Siltation and Socio Economic Issues Research Intern

Organisation Name: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka (Janathakshan Office, Anuradhapura Sivalakulama Cascade)
No. of places available: 2

Teaching Periods Applicable: Semester 2 (23/7 – 19/10), Trimester 2 (14/5 – 17/8), Term 3 (1/7 – 30/9)
Duration: 8 Weeks

Unit Offered : APG 5044

Last Date to Apply : 16th June 2018

About the Organisation

UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. The UNDP Programme adopts a UN inter-agency approach, and has built partnerships with a range of stakeholders, from government ministries and local government agencies to community-based and non-government organizations.

Role Description: Study socio-economic transformations, cultivation pattern changes, encroachment of reservoir (tank) reservations

Village irrigation systems are an integral part of the social and economic well-being of Dry Zone farmer community. Siltation (a process by which water becomes dirty as a result of fine mineral particles in the water) of village irrigation reservoirs (tanks) is a serious problem affecting the continuity and sustainability the of services provided by village irrigation.  The severity of the problem is aggravated by climate change.
The objectives of the research:

  •  To quantify the rate of siltation Sivalakulama cascade, Anuradhapura during the research period (1995 to 2018)
  • Identify socio-economic transformations within a given community 
  • Identify linkages between siltation and socio economic transformation

Outcomes: Findings report and policy recommendations

Students will work with Dr Samanthi Gunawardana (Director, Masters of International Development Practice, School of Social Science, Faculty of Arts) to refine the study design and finalise the report and policy recommendations.


  • Currently enrolled in a Graduate Arts program at Monash University
  • Able to adapt to the living conditions in a remote area with average facilities (not necessary reliable as in Colombo)
  • Able to interact with the local communities from different cultures, respect their knowledge and cultural values

Desired Competencies and Skills: Development Practices, Environment & Sustainability, Social Sciences, Technical Studies with an exposure to development study schemes

Scholarships & Funding: This opportunity falls under the Asia Postgrad Scholarship Program. Please click here to read more. This means that successful students will be eligible for a grant of AUD 2000. 

For further information about available scholarships and funding please click on the links below:

How to Apply

Please follow the step-by-step guide on how to apply for APG5044 Overseas Internship. Select Option A in Step 2. When you log onto inPlace, you will see “UNDP Research Graduate Internship Sri Lanka” opportunity available to apply to. 

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the WIL International Team on email via, or give us a call on (03) 9903 8866.