Covid-19 has affected both developed and developing countries. Sri Lanka is no exception to other countries in the region, and was able to manage the pandemic at the initial stage with a certain element of success. The local government authorities have also contributed towards the pandemic response measures, though they do not have any legitimate duty in disaster management. Hence, the study was conducted to gain an understanding of the experiences of the local government authorities, in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in Sri Lanka. In answering the research aim, the study conducted a literature review and key informant interviews with the officers engaged in local government authorities in Sri Lanka. Seven key informant interviews were conducted using an interview guideline. Accordingly, the study presents the involvement and the role of the local government authorities in overall disaster risk reduction, encompassing the specific roles during the COVID-19 response period. In this study, eleven key aspects were identified as the challenges which the local government authorities faced while performing the related duties during the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, based on the outcome of the interviews, relevant suggestions are presented to address the challenges and strengthen future pandemic response measures. The study findings also justify the importance of integrating the local government authorities into activities related to pandemic preparedness, adopting response measures and disaster risk reduction/disaster management system in Sri Lanka.
|Title of host publication||COVID 19: Impact, Mitigation, Opportunities and Building Resilience|
|Subtitle of host publication||From Adversity to Serendipity|
|Editors||Ranjith Senaratne, Dilanthi Amaratunga, Shenathi Mendis, Prema-chandra Athukorala|
|Publisher||National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 29 Sep 2021|