The Sarvodaya Movement : Holistic Development and Risk Governance in Sri Lanka book cover
1st Edition

The Sarvodaya Movement
Holistic Development and Risk Governance in Sri Lanka

ISBN 9781032086460
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
204 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book provides an important case study of how local cultures, religions and spiritualities can enhance development activities, and provide helpful frameworks for contemporary societies facing the pressures of neo-liberalism. It specifically traces how the influential Sri Lankan Sarvodaya Movement has deployed concepts of spirituality-based holistic development to help local communities with post-tsunami reconstruction and redevelopment.

Throughout, the author provides a Three-Sphere conceptualisation of holistic sustainable development, focused on Culture, Economics and Power, slightly revising Sarvodaya’s Three-Sphere model comprising Spirituality, Economics and Power. The author contends that the success of holistic development, including risk governance, is largely contingent on an awareness of the interdependency of these three spheres, and establishing equitable partnerships between communities, NGOs, INGOs, States and the private sector. Overall, this book argues that religion, spirituality and non-religious worldviews play an important role among other resources concerned with how to survive the pressures of neo-liberalism and environmental risks and crises.

The Sarvodaya Movement, which draws on Buddhist concepts of spirituality, is widely acknowledged as an important example of spirituality and community-driven development, and as such, this book will be of interest to scholars of Development and Humanitarian Studies, Religious Studies and South Asian Studies.

Table of Contents


List of Figures

List of Tables

1. Introduction

Part 1: Conceptualising Holistic Development

2. Risk and Development

3. Development, Spirituality and Risk Governance

Part 2: Sarvodaya Movement – Holistic Development and Risk Governance

4. The Sarvodaya Movement from the 1960s – 1980s

5. The Sarvodaya Movement during the 1980s and 2000s

6. Relief and Reconstruction – The Physical Rebuilding of Sarvodaya’s Post-tsunami Resettlement Villages

7. Rehabilitation and Reconciliation – The Social Rebuilding of Sarvodaya’s Post-tsunami

8. Stalled Reawakening and the Economics Sphere

9. Stalled Reawakening: Power and Consciousness Spheres

10. Conclusion


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Praveena Rajkobal is currently a consultant at GreenTech Consultants (Pvt) Limited in Sri Lanka. Praveena holds degrees from Deakin University, Australia (Ph.D. 2018), Monash University, Australia (Master of Environmental Science 2011) and the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (B.A. Honours in Sociology 2006). Her research interests include community development, social change, risk governance and social movements. She has been conducting research in Australia and Sri Lanka and publishing in these areas since 2014.


"Rajkobal’s The Sarvodaya Movement, well grounded in fieldwork conducted in three Tsunami villages, surpasses previous scholarship. Its holistic interpretation of the most prominent Buddhist NGO in Sri Lanka is very convincing. The sound interpretation produced in Rajkobal's work underlines philosophy that sustains its sustainable thinking. A useful work for everyone in development studies." -- Mahinda Deegalle, Professor in Study of Religions, Philosophies and Ethics, Bath Spa University, UK