Ms. Thilinakumari Kandanamulla – Sri Lanka

Project: COVID 19 Pandemic in Sri Lanka: Support of Evidence for Policy making

1. Introduction

Sri Lanka has been recognized as a country in the South Asian Region which has effectively controlled its first wave of the COVID 19 Pandemic. The Global Response to Infectious Diseases (GRID) index which ranks the countries across the globe taking the effectiveness and efficiency of the leadership and the preparedness of the Health Systems in each country in managing the pandemic, had ranked Sri Lanka in the 10th place in April 2020.
As such it would be interesting to study the mechanisms and structures of information generation, transfer to and access by relevant stakeholders as well as the utilization for effective decision making, enablers, challenges, etc. It will undoubtedly be useful to further improve the existing mechanisms and structures and to provide best practices for bench-marking.

2. Research Plan
2.1 Methods:

Data will be collected qualitatively and quantitatively. Structured interviews (in-person or on-line) with the relevant stakeholders and Analysis of the existing structures and mechanisms at the sub-national and national level will be done mainly for qualitative data collection.
A Questionnaire survey will be done with the different stakeholders of different sectors such as Health, Economic, Education, Social, etc. both of the public and the private domains and the data will be analyzed quantitatively.

2.2 Data Sources Used:

Primary and Secondary sources of data will be utilized. Structured interviews, observation of the operational mechanisms and questionnaire surveys will be considered as primary sources of data. News articles in websites of recognized (locally and globally) news agencies and posts in multilateral organizations such as the WHO and the national level stakeholder organizations will be used as the secondary sources of data.

2.3 Access to Data, any regulatory requirements and how they will be obtained:

Data will be collected from the divisional, district, provincial and national level selected stakeholders of public and private domains related to the Health, Economic, Disaster Management, Education and Social spheres.

Any official requests/contacts for data collection will be made by/through the National Science Foundation, Sri Lanka (NSF). Being a highly recognized institute of the country, it will provide better opportunities to succeed.

Visits in person or online meetings will be arranged to collect the data. Questionnaire survey will be mainly done on-line with the NSF endorsement.
Collected data will be analyzed using qualitative and quantitative methods and with the support of statistical packages. A dedicated support will be obtained for data analysis.

Grants funds will also be channeled/administered through the NSF.

3. Expected Output and Outcome


  • The Project Report
  • A Policy Brief based on the research findings
  • A small booklet based on the research findings, targeting policy-makers
  • Digital posters/Infographics on the research findings for easy dissemination to the policy-makers and the wider community through the NSF
    website and the social media
  • A peer-reviewed journal publication
  • Publication/dissemination of the research findings through the NSF databases and newsletters
  • As the long-term research outcome, the findings could be utilized to make the local, national and international systems, structures and mechanisms of evidence to policy more efficient and strengthened.


Ms Thilinakumari Kandanamulla is working as a scientific officer at the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka (NSF SL), which is the premier science funding agency of the country. She holds an M.Sc. in agricultural microbiology, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (2010), a postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE), University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (2017), a postgraduate diploma in international relations (PGD IR), Bandaranaike Centre for international studies (BCIS) – Colombo, Sri Lanka (2017) and a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Agriculture (Second Class Upper), University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka (2007) with specialization in Agricultural Biology.

At NSF SL, she is coordinating activities related to bilateral and some multilateral scientific cooperative activities. Her Research Study at the PGD IR was on ‘Science Diplomacy: Policy (2005-2015) and potential for Sri Lanka’. She has recently co-chaired the Macroeconomic Response and Multilateral Collaborations Steering Group of the UN Research Roadmap on rapid socioeconomic response to COVID- 19 and is acting as the Asia Pacific Regional representative of the Global Research Council’s Gender Working Group.

She is actively liaising with different stakeholders of the science-policy interface such as the scientists and researchers, science policy administration, foreign policy administration, media, etc.

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