South Asia Policy and Research Institute (SAPRI)
The South Asia Policy and Research Institute (SAPRI) is a not for profit, non-partisan ‘Think Tank’ whose focus is the study of issues relating to Economic Development, Poverty Alleviation, Conflict Resolution, Women’s Empowerment and Environment, through mutual understanding and social cohesion in South Asia.
South Asia, one of the world’s most populous regions, remains poor, divided and conflict ridden. Trade, cultural and human exchanges within the region are low. South Asian intellectual discourse is sporadic and limited in scope. South Asian policy appears to lack reform dynamism. There appears to be a lack on the part of governments to reform inherited colonial systems to achieve a modernized status.
Yet, the development of South Asia is critical to global peace and development for several reasons:
- Two of South Asia’s and the world’s most populous countries – India and Pakistan – are nuclear armed and have engaged in several conflicts in the past
- Poverty is widespread in the region
- Environmental problems
- Extremism and terrorism have a home in South Asia
- Most countries in South Asia have links with drug trafficking and human trafficking
These reasons demand that the issues related to South Asian political, security, economic and social developments be seriously comprehended and deliberated within South Asia.
Amongst the many reasons that limit the ability of incumbent leaders to bring peace, modernization and development to their countries and the region, is the absence of a supporting discourse. South Asian leaders who are now beyond public life could initiate a programme – a programme that will bring South Asia together intellectually, through an informal discourse, to generate better policy, and, foster peace and progress in the region.
As an attempt to bridge this lacuna, a South Asian “Think Tank’ viz SAPRI was created in February 2010, in Sri Lanka, by former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, currently its Chairperson, to bring about better regional integration and a better life for the people in the region.
SAPRI’s vision is to establish an intellectual discourse with the participation of local and regional stakeholders, to recognize matters of regional importance, shared concerns and best practices on topics including Sustainable economic development; Women’s empowerment; Protecting the rights of women & children; and building national unity with respect for diversity; and communicating and consolidating the findings, at policy level and through advocacy at community level.
SAPRI envisions sustained community empowerment, building religious harmony; promoting grassroots women in politics; gender equality; eliminating Zero Hunger; and empowerment of youth as well as initiating policy research to identify policy gaps and best means to promote coordinated efforts to improve policy and decision making through links with political and civil society leadership; academia; professionals; the private sector; women and youth.