European Union-funded project hands over 70 laptops to development workers (mediation) across the country

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European Union-funded project hands over 70 laptops to development workers (mediation) across the country

Sun, November 6, 2022, 8:07 p.m. SL time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.



6 November, Colombo: The EU-funded Supporting Effective Dispute Resolution (SEDR) project amplified its support to the Mediation Boards Commission (MBC) by providing 70 laptops to improve the administrative functions of mediation officers. development (mediation) across the island.

The event was honored by several dignitaries – Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Minister of Justice, Priyanath Perera, Secretary of the Mediation Councils Commission, Judge Yapa, Chairman of the Mediation Councils Commission, Commissioners of the Mediation Councils Commission mediation, Lars Bredal, deputy head of the European Union delegation Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, and Maarya Rehman, Country Director British Council Sri Lanka.

SEDR is a four-year access to justice project implemented by the British Council, in partnership with The Asia Foundation (TAF), and funded by the European Union (EU). The €7 million project is part of the EU’s comprehensive STRIDE (Strengthening Transformation, Reconciliation and Inclusive Democratic Engagement) program in Sri Lanka.

ESDR result area 4 includes an activity to support the administrative functioning of mediation commissions through the provision of IT equipment. This is to help newly appointed development officers collect data. Under ESDR Result Area 1, significant work has already been done to improve the MBC website and create a mediation database to help the MBC operate more transparently and be able to track progress. The website will help raise public awareness and increase much-needed access to mediation, which is more cost-effective and sustainable compared to litigation.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Lars Bredal, Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, said: “The EU supports Sri Lanka in its efforts to ensure access to justice. As digitalization plays an increasingly important role in all facets of modern society, it is relevant to the functioning of the justice system, as it enables improved access to and delivery of justice services. We hope that the provision of this equipment will help facilitate and strengthen the work of MBC agents.

An ICT needs assessment survey of 235 MBC staff, including the new group of Development Officers (Dos) – Mediation – was completed in the second half of 2021, and a needs analysis training was also carried out beforehand by a consultant hired by SEDR. The scope and focus of the ICT equipment to be procured was agreed between the MBC, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and the joint SEDR committee, according to which the best option was the provision of 70 laptops.

The British Council IT team has completed the task of installing the software (Windows10) on these laptops, which also all come with SEDR branding and carrying bags.

As part of the process of distributing these laptops, SEDR will work closely with the MBC and MOJ to design and deliver an online basic orientation training session, to ensure that the 70 new users are able to make the most of both new computer hardware and software.

SEDR will further support an additional online training session for new users, focusing specifically on how best to use the new equipment within the framework of the new MBC Online Mediation Database/Platform.

SEDR is a four-year access to justice project implemented by the British Council, in partnership with The Asia Foundation, and funded by the European Union under its Strengthening Transformation, Reconciliation and Inclusive Democratic Engagement ( STRIDE) in Sri Lanka.

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