top of page



STARTED: Incubation Program 2021


SEED GRANT: $63,000

TEAM SIZE (Aug 2023): 5

Untitled design (20).png

The Center for Alcohol Policy Solutions (CAPS) is an evidence-based nonprofit organization that aims to save lives and promote well-being through alcohol taxation, the single most effective policy solution to prevent and reduce alcohol related harm, thus saving millions of lives.


  • Alcohol harm has an individual and a social dimension. People other than the alcohol users experience harm in the form of violence, crime, road traffic fatalities, reduced workplace productivity, and when the user is pregnant, harm to the fetus. When these second-hand harms and the damage to alcohol users are combined, the total harm from alcohol is about double that from tobacco. This illustrates the need to make alcohol harm a priority that commensurates with the burden it actually is. 

  • Their first country of operation will be Sri Lanka. Cost-effectiveness analysis shows that their intervention has the potential to be highly cost-effective with a Benefit:Cost ratio of $83.94. CAPS could avert 25,700 DALYs for $128 per DALY.

  • During their first 12 months of operation, they aim to launch the organization, systematize and disseminate compelling evidence about the potential of alcohol taxation in Sri Lanka, and get an innovative advocacy initiative off the ground. By the end of the first year, they will have established a partnership with the government sector to develop and advance alcohol taxation.

  • By year five, they expect to have successfully passed legislation in at least one country, an


  • $128 per DALY


  • Speaker at the 10th Global Conference on Health Promotion: Health Promotion for Well-being, Equity and Sustainable Development

  • Agreement of the Government of Sri Lanka and UNDP - development of the Investment Case for alcohol taxation (and other alcohol policy best buys). The investment case is about to be finalized

  • The team has become a part of $15 million GiveWell funded initiative called RESET Alcohol that works on introducing alcohol taxation in 6 countries. Sri Lanka is one of the selected countries, and thanks to the CAPS work, all set up to take on a larger initiative. 

  • Pubudu has become a country lead/director of the initiative

  • A coordination mechanism within government is being created at the time of writing


  • Introduced CAPS to WHO and World Bank, resulting in a speaking engagement at a WHO event

  • Has established cooperation with Movendi International on gathering the best examples and developments in alcohol taxation around the world as well as joint advocacy efforts

  • Cooperation with Movendi International, Vital Strategies and University of Illinois, Chicago - Secured funding for 2.5 years (approximately $800,000 per year)

  • Agreements with different parts of the government and government agencies on next steps 

  • Agreement with, and funding for, local Civil Society Organizations advocating for alcohol tax

  • Agreement with, and funding for, Institute of Policy Studies


  • A report on alcohol taxation in Sri Lanka 

  • Investment Case Study - Alcohol taxation in Sri Lanka


  •  There are countries waiting in line for a similar initiative. The seed-funding from Charity Entrepreneurship was crucial for Sri Lanka to be selected for the RESET Alcohol Initiative. At least $750,000 is needed to take off the work from the ground and have all important elements on board (research, legal, communication, advocacy). The seed-funding of $60,000 has helped to lay some ground (reports, investment case) and focus on proposal writing for the RESET Alcohol Initiative.

  • Thanks to the work they have been doing in recent two years, three elements need to be in place to get public-health-oriented alcohol taxation in place. 

    • Modeling of alcohol taxes, understanding the elasticity of alcohol prices in the country, revenue generation, impact of alcohol taxation on socio-economic aspects such as equality, employment, violence etc.

    • Alcohol policy advocates ready to mobilize communities in support for alcohol taxation (it won’t work without it) 

    • Governments interested in generating revenues through alcohol tax

  • Alcohol policy advocates need to understand the modeling and work together with a research institution that is able to provide it (often lacking in a low-income country). They also need to be able to approach decision makers, build the case for alcohol taxation, and keep the alcohol taxation relevant for the government and public throughout the whole process until the law is passed. 

  • Many countries lack alcohol policy advocates who would be ready to do that, while governments say that without civil society ready to support the work, they cannot initiate the work on improved taxation. 

bottom of page