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Support for Sri Lanka's Transport Sector

Support for Sri Lanka's Transport Sector

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This Learning Curve provides an overview of the evaluation on ADB’s support for the transport sector in Sri Lanka. It aims to provide an independent assessment of ADB support between 1999 and 2010 to the Sri Lanka transport sector, to identify areas for improving the effectiveness of ADB’s interventions, and to provide evaluation lessons and recommendations.

This Learning Curve provides an overview of the evaluation on ADB’s support for the transport sector in Sri Lanka. It aims to provide an independent assessment of ADB support between 1999 and 2010 to the Sri Lanka transport sector, to identify areas for improving the effectiveness of ADB’s interventions, and to provide evaluation lessons and recommendations.

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09/17/2013

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This evaluation fnds ADB’stransport sector program inSri Lanka less than successul.Some o ADB’s interventionshave not been accomplished, or are not likely to ully accomplishtheir intended outcomes.Some projects have beenoverambitious in their resultstargeting and schedules. Lack o  proper consideration o designaspects has led to cost overruns.
R
oads are the backbone o Sri Lanka’s internal transport system. Current demand orpassenger travel is around 80 billion passenger-kilometers (km) per year, o whichroad transport accounts or 93%. Some 97% o reight trac, measured in ton-kilometer, is conveyed by the country’s 113,000-km road network.ADB has supported the country’s transport sector since the 1970s, ocusing mainly on roadrehabilitation, but much work needs to be done. A considerable amount o Sri Lanka’sroad network has not been properly maintained, with years o civil conict adding to theneglect and damage in some areas. More than 50% o national roads have poor suraces,and many are seriously congested. Investments in new highways or the widening o existing roads have not kept up with economic growth, as road sector investment duringthe past decade concentrated on rehabilitation o the existing network.
Since 1970, cumulative ADB lending for the transport sector in Sri Lanka included 19 loansat $1.24 billion, 29% of which went to the four Colombo Port projects and 71% went tothe roads subsector. No ADB lending has gone to the railway or civil aviation subsectors.ADB also implemented 17 advisory technical assistance operations.
The Evaluation
The sector assistance program evaluation has three objectives: (i) to provide anindependent assessment o ADB support between 1999 and 2010 to the Sri Lankatransport sector, (ii) to identiy areas or improving the eectiveness o ADB’s interventions,and (iii) to provide evaluation lessons and recommendations. This evaluation assessed10 projects and 14 advisory technical assistance operations approved during 1999–2010.It draws on implementation experiences and lessons rom earlier projects. Taking intoaccount the sector context, it evaluates the contribution o ADB to specifc developmentresults in Sri Lanka. Five road projects were initiated over the 12-year period, and two portsprojects. Loans or a Road Project Preparatory Facility and the Colombo Port Eciency andExpansion Project were also provided over the period.
Key Findings
ADB has been the leading development partner in Sri Lanka’s transport sector. ADBsupport has responded to the changing needs o the sector and has been enhanced byadditional support or policy and institutional development through technical assistanceand capacity development loan components.Nonetheless, some o ADB’s interventions during the evaluation period have notaccomplished, or are not likely to ully accomplish, what they were intended to achieve.Some loan-fnanced projects have been overambitious in their result targets or timeschedules. Lack o proper consideration o all aspects o design in preparing some projectshas led to cost overruns.
ADB’s transport sector program in Sri Lanka is rated
less than successful 
overall. ADB’scontribution to the transport sector has been consistent with the country’s needs and has
been relevant. But the assistance has been less than eective overall, because not all
Support for Sri LankasTransport Sector
Learning Curves
December 2012
Evaluation
Independent

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