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Forum (invitees only)

Theme: Transforming Knowledge into Action: The Impact of Australia Awards Fellowship Programs and the Public Sector Linkages Program

The Conference will provide a forum for reviewing the impact of the Australia Awards Fellowship (AAF) programs and the Public Sector Linkages Program (PSLP) which were sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) (Australia) and conducted jointly by the Department of Management, Monash Business School, Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA) and University of Sri Jayewardenepura (USJP), Sri Lanka.

Many of the themes proposed draw on the experience gained since 2010 in the ongoing capacity building programs for mid-career officials, linkages with senior officials, and the development of research capacity in officers of SLIDA and academic staff of USJP.

The direction of all these programs was not only in the area of capacity development, but also in democratic governance as an integral element in project delivery success at the local level. The Conference will therefore address democratic governance in parallel sessions to allow both breadth and depth of discussion of core issues.

Other key elements over the period of the programs include promoting gender equality in the region (with projects targeted in Sri Lanka, in particular), and addressing the key role that women can play as entrepreneurs, given the high proportion of the businesses that they operate and/or manage, and the considerable extent of their activity across the informal sectors of the economy.

Of interest, the ILO’s 2nd Meeting of the Global Commission on the Future of Work (Issue Brief, 15-17 February 2018) recently addressed “Empowering women working in the informal economy”. This is a key and growing issue for all developing nations in the South Asian region.

As part of the AAF program, research and publications skills have become a more recent focus, and integrated into the generic capacity themes, in conjunction with the efforts of SLIDA and USJP.

The Conference will provide an opportunity for two workshops on value creation through publishing research and project analysis. Grassroots projects, designed rigorously, mentored, implemented carefully and independently evaluated, offer opportunities for lessons in project development and management which can be generalised to many emerging economies in the region.

  • Associate Professor Ramanie Samaratunge, Monash University, Australia
  • Dr Nilupama Wijewardena, RMIT, Australia
  • Dr Lakmal Abeysekera, Monash University, Australia
  • Mr. W.M.M.G.D. Wijekoon, Senior Consultant, SLIDA