Written by Zulfick Farzan

18 Sep, 2020 | 10:59 am

Colombo (News 1st); The Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas in a partnership with The Gammadda Movement has released a comparative study, as part of the universities International Public Service Initiative (IPSI).  

Blake Farris, a Graduate Student at the Clinton School completed an academic research paper comparing and contrasting the Gammadda Movement with the South Korean rural development movement of the 70’s, ‘Saemaul-Undong.’ In his report, Farris goes deep into the philosophy and mechanisms of both movements reflecting on their similarities and differences. Saemaul Undong or ‘The New Village’ movement is widely considered to be the initiative that lifted rural South Korea out of poverty and into two decades of rapid development and industrialization. Instituted by former President Park Chung Hee from 1971 to 1979, it was a totally government-led, community-driven initiative.  

“ Working with Gammadda this summer, despite the difficult circumstances presented by COVID-19, was a fantastic opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to an organization on the forefront of rural development. I believe any country would be fortunate to have an organization like Gammadda which diligently and creatively meets the needs of so many rural communities. My hope is for this project to be just the beginning of a long partnership between Gammadda and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service”.

Blake Farris, Clinton School of Public Service.

Gammadda is totally non-governmental, with a similar focus on systematically addressing rural needs by way of a collaborative approach in the grassroots. With small beginnings, Gammadda has grown to become Sri Lanka’s largest rural development initiative addressing a wide range of issues that include providing Clean Drinking water to villages, building roads and bridges, management systems that address the Human-Elephant conflict and a myriad other projects that are all community-led.

” This project is a great example of the Clinton School’s emphasis on the intersection between classroom learning and applied practice.”

– Nichola Driver, PhD, MPA, Assistant Professor & Director of the Office of Community Engagement

The research reports included a ‘Literature Review’ and a ‘Modern Rural Village Plan’, that focuses on Community Governance, Economic Development and Infrastructure.

“We strive to create opportunities that are mutually beneficial to the student and the partner organization. In this sense, Gammadda was an ideal partner. We hope the project completed this year will be a catalyst for additional collaborative opportunities linking Gammadda and the Clinton School of Public Service.”

– Tiffany Jacob, MPS, Director of International Programs

The Clinton School is the first university in the US to offer graduate programs in Public Service and was founded to commemorate President Bill Clinton, who began his public service in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Gammadda Movement has been recognized by prestigious seats of learning on both sides of the Atlantic, including Oxford University and Brown University.

“This study shows the breathtaking potential of a well-designed, systematically executed grassroots movement, driven by the community… ”

Chevaan Daniel, Executive Group Director, CMG.




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