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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

No more politics: Manusha calls for evidence-based approach to Lankan policy

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The evidence-based policymaking process, free from narrow political interests, is vital for formulating policies that reflect the needs of all Sri Lankans, respecting and embracing our ethnic diversity, said Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Manusha Nayakkara.

He expressed these views during the inauguration of the training program on evidence-based policymaking processes organized in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the National Institute of Labour Studies (NILS). The main objectives of this program were to build the capacities of ILO’s constituents to use evidence-based tools and instruments for policymaking for promoting decent work.

According to the Minister, the previous policy formulation process was often driven by narrow political interests. However, the present government is committed to changing this system and is actively seeking collaboration with international organizations.

During the event, he further stated,

“Today marks a significant milestone in our journey towards a more informed and effective policymaking process towards decent work in Sri Lanka. As we inaugurate this training-the-trainer program on evidence-based policymaking for decent work, funded by the International Labour Organization (ILO), we are not just embarking on a learning journey but also committing to a transformative process that will shape the future of our nation and the world of work.

I am deeply grateful to the International Labour Organization for supporting this timely program. Your commitment to enhancing policymaking processes worldwide is invaluable, and we are honored to be a part of this initiative.

In recent times, Sri Lanka, like many nations, has grappled with the challenges of policy inconsistency. Political agendas often overshadow the true essence of governance, resulting in policies biased toward winning elections or promoting vested interests. Such an approach undermines the integrity of our policymaking and threatens the rich ethnic diversity that defines us.

Evidence-based policymaking stands as a beacon of hope in these turbulent times. It is a process that transcends political biases and subjective judgments, focusing instead on hard facts and data to guide our decisions. This approach is not just about adopting best practices but is also a commitment to continuous learning and adaptation in the face of new challenges and information.

As policymakers, our role is critical in this transformation. We must be the forerunners of change, equipped with the skills to discern, analyze, and apply evidence in our policy formulation. This training program is designed to empower us with these very skills. Our discussions will focus on acquiring knowledge and how to critically appraise evidence, engage with stakeholders, and integrate this evidence into the policymaking process effectively

We must strive for policy consistency in Sri Lanka, ensuring our decisions and changing political landscapes stand the test of time. Our policies must reflect the needs of all Sri Lankans, respecting and embracing our ethnic diversity. This can only be achieved when our policies are rooted in evidence and not swayed by short-term political gains.

While evidence-based policymaking is essential, we, as policymakers, must also be critical thinkers and adopt systems thinking. If not carefully crafted, policies formulated today can become irrecoverable organizational, social, and economic problems tomorrow. Our policymaking should be based on the principles of a broader, open society and individual freedom. This requires us, as policymakers, to be more open-minded and futuristic, understand the current macro challenges, and have deep insight into the interests of the general public.

As we proceed with this program, let us remember that evidence-based policymaking is a methodology and a commitment to transparency, accountability, and inclusivity. It is a promise to our citizens that every decision we make is for the greater good, backed by robust evidence and a deep understanding of its impact on every Sri Lankan.”

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