Implementation Support

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Implementation Support

The objectives of this component are twofold. On the one hand, it seeks to ensure the effective implementation of the MCUDP, including monitoring and evaluation, compliance with environmental and social safeguards, and appropriate reporting. On the other, the component will help reinforce the capacity of the PLAs, SLLDC, and UDA for sustaining and replicating MCUDP initiatives. It will do so by financing the following:

Hiring individual consultants to reinforce the staffing of the Project Management Unit and assist the PLAs, SLLDC, and UDA in the areas of construction supervision services, environment monitoring, social safeguards, and monitoring and evaluation Developing and implementing a public awareness and communication program aimed to ensure that stakeholders and the public at large are regularly consulted, kept informed and aware of MCUDP interventions (including potential resettlement) and their rationale, to manage public expectations, and promote behavior changes that would contribute to the long-term sustainability of investments (e.g. with regard to solid waste disposal) Project-related workshops, training, studies, and public information Consultant services necessary for the efficient management of the MCUDP and the identification and initial preparation of subsequent projects Incremental operating expenses including (i) utilities (electricity, telecommunications, internet and other computer services), and (ii) essential operating supplies and spares Essential vehicles and equipment (including office equipment).

Environmental Safeguards

Projects and programs financed with International Development Association resources of the World Bank need to comply with World Bank Operational Policies, in addition to conformity with environmental legislation of the Government of Sri Lanka. The environmental risks and challenges faced in planning and implementing sub-projects have been the focus of three key safeguards documents, prepared hitherto:

  • Environmental Assessment
  • Environmental Management Framework
  • Environmental screening reports for eight sub-projects ready for implementation in year 1.

Environmental Assessment

As documented by the general Environmental Assessment (EA) of the project, the MCUDP environmental impacts will be mostly positive. It is not expected to have any major environmental negative impact beyond the typical temporary impacts associated with the management of works and building sites, which will be managed through Environmental Management Plans (EMPs) and sound site supervision.

Environmental Management Framework

Since detail designs for a majority of sub-projects under MCUDP have not been finalized at this stage, site-specific EAs cannot be conducted. Therefore, an Environmental Management Framework (EMF) has been prepared with the objective of establishing clear procedures for sub-project specific environmental screening, assessment and monitoring during project implementation. In summary, the EMF provides (i) a description of proposed investments under MCUDP and the level of readiness at appraisal, (ii) the technical framework for environmental safeguards management, (iii) preliminary assessment of anticipated environmental impacts from the project, general mitigatory measures for construction related impacts, guidelines for anticipated significant environmental issues, preparation and approval of EA process and a description of EA tools, (iv) safeguards implementation arrangement and roles and responsibilities of various parties involved, (v) implementation support and capacity building, and (vi) strategic planning needs of the MCUDP.

Environmental Screening

All sub-projects under the MCUDP have been subjected to a detailed environmental screening, which is useful in identifying environmental safeguard issues and resettlement issues. Such environmental screening will help identify the anticipated environmental impacts, risks and benefits based on the intervention and will determine if the anticipated impacts and public concern will warrant further stand-alone EAs and EMPs, and if so, recommend the level of analysis. Most of the sub-projects do not require rigorous environmental studies to be undertaken and only the screening report with a site specific EMP would be adequate. Environmental Screening has already been successfully completed, in line with the EMF, for the first-year pipeline of eight sub-projects.

Social Safeguards

Projects and programs financed with International Development Association resources of the World Bank need to comply with World Bank Operational Policies, in addition to conformity with the Land Acquisition Act and Sri Lanka’s National Policy on Involuntary Resettlement of 2001. The MCUDP has prepared three key safeguards documents in order to address social risks and challenges faced in the planning and implementation of sub-projects:

  • Social Assessment.
  • Social Management Framework.
  • Social Screening for eight sub-projects ready for implementation in year 1.

Social Assessment

A Social Assessment (SA) was carried out for the Project to understand the larger development context of the Metro Colombo Region, legal-institutional setting, socio-economic situation, social risks and impacts, legal framework for handling involuntary resettlement, implementation arrangements and experience with regard to involuntary resettlement management, and for addressing social inclusion, accountability and gender issues. As per the SA, the majority of the works, chiefly improvement of infrastructure such as existing canals, micro/storm drainage, streets, recreation areas, and similar works are expected to have significant positive social impacts by way of improving the urban environment and livability of the Metro Colombo Region. A major positive impact will be the improvement in living conditions of households in selected under-serviced settlement that would be preventively relocated from low lying flood-prone areas to secure housing. These works would mostly involve temporary risks relating to access, mobility, health, and safety. As it is typically the case for projects aimed to reduce flood risk, the MCUDP might involve targeted preventive resettlement of informal settlements in highly floodable areas and/or spot specific resettlement needed to successfully implement selected sub-projects.

Social Management Framework

The actual impact of all investments is not known except for eight front-runner sub-projects to be implemented in the first batch. Therefore, a Social Management Framework (SMF) has been prepared based on the SA to provide guidelines on safeguards management. The SMF has been prepared through a series of stakeholder interactions and consultations with community groups in under-served settlements expected to be affected by the Project. It provides procedures for legal framework, entitlements, procedures for assessing impacts, and planning and implementing resettlement action plans for the proposed activities, including grievance redress mechanism, monitoring and evaluation, linking social management and civil works activities, implementation arrangements, and budget. The SMF includes an Entitlement Matrix that offers: compensation at replacement value for land and structures, alternative houses to the displaced squatters, shops on lease to relocated commercial units, rental allowance to the tenants, income restoration assistance to shops, property owners, and residences losing employment or income, reconstruction of affected community facilities and mitigation measures for temporary impacts.

Social Screening

The Social Screening process is the first step to promptly identify if any subproject has any social issues, so that an impact survey can be undertaken where larger impacts are identified. Social Screening and Abbreviated Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) have already been successfully completed, in line with the SMF, for the first-year pipeline of eight sub-projects. The social screening confirmed that these eight sub-projects do not require any land acquisition and one of them involves relocation of two rented shops and a commercial kiosk.