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Sri Lanka Aid Program Performance Report 2018-19

Summary of publication


Total Australian aid to Sri Lanka in 2018-2019 amounted to $27.3 million, with the bilateral component being $19.9 million. The May 2019 budget announced that the Sri Lankan aid program would be $19.9 million in 2019-20, a slight increase on the 2018-19 bilateral program.

Our Aid Investment Plan: 2015 – 2019 will end in December 2019 and work has commenced on the development of the new Aid Investment Plan: 2020 – 2024.

Over the past year, the aid program has continued to build the economic partnership with Sri Lanka, with investments aimed at private sector-led economic growth that is inclusive and reduces poverty. We have supported the Sri Lankan government's economic reform agenda, including substantial reforms to improve the ease of doing business. Our delivery partners have also assisted local governments to promote economic development, increase their tax bases and deliver services in a responsive manner.

Australia's aid investments in Sri Lanka have led to new jobs in the tourism and value-added agriculture industries. They have assisted farmers and fishers (for example, in the conflict-affected north and east) to benefit from valuable export markets, and have also increased employment opportunities for women and people with disabilities. An investment delivered by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) formed partnerships with major private sector companies to sign up to 99 commitments to advance gender equality within their organisations. The economic focus of the Sri Lanka aid program remains relevant, as Sri Lanka's economy continues to recover following the Easter 2019 bombing attacks.

Performance against program objectives – 2018-19

Objective Previous Rating Current Rating A$m
Objective 1: Expand economic opportunities for the poor (EOP) Green Green 7.3
Objective 2: Support government to be more responsive to the needs of citizens and the private sector Amber Green 6.0
Objective 3: Increase gender equality Green Amber 6.2

Objective 1: Expand economic opportunities for the poor

Overall, this objective was rated green, as the EOP investment has achieved almost all major outputs and targets expected at this point in time. While the programs are performing well at the activity/output level, more strategic thinking is needed around increasing the impact of the program's innovations and taking them to scale. Greater inclusion of people with a disability has also emerged as a challenge.

Objective 2: Support government to be more responsive to the needs of citizens and the private sector

Compared with the previous reporting period, progress toward this objective improved over the course of the year. The key investment, Governance for Growth (G4G), oversees a suite of activities that combine mature and newly-incepted projects.

Objective 3: Increase gender equality

Overall progress is rated amber largely because, even though there are some encouraging improvements in gender equality results across other investments in the bilateral program (discussed above), progress toward two out of the three WiW end of investment outcomes have been delayed.

Headline management actions for 2019-20:

  • Post-led independent mid-term review for Skills for Inclusive Growth program.
  • Work with partners to improve uptake of innovations and models.
  • Continue to encourage greater synergies and harmonisation between the EOP investments.
  • Finalise the procurement of the Managing Contractor Facility including Technical Advisor Team.
  • Implement the recommendations of the mid-term review for the Women in Work investment to improve progress against investment objectives.

Full publication

Last Updated: 20 September 2019
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