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Infrastructure Watch Dashboard: Research Methodology

What is Infrastructure Watch dashboard?

Infrastructure Watch is a dashboard under that assesses proactive disclosure of information online in relation to large scale infrastructure projects that are currently being implemented. This is as per the requirement by the Right to Information (RTI) Act No. 12 of 2016.

What motivated us to do this?

During our research on infrastructure projects, we identified that,

  • The awareness among government agencies as well as the public about information that the agencies must disclose under Section 9(1)(b) of RTI Act remains very low.
  • The online availability and accessibility of information about infrastructure projects undertaken by the government remains very low.
  • The low level of disclosure and resulting opacity creates fertile ground for corruption/malpractices, higher costs, lower quality and is a key reason for low public confidence and trust in the projects and how they are executed.

So, we created this dashboard with the aim of

  1. Increasing awareness among government agencies as well as the public of the proactive disclosure requirements under RTI Act and its importance.
  2. Creating public demand for compliance with the proactive disclosure by publishing information and analysis of the level of compliance.
  3. Contributing to enhance the space for public engagement in infrastructure decision making process and reduce room for corruption/malpractices by increasing visibility of the projects.

Research Methodology

What criteria were used to select the projects?

Projects were selected based on following criteria

  • Projects that commenced in 2019 and that have not been completed as of June 2021 with at least 1% of Cumulative Physical Progress as per the 2021 second quarter report of Department of Project Management and Monitoring (DPMM).
  • Large scale projects (Threshold – foreign over LKR 1000 million and local over LKR 500 million) funded through foreign and local sources of funding.
  • Projects included in the assessment were short listed based on the highest total estimated cost and the assessment period was from December 2021 to March 2022.


What types of information must agencies disclose proactively?

According to guidelines issued by the RTI Commission in terms of Section 9(1)(b) of the Right to Information Act No. 12 of 2016 the agencies are required to disclose types of information listed in the table below. For this assessment, in total 40 points of information were selected, under five broad categories.

As a rule, that notice of a proposed project as prescribed under Section 9(1)(b)  of the Right to Information Act No. 12 of 2016, the ministries are required to disclose information at least three months prior to commencement of such project.



Information Point

Regulation on Proactive disclosure

Project Details


Project Description

Guidelines issued by the RTI Commission in terms of Section 9(1)(b) of the Right to Information Act No. 12 of 2016


Implementation ministry


Execution agency


Project Location (Province, District, Division, location)


Proposed commencement date


Projected conclusion date

Rationale & Beneficiaries


Project Objectives/ Goals


Expected Project Outputs/Benefits


Target beneficiaries/stake holders


Is there a likelihood of any citizen being affected by the implementation of the proposed project? – Yes / No


If yes, has adequate notice been provided to them and/or have they been consulted in respect of the project? – Yes / No


If no, explain reasons for such omission


Provide details/description of steps being taken to provide compensation/reparations to affected parties,


Project justification (i.e. financial and social cost benefit)

Budget & Financial Details


Total estimated costs


Agreed Amounts [Currency payable and equivalent in LKR]


Source of finance (Foreign/ Local/ Other – eg Public Private Partnership) - Identify the foreign or local entities/ institutions involved in financing the project


If the proposed project is to be implemented on the basis of a Public Private Partnerships, provide the main terms and conditions of agreement between the Government and the private sector party, including details of equity and profit share bases, financial information such as fees, tolls, or other kinds of revenue that may be collected by private sector parties under authorization from the Government.


List all additional benefits/concessions offered to the contractor or private parties at the cost/expense of the State/Government of Sri Lanka to implement the proposed project

Approvals & Clearances


Date of proposed project approval from the Department of National Planning/ Economic Development Committee/ the Cabinet/Board of Investment /Provincial Council /Local Council/ Relevant Authority, as relevant


Bid evaluations? Yes / No (Include date)


Feasibility studies? Yes / No (Include date)


Technical evaluations? Yes / No (Include date)


Financial evaluations? Yes / No (Include date)


Describe the Environmental Impacts on physical, biological, socio-cultural or aesthetic status, if any?


Has an environmental impact assessment been carried out, where relevant? Yes / No


If yes, provide details of the institution/entity that carried out the environmental impact assessment and date(s) of report(s)


If no, provide reasons for the omission


Have approvals from relevant regulatory agencies been obtained, where applicable? – Yes / No


If yes, from which agencies and dates of such approval


What approvals are pending?

Procurement & Contracts


Is the project solicited or unsolicited?


If unsolicited, please provide details of the project proponent, project proposal, date when such proposal was made


If funding for unsolicited projects are externally sourced Name of the funder and conditions of financing


Provide details of the supplier/vendor/contractor who will implement the project


Was the contract awarded?


If yes, date of execution of contract


If not, proposed date of execution of contract?


State the number of bidders and relevant names/contact details of those who submitted bids for the project


Indicate any complaints with handling mechanism conforming to accepted standards of fairness and transparency, which is accessible to the public

What online sources were used for the assessment?

Since the Act states the ministers are responsible for proactively disclosing information, the assessment of online disclosure was done by investigating the availability of information on the websites of the responsible Ministries and line-agencies, i.e.,

    • The execution agency websites and
    • The implementing ministry websites

The respective agencies were identified by using the information published in the 2021 second quarter report published by Department of Project Management and Monitoring (DPMM).

It is important to note that as per the Act, the agencies can use different methods to proactively disclose information Online and Over the Counter and some other means such as billboards. This assessment investigated the level of disclosure online via the respective website/s of the responsible ministry/government agency.

The assessment investigated the availability of each type of information on the website and accessibility of the published information in all three languages: English, Sinhala and Tamil.

What method was used to calculate the average level of disclosure?

  • The average level of proactive disclosure of information for each project has been calculated by assessing the proportion of the points of information which are applicable[1] that has been disclosed in official verified sources.

  • If the information is available on the website, it has been marked as “Data available”, and if there is no mention about the information point on the website, it has been marked as “Data unavailable”.

What method was used to calculate accessibility of information (or availability in all three languages)?

  • Assessed of the degree to which the information proactively disclosed in all three languages.
  • Identified the percentage of information only available in English; at least in Sinhala; at least in Tamil. 



  • Infrastructure Watch assessed only the online availability of information with the lowest benchmark of disclosure. It has not assessed the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of the information disclosed.
  • The reason for the lower number of foreign funded projects compared to domestic infrastructure projects is due to the lower number of foreign projects undertaken during the period under consideration.
  • As per the RTI Act, agencies can use online and offline methods to proactively disclose information. This assessment only investigated the level of disclosure online via the respective website/s of the responsible ministry/government agency.

[1] It is important to note that, all points of information are not equally applicable to all projects.  For an example: loan amounts are not applicable for the projects which are funded by government of Sri Lanka. Therefore, when calculating the level of disclosure, we have only taken into consideration the number of applicable points of information for each project.  



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