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Agent of change: Malith Senevirathne

Colombo, Sri Lanka

In our November issue, we've profiled young planners who are delivering sustainable development goals around the world. Read about the Agents of change and discover more young planners whose work is having an impact in communities worldwide

Malith Senevirathne is a PhD researcher at the Global Disaster Resilience Centre, University of Huddersfield, and member of the Commonwealth Association of Planners Young Planners network steering group, from Colombo in Sri Lanka

The Sustainable Development Council of Sri Lanka (SDC) is tasked with monitoring and evaluation of government organisations working towards achieving the Sustainable Develoment Goals.

The SDC provides guidelines via the national policy and strategy on sustainable development. Each ministry develops its own vision for achieving SDGs and supports subordinate institutions in preparing the public service delivery strategy, the annual action plan. Young planners are engaged in the process, from preparing the national policy to implementing the annual action plan.

"The SDC is also working on developing model sustainable villages in Sri Lanka, which will promote SDGs within local communities"

The next target of the SDC is to promote the SDGs in research and development, innovation, education, and awareness, with a larger youth engagement.

The SDC is also working on developing model sustainable villages in Sri Lanka, which will promote SDGs within local communities, including young people. In this process, the SDC expects young planners to take a leading role.

Project focus

I worked on The State of Sri Lankan Cities 2018, a report by UN Habitat that offered the first comprehensive assessment of Sri Lanka’s recent urban development.

It outlines a vision of a better urban future for all Sri Lankans, drawing on the UN’s SDGs and New Urban Agenda, as well as key Sri Lankan government strategic documents. The report provides an analysis of the spatial attributes of Sri Lanka’s urbanisation, an overview of its people and functions, and examines its city economies, urban housing and connectivity, municipal services, climate risk and resilience, and governance.

Photo | Getty Images