World Bank backs Sri Lanka’s new digital transformation

Wednesday, 28 April 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


World Bank representatives commended Sri Lanka’s new digital transformation strategy which aimed at creating a technology-based knowledge economy. 

World Bank Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives Chiyo Kanda said that the Bank will provide the necessary support as a development partner to successfully achieve the desired results of the digital strategy of Sri Lanka.

A meeting was held at ICTA to discuss and clarify the role, priorities and challenges of the country in the digital agenda and to explore the possibilities of how the World Bank can collaborate with MoT and ICTA to effectively support the ongoing digital development process.

Ministry of Technology Secretary Jayantha de Silva pointed out that the allocation of human resources and institutional infrastructure required for implementing digital transformation plans have already been completed. The Secretary further elaborated, that the main objective of the Government is to improve inclusiveness, efficiency and effectiveness of all the sectors of the economy by implementing the digital agenda. According to the Secretary the most prioritised projects are the computerisation of 14,000 Grama Niladhari Divisions, establishing a court management system and development of the national digital ID. 

Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) Chairman Prof. Lalith Gamage explained the vision and expected outcomes of the digital transformation strategy and according to him the key pillars are the digital government, digital economy and digital laws and policies. Technology and monitoring and evaluation will be cross cutting areas and ICTA will also focus on supporting other Government organisations in their internal digitalisation processes. ICTA will function as a self-sustained organisation in the future. 

The ICTA Chairman further stated that the primary focus of ICTA is the digital government, to deliver citizen centric and business friendly services and to ensure technology adoption across the society. Digital economy pillar will support the creation of IT related startups which will contribute to generate $ 3 billion by 2024. 

The ICTA CEO mentioned that the potential collaboration with the World Bank will be highly useful to successfully implement the planned digital strategy in the country. Information and Communication Technology Agency Director of Monitoring and Evaluation Jagath Seneviratne participating in the discussion stated that a result based management principles will be used in designing projects and ensure accountability for results and independent evaluations will be carried out as part of the initiatives.

Representatives of Sri Lanka Nepal/Maldives Director Faris Haddad and Junko Harimansu, Siddhartha Raja, Suparna Roy participated in the discussion via video conferencing technology. ICTA CEO Engineer Mahinda B. Herath, CTO Hiranya Samarasekara, Chief Digital Economy Officer Anura D. Alwis, General Counsel/Chief Legal Officer Jayantha Fernando, and Chief Digital Government Officer Kanchana Tudugala also participated in the discussion.