Learning to Target for Economic Diversification: PDIA in Sri Lanka

41 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2017

See all articles by Matthew Andrews

Matthew Andrews

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Duminda Ariyasinghe

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Thamari Batuwanthudawa

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Shivanthika Darmasiri

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Nilupul de Silva

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Peter Harrington

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Prasanna Jayasinghe

Export Development Board, Government of Sri Lanka

Upul Jayasinghe

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Gamini Jayathilake

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Jayani Karunaratne

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Lalith Katugampala

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Jeewani Liyanapathirane

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Champika Malalgoda

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Tim McNaught

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Anisha Poobalan

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Sanjeewa Ratnasekera

Export Development Board, Government of Sri Lanka

Priyanka Samaraweera

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Erangani Saumya

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Daniel Stock

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - MIT Media Laboratory

Upali Senerath

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Ranjan Sibera

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Indira Walpita

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Shamalie Wijesinghe

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Date Written: January 1, 2017

Abstract

Many countries are trying to diversify their economies. Sri Lanka is an example. Governments like Sri Lanka often lack the capabilities to lead diversification programs, however. One of these capabilities relates to targeting new sectors to promote and pursue through a diversification policy: countries know they are ‘doomed to choose’ sectors to target, but lack effective capabilities to do the targeting. This paper narrates a recent (and ongoing) initiative to establish this kind of capability in Sri Lanka. The initiative adopted a Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) process, where a team of Sri Lankan officials worked with Harvard Center for International Development (CID) facilitators to build capabilities. The paper tells the story of this process, providing documented evidence of the progress over time (and describing thinking behind the PDIA process as well). It shows how a reliable targeting mechanism can emerge in a reasonably limited period, when a committed team of public officials are effectively authorized and engaged. The paper will be of particular interest to those thinking about targeting for diversification and to those interested in processes (like PDIA) focused on building state capability and fostering policy implementation in public contexts.

Suggested Citation

Andrews, Matthew and Ariyasinghe, Duminda and Batuwanthudawa, Thamari and Darmasiri, Shivanthika and de Silva, Nilupul and Harrington, Peter and Jayasinghe, Prasanna and Jayasinghe, Upul and Jayathilake, Gamini and Karunaratne, Jayani and Katugampala, Lalith and Liyanapathirane, Jeewani and Malalgoda, Champika and McNaught, Tim and Poobalan, Anisha and Ratnasekera, Sanjeewa and Samaraweera, Priyanka and Saumya, Erangani and Stock, Daniel and Senerath, Upali and Sibera, Ranjan and Walpita, Indira and Wijesinghe, Shamalie, Learning to Target for Economic Diversification: PDIA in Sri Lanka (January 1, 2017). HKS Working Paper No. RWP17-020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2968593 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2968593

Matthew Andrews (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Mailbox 31
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-384-8039 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/about/faculty-staff-directory/matt-andrews

Duminda Ariyasinghe

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Thamari Batuwanthudawa

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Shivanthika Darmasiri

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Nilupul De Silva

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Peter Harrington

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Prasanna Jayasinghe

Export Development Board, Government of Sri Lanka

Upul Jayasinghe

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Gamini Jayathilake

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Jayani Karunaratne

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Lalith Katugampala

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Jeewani Liyanapathirane

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Champika Malalgoda

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Tim McNaught

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Anisha Poobalan

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Sanjeewa Ratnasekera

Export Development Board, Government of Sri Lanka

Priyanka Samaraweera

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Erangani Saumya

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Daniel Stock

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - MIT Media Laboratory

20 Ames St.
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

Upali Senerath

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Ranjan Sibera

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Indira Walpita

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Shamalie Wijesinghe

Board of Investment, Government of Sri Lanka

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
28
Abstract Views
228
PlumX Metrics