National Consultancy for ILO on Green Jobs Asia, ILO-2011June18
System of local government in Sri Lanka is long in history but short on achievements. Local authorities are the political institutions closest to people, but, except for a handful that keeps winning national awards, others fall short. While political actors take the center stage, taking credit for achievement or taking blame for failures, professionals in local government take a back stage. Driven by an emerging body of research that points to the power of networks in ICT enabled societies, we carried out a series of action research projects using the solid waste sector in local government as a case in point to induce connectivity among service provider professionals in the sector. Three new ideas for enabling knowledge networks emerged from our study.
Linking Knowledge to Innovation in Government Services: The Case of Solid Waste Services in Local Government in Sri Lanka
Five local government authorities bordering North Bolgoda Lake, namely, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council, Moratuwa Urban Council, Boralesgamuwa Urban Council, Kesbewa Urban Council and Panadura Pradeshiya Sabha, tip 7500 metric tons of solid waste per month in Karadiyana, a marshy land of about 25 acres in extent, situated where Weras Ganga from Boralesgamuwa meets the Bolgoda Lake. Little do the residents in these local authorities realize that the waste they thought they disposed comes back to them as pollutants contaminating their neighbouring body of water and the general environment. It is the responsibility of respective local authorities do their best to (a) minimize the waste sent to the site and (b) pre-sort the waste sent to the site so that a maximum amount can be recycled and residuals are made minimal. The 3R Initiative at LIRNEasia carried out a survey to evaluate how well the local authorities are fulfilling their responsibility. Results are presented here for discussion and feedback.