A Different Cup of Tea: The Business Case for Empowering Workers in the Sri Lankan Tea Sector

Is there a business case for worker empowerment? New evidence suggests the answer is yes. Twenty-three tea estates partnering with CARE International Sri Lanka have successfully implemented Community Development Forums, which are ‘mini-parliaments’ that facilitate dialogue between workers, management and the broader community. The model opens up new channels of communication between stakeholders across the plantation region, serving as a forum where collective decisions about community development priorities and labour conditions are negotiated and decided in a transparent way.

An independent assessment by the New Economics Foundation showed that that there was a 1:26 return on investment for estates, plus additional gains for workers and the community.

  • Countries: Sri Lanka
  • Co-authors: CARE International Sri Lanka
  • Published: September 2013

Related Publications

Financial services for resilience: how to assess the impacts?

Implementing innovative methodologies to measure resilience in Niger

This report from the BRACED programme, which aims to build the resilience of vulnerable people against climate extremes and disasters, explores the... Read more...


Delivering formal financial services to savings groups: A handbook for financial service providers

This handbook is a reference guide for financial service providers, for the effective design and delivery of financial services for savings... Read more...


Briefing paper to the UN High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment Working Group on Financial, Digital Inclusion and Property

Over the past year CARE has been advising the United Nations High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment on what actions need to be taken to rapidly accelerate women’s economic empowerment outcomes and ensure we meet the SDG targets and... Read more...


Resilient markets: Strengthening women’s economic empowerment and market systems in fragile settings

Functioning market systems and a responsible and responsive private sector are critical to livelihoods, autonomy and well-being. However, they are both heavily impacted by crisis, and women, who face greater barriers to economic activity than... Read more...