NSF joined hands with Thimbirigasyaya Divisional Secretariat for building capacity of Field Officers.

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NSF launched its Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WEST) Programme recently which is a national programme aimed at catering to the Engineering, Science and Technology fields of Sri Lanka in general and to facilitate in reducing gender disparities in those fields and empower human resource enabling a better contribution to the science, technology, and innovation ecosystem.

There are many socio-economic disparities faced by rural and urban communities in Sri Lanka and therefore the government provides various social support services to them through field officers attached to each Grama Niladari Divisions. Therefore, NSF joined hands with Thimbirigasyaya Divisional Secretariat aimed at empowering the field officers with skills to scientifically identify and address community-level issues, emphasizing evidence-based data derivation to validate interventions with support from the NSF Working Committee on Social Science.

Accordingly, a capacity building Workshop for Field Officers were held on ‘Case Study Approach and Other Applicable Methodologies to Address Issues at the Community Level’ as the initial phase of a pilot project titled 'Develop and Field-test a Community-based Monitoring and Intervention System (CBMIS)'. The event was held on 22nd March 2024 at the NSF.

At this Workshop, the field officers were imparted with knowledge and the skills on how to utilize the methodologies like the Case Study approach to identify problems scientifically and employ appropriate investigation methods and to systematically collect data and produce reports. About thirty field officers attached to the Thimbirigasyaya Divisional Secretariat participated in this Workshop.

Addressing the gathering, Dr. Sepalika Sudasinghe, the Director-General of the NSF and Mrs. Priyantha Dissanayake, the Divisional Secretary of the Thimbirigasyaya Divisional Secretariat highlighted the significance of the programme. Prof. Siri Hettige, Chairman of the NSF Working Committee on Social Sciences and Mr. Wasantha Anuruddha, Head of the Science and Technology Policy Research Division outlined the objectives and action plan of the pilot project. The resource persons of the Workshop were Ms. Dileepa Endagamage, Senior Lecturer, Department of Decision Science, Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayawardenepura and Dr. Gamini Batuwitage, member of the Working Committee on Social Sciences. An interactive group session identified potential case studies, followed by a question-and-answer session, concluding the Workshop, and laying the foundation for the CBMIS project.