Research team


Abdhullah Azam (BSc, Wayamba)

Abdhullah Azam is a Masters student in Economics at the University of Colombo. He holds a B.Sc in Business Management from the Wayamba University of Sri Lanka. He has sound experience in the field of research activities as a Research Assistant. His research interest area includes urban migration, poverty and macroeconomic studies.

Azam’s personal page


Shashini Gamage (PhD, La Trobe)

Shashini Ruwanthi Gamage is a researcher, journalist, and filmmaker, based in Australia and Sri Lanka. She is a PhD (2012-16) of La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests are gender, media, and migration, utilising ethnography, video and photographic methods. As a Research Associate, Sociology, at La Trobe University, Melbourne, she is affiliated to the Australian Research Council project ‘Ageing and New Media’, examining older Sri Lankan migrants’ use of digital and new media in Australia. She is also affiliated with the ‘Healthy Futures’ project of La Trobe University, examining the barriers and enablers for accessing healthcare in rural Australia, working with Karen refugee migrants of Myanmar.

Shashini’s personal page


Nayana Godamunne (MSc, Oxford)

Nayana holds a Masters degree in Forced Migration from the Department of international Development at the University of Oxford and a Bachelors degree in Politics and Sociology from the University of Bristol. Her interests include social protection and development related to aspects of forced migration including displacement in both conflict and development, resettlement and social safeguards. She has a number of international publications and has contributed to policy development.

Nayana’s personal page


Shiyana Gunasekara (MA, Johns Hopkins)

Shiyana Gunasekara is a energy and climate consultant in Washington, DC, and a Pacific Forum Young Leader. With an M.A. in international economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University, SAIS, she specializes in international energy markets and trade and development in the Indian Ocean Region. Ms. Gunasekara was a U.S. Fulbright Researcher to Sri Lanka in 2014-2015.

Shiyana’s personal page


Maneka Jayasinghe (PhD, Griffith)

Maneka is a lecturer in Economics in the Asia Pacific College of Business and Law, Charles Darwin University, Australia. Her research interests include, Consumer Demand Analysis, Poverty, Gender and Income Inequality, and Tourism Economics. She has a PhD in Economics from Griffith University, Australia.

Maneka’s personal page


Indika Samarakoon (MSc, McGill)

Indika Samarakoon is an independent consultant with 18 years of experience in international development. She has worked for the World Bank, Canadian International Development Agency, Care International in Sri Lanka and Vietnam, Centre for Poverty Analysis, Chrysalis GTE and Diageo PLC on urban development, poverty alleviation with a focus on gender, livelihoods and youth development. She is currently consulting for the World Bank on social and human development projects.

Indika’s personal page


Matt Withers (PhD, Sydney)

Matt Withers is a Research Fellow within the Department of Sociology, Macquarie University, having completed his PhD within the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney. His research is concerned with the developmental implications of temporary labour migration and remittances, both in Sri Lanka and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Matt’s personal page