The speaker outlined the successes and problems of the SDC/HA post-tsunami cash-for-shelter program in Sri Lanka.
He explained that cash programmes rely very heavily on damage assessments if they are to be equitable, that the Sri Lankan government had determined that war damage would be excluded from the programme, and that higher-income families would be compensated as much as those with lower incomes.
SDC/HA judged the circumstances as favourable to a cash approach because the economy was functioning normally.
He also spoke about problems of communication and coordination, variations in the standards which were applied, and duplication when beneficiaries realised that agency databases were not integrated.
The question and answer session revealed that the whole $12M programme had been managed by only four SDC/HA international staff, with a large and well-trained local team. There had not, however, been capacity to undertake a full environmental assessment.