Enterprise and Micro Credit
Opportunities for enterprise and access to credit are enabling factors for poverty alleviation, especially for communities trapped in cycles of vulnerability. Life in the Asian context being very much a rural one, finding solutions for far flung communities is a major challenge for countries in our region. More over, whether rural or urban, access to micro credit and viable markets, have proven to be effective poverty alleviation mechanisms for under served communities, poor women and youth. While large scale programs provide medium and long term development pathways, promotion of small enterprise and micro credit are opportunities for short term poverty solutions, and conflict transformation in the context of communities emerging from civil strife or natural disasters.

RDC consultants are familiar with the above outlined contexts and are versed with the enterprise and micro credit promotion experience and tools used in association with large-scale State sponsored poverty alleviation programs in Sri Lanka, namely the Janasaviya, the Samurdhi program, the National Development Trust Fund (NDTF) Sri Lanka, and the Gamidiriya community development and livelihood improvement project. Through numerous integrated rural development initiatives at the district level, the promotion of these methodologies through international and bilateral donor funding has been widely practiced.

The evolving experience in the Sector is leading to enabling of technical service providers at the village, district and central levels for enterprise and infrastructure development works. RDC has been closely associated with these efforts having been service providers to the various national poverty alleviation and integrated rural development programmes. For delivery of project components in this Sector RDC has capability in the following areas:

  • Baseline sample surveys
  • Needs assessment
  • Participatory project design approaches
  • Market analysis
  • Formulation of service delivery packages
  • Development of infrastructure
  • Training and advise to S&M and Micro enterprise
  • Monitoring and evaluation of progress
  • Stakeholder workshops to analyze issues
  • Project impact evaluation
  • Related State policy development
Representative project experience in the Sector:

ADB / PPTA (Sri 31282) Southern Province Rural Economic Advancement

RDC provided a team of multi sectoral consultants, in rural enterprise, legal, tourism, livestock, agronomy statistics and physical planning areas to achieve the objectives of this technical assistance aimed at transforming the Government’s Regional Economic Advancement Program (REAP) concept into a strategic framework and operational plan. This involved preparing detailed intervention proposals under the REAP program, with objective of increasing income and employment opportunities for the rural communities with particular focus on women and youth.

IFAD Regional Economic Advancement Project – Matale UNOPS Supervision Mission

RDC fielded an enterprise development expert to this mission which was to supervise implementation of the IFAD assisted Matale regional economic advancement project. The mission reviewed the achievements of the project specifically looking at the progress made in the micro enterprise sector and credit component. Partnerships and networking potential with businesses assessed, and suitable interventions identified for areas having high incidence of poverty. The retail and whole sale marketing practices in the area were reviewed in detail.

Identification of a Strategy and formulation of an Economic Development Plan, Moneragala district, Sri Lanka, NORAD

RDC provided expertise in Agronomy, Economics, Rural Enterprise and private sector promotion to formulate an economic development plan for the remote Moneragala district area of Sri Lanka. This effort was a mid term reorientation of the NORAD funded Moneragala, Phase 2, Integrated Rural Development project. This program identified specific investments in farm and non-farm sectors and provided assistance for marketing, product development, value addition, employment, income generation and agro processing.

ADB Impact Evaluation Study – of Southern Province Rural Development Project

Specialists in rural credit, economics, sociology, engineering and environment were provided for this Impact Evaluation of the Southern province rural development project (SPRDP), which ran from 1992-1999. The SPRDP project aimed at reducing rural poverty through increasing incomes and employment of the rural population, including promotion of S&M enterprise in rural areas.

IFAD/UNDP funded Mid Term Review of the 2nd Badulla Integrated Rural Development Project

A multi sector team of specialists were assigned for this review which mainly addressed the socio-economic impact on the project beneficiaries. Tasks entailed: selection of verifiable indicators to assess food security, nutritional status and living standards; comparison of actual verses scheduled implementation of activities, timing schedules and outputs, physical outputs and financial disbursements. Carried out a SWOT analysis of institutions implementing the program and assessed institutional arrangements concerning social mobilization to ensure beneficiary participation in project activities. On the basis of findings, proposed a fund re-allocation plan to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the project.

WB Community Development Projects

RDC consultants were engaged by the Janasaviya Trust Fund in 19 Divisional areas of Sri Lanka to identify economic potential to formulate development interventions for implementation by private enterprises in identified areas. Project targeted development of market facilities, credit lines and rural infrastructure. Services included implementation of several questionnaire based socio-economic surveys; demographic surveys, focusing on rural credit, rural savings and housing credit. A comprehensive database was prepared to enable performance evaluation, and services included training for entrepreneurs, institutional strategy for community based organizations and assistance to non-bank financial institutions to formulate credit programs.

Database and Roster of Technical Service Providers for Community Development and Livelihood Improvement Project/ WB, Gamidiriya Foundation

The Gamidiriya program formulated by the Government of Sri Lanka with IDA World Bank assistance is developed on community driven principles and approaches. The project aimed to promote sustainable and equitable development through providing rural communities improved access to social and economic infrastructure and services to support productivity. The preparation of a roster of technical service providers for infrastructure and commercial services was developed on a district and subject wise basis. For databases, the consultants prepared a software package for developing rate analysis and schedule of rates for rural infrastructure.

Mid Term Review of ADB Southern Province Rural Development (SPRD) project

RDC provided regional planners, credit and infrastructure specialists for this mid term review of a four year project. The review addressed the evaluation of physical progress and financial disbursement, identifying problems and recommending appropriate solutions. Project sub components were: fisheries (lobster pilot project and mollusk studies); private sector development involving S&M industries, rural micro credit, self employment and credit schemes; irrigation and drainage infrastructure.

North East Coastal Community Development Project, Sri Lanka

RDC provided expertise in fisheries, credit, infrastructure, and social development for this project situated in a post conflict developmental context in the Eastern Province. The project aimed to reduce poverty and improve living conditions and meet basic needs. The project is to serve as a pilot extend-able to the districts of the Northern Province. The project aims to build a foundation of sustainable livelihood improvement and sound management of natural resources for the area.

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