About Us


SLCDF was created in 1987 (then the Sri Lanka Canada Development Fund) as a bilateral pilot project to identify mid-size projects for development assistance between the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and affiliated Canadian NGOs. To ensure the sustainability of the organization, SLCDF registered as a non-profit NGO in 2002 (altering its name to the Sri Lanka Centre for Development Facilitation) to address issues of poverty and inequality in Sri Lanka by working with local communities in a collaborative and sustainable manner.


    • Successfully implemented innovative programmes, built extensive and dynamic organizations, country-wide, towards attaining sustainable development.
    • Built a vibrant network at community, district and national levels, responsible for policy and advocacy and established NGO National Action Front (NNAF) as an apex body and facilitated the implementation of a Code of Ethics for Voluntary Organizations.
    • Implemented innovative and collaborative Participatory Integrated District Development Programmes (PIDDP) based on identified needs.
    • Developed capacities of grassroots organizations to undertake responsibilities at a higher level.
    • Mainstreamed gender in all development programmes.
    • NGO Management Development Centre was created as an independent training institute to build need-based capacities of NGOs through participatory processes.
    • Launched an island-wide campaign to address predicted food scarcity by promoting conservation farming, dairy farming, conserve and popularizing jak tree (Artocarpus Heterophyllus) planting and promoting jak based food production.
    • Promoted appropriate development theme-based exchange programmes nationally and internationally.
    • Assisted over 17,800 people to rebuild their livelihoods, following the 2004 Tsunami and humanitarian assistance for over 6150 flood affected families, through Disaster Preparedness and Management Centres facilitated by SLCDF.


To become a dynamic resource centre for the needy and civil society organizations in Sri Lanka to achieve sustainable human development.


To enhance the capacities and social capital of the needy and their organizations by developing knowledge, skills, resources and technical support to take the responsibilities in programmes and policy for collaborative GO/NGO relationship towards reducing poverty and achieving sustainable human development.


    • Human Centred
    • Participatory
    • Pro-poor
    • Community Based Resource Utilization and Management
    • Accountability and Transparency
    • Peace and National Harmony
    • Gender Equality
    • Collaboration and Partnership

Founder of SLCDF Dr. W.P.P. Abeydeera

Dr. W.P.P. Abeydeera served as the Founder Programme Director of Sri Lanka Canada Development Fund for 15 years from 1987 – 2003 January, and as Executive Director of Sri Lanka Centre for Development Facilitation from its inception in 2003 until his demise on 26th December, 2011.

Being at the helm for nearly 25 years all credit goes to him for his untiring efforts to develop SLCDF to what it is today. Dr. Abeydeera dedicated all his time and energy to uplift the poor in Sri Lanka through implementing multifaceted development programmes. He believed that much can be achieved through strengthening their capacities and providing financial assistance with emphasis to horizontal and vertical networks from grassroots to national level that he facilitated. His commitment, determination, experience, expertise and the strong leadership paved way for SLCDF to be recognized locally and internationally. We lost a great leader.

Chairman’s Message


We believe you have stayed safe at home, a new experience. Coming back to “NORMAL” is going to be another experience. COVID-19 has made a distinct impact on all of US. While we slowly recover to the so called “normal” state, it will be good to recall what existed before the COVID breakdown, and what we experienced during the last two months of “lockdown”.
What is this “normal state” that we are seeking to achieve? COVID affected us directly and indirectly in many ways.
For many of us the normal activity that sustained our livelihood was affected. This would have been a great blow to our sustenance and survival, but despite the disruption we have managed the situation for two months. It is of no benefit to blame anybody or COVID, for the situation, as that will not rectify the situation. Instead it would be much more profitable to recall how we survived through the two months to ensure that we will not suffer again in the future.
If you managed through the donations of “well-wishers”, it would not continue after “normalization”. Could you go back to what you were doing before? Would that source be available? Many questions will be in your mind. Whatever it may be, the end result is definitely going to be different from what it was. It is this realization and how we will cope with this new situation that will be the most important aspect for the future.
COVID provided us direct experiences that are related to the environment, health and social concerns.
In the environment area, COVID showed us how bad our air quality had been. Across the world, including Sri Lanka, the air quality improved immensely. According to the National Building Research Authority in Sri Lanka, the quality change was 70% reduction in pollution. We have been breathing dirt, no wonder we were sick!!! The question is do we want to go back to that situation again, to breath poison???
It would have made you realize how “consumptive” you were. All the stuff that was consumed before the lock down was not available in quantity and in some situations totally. But we have survived. We have learnt through experience the whole concept of “SUSTAINABILITY” – living within the means of availability. If you recall seriously, you will realize that we did have all our NEEDS, but not many or any of our WANTS. The production levels decreased, the demands changed, it is true the producers would have been affected in term of their income, but that would have proportionately affected their consumptive life too. The bottom line every body survived at a LOWER LEVEL of PRODUCTION and CONSUMPTION. Within the so called “foot print” of the planet, much healthier and with less future worries!
COVID has clearly taught us that we cannot continue to destroy nature or mess with it. Since 1940, there have been over 335 Emerging Infections of this nature, but fortunately they were not as devastating as COVID-19. All of these have been shown to have been because of our interference with nature. If we continue with the interference, along with the increasing human numbers, there definitely will be more “covids” to come. DO WE WANT THAT?
The global impact of the COVID, has shown us very clearly how even all the best hospital facilities cannot prevent death on entering a hospital, the stark social inequalities among the rich and poor. The poor, unemployed in the developed world came in vehicles for their free food rations. We provided it to the house hold, despite the numbers developing countries have shown a great resilience in comparison to the developed world. What is the secret???
There are many more similar experiences of the environment, while the social concerns are no different. The COVID has resurfaced our family, social obligations and country commitments. We have come to realize the importance of self-sustenance. We have come to recognize the need to grow our own food in the backyard. To share what we all have. These great practices were slowly fading off from our society, COVID has resurfaced them and their values recognized. We have to keep them and develop them further to ensure that we use them for the benefit of the society at large. We at SLCDF value these principles, as our future will be based on these principles.
The impact of the COVID-19 will not leave us for some time. It will hound us for a long time and affect our activities. This is the stark reality, the bitter truth. SLCDF will however, be with you, our efforts will treble, and continue. Our present response though meagre is done with good faith and within the present capacity. We hope to follow up with more in the future.
Follow all health advice and commit to be more environmentally friendly in the future. Stay safe, be safe.

