The main aim of the group is to both inform and educate the public as well as engage with the government and policymakers to assist in sound decision-making.
The policy group will publish policy and background notes to provide policy recommendations to the government and detailed understanding to the public on topics that span, but are not limited to, debt restructuring, trade facilitation, social safety nets.
The Verité Research Sri Lanka Economic Policy Group is an initiative supported by Verité Research, an independent think-tank based in Sri Lanka that provides strategic analysis for Asia in areas of economics, law and media.
Dr. Nishan De Mel is an economist and the executive director of Verité Research. Previously, he taught and researched economics at Oxford and Harvard universities. In the 1990s, he sat on multiple Presidential Task Forces in Sri Lanka, playing an instrumental role in designing national policies on Health Sector Reform, Social Security and Tobacco & Alcohol. He also served as the Executive Director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies and the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute.
Professor Shantayanan Devarajan is a professor of the practice of International Development at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and a non-resident fellow of Verité Research. He was previously at the World Bank, where he was the senior director for Development Economics, the chief economist of the Middle East and North Africa, Africa, and South Asia regions and the Human Development Network.
Professor Dileni Gunewardena is a Professor of Economics (Chair) at the University of Peradeniya and a non-resident fellow of Verité Research. Her publications include work on gender and ethnic wage gaps, child nutrition and growth, and consumption and multidimensional poverty. She has been a Fulbright Scholar, a Brookings Institute Echidna Global Scholar, a PGAE (Programme in Gender Analysis in Economics) Scholar at American University and has twice won Global Development Network (GDN) awards. She is also a Research Fellow at the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP) Research Network
Professor Mick Moore is a political economist, Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies and a non-resident fellow at Verité Research. His broad research interests are in the domestic and international dimensions of good and bad governance in the global south, including in Sri Lanka. He focuses specifically on taxation and governance, and between 2010 and 2020 was the founding Chief Executive Officer of the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD).