Country Portfolio Evaluation: Sri Lanka, an Evaluation of WFP’s Portfolio (2011–2015)

This country portfolio evaluation covered all WFP operations in Sri Lanka during 2011–2015. It assessed WFP’s alignment and strategic positioning, its strategic decision-making, and the performance of the portfolio as a whole; including WFP's application of humanitarian principles and the comparative cost analysis of cash-based transfers (CBTs). The evaluation found that WFP’s portfolio in Sri Lanka was relevant to humanitarian needs in the aftermath of the war, responding to emergencies and addressing enduring nutrition problems. The challenge was in adapting activities to remain relevant to the country’s changing circumstances amid waning donor resources. WFP’s strategic positioning evolved with the changing context, moving from emergency programming towards a more strategic orientation. The evaluation makes six recommendations, most of which need to be implemented in collaboration with the Government and/or other international agencies. These include: i) working with the Government to identify “upstream” areas where WFP can add the most value in the future, while agreeing a phased hand-over to the Government of direct service delivery, notably school feeding; ii) encouraging all United Nations agencies to coordinate and streamline their activities in line with Sri Lanka’s new circumstances; iii) working with government and other agencies to develop an adequately resourced plan for completing the resettlement of displaced persons; iv) continuing to offer specialist support to multi-sector nutrition approaches; v) hand-over of the school meals programme and vi) strengthening the cost analysis linked to modality choice and assigning higher priority to assessing the performance of cash-based transfers.