040-i. Advisory review: environmental sector study - Sri Lanka

The NCEA issued an advisory review of an Environmental Sector Study (ESS) including analysis of its suitability as a review framework for project assessment. In the review it also applied the ESS for the purpose of reviewing six project proposals.

Advisory reports and other documents

05 Oct 2000: Other
Accompanying letter
Appendices Advice

Significant details

Part of the development cooperation relationship between the governments of Sri Lanka and the Netherlands focuses on the environmental sector (and in particular ‘natural resources management’, NRM). The Netherlands Embassy has undertaken an Environmental Sector Study (ESS) with two purposes:

  • To identify whether support for the area of NRM offers sufficient scope for the realisation of the Netherlands policy;
  • To identify whether the selected sub-sectors and approach of the ADB (lead donor) sufficiently reflects local priorities and offers scope for a contribution from the Netherlands.

Simultaneously, the Netherlands Embassy was asked to consider financial support to six project proposals in the NRM sector.

The Embassy invited the NCEA to advise on which project proposals are preferable in terms of quality, coherence and synergy with other activities. For an assessment of the six project proposals, the NCEA suggested to use the available ESS as a review framework. It proposed a step-wise approach for this review:

  1. Assessment of the general quality of the ESS
  2. Assessment of usefulness of the ESS as a methodological framework
  3. Assessment of usefulness of the ESS as a review framework for the assessment of the project proposals
  4. Assessment of the 6 project proposals (making use of the ESS).

Following the first steps, the NCEA concluded that the ESS serves the purpose of a ‘quick scan’ which forms a good starting point for environmental action planning in the coming years. It indicated that the ESS provides parts for a reference framework that is required for the justification of the chosen sub-sectors, and for the evaluation of the six projects proposals. It can be used as a first screening tool for project evaluation, namely in making clear which projects are not suitable for financing.

In its advice, the NCEA describes a tool/approach for project assessment. This approach consists of 3 steps:

  1. Summary of lessons learned;
  2. Formulation of criteria derived from the lessons learned;
  3. Formulation of criteria derived from best professional judgement.

As a next step, the NCEA assessed the 6 project proposals on basis of the set of criteria mentioned above. Its findings were presented in a diagram in the advisory report.

Parties involved

Members of the working group

Albert van Dijk
Jan Willem Overbeek
Herman Savenije

Chair: Jan-Willem Kroon
Technical secretary: Ineke Steinhauer

Proponent and Component Authority

Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Component Authority
Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Further details

Country: Sri Lanka

Last modified: 02 Apr 2019