsibility to support the nation. We have partnered with CEPA and YUMA Foundation to produce Sri Lanka’s first Inequality Research Report as a first step to identify the problem areas and take necessary actions to curb inequality in these turbulent times. The inequality challenge is global and is identified as one of the key areas that hinders development and economic growth. Together, we must take action to tackle deep-seated as well as emerging inequalities. We firmly believe that the research findings of this report will guide Janashakthi Foundation and other organizations as well as the government to strategically identify specific areas of concern and communities that are in need of help, to bridge the inequality gap,” commented Ramesh Schaffter, Managing Director / Group CEO of Janashakthi Group.
Commenting on the initiative Karin Fernando, CEPA’s Acting Executive Director mentioned that CEPA with its extensive experience in research is well placed to conduct this study. “At this juncture, as Sri Lanka faces severe economic and political turmoil, it is critical to uphold the right to access and use of social, economic and environmental benefits by all citizens. Therefore, as an organisation vested in increasing understanding and supporting policy, CEPA hopes the TIER project will provide evidence that will foster a more meaningful understanding of the causes and consequences of inequality, and means of dealing with it”, she stated.
Representing the YUMA Foundation, the Director, Christoph Feyen, mentioned that he is proud to be associated with this research initiative. “We hope to create a robust set of quantitative data, which will be complemented with rigorous qualitative studies. Facilitating an evidence-based public discourse and developing a consistent platform for engagement that will have a tangible influence on policy making at national and regional levels is what we ultimately expect from this research” he said.
Janashakthi Foundation is dedicated to empowering the nation and giving back to the society through its many initiatives aligned to the 3 key pillars identified as sports, education and community development. While Janashakthi Foundation’s initiatives target multiple underserved communities, community empowerment and upliftment is a crosscutting theme. In line with this vision, Janashakthi Foundation firmly believes that this report will serve as a benchmark to many government and private organizations in planning and executing their efforts towards uplifting the nation in the years to come.
Ramesh Schaffter, Managing Director / Group CEO of Janashakthi Group; Karin Fernando, Acting Executive Director of CEPA; and Christoph Feyen, Director of YUMA Foundation at the MOU signing.
About Janashakthi Limited (Janashakthi Group):
The Janashakthi Group comprises of First Capital (a financial services company dealing in government securities, asset management, structuring and placement of debt instruments for clients, managing unit trusts and stock broking), Janashakthi Life, Orient Finance (a finance and leasing company) and Kelsey Homes (a property developer specializing in building gated communities). The group operates in the Insurance, Finance, Investment and Real estate sectors and the principal business of the Company is that of an investment holding company, investing in its subsidiaries and providing related services.
The Board of Directors of Janashakthi Limited comprises Chandana de Silva, Prakash Schaffter, Eardley Perera, Ramesh Schaffter, Saliya Wickramasuriya, Dinesh Schaffter, Nathan Sivagananathan and Manjula Mathews. The Group founder Chandra Schaffter continues as Chairman Emeritus.
About Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA):
CEPA is an independent, Sri Lankan think-tank promoting a better understanding of poverty-related development issues. CEPA believes that poverty is an injustice that should be overcome and that overcoming poverty involves changing policies and practices nationally and internationally, as well as working with people in poverty. CEPA strives to contribute to influencing poverty-related development policy, at national, regional, sectoral, programme and project levels.
The Centre for Poverty Analysis was established in May of 2001 by nine Sri Lankan professionals working on poverty related issues. CEPA carries out a range of client services that includes; research, consultancy, evaluation and training.
About YUMA Foundation:
YUMA Foundation is a private family foundation that supports initiatives on social justice and intercultural understanding. Specific objectives of the Foundation include, facilitating access to health and education as well as support of research and advocacy for organisations / initiatives addressing inequality, historical dialogue and memory.