Strengthening the Northern PC

Sri Lanka Northern Provincial Council Capacity Building Program

The Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has provided a grant to The Asia Foundation to support the implementation of a program titled Sri Lanka Northern Provincial Council Capacity Building Program (NPCCB). The overall goal of the Sri Lanka NPCCB Program was to strengthen the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) to effectively address challenges of post-war development.

The program focuses on immediate priorities to be addressed on a short-term basis. The three specific program components are:

  • Strengthening the legislative capacity of the NPC

A two-day workshop was conducted to create awareness on statutes development and approval process by the consultant hired by SNPC on March 21-22, 2016. Over 25 senior level officials of the Provincial Council, including two Secretaries and about twelve heads of departments attended the program.

With TAF’s assistance, the NPC has been able to successfully passed the six following:

 

  • Supporting bilingual documentation and communication in the NPC

The Trilingual Centre which was opened with much fanfare in 2013 is the only official institution under the NPC to promote tri-lingual skills in the province. However, the Centre has been operating with rudimentary facilities, serving about 300 students (mostly public servants and youth seeking employment) learning Sinhala, Tamil and English languages free of charge.

 

  • Strengthening the knowledge and capacity of elected NPC councilors

In view of strengthening the knowledge and capacity of the elected councilors of NPC, NPCCB Program has been engaged in the following activities:

A residential program for the elected councilors on policy formulation at Provincial level in November 2015 was successfully completed. 32 elected councilors and five key staff participated. A policy formulation self-scoring exercise carried out by the 37 participants resulted in a score of 38.78 out of a maximum 100, thereby highlighting the need to strengthen policy formulation in the NPC. An assessment of statutory committee formulation and functions in all the Provinces is underway to identify best practices for NPC. In view of strengthening the statutory committees of NPC, a consultant is hired to carry out an assessment on statutory committees in other PCs, mainly focusing on following areas:

  1. Areas on which the statutory committees are formed
  2. Operational procedures of those statutory committees
  3. Effectiveness of those committees

Legislative Resource Centre –

Setting up the first ever of such an agency at sub-national level was completed through the program.

Basic legal publications including legislative enactments and copies of key Acts have been handed over to the Chairman of the Council for the use of Council members.

The Chairman appreciated this support as these key documents have not been made available since the Council started functioning for the last 30 months; even a copy of the Constitution of Sri Lanka with the addition of the recent 18th and 19th amendments was not available for members to refer, which has now been made available through NPCCB Program.

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