Regional : Planning for Economic Recovery of South Asia from COVID-19

Sovereign Project | 54235-001

The knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) aims to support selected developing member countries (DMCs) of the South Asia Department (SARD) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to (i) plan the medium-term recovery from the economic impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and (ii) adjust their long-term development strategies to changes in the global environment brought about by this pandemic.

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    Li, Dongxiang
    South Asia Department
    Request for information
  • Country/Economy
  • Sector
    • Public sector management
Project Name Planning for Economic Recovery of South Asia from COVID-19
Project Number 54235-001
Country / Economy Regional
Sri Lanka
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 6529-REG: Planning for Economic Recovery of South Asia from COVID-19
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 3.00 million
TA 6529-REG: Planning for Economic Recovery of South Asia from COVID-19
Republic of Korea e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund US$ 500,000.00
Operational Priorities OP1: Addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities
OP2: Accelerating progress in gender equality
OP4: Making cities more livable
OP6: Strengthening governance and institutional capacity
OP7: Fostering regional cooperation and integration
Sector / Subsector

Education / Education sector development

Finance / Finance sector development

Industry and trade / Industry and trade sector development

Information and communication technology / ICT strategy and policy, and capacity development

Public sector management / Economic affairs management - Social protection initiatives

Gender Some gender elements
Description The knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) aims to support selected developing member countries (DMCs) of the South Asia Department (SARD) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to (i) plan the medium-term recovery from the economic impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and (ii) adjust their long-term development strategies to changes in the global environment brought about by this pandemic.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy SARD developing member countries like any other regions have also been affected by COVID-19. Governments have prioritized saving lives from this global health pandemic and introduced large-scale community quarantine measures (travel restrictions and lockdown) to prevent the spread of the disease and over-burdening medical systems. These measures have enormous trade-off and economic cost and impacted the most the poor and vulnerable (including domestic and international migrants). Economic activities have been halted resulting to job losses and businesses closing.

Selected SARD DMCs' economies recovered from COVID-19

Project Outcome
Description of Outcome

Capacity of governments to design medium-term economic recovery plans and adjust their long-term development strategies to the effects of COVID-19 enhanced

Progress Toward Outcome
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Support for the preparation and/or strengthening of economic recovery plans provided

Support to adjust development strategies provided

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

The completion date of the TA has been extended to 31 December 2022.

Under OUTPUT 1: Support for the preparation and/or strengthening of economic recovery plans provided.

IND 1.2 SAUW: Buddhist circuit tourism and local economic development. India is one of countries that got hit severely from coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19) and still struggling to get it controlled. Besides the death toll and impacts on human health, many people lost their jobs and livelihoods due to COVID-19 and its related lock down, particularly on people reply on service economy. The proposed tourism activity aims to support the Government of India in developing a Buddhist circuit tourism development strategy, which can be one of core economic recovery strategy from COVID-19 impacts particularly supporting Bihar and Uttar Pradesh two of the least developed states in India but has huge potentials to improve local economy, job creations, and people's livelihood. The Buddhist circuit tourism, if well managed, would provide an opportunity to boost regional development, while creating more jobs, stimulating entrepreneurs around tourism value change, and also making cities within the circuit livable and prosperous. The activity will help build solid ground and consensus with the Ministry of Tourism and other relevant ministries in India, and governments of Bihar Uttar Pradesh in adopting a new strategy for the Buddhist Circuit Tourism Development; to make progress action plans of the new strategy; and support the development of an initial investment project under the program on the Buddhist Circuit Tourism Development.

IND 1.4 INRM: Study Measures to Increase Tourism in India Post-pandemic. A study will be undertaken which would prepare a road map for improving the Indian economy through tourism promotion, post-pandemic. Such study would not only capture some of the innovative steps undertaken by some of the countries who have tourist driven economy but would also capture some of the good practices implemented under the India Infrastructure Development Investment Program for Tourism (IDIPT), and that could be replicated under new designed tourism projects. The final output will be a comprehensive plan (short term and medium term) for revival of Tourism Sector in India which will also be a direct contribution to planning for economic recovery.

