Impact of Social Safeguarding on Private Land Ownership and Individual Well-Being: The Case of Sri Lanka

Publication | December 2019

Safeguard policies increase the sustainability of the affected person's livelihood and living standards.

Infrastructure development with properly planned safeguard measures is essential from the sustainable development perspective for the economic development in developing countries. We identify the potential of social safeguard policies for the sustainable transport sector within the National Highway Sector Project (NHSP) in Sri Lanka. We aim to provide pragmatic evidence on sustainable infrastructure development strategies in terms of social safeguards, measuring the outcomes and impacts of the road rehabilitation on affected people. From a household survey carried out along the road sections of the NHSP, including affected and non-affected groups, the empirical analysis entailed quasi-experimental evaluation of difference-in-difference estimation while measuring the impact of safeguard measures on the improvement of livelihoods and living standards. Qualitative information, using a mixed method of evaluation, supplemented the quantitative results. The results revealed that the income level for the treated and control groups is not significant, but further analysis highlighted that the estimated result for the income level in the DID approach is significant. This indicates that the safeguard policies over time for the members of the treated group are effective and efficient in the restoration of their income sources and increase people’s income significantly. This leads to the implication that the safeguard policies increase the sustainability of the affected persons’ livelihood and living standards. Qualitatively, the lessons learned through the impact evaluation study are that ADB’s policy principles on consultation, disclosure, and grievance redress mechanisms include land for land and address wider social dimensions for sustainable infrastructure development. Further, the Country Safeguard System (CCS) achieves sustainability in social safeguards for involuntary resettlement equivalent to the involuntary resettlement CSS with ADB’s SPS, acceptability of implementation readiness, reaching the affected poor and vulnerable, and livelihood programs. Finally, the major deliberation can concern green finance for infrastructure development projects integrating the pre-planned and strong social safeguard system in the implementing countries.


Additional Details

  • Economics
  • Poverty
  • Social development and protection
  • Sri Lanka