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Sri Lanka - Second Telecommunications Project (English)

Since the project exceeds sector, institutional, and physical objectives, has a high economic rate of return along with a high probability that project achievements will be sustained, the project outcome is considered highly satisfactory. Some lessons learned from the project are: By being continuously involved in a sector the World Bank has the opportunity to support reform--even if it is politically unpopular--step-by-step under various governments. The Bank should exercise patience and flexibility regarding project objectives and conditionality to overcome opposition to changes, provided the government is committed in the longer term to sector reform. Involve labor unions at an early stage of reform and address their concerns to reduce resistance to change. The successful private operation of value-added and other marginal telecommunications services creates new job opportunities and may reduce staff fears of privatization as well as provide comfort to potential investors who observe a track record of commercial operations and the workings of the legal and regulatory framework. Only full corporatization with private management and suitable regulation provides the autonomy needed to quickly expand service and to become more consumer-oriented and competitive. The continuity of project staff contributes to the Bank's effectiveness. Surplus credit funds due to cost savings and elimination of project components should be identified and canceled early.

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Sri Lanka - Second Telecommunications Project (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/395391468114858189/Sri-Lanka-Second-Telecommunications-Project