Frequently Asked Questions
- Where does Sevalanka work?
- How many staff do you have?
- What are your sources of funding? What is your annual portfolio?
- How do you ensure financial accountability?
- How do you measure the effectiveness and impact of your work?
- Is Sevalanka a Sinhala organization? A Tamil organization? A Muslim organization?
- What does it mean to be a "national NGO"?
- What is the relationship between Sevalanka, Seva Finance and SEDCO?
- Do you have any jobs, volunteer or internship opportunities available? How can I get involved?
Sevalanka has active programs in 22 of Sri Lanka's 25 districts. (See Where We Work.) We are particularly active in rural dry zone communities.
We have approximately 250 core professional staff and 450 staff on project contracts or training programs. We recognize and value the enormous contributions that have been made by village and district-level volunteers.
We have also benefited from the commitment and energy of international volunteers from Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Korea, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Jersey, Norway, the Netherlands and Canada. (See our Get Involved section for more information on volunteer opportunities.)
Nearly all of our funding comes from donor-supported projects, and the majority is from multilateral or bilateral donors. We implement some projects directly and we implement others in partnership with the government or international NGOs. (See Our Partners.) For example, we implement projects from the German Foreign Ministry (BMZ) with our long-term partner Welthungerhilfe.
In the aftermath of the tsunami, we managed a project portfolio of US$ 25 million in 2005/6 and US$ 18 million in 2006/7. Our current portfolio is around US$ 12 million. These funds are tied to specific project activities.
We are seeking additional support in order to:
- Fill gaps in project funding
- Address needs in areas that are not prioritized by international agencies
- Respond quickly to emergency situations, and
- Support grassroots initiatives
Although Sevalanka has a decentralized implementation structure, we have uniform financial policies, systems and procedures. Our national-level Finance Division oversees district and regional-level financial management and ensures financial accountability. Financial reports are prepared monthly and monitored by the Management Committee. Our Internal Audit Division provides additional financial oversight of projects and districts. All activities are audited at least once per year by an independent accounting firm.
At the beginning of each project, a project monitoring and evaluation plan is developed for progress and results monitoring. For longer projects, a baseline study may be conducted.
We measure our overall impact through organizational development indicators and CBO member surveys. (See our Organizational Development section for more information.) Our Research and Learning Unit maintains a national-level database for CBO monitoring, coordinates participatory monitoring and evaluation support services and conducts impact assessments of specific interventions.
We are a Sri Lankan organization. Our team includes people from every district in the country. Our national-level meetings and programs are conducted in Sinhala and Tamil and our internal documents are available in three languages: English, Sinhala and Tamil.
Our decentralized structure means that in most districts we function as a local district-level organization, but being a national NGO gives us additional responsibilities and opportunities.
- We coordinate national programs that bring people from all regions together to exchange ideas, techniques and experiences
- We facilitate regional and national trade links and focus on activities that can stimulate regional economic growth
- Our long-term relationships with district, regional, national and international leaders and service providers enable us to link disadvantaged rural communities with the information, services and resources they need.
- We are committed to strengthening Sri Lankan civil society and supporting effective local institutions.
- We offer local-level salaries and maximize the resources that reach local communities.
- Our commitment and accountability to the country and the communities where we work extends beyond short-term projects.
The three institutions provide an integrated and complementary package of services.
- Sevalanka is registered as a non-profit, non-governmental organization; it is responsible for social mobilization, institutional capacity building, training, and sector-specific advisory services.
- Seva Finance is registered as a financial institution; it provides wholesale loans to community organizations to increase their lending capacity and expand their revolving fund
- SEDCO is a social enterprise that is registered as a private company; it assists with direct trade linkages and value chain investments that enable rural producers to capture more of the value chain.
The mandate and field-level services of the three organizations are closely linked, but they maintain separate finances and staff. Profits from Seva Finance and SEDCO are reinvested in Sevalanka social programs.
Great question! Please see our Get Involved section for more information on opportunities to support our work by donating, fundraising or volunteering.