Support Unit - Adviser Team and Facility Program (Sri Lanka)

By delivering the Sri Lanka Support Unit (SLSU), Cardno is supporting the Australian Government to transition its bilateral aid program with Sri Lanka into a set of strategic, long-term economic and governance partnerships between the two countries.

Cardno has established, and administratively supports, an adviser team that can provide independent advice and technical assistance in areas such as:

  • Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
  • Gender, Equality and Social Inclusion
  • Governance for Growth
  • Economic Opportunities for the Poor
  • Communications for Change
  • Tourism

The SLSU team also coordinates the delivery of both small and larger grant funding mechanisms – the Direct Assistance Program (DAP) and the Knowledge and Linkages for an Inclusive Economy (KLIE).

Throughout Sri Lanka and now also in the Maldives, DAP funds small, practical projects that are instigated by individuals, community groups, the private sector, non-government organisations, local government agencies or not-for-profit organisations. KLIE grants seek to build linkages between Sri Lankan and Australian government agencies, research institutions and professional networks and bodies.

Photo: Chrysalis. With support from a DAP grant, Chrysalis is assisting 85 small enterprises to produce and market ‘sesaths’ (Sinhalese umbrellas), creating economic livelihood opportunities in the cultural triangle, and maintaining this artisan craft.

The Unit operates through the following guiding principles:

  • Be inclusive: ensure gender equality and social inclusion principles are followed in activities and operations.
  • Respond to context: including considering the impacts of Covid-19 and ensuring a fit-for-purpose operational presence in Sri Lanka.
  • Be complementary: ensure program activities do not disadvantage or duplicate other DFAT investments and the work of other actors.
  • Foster a learning focus: build on the lessons learnt from other donor programs.
  • Be adaptive and flexible: work politically and opportunistically in response to DFAT requirements and a dynamic environment.
  • Provide a light management touch for DFAT: reduce the amount of new work created for DFAT staff at the Australian High Commission and in Canberra.
  • Manage acceptable risk: fit within the levels of risk DFAT is comfortable with, and focus on risk assignment and value for money.