The University of South Carolina’s Rule of Law Collaborative (ROLC) has been awarded a major new grant from the U.S. Department of State to support work in Sri Lanka. The award is for $790,000 over two years. ROLC will provide assistance to Sri Lankan think tanks to improve their research skills, build organizational capacity, and promote better communication of their findings.
“Following the end of a decades-long civil war, Sri Lanka is experiencing a period of political change and must meet important challenges such as ethnic reconciliation, minority inclusion, gender equality, and economic dislocation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ROLC Senior International Development Expert Steven Austermiller, who will serve as Team Lead for the project. “Sri Lankan think tanks are an important source of trusted and objective data that the Sri Lankan government and civil society rely upon for policy ideas.”
The program will also link Sri Lankan researchers with UofSC experts in a variety of fields, including colleagues in business, journalism, law, and the social sciences. The goal is to provide an international connection for Sri Lankan researchers and to provide opportunities for them to learn from the wide range of expertise at UofSC.
This is ROLC’s first project in South Asia. “ROLC is finding exciting and novel ways to promote the rule of law around the world, and this new project will provide an opportunity to highlight the strength of both ROLC and UofSC in conducting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research,” said UofSC Interim Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies and ROLC Director Joel Samuels, who will serve as Principal Investigator for the grant. “We are proud to assist in Sri Lanka’s efforts at building post-war social cohesion through this research project.”