Independent Evaluation - Home > Search

Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Secondary And Local Roads


  
1. Project Data:   
ICR Review Date Posted:
06/30/2014   
Country:
Albania
PROJ ID:
P107833
Appraisal
Actual
Project Name:
Secondary And Local Roads
Project Costs(US $M)
 40.00  38.5
L/C Number:
C4459
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 20.00  18.97
Sector Board:
Transport
Cofinancing (US $M)
 15.00  14.51
Cofinanciers:
Board Approval Date
  06/03/2008
 
 
Closing Date
12/31/2012 06/30/2013
Sector(s):
Roads and highways (70%), Central government administration (30%)
Theme(s):
Rural services and infrastructure (40% - P) Infrastructure services for private sector development (40% - P) Other public sector governance (20% - S)
         
Prepared by: Reviewed by: ICR Review Coordinator: Group:
Ranga Rajan Krishnamani
Robert Mark Lacey Christopher David Nelson IEGPS1

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives:

The project development objective as stated in the Financing Agreement (Schedule 1, page 4) is as follows: "to improve access to essential services and economic markets via the provision of all- weather roads, for the resident population in the hinterland of the project roads."

The key associated outcome targets as stated in the PAD (page 29) are:

(a) An increase in the number of communities that would have improved road access to markets and administrative centers via the provision of all-weather roads.
(b) Increase in traffic volumes on the rehabilitated roads one year after the project startup.
(c) Change in road user's perception about the quality of the rehabilitated roads.
(d) Reduction in travel time on the rehabilitated roads.

b. Were the project objectives/key associated outcome targets revised during implementation?
No

c. Components:

There were three components:

(1) Reconstruction of Secondary Roads: (estimated cost US$ 19.3 million, actual cost US$ 5.8 million). This component aimed at improving the conditions of the secondary (regional) roads. Activities included financing the civil works associated with the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the selected sections of the secondary road network.
(2) Reconstruction of Local (Communal) Roads (estimated cost US $7 million, actual cost US$ 17.6 million). This component aimed at improving the conditions of the local (communal) roads. Activities included financing the civil works associated with the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the selected sections of the local road network.
(3) Implementation and Institutional Support (estimated cost US$ 13.7 million, actual cost US $14.9 million). This component aimed at: (1) Supporting the implementation activities.(2) Strengthening the institutional component for rehabilitating the secondary and local road network, and providing for their maintenance. The activities under this component were (i) employing a consultant for improving the design, and supervision of civil works during the implementation period, (ii) employing a technical assistant with background in highway engineering for the duration of the project, (iii) training the staff of the implementing agency, (iv) carrying out the road classification, (iv) preparing an inventory of the core secondary and local road networks (v) preparing a strategy and action plan for developing the secondary and local roads, (vi) capacity building in the local community for undertaking road maintenance and procurement activities, (vii) establishing an Asset Management System for the road networks, and (vii) preparing the design and bidding documents for the first two years of the implementation period.

d. Comments on Project Cost, Financing, Borrower Contribution, and Dates
Project Cost. At appraisal, the estimated project cost (including physical and price contingencies) was US $40 million. At project completion, the actual cost (including physical and price contingencies) was US$ 38.5 million, 96% of the appraisal estimate (ICR page 25). However, there were considerable variations between components. The cost of secondary roads (component 1) was US$ 5.8 million, US$ 13.5 million less than the appraisal estimate, while local roads (component 2), at US$ 17.6 million, were $10.6 million more than the appraisal estimate. The project team clarified that this was because some sections of the secondary roads were downgraded and reclassified as local roads. These changes were effected by a level 2 restructuring dated May 23, 2011 (ICR Data Sheet, page xii).There was a second level 2 restructuring in November, 2012, which resulted in (i) reallocation of credit proceeds (unused funds) to improve an additional 9.4 km of secondary and local road network, and (ii) extension of the project closing date by 6 months.


Project Financing: The original approved IDA Credit amount was US$ 20 million equivalent. At completion, US$ 18.97 million had been disbursed. The project team clarified that the balance of US$1.03 million was due to exchange rate fluctuations. The project was co-financed with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID). At appraisal, their contribution was estimated at US$ 15 million; their actual contribution was US$ 14.51 million.
The project was part of a larger investment program for secondary and local roads. As well as IDA and OFID, the contributing partners to the program included the Council of Europe Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, The Japanese Bank for International Cooperation, the European Union, the Kuwaiti Fund, and the Islamic Development Bank. Although these partners were financing other parts of the road program, they were requested to comply with the World Bank safeguards, procurement and financial management requirements for their respective contributions.

Borrower's Contribution: The Borrower's contribution was estimated at US$ 5 million at appraisal, and at closure their contribution was US $ 5.2 million.


Dates: As determined by the second level 2 restructuring, the project closed six months later than scheduled on December 31, 2012.



3. Relevance of Objectives & Design:

a. Relevance of Objectives:
The project objective is relevant to the Government's National Strategy for Development and Integration (NSDI) for the 2007-2013 period. One of the priorities of NSDI is that of “achieving rapid, balanced and sustainable economic, social and human development." This priority included goals to improve transport infrastructure. The national strategy also identified the need for a major investment in the local roads network.

