SNGP Phase 1 - Site selection

In Sri Lanka, although the traditional classification of Local government bodies as Municipal Councils (MCs), Urban Councils (UCs) and Pradeshiya Sabhas (PSs), there is no significant characteristic differences among them. Therefore all the local authorities in Sri Lanka cannot be considered as an organic classification or grouping of Local Authorities. In the meantime, the popular global concept of Secondary Cities was also hard to get implemented in Sri Lanka as the no local authorities meet the criteria of the standard amount of 500,000 inhabitants lives within the Local Authorities. 

In order to balance the reality and ensure a fair selection process, the Dynamic Economic Center (DEC) concept introduced by the SNGP.  DEC is a Local Authority which could transform in to a thriving hub of commerce, and function as a secondary city with greater potential to contribute to national development

The first phase of the Sri Lanka Sub- National Governance Program was on the selection of  9  potential DECs. An Initial pool of 54 out of all 335 LAs (9 provinces x 6 top LAs per province) were then chosen according to the marks they scored when assessed on the below 5 mentioned indicators

1.Population Density 

2.Entrepreneurial Base

3.Urban Characteristics 

4.Forward and Backward Economic Linkages

5.Capacity for Revenue Generation 

These top 6 LAs per province were selected for final rounds of residential write-shop assessment 


Stage 2 


A write-shop which is also designed by SNGP as a participatory forum for shortlisted 6 LAs ie Dynamic Economic Centres (DECs) per Province to converge at a common location. 5 Write-shop sessions were conducted covering all nine provinces in which 30% of them are female officials. Attended LA officials then conducted in-depth assessment of their respective LA in the following scheme and drafted the proposals.  


1.Own Revenue Generation Management 

2.Citizen Friendly services

3.Citizen Engagement for Equitable Resource Allocation

4.Grievance Redress 

5.Prioritized Activities for next three years 



The processes were facilitated by the SNGP team which are then evaluated on pre-selected indicators. 


1.Current Reality

2.Clear commitment to and contribution of resources for implementing SNGP

3.Willingness to adopt innovations and reforms 

4.Demand for addressing current deficiencies in the existing systems

5.Recommendations from the CLG and ACLG officials 

The marks allocated for current reality was inverse in the process of final marking scheme to avoid the places where currently performing well. Therefore finally marking scheme was made to bias on DECs with high Contribution promised and high commitment made, ready to take the ownership with comparatively strong economy but less current performance.

The 54 shortlisted LAs were assessed accordingly and the final 9 best Local authorities have now been chosen. The next phase of the project will focus on conducting baseline assessments on economic resilience mechanisms, representation in decision making and grievance handling mechanisms in the 9 chosen sites. As part of implementing SNGP in the provinces, provincial-level Resource Centres will be strengthened wherever they exist and new centres will be created in other provinces. 

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