Livelihood Development Fund Activities
: "Poverty levels in Sri Lanka continue to remain high, with between a third and a fifth of the population being classified as poor, despite high human development indicators such as literacy and life expectancy. According to the 2001 national census, approximately 25% of Sri Lanka's population lives in the country's coastal region. Poverty is a major issue affecting rural coastal communities in Sri Lanka and a majority of coastal households are among the poorest in the country (Senaratna, 2003). The communities in Rekawa and Kalametiya - two sites on the southern coast of Sri Lanka in the Hambantota District, are typically representative of such coastal communities. Research undertaken in these sites has revealed the heterogeneous nature of these communities and the variation that exists in terms of primary livelihood activities and levels of poverty at the village-level. In both Rekawa and Kalametiya livelihoods are predominantly in the fisheries sector, while a much smaller proportion of the population is engaged in agricultural activities. The percentage of households that had changed their primary livelihoods during the last 10 years, ranged from approximately 35% to 40%. The major factors that had contributed to these changes were alterations to the status of the natural resources communities were dependent on (as a result of either human interventions or natural processes), or more personal reasons such as ill-health, retirement or a death in the family. Discussions with members of the community in Rekawa and Kalametiya were held during the development of IMM's Research Participation Framework (RPF), a key component of IMM's Sustainable Coastal Livelihood (SCL) project. This framework aimed to provide practical guidance to field researchers and research managers on how to increase the effective involvement of villages"