The project development objective remains relevant to the Government's road sector priorities for the period 2014-2020. The draft NSDI strategy for that period includes a strong focus on the construction/ rehabilitation and management of the national road network. The regional development part of the draft strategy highlights the importance of improving the secondary and the local roads.

The objective is also relevant to the Bank Group’s strategy for Albania. The two main themes of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for the Fiscal Years 2011-2014 ae (1) "Strengthening the framework for private investment," and (2) "Closing the infrastructure gap." Regarding the road sector, the CPS states the need for both improving the condition of the local road network, and for providing a more viable basis for funding road maintenance activities. The objective was relevant to the Bank Group's Country Assistance Strategy for the Fiscal Years (2006-09) aimed at supporting the Government around two pillars. (1) Continuing economic growth through support to private sector development, and (2) through improving the delivery of public services in the in the social sectors. This project supports the first pillar through enhancement of the transport infrastructure.

Relevance of the development objective is rated High.

b. Relevance of Design:
The statement of the development objective is clear, although it makes no reference to the institutional strengthening dimensions of the project. The causal chain between the activities supported by the project, and the attainment of the development objective is logical. The rehabilitation of the regional (secondary) roads and of the communal (local) roads would improve their condition, and this in turn could be expected to improve the access to essential services and economic markets for the rural population in the hinterland. The institutional strengthening activities of the project could be expected to facilitate better management of these road assets (for example, through providing both funding and an appropriate organizational context for road maintenance activities on the rehabilitated secondary and local roads).

The project design included provisions for road maintenance activities on the rehabilitated roads- such as transfer of all the rehabilitated secondary roads to the General Roads Directorate (GRD) as stipulated in the Financing Agreement, -- thereby providing a more viable basis of funding and expertise for maintaining these roads. Design also provided for the sustainability of road maintenance activities of the rehabilitated local roads through the institutional strengthening component of the project (capacity building at the local level for undertaking routine road maintenance activities, managing contracts and procuring consultants). These provisions could be expected to sustain the roads’ all-weather characteristics.

Relevance of design is rated as Substantial.


4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :

The degree of achievement of the project's development objective -- to improve access to essential services and economic markets, via the provision of all-weather roads, for the resident population in the hinterland -- is rated Substantial.

Outputs:
At project completion, all planned activities had been implemented with satisfactory quality (ICR – pages 7 and 17), within the budget, albeit slightly behind schedule. A total of 118.9 km of secondary and local roads were rehabilitated as a result of the project. The main project outputs are summarized as follows:

  • 28 km of secondary roads were rehabilitated as compared to the target of 24 Km at appraisal.
  • 90.9 Km of local roads were rehabilitated as compared to the target of 78 km at appraisal.
  • The Road Maintenance Planning Budgeting and Programming System (ROMAPS) was established as the management information system for the secondary and local roads, and data on approximately 4,120 (out of a total of 9,000 km of regional and local roads) were entered into the system.
  • By project closure, an inventory of 3,500 km of the core secondary and local roads, and a review of the classification of these roads, was completed.
  • The management of the secondary roads was transferred to the Albanian Road Authority.
  • Socio-economic criteria for prioritizing road sector improvements, and a five-year road sector investment program were developed.
  • 750 people were trained in local communities to undertake routine road maintenance activities, manage contracts, and procure consultants. (No target values were set at the appraisal stage).
  • The budgetary allocations for recurrent maintenance of national (including secondary) and local roads were increased by 21% and 71% respectively between 2008 and 2012.
Outcomes:
  • 113,608 people in 86 communities (as compared to a target of 81 communities) had improved access to markets, social services and administrative centers. Since all-weather roads were provided, improved access is clearly attributable to the project, since in its absence, access would be hindered or impeded by inclement weather.
  • Traffic volumes on the improved roads increased by 21 percent as compared to the target of 10 percent. According to the project team, while economic growth would also have contributed to this outcome, the magnitude of the increase is considerably higher than would typically result from economic growth alone, given the normal range of the elasticity of traffic growth in relation to that of real income and the rate of economic growth in Albania during the relevant part of the implementation period (which did not exceed 3 percent).
  • Travel time on the improved roads was reduced by 60 percent as compared to the target of 40 percent. The supervision team did not note any factors other than the project – for example, changes in local government regulations or additional traffic enforcement – that could have affected this outcome.
  • According to a beneficiary survey conducted in November-December 2010, 60 percent of road users were reported to be satisfied with the improved condition of the roads as compared to the target of 20 percent. The results of the beneficiary assessment survey conducted at project closure stage indicated that 96 percent of the road users perceived the rehabilitated roads to be either in very good or good condition (as compared to the 95 percent of road users who stated that the roads were either in a bad or very bad conditions prior to the project). The survey, however, also indicated misgivings on the part of the beneficiaries about whether the rehabilitated secondary and local roads would continue to be maintained to all-weather standards.
  • The same survey indicated that the all-weather roads provided several benefits (such as enhanced access to health-care centers, educational institutions and markets, reduced raveling time and agricultural production costs, improved public transport facilities and travel conditions, increased opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship and new business, reduced rural exodus, and strengthened communal interactions).

