CMRD - Projects 

Supporting the social mobility of trapped populations in very poor urban areas


As part of its multi-country research partnership and collaboration with the universities of Sussex, SOAS, Durham and Sheffield and the Royal Geographic Society, the CMRD has been conducting some surveys since October 2016. They include collecting data for comparison from four underserved communities that have high densities of migrant populations in the city of Colombo. Along with high mobility, residents experience issues related to income and housing with social and environmental challenges and are vulnerable to displacement. For further information on the research see the Field Research Programme.

Researchers with colleagues in the field

Locations in Colombo

Study locations


The canal and dense housing


A street view and dense housing


A street view and canal


A street view and ongoing relocation


The methods used included focus groups, Q sort interviews and household surveys. The household survey was done using electronic tablets with enumerators recording interviews in Tamil and Sinhala languages. Researchers used Open Data Kit software with in-house Unicode embedded language translations while linking the data bases with applications such as what3words and GPS for spatial analysis of the information. Below photos of some of the trainings and fieldwork.


Workshops will be conducted with policymakers and residents to share findings from the research followed by publications.