IND 1.5 INRM: India Capacity Development for CGE Modeling. Building on past computable general equilibrium (CGE) model work, the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) will build dynamic, quarterly, and regional model variants to serve the policymaking community with economic policy simulations that enable better policy, program and investment choices in macro, industry, services, agriculture, urban, trade, environment, land and labor. India lacks these sophisticated tools except for NCAER's existing modelling capacity. NCAER will collect data, design, build, calibrate and operate four CGE model variants over three years, integrating important institutional details, including state-level budget rules, large informal sector in India, transport and logistics constraints, and special features like those of the North-East. At each model stagenational dynamic and top-down regional models in year 1, quarterly and bottom-up regional models in year 2, and dynamic, bottom-up regional model in year 3NCAER will prepare policy applications at each stage, focusing on interpreting model results for the policymaking community. Three-year outputs will be a suite of cutting-edge CGE models for short and long-term simulations for policies, investments and shocks such as the pandemic. Year 1: (1) Updated Dynamic multi-sector India CGE model; (2) Dynamic Top-down multi-sector Regional CGE model: baseline projections and policy simulations at national and regional levels. Only activities for year 1 will be initially undertaken.

SRI 2.1 SLRM: Sri Lanka CPS Diagnostic Studies. The Government of Sri Lanka undertook several diagnostic studies which were identified under the government's new National Policy Framework. The studies will draw from reports and analysis conducted by the government, research institutes, private sector, ADB, and other development partners, and consult with key stakeholders.

(i)Sri Lanka Diagnostic Study on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Assessment. A comprehensive report was prepared on climate change and a disaster risk assessment and implications in Sri Lanka. The report highlighted the importance of factoring low-carbon and resilient considerations in COVID-19 recovery.

(ii) Sri Lanka Diagnostic Study on Environmental Sustainability. An environmental sustainability assessment report that included challenges and opportunities arising from COVID-19 recovery and identifed implications for government's development strategy and in planning COVID-19 recovery was prepared.

(iii)Sri Lanka CPS Diagnostic Study on Private sector operations and public-private partnership. To strengthen private sector operations and public-private partnership (PPP) in Sri Lanka, and to identify priority infrastructure projects where private sector participation is possible, a private sector assessment was undertaken. The assessment looked at the role of the private sector in COVID-19 recovery in Sri Lanka.

(iv) Sri Lanka CPS Diagnostic Study on Private Sector Assessment. A comprehensive assessment on the role that private sector played in recovery from COVID-19 in Sri Lanka and identification of implications for government's development strategy and in planning COVID-19 recovery was undertaken. The report analyzed the nature and status of the private sector development in Sri Lanka; and identified the business environment with a focus on access to finance.

SRI 2.3 SLRM: Sri Lanka Macroeconomic Dialogues. Sri Lanka's macroeconomic situation is precarious, with debt to GDP ratio at 101%, significant exposure to foreign currency denominated debt and an onerous repayment schedule. With reserves covering less than 2 months of imports, the foreign exchange market will continue to face volatility. The COVID-19 shock on top of terrorist attacks in 2019 has slowed travel to a trickle, in a country that heavily relied on tourism receipts. Households and firms are facing shortages of essential goods on one hand, and rising costs on the other. The government is implementing a mix of policies and strategies to avert an economic crisis, while at the same time dealing with outbreaks and lockdowns. To obtain a deeper understanding of specific issues and overall conditions; and to be able to develop views on necessary courses of action going forward to address the current situation as well as for COVID-19 recovery, local and international expertise were tapped to share their views on Sri Lanka's situation with ADB staff. SLRM is processing the next Country Partnership Strategy for 2023-2027 and these interactions will help understand the current situation, policy options, as well as likely implications for ADB operations in the country and for the design of new CPS. The proposal aligned with TA outputs by holding consultations with stakeholders from the public and private sectors to monitor the current economic situation, analyze government strategies and formulate recommendations.

