Charity, philanthropy and development in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Stirrat, Roderick (2015). Charity, philanthropy and development in Colombo, Sri Lanka. [Data Collection]. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive. 10.5255/UKDA-SN-851509

This project investigated charity and charitable organisations in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Here, long standing ideologies of giving intermingle, interact and coexist with global ideas about the nature of charity and the relationship between charity and development. Surveys of givers and receivers generated an overall picture of the landscape of charity in Colombo. The second qualitative element of the research project focused on interviewing a smaller sample of donors, charitable institutions and receivers. The third element of the project examined how political and economic change has affected the historical transformations of charity in Sri Lanka. Finally, there was a smaller element in the project which looked at the role of the Sri Lankan diaspora not only in supporting charitable activity in Sri Lanka but also in changing it. The project utilised a 'Stakeholder Response Group' to ensure that the research process was mindful of the needs of the development community. An Inception workshop and End of Project conference focused on the lessons learnt from the project as to how indigenous charity can be encouraged to support development activities. The project produced policy briefs as well as making presentations to major development players.

Data description (abstract)

The collection consists of the following elements: 1. Four sets of survey data covering the charitable activities of households (747 households), 261 private sector businesses and 39 public sector concerns, and 54 charities. 2. Qualitative data consisting of interviews with individual philanthropists, members of formal and informal charitable endeavours, directors of local charities and Sri Lankan branches of international charities, stakeholders within the donor field and local and national government stakeholders. In addition there are interviews with a small sample of the Sri Lankan expatriate community in London. 3. Ethnographic case studies covering two wards of Colombo (one Muslim and Sinhala, and one Tamil), a study of Islamic charitable practices, a study of health, charity and philanthropy, a study of corporate social responsibility activities in Colombo, a survey of charitable activities centred on major Catholic shrines in Colombo, a study of old peoples' homes and orphanages, a study of Colombo’s 200-year old Friend in Need Society and associated materials held in the Sri Lanka National Archive, and a study of Up Country Tamil support organisations in Colombo.

Creator NameEmailAffiliationORCID (as URL)
Stirrat, Roderickrlstirrat@gmail.comUniversity of SussexUnspecified
Research funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Grant reference: ES/1033890/1
Subjects: History
Society and culture
Keywords: anthropology, philanthropy, development
Project title: Charity, Philanthropy and Development in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Grant holders: Professor Roderick Stirrat
Project dates:
13 December 201113 June 2014
Date published: 26 Jun 2015 15:56
Last modified: 13 Jul 2017 15:47

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