Asian Civil Society Research Network – Colombo Charter

Head: Dr. Udan Fernando

The Asian Civil Society Research Network (ACSRN) – Colombo Charter was launched in March 2020 to further the efforts and enhance the level of collaborative and foster learning exchanges and cross fertilization of ideas between the members and countries.

The ACSRN Colombo Charter is a clearing house and a coordinating hub for offering services such as studies, advisory, evaluation, facilitation of civil society related work. It also hosts a portal of civil society resources – papers, books etc. – on Asia. The Colombo Charter initiates activities such as talks, lectures and workshops in Colombo and other Asian cities in close collaboration with the members of the Asian Civil Society Research Network.   

The ACSRN Colombo Charter will largely be a virtual outfit with minimum physical infrastructure. Collaborations, joint ventures and sponsorships with local, regional and existing academic institutions and civil society organizations will be sought to mobilize intellectual and financial resources for its work.  

Immediate activities by the ACSRN Colombo Charter:

  • Talk by ACSRN member, Professor Jennifer Chan, University of British Columbia, in Colombo, on April 30, 2020 (postponed)
  • New Project: Revitalizing Civil Society in New Realities: Innovations in civil society and media engagement to strengthening democratic institutions and practices. This includes enhancing public sector accountability and transparency and strengthening rule of law in Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Preliminary work was carried out in Singapore for a possible event host and academic collaborator. This is with the engagement of the ACSRN member in Singapore, Dr. Gillian Koh.
  • Research Study on Religious Extremism in South Asia and Its Impact on Civil Society Values, Roles and Actions: This research is to be carried out in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka as part of a EU-funded project by IMADR. The overall research coordination will be carried out by the network member and host in the ACSRN Colombo Charter, Dr. Udan Fernando with the expert advice by another ACSRN member, Professor Jeff Kingston (April- December 2020)