Economic resilience in an era of ‘systemic risk’: Insights from four key economic sectors in Sri Lanka

Naduni Jayasinghe, Shiran Fernando, Richard Haigh, Dilanthi Amaratunga, Nishara Fernando, Chandrarathna Vithanage, Jayani Ratnayake, Chamathya Ranawana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


COVID-19 has showcased the systematic nature of risks. Its effects have spanned beyond the health sector causing severe economic disruptions. Sri Lanka's GDP contracted by 3.6% in 2020 from a 2.3% growth in 2019, reflecting the largest economic downturn recorded in the country's history. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has been largely perceived as unprecedented by most economic sectors and businesses functioning within them, pandemics are not a novel phenomenon given their intermittent occurrence in the past. This study aimed at examining the resilience of four key sectors in Sri Lanka during the COVID-19 pandemic, namely apparel, tourism, agriculture and construction. The study sought to identify the factors that have both enhanced and hindered their resilience during the pandemic and provide recommendations to strengthen their resilience for future pandemics and multi-hazard scenarios featuring pandemics. The study draws upon primary data gathered through four round table discussions carried out with a total of 30 key informants representing the selected sectors. The findings reveal that for economic resilience to be achieved within the selected economic sectors, resilience building measures should be undertaken at three levels: 1) orgaizational level; 2) sectoral level and 3) country level, while also recognising the need for consonance and congruence between measures taken at each level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100231
Number of pages16
JournalProgress in Disaster Science
Early online date21 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2022


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