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'Combined effort will result in success'

The meeting in progress.

“Success in projects is not just from strong performance in one activity, but from the combined improvement of the assets, knowledge and institutions that support government efforts, especially when developing resilient infrastructure and resilient communities.

"The UNOPS will continue to support our partners to overcome the inherent challenges in major projects and stay engaged in our positive and long term partnership with Government of Sri Lanka,” Charles Callanan (Director, UNOPS Nepal Operational Hub) said.

He was participating in a high-level roundtable meeting on “International Project Management Best Practices for Effective Project Delivery” organised by the United Nations Office for Project Services(UNOPS) for the key decision-makers in the Government of Sri Lanka on Monday.

The meeting was organised to share best practices and lessons learnt in project management from the UNOPS global and local experiences to improve Sri Lanka’s project delivery. Secretary to Treasury Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga graced the occasion as its Chief Guest.

“I am very aware of the challenges faced by my colleagues in the ERD to ensure that the line ministries and the executing agencies involved in foreign and local funded projects discharge their duties and responsibilities efficiently to ensure that the projects under their management is implemented in a timely and efficient manner,” he said.

He noted that the UNOPS as the UN’s specialised agency on project management can offer Sri Lanka many insights to help it improve its project delivery capacity.

UNOPS Regional Director for Asia Sanjay Mathur said effective project and programme delivery has become ever so important in the current development context of South Asia and in particular Sri Lanka where many significant development projects are being conceptualised, planned, and implemented. Delivering services and managing projects benefiting the population, with good quality, on time and within budget has become essential for governments across the world.

Sri Lanka being a developing country is at a critical juncture where effective project management has become an integral factor in country’s development. Globally, the losses incurred due to bad project management is approximately 10 percent (of the project budget) and can often be much higher.

With UNOPS implementing approximately 1100 projects at any given time across the world, there are many lessons and best practices that can be shared with the government for improved project delivery, many of which are from UNOPS experience in delivering projects in Sri Lanka and South Asia.

A presentation was delivered by the Department of National Planning about project prioritisation and appraisals moving forward, explaining the challenges and opportunities of the way it is been done in country.

This was followed by an interactive panel discussion that discussed the opportunities and challenges in project delivery in Sri Lanka, amongst others.

Sudhir Muralidharan (Director a.i., UNOPS Sri Lanka and Maldives) said the UNOPS was committed to support the Government of Sri Lanka and would continue the dialogue to support Sri Lanka to plan, develop, and implement projects that would contribute to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).