Sri Lanka

Assessing the contribution of post-disaster interventions: Sri Lanka Pilot Study Report


This document reports on a field study conducted in Sri Lanka under the initiative ‘Measuring the Impact of Aid Agency Programmes in Rapid Onset Natural Disaster'. This project, funded by DFID and managed by Oxfam, set out to develop a methodology for evaluating the contribution to change achieved by post-disaster interventions. In the process of developing the methodology a research team led by the University of East Anglia conducted pilot field studies in three countries in order to test key parameters and assumptions of the approach and data collection tools designed to understand the role of interventions in facilitating recovery. The work in Sri Lanka was undertaken during May and June 2012, and focussed on the process of recovery following a series of severe floods that affected eastern areas in late 2010/early 2011.

Sri Lanka experienced heavy rainfall from early November 2010 into the early months of 2011. This rainfall Intensified from 26 December 2010, significantly increasing the level and extent of flooding.
Of Sri Lanka’s 25 districts, 12 of them – Batticaloa, Anuradhapura, Monaragala, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy,
Trincomalee, Ratnapura, Matara, Kilinochchi, Polonnaruwa, Mullaitivu and Ampara – were affected to varying degrees. According to its Disaster Management Center, Batticaloa district reported the highest number of flood-affected displaced people followed by Ampara. In Batticaloa 28 deaths were reported, over 145,000 families were directly affected, over 17,000 houses were partially or fully damaged, over 140,000 acres of paddy and other crops were destroyed, over 192,500 heads of livestock died, and 10 major tanks, 12 medium tanks and 101minor tanks were badly damaged.

The field team worked in 3 villages in the lowland plains west of Batticaloa lagoon within the division of Manmunai West. This division was severely affected by a series of 2-3 flood phases during December 2010 to February 2011, associated with very heavy rains (that were also destructive to crops and wattle-and-daub houses). The work in Sri Lanka was conducted by a team affiliated with the Centre for Intersectoral Community Health Studies, University of Peradeniya, Kandy. The team composition is given in the following table.

Browne, E., Tudor Silva, K., Suresh, K. and Few, R. (2014) ‘Assessing the contribution of post-disaster interventions: Sri Lanka Pilot Study Report’, DEV Reports and Policy Paper Series, The School of International Development, University of East Anglia, UK.