Sri Lanka: preparing for a future without international aid

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“Up-country” on a Sri Lankan tea estate

During what was recently my fifth visit to Sri Lanka in as many years, my taxi driver picked me up at the airport in a Honda Prius, with the air conditioning set to “glacial” and the FM stereo blaring out 1990’s classics.

On closer inspection over the course of the next eight days spent in Colombo, and also “up-country” on tea estates, it was clear that not every aspect of the nation was motoring on hybrid fuel and gyrating to the sounds of Take That. However, change is occurring here, for a country still only five years free from a long standing and debilitating civil war. The question remains, how positive might that change be for every Sri Lanka citizen, and how can inclusive growth for all be created in the future?

With Honda Prius taxis also comes an array of international fast-food joints, peppering the main streets of the capital, and beyond, and ensuring Sri Lanka’s “middle income” status and advancement towards that end goal to which so many Asian cities are now succumbing: modernisation. Continue reading “Sri Lanka: preparing for a future without international aid”

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True power lies within

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The dizzying heights of Singapore’s most powerful

And so to Singapore last week, for CARE’s third successive experience of partnering the annual “Sharing Value Asia” Forum – this year attracting a 30% uplift in delegates since the 2013 event, and focusing on what is becoming a fast emerging consensus around how the “Power of Many” may yet be our best ticket to solving some of the region’s pressing social and environmental dilemmas.

I have written before about “cross-sector” collaboration and partnerships. About forging alliances with shared objectives where the private, public and NGO sectors can work together, realising mutually beneficial outcomes.

This flavour of narrative was once more in play in Singapore, and I welcome that. Continue reading “True power lies within”