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Human Development Organization (HDO) is a non – governmental, non-profit making and non-racial national human rights organization that works with underprivileged and marginalized communities in the plantation and rural areas of Sri Lanka. HDO is legally registered under the Social Service Act, Sri Lanka and was accredited by the UN High Commission for Human Rights for the World Conference Against Racism. The mission of HDO consists in ‘‘Establishment a socially just, equitable and peaceful civil society through poverty eradication and sustainable development’’. Since last 22 years the organization has developed appropriate strategies, methodologies and approaches to challenge the human rights and development issues among the target groups, and in the region and the country.

  • As a movement HDO creates a platform through which communities can voice their concerns regarding (rights) issues/ laws that directly affect their welfare. This remains an essential and relevant part of HDO’s work that lends them credibility. HDO has proven to be able to respond to right- based needs (HR violations) at individual and community level and started playing a role in national and international dialogues concerning minority right.

  •  This linkage to use experience at local level to enrich debates on national and international level deserves further reinforcement. A key role of HDO is to give a critical voice to minorities/ vulnerable communities when their rights or interests are being violated. Without a doubt this means that HDO finds itself opposing other established (political) forces. This is what gives them relevance, but illustrates at the same time their need to be politically sensitive as to protect their own interests and that of their target communities.


The vision of the HDO will be; Establishment of socially just, equitable and peace civil society through poverty eradication and sustainable development.


HDO Seeks to fulfil its mission through people centered participatory and sustainable development projects with concern to: environment, human rights and gender balance for social change. 

H D O Approach:

  • Grassroots approach: Mobilization of people in local level,
  • National level approach: Network, lobby & campaign for policy & legal reform,
  • Global approach: Advocacy, networking for contribution to global change,
  • Inclusion approach: Promotes the right of marginalized women, children and people with disabilities,
  • Sustainability approach: Is inherent in a rights based, capacity building,empowerment programme, and right based approach.
  • Gender integrated approach: Is concerned on gender equality with in the organization, programs and actions.

  • HDO use following Methodologies since many years: Participatory Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation Methodology, Object /Result Oriented Project Planning Methodology, Participatory Research Methodology, Participatory Training Methodology and Gender Sensitive


  • The Human Development Organization with its associates and community partners use a right based participatory methodology hroughout its actions. This means that the HDO and its partners and community beneficiaries work together towards contribution to the vision and mission of the organization as well as of the programmes, ensuring that decision-making is accountable and collective.
  • Strengthening Organizations : Working to capacitate and strengthen Civil Society Organizations like Community Based Organizations, Non Governmental Organizations, Women's Forums, Trade Unions and Media are important aspect in HDO and its partners' ethodology.

Marginalized community members, minority activists from grass-root level CBOs and CSOs will participate in capacity building activities

tailored to their needs. The trained CBO and CSO members will attend grass-root, Provincial and National forums to put forward directly their communities' situation in front of policy and decision-makers. Check here with original.

  • Training for Change: Human Development Organization and its associates strongly believe that the training is one of the major instrument and methodology to bring the changes in the community. This methodology reflects the basic methods of community change to promote and protect of human rights, democratic values and political pluralism through training for community members, CBOs and local authorities. Training for change is one of the strongest methodology used by HDO for the social change. This methodology adopted for targeting behavioral change among the community members. Seminars,workshops, constructive discussions, community meetings used as methodologies. Visual education also one of the methodology used for educate children and youths on human rights.
  • Information is power: Research is one of the method to produce real facts and information on the ground with international standards and best practice, to campaign for change and determine what should and can be done, and who should do it. Human Development Organization use information sharing and dissemination of information as a methodology for the empowerment of the community. Poor people like plantation community, marginalized women or internally displaced people or local authorities need information for decision making on their own life. Many publications used to share information. Many books, leaflets, booklets, posters printed by the HDO to educate people, children and women in the community. Exhibitions organized for educate public and children.

Community Exchange: Exchange programs organized between different ethnic, religious communities. Through the exchange program

participants share their experiences, knowledge and skills. This is the one of the good method to promote understanding and coexistence among people who affected by the conflict.

Catalyzing / Citizen & Civil Society Building:

Civil society building is crucial strategy of the HDO for strengthen the civil society movements in the community to fight for their rights in the community level themselves. The HDO is working with 20 CBOs at present and it works with the communities through these CBOS.

Influencing Policy and Legislation on Human Rights & Governance:

The HDO understands that working for legal and policy reform is a macro level action to promote and protect human rights of the people. Therefore HDO involve in policy reform process. Eg: HDO is the one of the organization which lobbied in nationally and at the UN and EU level for the policy change of the on “Stateless' issue of the plantation community and finally around 260,000 stateless people were granted citizenship in Sri Lanka in 2004

Conflict Resolution & Reconciliation:

Countries like Sri Lanka needs conflict management strategy to seek for sustainable solution. In this regard HDO is using the peace building and conflict resolution as a strategy with the community.

Gender Equity & Equality :

Gender equality is the one of the main concern and strategy across the HDO's policy and actions. Also we consider economic justice of the weakest sector of the community like women.

Advocacy & Lobby:

The advocacy and lobby is a key element, in the HDO strategy, because the media is vital whether human rights, democratic values and political participation of marginalized groups like minorities, women, IDPs are to be fully recognized in Sri Lanka. Therefore, the project will focus on media lobby as a methodology. Mass population can be educated and empowered through advocacy, lobby and campaign of the rights of the marginalized women and children rights.

Coalition Building:

A crucial part of the methodology is to build coalition among CBOs and CSOs and between CBOs and local authorities. Activities such as constructive dialogue, people diplomacy, people’s tribunal, training programs have been chosen, because they bring people from various groups together and initiate networking activities. HDO more considering on coalition building among CBOS, CSOs and other relevant groups. Already it has good experience initiate and strengthening such coalitions like Citizen's Watch a Human Rights Network.

Action Research:

To find out community problem and solutions, we believe that the action research is the best way followed by many actors. In this regard, The HDO is employed action research as a strategy.
HDO is managed by a Board of Trustees, consisting on the founding and elected members. The Executive Committee is responsible for planning, developing and managing programs. 

The Executive Director, Dr. P.P. Sivapragasam, is a graduate in social sciences and a post-graduate in Peace studies and Conflict Resolution, Development Management.

Most of HDO’s programs are developed with the people’s participation. HDO supports the groups to plan their programs and, after their approval, submits them to partner organization for funding. Field level committees do the monitoring and evaluation with the assistance of HDO staff and committee members. The HDO committee do overall internal participatory evaluation to assess the effect and impact of the programs. 


The organization consists of nine full time workers and four part-time workers. Most of them are from the tea plantation. 50 % of the team workers and decision makers are women.