Public Opinion Surveys

The Sri Lanka Barometer initiative comprises three strongly interlinked work areas. One of them is the quantitative research work that takes the form of nationally representative public opinion surveys on issues relating to reconciliation and social cohesion.

SLB Public Opinion Surveys

The Sri Lanka Barometer Public Perception Survey is a nationally representative public opinion survey conducted by the SLB initiative every two years. It provides a holistic, time-bound view of people’s perceptions on reconciliation along the eight domains identified by the SLB as relevant for reconciliation in Sri Lanka. The Survey also asks questions on progress on reconciliation and people’s thoughts on barriers to achieving reconciliation in the country.

The SLB Public Perception Survey is conceptualised as a long-term study, with findings presented and compared over the years to track broader societal shifts in people’s perceptions over time. The baseline report was conducted in 2020 and the follow-up survey in 2021. The next survey is scheduled to be conducted in 2023 and published in 2024.

The SLB Consortium is currently working on curating the full data sets in order to provide them online through an open source platform as well as a data analysis tool.

SLB Snapshot Surveys

The SLB Snapshot Surveys complement the regular SLB Public Opinion Surveys by zoning in on one particular topical issue and are implemented on a more ad-hoc basis.

In 2022, the SLB conducted the first Snapshot Survey “Sri Lanka’s 2022 Crisis and Social Cohesion” to explore how the crisis impacted issues related to social cohesion and reconciliation in five areas: political engagement, inclusiveness of the Aragalaya, inter-ethnic relationships, addressing past injustices, confidence in political leadership.

The scope of the Snapshot Surveys is smaller than that of the regular SLB, asking a smaller number of questions from a smaller nationally representative sample. The sample of the 2022 Snapshot Survey comprised of 1,018 individuals aged 18 years and over and has a maximum error margin of three percent at the national level.