About the project
SEDR is a four-year access to justice project implemented by the British Council, in partnership with The Asia Foundation (TAF), and funded by the European Union as part of its Strengthening Transformation, Reconciliation and Inclusive Democratic Engagement (STRIDE) Programme in Sri Lanka.
The project comprises four overarching result areas that seek to enhance the effectiveness and availability of dispute resolution mechanisms in Sri Lanka and to foster social cohesion and more inclusive community-state engagement.
RA1. Improved functioning of Community Mediation Boards in addressing individual disputes (family, criminal and relevant property/financial disputes)
RA2. Improved and expanded functioning of Land Special Mediation Boards
RA3. Inclusive local action forums work to address shared problems and improve the resolution of community-level grievances
RA4. Senior stakeholders and officials can evidence the benefits of mediation processes through cross-agency coordination, enhanced data collection and increased awareness of how and why mediation is used
Working with the grain of existing forums, SEDR will build their capacity to work inclusively and in a way that can mediate between what may be oppositional or unheard voices at the community level. It will also look to secure greater coordination and collaboration between committees, including the bringing together of local government and civil society organisation initiatives operating in a similar space. This work will be focused on a select group of local communities in three Provinces – Northern, Eastern and Uva.
SEDR is building the capacity of trainers, supporting coordination between them, and assisting the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to set up Land Special Mediation Boards (SMBs) in the two Districts of Uva Province.
SEDR will work to improve the quality of mediation provided with a focus on training support to Mediation Training Officers and assistance in the subsequent roll out of training to Community Mediators nationwide. SEDR is also working on the policy level to support mediation services and increase awareness and understanding of the processes behind and benefits of mediation to a range of audiences, including a younger generation through the Mediation Board Commission’s school mediation programme.