Good Governance and Poverty Alleviation Program in Sri Lanka: Special Reference on Samurdhi Program

M. K. Nadeeka Damayanthi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of the paper is to examine the governance issues in government’s major poverty alleviation programme - the Samurdhi programme- in Sri Lanka. During the past three decades, the concept of ‘good governance’ became more popular in many subject areas such as development studies, political science, public administration, public policy, management and economics. Specially, the good governance concept is most familiar in poverty alleviation programmes in developing countries. The author uses both primary and secondary data related to poverty alleviation, the Samurdhi programme as well as governance. Primary data was collected through questionnaire survey, key informant discussions and focus group discussions in selected eight districts. The quantitative data were analyzed using the simple statistical method and qualitative data and information were analyzed through descriptive methods. The introduction part of the paper provides a brief introduction to poverty and poverty alleviation programmes. Then, the paper discusses the concept of ‘governance’, ‘good governance’ as well as ‘poverty’. In the third section of the paper, the author presents poverty situation in Sri Lanka using both monetary approach and non- monetary approach. The fourth part of the article discusses poverty alleviation programmes in Sri Lanka. In this part, author gives details about the Samurdhi programme and its major components. In the fifth part of the article, the author explores the major governance issues related to Samurdhi programme. The conclusion is that the Samurdhi programme is suffering from serious governance issues such as mis-targeting, lack of transparency, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness, equity and social justice as well as informed citizenry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-64
Number of pages22
JournalAfrican Asian Journal of Rural Development
Issue number01
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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