ART GOLD Sri Lanka has been initiated in the aftermath of the Tsunami not only to support the immediate recovery phase but also to facilitate a sustainable longer-term development by reinforcing the ability of local actors to plan and manage territorial development open to international opportunities.
Within the Southern Province – one of the severest hit areas on the island - AGSL supports the creation of an enabling framework facilitating a multitude of actors to jointly work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals through an area-based approach to governance and development. Participants include donor countries, United Nations agencies, Governments at national, regional and local level, cities, decentralized cooperation actors, associations, universities, private sector organizations and non-governmental organizations.
AGSL supports the deconcentrated and the devolved local government structures and intents to enhance the coordination between both systems. It works towards strengthening the capacity of Local Governments in strategic, participatory and needs based development planning and the strengthening of existing coordination bodies. Through strategic interventions and partnerships AGSL also helps to improve the actual service delivery to the population.
In this framework ILS LEDA supported the actions aimed at regenareting local economic development, reinforcing the competitive economic potential of the SP through capacity building, skill development and the organization of a comprehensive service system (CSS) or provincial economic development and sustainable job creation.
Through a participatory design thos CSS resulted being RUHUNA, the Local Economic Development Agency (LEDA) steeled in Matara, a legally registered independent multi stakeholder institution for promoting local economic development. For facilitating the LEDA operation ILS LEDA supported also the the creation of a Guarantee Fund (GF).
The purpose of RUHUNA Agency is to pursue the integrated, sustainable and inclusive socio- economic development of the territory of the Southern Province of Sri Lanka, by promoting and facilitating the coordinated effort of key local actors and the establishment of a conducive environment for enhancing the existing potential in the local, national and international context.
Direct beneficiaries of LEDA Rhuhuna are local administrations and other institutions directed at the development of the territory, entrepreneurs and workers of the key sectors supported; indirect beneficiaries are all members of the local society without any distinction of sex, religion and ethnicity.
The following activities and services can be carried out by the Agency, either directly, or through networking and sub-contracting arrangements: