Chandra J calls for evaluation of stakeholder citizens’ benefits

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‘Uthuru Wasanthaya’ and ‘Negenahira Navodaya’


3 September 2012

Country Director, Asian Development Bank, Sri Lanka Mission Office

Country Director, World Bank, World Bank Sri Lanka Office

Dear Country Directors of ADB and World Bank,

Evaluation of Stakeholder Citizens’ Benefits of ‘Uthuru Wasanthaya’ and ‘Negenahira Navodaya’ linked

  •  Resettlement and livelihood development
  • Reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and key roads
  • Restoration of banking, financial institutions and trade and commerce

It is with gratitude that I recognise the leading role played by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank in supporting the vision of the President of providing tailor made solutions and delivering growth and prosperity to the targeted stakeholder citizens, through ‘Uthuru Wasanthaya’ and ‘Negenahira Navodaya,’ meeting the expectations and aspirations of the targeted communities.

This vision and the consequential commitment was so well articulated by the President, at the launch of the Central Bank Annual Report 2010 in April 2011, when he stated: “If the benefits of the economic progress are to be distributed among large sections of the population, we should look for solutions that are based on social foundations that give due recognition to our national and indigenous feelings and culture, and protects our national identity.”

I was happy to note that a business council leader, following an overland tour of Jaffna to analyse the ground situation, had noted that: “The north may be the only province in the world to show such quick recovery and return to normalcy after 30 years of terrorism” and “the development that is taking place in the area is unprecedented and that all aspects are being looked after which is praiseworthy for a developing country such as Sri Lanka which has many other priorities including providing benefits such as Samurdhi, free education and health facilities and the fertiliser subsidy as well as developing other segments”.

He had gone on to express a view that “Jaffna getting four carpeted roads (under progress) would help woo more investors and “the Chamber is successfully promoting investment opportunities for the Tamil Diaspora in the UK which is keen to invest in Jaffna”; and “definitely, with the Atchchuvely investment promotion zone revived, Jaffna would be an investment paradise for both local and foreign investors” (Refer Sunday Observer 22 January 2012).

In line with the accepted best practices of project monitoring and evaluation at midterm, of all significant development projects, I am sure that you will endorse that it is essential that an independent evaluation of stakeholder citizens’ benefits from ‘Uthuru Wasanthaya’ and ‘Negenahira Navodaya’ linked

  • Resettlement and livelihood development
  • Reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and key roads
  • Restoration of banking, financial institutions and trade and commerce

be carried out by a competent multi disciplinary team, comprising of experts from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank supported by a local area operational development institution (e.g. Point Pedro Institute of Development), engaging in mapping not only the actual progress to budgeted time lines and costs and planned disbursements, but more importantly to assess the actual delivered outcome benefits as accruing to the stakeholder citizens in meeting their priority aspiration and expectations from the three initiatives outlined above.

Such a study will also bring forth valuable findings for strategic future action arising from, the lessons learnt, any required changes to scope and focus of the projects and associated link up projects essential to optimise the benefits to the targeted stakeholder communities from the three programmes and meeting their expectations and aspirations in a more equitable and focused manner and enhance the transparency and deployed best practices of economic good governance.

The Government will also benefit significantly from such an assessment, especially in its efforts at enhancing the long term national socio economic benefits arising, whilst being able to be better accountable for the scarce national resources directed towards such a high priority development initiative. Such an assessment will further enable the Government to dispel any negative perceptions associated with the transparency, equity, good economic governance and national economic benefits of the project and delivery of outcomes meeting the vision of the President.

I trust that your leadership initiative in the above regard can be duly endorsed by the Budget 2013 announcing in November 2012 and including a reference to the planned strategic and transparent response action.

Yours sincerely,

Chandra Jayaratne

cc. The President and Minister of Finance & Planning,

Hon. Minister of Economic Development,

Secretary Ministry of Finance & Economic Development,

Secretary to H.E. the President,

Governor Central Bank,

Auditor General,

Country Director, International Monetary Fund, IMF Sri Lanka Office

Chairman, Bankers Association of Sri Lanka

Chairman Ceylon Chamber of Commerce,

Chairman, Sri Lanka Economic Association

Dr. M. Sharvananthan, Point Pedro Institute of Development