Theruwan Saranai

Vidya Jyothi Emeritus Prof. Sarath Kotagama
Chairman, Board of Management of SLCDF

Board of Management

SLCDF’s Board of Management have both professional and NGO experience

    • Vidya Jyothi Emeritus Professor Sarath W. Kotagama, Chairman
    • Dr. Ramanie Jayatilaka, Secretary
    • Mr. J.M. Henry de Mel, Treasurer
    • Ms. Kala Peiris, Member
    • Dr. Chandani Liyanage, Member
    • Mr. W.H. Karunarathna, Member

Tissa Wijetunga leads the facilitation role for SLCDF and its network of Partners

Tissa Wijetunga, Graduate of University of Ceylon, Commonwealth Diploma holder, Coady Graduate leads the facilitation role of SLCDF and its network of partner organizations consisting over 4000 CBOs, more than 250 NGOs, 18 District Consortia of NGOs, NGO National Action Front, NGO Management Development Centre and Jak Development Foundation, covering 18 districts of Sri Lanka.

After finishing his higher education, he joined Mahaweli Development Board which was the largest Human Development Scheme implemented in South Asia and moved to Land Commissioner’s Department and conducted research work to prepare settlement patterns, land reclamation work, planning of resettlement, village expansion and youth settlement schemes for the Mahaweli Development Scheme.

He has also worked seventeen years with National Youth Services Council which is the only state organization implementing youth development programmes in Sri Lanka. During this period, he performed different kinds of youth development activities for the youth such as leadership, skill development, entrepreneurship, sports, culture, recreation, youth employment programmes and developing and implementing youth rehabilitation programmes for those who were involved in 1988/1989 insurgencies.

In July 1992 he moved to NGO sector from Government service and joined Sri Lanka Canada Development Fund supported by Canadian Development International Agency (CIDA) under a bilateral agreement to build the capacities of local organizations and address poverty and inequity.

In March 2002, Sri Lanka Centre for Development Facilitation evolved as a non government voluntary organization being the offspring of Sri Lanka Canada Development Fund and Mr. Wijetunga continued the work in the new organization till December 2011 as Deputy Director. In December 2011 he assumed duties as Executive Director of the Sri Lanka Centre for Development Facilitation.

Team of Staff

Mr. T.L. Wijetunga, Executive Director
Ms. Devika Fernando, Secretary
Mr. A. Sornalingam, Senior Programme Officer
Ms. Thusyanthi Balasingam, Senior Programme Officer
Mr. Sanath Jayatunga, Senior Programme & Administrative Officer
Mr. U.S.T. Vithanage, Finance Officer
Ms. Wasana Chandrasiri, Asst. Finance Officer
Mr. Ruwan Sathyawardana, Programme Office
Ms. M.M. Deepika Nilangi, Programme Officer
Ms. T. Sanmugapriya, Programme Officer
Mr. Kavindu Perera, Programme Officer
Ms. Rashmi Sathanandan, Programme Officer
Ms. Githmi Dharmasena, Finance Assistant
Ms. Ruwanpaba Fonseka Finance Assistant
Mr. S.P. Gamini Thushan, Driver
Mr. S.P. Somathilaka, Driver
Ms. S. Mary, Office Aide

PALMERA Project – Field Office Staff
Mr. S.Ariharan – Field Manager

Ms. Nishanthiny Navaratnam, Market Facilitator
Ms. H.M.A.K.M. Herath, Market Facilitator
Ms. Mahendran Thurkadevi, Programme Coordinator
Ms. Muththukkumar Vijayatharsiny, Community Facilitator
Mr. Ramalingam Mangaleswaran, Community Facilitator
Ms. Sivakuru Kirushanthy, Community Facilitator
Ms. Jayamohan Jesotha, Community Facilitator
Ms. Manogaran Mathy, Community Facilitator
Ms. Sivagowry Thangarasa, Field Officer
Mr. Thanabalasingam Iratheesan, Field Officer
Ms. W.A.M.A. Kulasuriya, Trainee Community Facilitator

Ms. Chitra Vithanage
Mr. A. Nagendran
Mr. K. Kularuban