SRI 2.4 SLRM: Insights on sovereign debt and restructuring. The consultancy will develop insights on sovereign debt and restructuring issues against the current backdrop of Sri Lanka's macroeconomic challenges and provide inputs for Sri Lanka Country Partnership Strategy on measures required for strengthening macroeconomic management. To support dialogue with DMC, the consultancy will explore (i) issues of sovereign debt, (ii) debt restructuring scenarios and possible hurdles, costs and benefits of different approaches, other country experiences (iii) debt sustainability analysis, (iv) measures to strengthen macroeconomic management (iv) policy reforms for revenue based fiscal consolidation within an IMF program. Against the backdrop of Sri Lanka's macroeconomic challenges and government's decision to approach the IMF for a policy loan program, the study will explore scenarios forward and potential hurdles with regard to fiscal consolidation during post-COVID recovery; supported by continuous dialogue between ADB and the DMC client. The target output would be 'support for the preparation and/or strengthening of economic recovery plans provided .

SRI 2.5 SLRM: Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management. Government of Sri Lanka's new National Policy Framework (NPF) identifies disaster management, environment and biodiversity as priority subsectors. The new county partnership strategy for 2023-2027 which is being processed includes three (3) strategic pillars. Climate change and disaster resilience is considered as a cross cutting theme across all the three pillars. A Climate Change and Disaster Risk Assessment (CCDRA) was completed as part of the ongoing CPS process which analyzed the country climate, disaster risks and impacts, policy and legal framework, risk management initiative and investments and opportunities for enhanced engagement on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management (CCDRM). Under the completed assessment the impacts and risks were only assessed up to sub-national level. The proposed assignment shall analyze climate and disaster risks at sectoral level and prepare a comprehensive report on opportunities for enhanced engagement on CCDRM at specific sector levels. The consultant will update the climate change and disaster risk assessment completed under TA-6529, incorporating sector level impacts, risks and opportunities for enhanced engagement on CCDRM at specific sector levels. The updated version shall also discuss how best Sri Lanka could align its NDCs (new) with requirements of COP26 including the importance of factoring low-carbon and resilient considerations in COVID-19 recovery.

SRI 2.6 SLRM: Macroeconomic surveillance. Sri Lanka's macroeconomic challenges have exacerbated following the onset of COVID-19 and necessitated greater macroeconomic sector analysis as ADB prepares its operations for post-COVID-19 era and to address current economic challenges. The consultant will provide support for macroeconomic work and other analytical studies. The consultant will also support preparation of ADB's country partnership strategy to guide ADB's operations post-COVID-19 and as the country grapples from the crisis.

SRI 2.7 SAUW: Institutional and urban governance. The consultancy will provide support in assessing sector and policy challenges and developing a policy matrix and program action, to improve sector policy and governance, strengthen government capacity, improve domestic resource mobilization (towards financial autonomy), increase services efficiency and promote private sector participation in the urban sector. Activities will include an analytical desk review, while contacting the relevant Ministries and agencies, to list the government investment and policy reform programs, to identify policy and regulatory gaps, and suggest policy and institutional reforms to fill those gaps.

SRI 2.8 SLRM: Institutional and water governance. The consultant will review policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks, and interdependency between Ministries and Agencies, and suggest policy/regulatory/institutional/governance improvement policy actions and reforms, outline institutional development frameworks and plans to fill the gaps for strengthening policy/regulatory/ institutional frameworks and arrangements. The consultant will assess the capacity of various water institutions in the country and identify required policies and actions (including reforms as required) to fill the identified gaps and capacity-building requirements, particularly under the responsibility of the Ministry of Water Supply (e.g., water tariff policy reforms, water regulator, private sector participation, water catchment, water rights) to ensure the long-term sustainability of public investments.

