Background and Objectives:
This project assists the poor in underserved neighbourhoods in North East Sri Lanka who have endured violent civil strife during the last twenty years.
The city infrastructure has suffered from damage and neglect during the war and from a total absence of any new investment in infrastructure. Yet, with the cessation of violence, these cities and towns are attracting new populations who are now forced to live without basic services and facilities, exposing themselves, particularly women and children to health hazards and unhygienic circumstances.
Due to migration, displacement and years of mistrust, communities need to be rebuilt physically, socially and economically. A community-based approach to rehabilitation and reconstruction will assist the process of social reintegration, while alleviating poverty.
The objectives of the project are to restore the human dignity of the urban poor by: (a) Assisting urban poor communities to improve their neighbourhoods through the rehabilitation of small-scale infrastructure (water supply, sanitation, drainage, footpaths, street lighting); (b) Introducing innovative methods of community participation such as Community Action Planning and Community Construction Contracts, which have been successfully pioneered in other parts of Sri Lanka and other countries in the Asian region; and (c) Activating local governments to be more responsive to the needs of the urban poor.
Establishing a management team, coordinating with government authorities and political interest groups.
Agreeing on work methodology and selection of towns.
Establishing project offices and recruiting staff.
Training of staff and counterpart staff
Preparing guidelines for project implementation, including community action plan methodology and community construction contract procedures.
Training staff and counterpart staff in project methodology and procedures.
Plan and implement rehabilitation of community infrastructure
Defining criteria for selection of target population.
Selecting beneficiary communities.
Organising communities in Community Development Councils.
Raising beneficiary awareness of the project and its approach.
Undertaking Community Action Planning workshops to identify needs and prepare plans.
Preparing communities for Community Construction Contracts.
Assisting communities with the project implementation and monitoring progress of construction activities.
The small-scale infrastructure projects that were implemented attempted to tackle many human security issues. Though the projects selected by the communities are different, they had only one goal: to empower the urban community (especially the vulnerable groups in these communities) to face any human security threat.
Provision of access roads, repairing roads, constructing culverts and drains, water supply projects, sanitation projects, pre-schools, libraries and children’s parks, playgrounds, skill development and livelihood support programmes helped to address economic security, food security, health and hygiene, educational security, income security, personal and physical security, environmental security and social security.
A total of 385 community contracts have been issued over a one year period covering the 40 selected communities in four cities, reaching out to 50,000 beneficiaries.