Good research can lead to positive change for the world's poorest by enhancing the design and implementation of development policies and programs. That's why we are
committed to an innovative research portfolio and funds research, including through:
- competitive funding mechanisms (such as the Australian Development Research Awards Scheme)
- research partnerships with different Australian, international and developing country research institutions
- commissioning research to address a specific question or clearly defined research
- one-off research grants, when an existing program of research is relevant to the
Australian aid program.
More information on how we fund research
Research funded by Australian Aid specifically targets some of Sri Lanka’s development challenges. Some of the highlights of this research are listed below.
Gender, status and empowerment: A study among women who work in Sri Lanka's export processing zones
This study of 2500 women factory workers in Sri Lanka’s export processing zones traced the impact of formal employment on women's status. Previous studies have found that
female factory workers in Sri Lanka face significant societal and community disempowerment as a result of their employment. This study was funded by Australian Aid and
undertaken by researchers at Edith Cowan University.
The study found that, along with economic empowerment and improvements in knowledge and skills, women’s decision making power increased in the home and, in some cases, in
the workplace. Their social empowerment has also been improved with increased mobility and acceptance from their family and community. However, there are limited
opportunities for women to advance in these occupations, the work is repetitive and the social stigma attached to women’s participation in factory employment remains,
despite efforts by the government, NGOS and unions to reinforce the contribution of these women to the economy.
This study showed that remittances of women factory workers have contributed significantly to the alleviation of poverty in Sri Lanka. Wider communication of the
contribution of these women to the economy will contribute to combatting the negative portrayal of these workers in Sri Lanka.
Read the full report