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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Monday, September 05, 2005

Sri Lanka launches new system to monitor tsunami funds

ReliefWeb: 02/09/2005" Tracking System for Tsunami Aid Goes Online http://dad.tafren.gov.lk -- Allows full public access to tsunami aid use

A new web portal, launched here today, will enable easy-to-read online access to the assistance coming into Sri Lanka for tsunami recovery. Known as the Development Assistance Database (DAD), the system will help to better coordinate and monitor post tsunami recovery aid.

The Task Force for Rebuilding the Nation (TAFREN) is spearheading the online database with the support and funding of the United Nations Development Programme in Colombo (UNDP). TAFREN is leading the customization of the database to ensure that it is tailored to the specific context of post tsunami reconstruction needs in Sri Lanka.

It is designed to promote the allocation of assistance in line with priority national needs. DAD Sri Lanka is accessible to the world community over the internet, including ministries, local governments, donors, UN, NGO partners and the Sri Lankan public. DAD shows the allocation of aid by sector, district, donor and implementer. It includes projects from UN agencies, International Financial Institutions, bilateral donors, national and international NGOs and the private sector.

"This tool will help us to coordinate better and maximize the impact of our work in support of tsunami affected populations," said Mano Tittawella, Chairman of TAFREN.

The national and international assistance community have responded positively and actively to TAFREN's rquest for up-to-date project data. Already 150 projects have been entered, covering over $1,000 million in commitments and $450 million disbursements. Over 50 implementing partners and 47 donors have provided updates over the internet on their activities.

"A powerful monitoring tool for tracking resources and results is required for effective coordination of all Stakeholders involved in Tsunami Rebuilding. The customized database helps the government to meet this need. It indicates who is doing what, where and spells out clear deliverables tied to financial information. However the success of DAD depends very much on all the organizations contributing accurate, validated and updated information at least once a month." said Rachel C. Perera, Director TAFREN Donor Coordination Unit.

The DAD has been customized to meet the urgent needs of four Tsunami affected countries, and are being launched by Maldives, Thailand and Indonesia. A Regional Tsunami DAD will be launched in September, bringing together information from across all four countries. The custom made DAD software for Sri Lanka was developed by Synergy International systems, which has made DAD operational in 20 countries as part of a package of UNDP assistance.

"The DAD for Sri Lanka will help government and its partners identify where needs remain unmet, where duplication exists, and where implementation bottlenecks are being encountered," said Miguel Bermeo, Resident Representative of UNDP.

Bermeo said that DAD Sri Lanka will enable TAFREN and its partners to specify clear outputs for each project and track progress towards these outputs.

"The goal is to ensure that information collected centrally can be cross-checked and verified at the district and divisional level, and to ensure transparency in overall relief and reconstruction activities," he said.

The need for a system where governments can track tsunami funds and ascertain whether projects are achieving their goals was highlighted in mid March at a high level coordination meeting on 'Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Tsunami-Affected Countries' hosted by the Asian Development Bank.

Work on DAD is ongoing to ensure it adapts to meet evolving needs. A specialist housing module is almost complete, and will provide detailed information on the housing needs of each community, and the progress in either repairing or rebuilding homes.

DAD is owned by the Sri Lankan Government and is maintained by TAFREN. DAD Sri Lanka is a critical element in the Government's strategy to ensure that the needs of tsunami affected communities are met across Sri Lanka.

For more information please contact:

Rachel Perera mb: +94 773171762, Aruni Athauda mb: +94 773171763 or Yudhish Omprasadham mb: +94 773171788. Or email aruni@tafren.gov.lk and yudhish@tafren.gov.lk

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