3 Priorities to Support Sri Lanka’s Development

August 25, 2016

Photo Credit: World Bank

Emerging out of internal conflict in 2009, Sri Lanka has in many respects been a development success story:  growth has averaged over 6 percent per year in the past decade and poverty declined from 22.7% in 2002 to 6.1% in 2012-13.  

Sri Lanka has opportunities to build on its success and has set out an ambitious development vision to promote a globally competitive, private sector–led economy, with a strong emphasis on jobs and social inclusion.

Engaging With Stakeholders

The Country Partnership Framework (CPF), a strategic plan that defines the World Bank Group’s engagement with its partner countries, outlines objectives to support the government in achieving its articulated vision  and incorporates feedback from stakeholders from around the country, including government, the private sector, academics and civil society organizations.


The World Bank's support in Sri Lanka includes 13 active projects totalling $1.70b operating in 163 locations

World Bank

" We want the Country Partnership Framework to resonate with the public and with the people who will be the beneficiaries of the World Bank Group’s support. So we essentially test ideas by going throughout the country and speaking to persons from all walks of life and all ages, the private sector, central and local governments, university students, faith-based and civil society organizations; in secondary cities and in the capital. "

Rolande Pryce

World Bank Operations Advisor for Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

The CPF sets out a program of knowledge work, technical assistance and investments to support the Government of Sri Lanka in implementing its reforms to achieve  greater competitiveness, social inclusion and sustainability. The CPF program can be grouped into the following 3 strategic  priorities:

Priority 1: Improving Macro-Fiscal Stability and Competitiveness

To help the country transition to a more robust, competitive, and globally integrated economy and create better-paying private-sector jobs for the bottom 40 percent of the population. This will require improving public financial management, attracting more foreign direct investment, improving the enabling environment for the private sector and trade and modernizing the financial sector.

Priority 2: Promoting Inclusion and Opportunities for All

“To end poverty in Sri Lanka: empower women.” – Pradeep Paranaperuma, Member, Hambanthota District Chamber of Commerce and CPF consultations participant.

To support the government’s objective to better distribute the benefits of the country’s growth to all citizens, particularly the most vulnerable and marginalized. This will require improving education and training systems to provide the human capital to enable Sri Lanka to compete on the global market, improving health, pension and social protection systems to manage the challenge associated with an aging population, and improving living standards in the poorest regions.

Remediating the concentration of poverty in urban areas and increasing female labor force participation through education are also priorities of the inclusion agenda.

Priority 3: Boosting Green Growth, Improving Environmental Management, and Mitigating Natural Disasters and the Effect of Climate Change

“… if we can focus on sustainable development, we will be developed within 2020.”   - Sharuka Selvarajah, Project Officer, Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies and CPF consultations participant.

To help improve the country’s capacity to mitigate the environmental impacts of economic transformation and better manage Sri Lanka’s resources natural resources. This will include limiting the environmental impact of  urban development, strengthening climate resilience and disaster risk management, and developing renewable energy sources and better managing natural resources.

Sri Lanka is subject to a number of potential risks and vulnerabilities that may affect its economic and social goals. In order to achieve the country’s vision, we stand ready to help implement these priorities and help Sri Lanka build a brighter future for its people.