SAHS 3.2 SAHS: Brain Drain as Developmental Assets. A study is currently being undertaken to explore ways in which initial brain drain can benefit national development by examining some success stories to draw policy implications for other developing countries that are struggling with brain flight. The study will also consider challenges in promoting brain circulation or linkages in the post-pandemic era. The study will focus on two important strategies of addressing brain drain brain circulation and linkage. Brain circulation is brain return: bringing back national talent residing overseas after education, employment, or immigration. Brain linkage is the utilization of the social capital of national talent abroad who do not return home but facilitate transnational cooperation with the home country.

SAHS 3.3 SAHS: Public-private collaborations in health sector and aging in Asia. The study will provide a useful conceptual framework for, and synthesize empirical evidence on public-private collaborations to mitigate the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the low-and middle- income country settings. The study will also explore public and private sector roles in leveraging new technologies in health and social protection (particularly elderly care) such as telehealth services, decision support with artificial intelligence and robotics which are even more relevant in a post-pandemic world. Based on the empirical evidence and analyses, the study will generate recommendations for approaches to public-private collaborations for responding to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic in low-and middle- income countries (LMIC) in the Asia - Pacific region.

SAHS 3.4 SAHS: Application of EdTech to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on education.

The higher education institutions in Sri Lanka had to be closed after the pandemic, but students and academic staff could make quick transition into online higher education with the support of Lanka Education and Research Network (LEARN) providing assistances such as zoom platforms. In collaboration with MOE and University Grants Commission, ADB conducted online higher education surveys in June 2020 and November-December 2021 to understand the progress and remaining challenges in online higher education in Sri Lanka. The surveys provided insights on online higher education in Sri Lanka but data is not nationally representative and nation-wide online higher education surveys cannot be conducted frequently. There is a need to use real-time data to assess the status of online higher education in Sri Lanka so that timely policy and measures can be provided to mitigate the learning loss. The study on application of educational Technology for learning during the COVID-19 pandemisc will identify key findings by analyzing data in LEARN zoom system for improving online higher education in Sri Lanka.

OUTPUT 2: Support to adjust development strategies provided

IND 1.1 SAEN: Monitoring Platform for Consumer Service Standards in the Energy Sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed a fresh set of challenges on power distribution companies (DISCOMs) affecting their demand, revenue and collection, as well as their financial and operational performance. To address this issue, the Ministry of Power (MoP) issued the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 on 21 December 2020 which emphasized that power systems exist to serve the consumers and the consumers should have the rights to get the proper services, and reliable, quality electricity. An online monitoring platform was envisaged to be developed that will define the key metrics in line with the provisions of the rules, lay out a process for regular data collection and reporting, built-in adequate checks to assess the appropriateness of the information and report the same in an objective and analytical manner. A holistic framework will be developed for performance monitoring of DISCOMs across key metrics defined in the consumer rules including interventions implemented by DISCOMs to manage the impact of disasters such as COVID-19 pandemic. The framework should provide a detailed view of systems and processes for data collection, reporting protocols, storage, management, frequency of updation, presentation, etc.

IND 1.3 ERCD: A Study of the Non-Banking Finance Companies in India. This is a working paper for printing only.

SRI 2.2 SAHS: Sri Lanka Education Knowledge Management Activities. A set of knowledge management activities on education are being undertaken for Sri Lanka and include the conduct of tracer study of TVET and higher education graduates; and caase studies of innovation in SAHS education sector operations.

SAHS 3.1 SAHS: Review of brief study on the use and evolution of online learning for individuals in the workforce or for organizations in Korea. A brief study has been commissioned on the use and evolution of online learning for individuals in the workforce or for organizations in Korea. The report provided an overview of the current landscape of online education for continuous learning in Korea; identified private and government supported programs or public-private partnerships for continuous learning; conducted a SWOT analysis of the online professional learning market in Korea; and summarized the salient features of existing practices and identify features that could be adapted by developing countries in Asia. The report will be published to increase its visibility and utilization across DMCs.

