The Social Development & Research Organization was established in 2004 to enhance civil society’s participation in development and decision making processes.
SDRO noted that grass root voices are isolated in the track 1 decision-making process whereby people are deprived of the space to influence decisions that affect their lives. Community voices are underrepresented in local governance mechanisms and the notion of sole representation countered has hampered participatory democracy. Within such a context, SDRO initiated the formulation of the Roadmap for Democracy &Development which highlighted the need for community participation in the conflict-affected regions of Eastern Sri Lanka.
In course of time, SDRO has gradually identified its core competencies from its own experience and feedback provided by stakeholders. Its identified areas of strength have been organizing campaigns, awareness creation and education programs to enable people to be able of claiming and exercising their civil and political rights. Education, monitoring, lobbying, advocacy, research and training on issues related to civic participation have been regularly undertaken by SDRO.
As an organized social entity, SDRO is focused on working with disadvantaged groups; some of its targeted working groups have included underprivileged women, marginalized youth &children.
SDRO acts as an advocate for citizen participation which is an essential component of democratic governance.. SDRO seeks to amplify the unheard voices of the ordinary people in the Eastern Sri Lanka that has witnessed a 3 decade old civil unrest and bloodshed