SAHS 3.5 SAHS: Evaluating the effectiveness of online job matching for TVET and higher education graduates. To evaluate the effectiveness of online job fairs and also help jobseekers and employers match with each other, ADB has been conducting a randomized control trial (RCT) in partnership with a Bangladesh online job platform, The RCT invited randomly selected jobseekers and employers to an online job fair. Its first endline data collection was recently completed, and the second endline data collection is scheduled to be in August 2022. The current study on evaluating effectiveness of online job matching for TVET and higher education graduates will support data cleaning, preparation for the 2second endline data collection, and impact evaluation data analysis in close consultation with ADB staff and consultants, and survey firm.

Geographical Location Bangladesh - Nation-wide; India - Nation-wide; Nepal - Nation-wide; Sri Lanka - Nation-wide
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services ADB will recruit an international consulting firm, and international and national individual consultants for the implementation of activities. ADB may also engage resource persons, when necessary, for knowledge-sharing events. ADB will consider output-based (lump-sum) contracts for consulting services, as appropriate. It will engage the consultants following the ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and its associated project administration instructions and/or staff instructions.
Procurement Not applicable.
Responsible ADB Officer Li, Dongxiang
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Div, SARD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank
Concept Clearance 18 Mar 2022
Fact Finding 28 Apr 2020 to 28 Apr 2020
Approval 29 Jun 2020
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 11 Jul 2022

TA 6529-REG

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
29 Jun 2020 - 29 Jun 2020 31 May 2022 31 May 2025 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
3,000,000.00 500,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 3,500,000.00 29 May 2023 930,748.46

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.

Title Document Type Document Date
Planning for Economic Recovery of South Asia from COVID-19: Technical Assistance Report Technical Assistance Reports Jun 2020

Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

None currently available.

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

None currently available.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.


Tender Title Type Status Posting Date Deadline
Upstream knowledge work for boosting Madhya Pradesh’s economic competitiveness Firm - Consulting Closed
Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Specialist Individual - Consulting Closed
Finance Expert Individual - Consulting Closed
Team Leader cum Industry Expert Individual - Consulting Closed
Urban Expert Individual - Consulting Closed
Research Associate (Macroeconomic Surveillance) Individual - Consulting Closed
Associate Economist (Macroeconomic Surveillance) Individual - Consulting Closed
Analyst- Sri Lanka Individual - Consulting Closed
Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Specialist Individual - Consulting Closed
Tourism Specialist Individual - Consulting Closed
Tourism and Regional Development Specialist Individual - Consulting Closed
Consulting Firm: Implementation of Monitoring Platform for Consumer Service Standards Firm - Consulting Closed
Sri Lanka: Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Country Assessment Specialist Individual - Consulting Closed
Sri Lanka: Environment Specialist Individual - Consulting Closed

Contracts Awarded

Contract Title Approval Number Contract Date Contractor | Address Executing Agency Total Contract Amount (US$) Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)
Capacity Development Technical Assistance Technical Assistance 6529 12 Jul 2022 NATIONAL COUNCIL OF APPLIED ECONOMIC RESEARCH (INDIA) | Parisila Bhawan, 11-Indraprastha Estate, New Delhi, Delhi 110002 India Asian Development Bank 199,913.00
Capacity Development Technical Assistance 6529 10 Jun 2021 KPMG Advisory Services Private Limited in association with HKRP INNOVATIONS LLP (HKRP), INDIA | Lodha Excelus, Apollo Mills Cmpd, NM Joshi xmi, Mumbai 400011/Kamala Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel Mumbai Asian Development Bank 362,340.00

Procurement Plan

None currently available.