5. Efficiency:

At the appraisal stage, an economic evaluation was done on 109 km of secondary and local roads, using the Road Economic Decision (RED) model, as this model was deemed appropriate for roads with low traffic volumes. The benefits were assumed to come through reduction in vehicle operating costs, and passenger time costs.
The average ex ante Economic Rate of Return (ERR) was 16 percent: The same methodology was applied at closure. The average ex-post overall ERR was 18.8 percent (with ERRs ranging from 5.8 percent to 51.4 percent). The ex-post ERR was higher than the ex-ante estimate due to the lower than expected actual upgrading costs, and higher than expected average annual traffic growth rate on the project roads (CR, page 32).

There were no significant operational or administrative inefficiencies. The project was completed within its budget, although there was an extension of the closing date by six months.

Efficiency is rated as Substantial.

a. If available, enter the Economic Rate of Return (ERR)/Financial Rate of Return at appraisal and the re-estimated value at evaluation:


Rate Available?
Point Value
Coverage/Scope*
Appraisal:
Yes
16%
55.5%
ICR estimate:
Yes
18.8%
55.5%

* Refers to percent of total project cost for which ERR/FRR was calculated

6. Outcome:

Overall outcome is assessed as Highly Satisfactory. The project objectives were, and continue to be, highly relevant to the priorities of the country and the Bank Group’s Strategy for Albania. The project design reflects a logical causal chain between activities and outcomes and is rated substantial. Efficacy of the single objective -- to improve access to essential services and economic markets via the provision of all-weather roads, for the resident population in the hinterland of the project roads -- is rated high. All outcome targets were achieved or surpassed, and there is evidence of a considerable degree of attribution of the outcomes to the project. Efficiency is substantial with an ERR above appraisal estimates and with no significant operational or administrative inefficiencies.

a. Outcome Rating: Highly Satisfactory

7. Rationale for Risk to Development Outcome Rating:

There is a moderate risk that the project's development outcomes may not be sustained due to inadequate road maintenance. This is despite actions supported by the project such as the transfer of the legal responsibility for the management all secondary roads to the General Road Directorate (GRD); contracting out of all roads rehabilitated under the project to the private sector; and transfer of ROMAPS data to the GRD and training of its staff in the use of ROMAPS. The Government, which has limited fiscal space, will be financing the private road maintenance contracts entirely out of its own budget for at least two years. The Albanian road sector has accumulated a significant amount of outstanding arrears -- the unpaid bills for completed works amounted to over €200 million (US$280 million equivalent) in 2012. Given this, there is a danger that budget allocations may be inadequate. According to the ICR (page 21), "the World Bank....understands that as of 2013 [the €200 million] has been decreased to €50 million," but there is no official confirmation of this. Maintenance costs for the roads improved under this project, and subject to two year contracts with the private sector, may be supported by a proposed follow-up operation

a. Risk to Development Outcome Rating: Moderate

8. Assessment of Bank Performance:

a. Quality at entry:
The project was prepared based on the lessons learnt from a prior Bank project (the road maintenance project), which implemented the Bank guidelines on governance filter* considerations in the road sector operations in Albania. Since the secondary and communal roads were managed by different levels of the Local Government Unit, separate arrangements were incorporated in the project design for managing the respective roads,


At the design stage, the Albanian Development Fund (ADF) was selected as the implementing agency (see Section 9 below) for three reasons: (1) this was in line with the Government's decision (and endorsed by the CAS for the FY 2006-2009), to use existing public bodies as opposed to creating individual project implementing units in order to maximize knowledge transfer and indigenous capacity building; (2) the agency had a comparative advantage in working with the local government units and the local communities; and (3) the agency had experience in implementing other government and donor funded projects in rural areas across all sectors in Albania (ICR, page 7).

Safeguard policy issues were adequately addressed at the appraisal stage (see section 11a below).

The financial arrangements of the implementing agency (in areas such as budgeting, internal control and internal and external audit), were deemed to be adequate at the appraisal stage. However, since the corruption risk was considered high, mitigation measures were incorporated into the project during preparation. These measures included instituting complaints handling mechanisms, taking steps to avoid procurement delays, enhancing disclosure and transparency of project-related information, and adopting the recommendations of external audits (PAD page 43).

The procurement risk was appropriately assessed as high, and mitigating measures were proposed (see Section 11b below).

M&E design had a number of shortcomings.(see section 10a below).

*The CAS for the fiscal year FY 06-09 introduced a "Governance Filter" to guide the Bank's interventions in Albania. Four core principles were to be used for main streaming governance considerations into the activities supported by the bank. These principles are: (i) Transparency in the use of public resources. (ii) Autonomy and de-politicization of the key public sector organizations. (iii) Developing capacity and fostering local mechanisms of accountability. and (iv) Mechanisms for increased involvement of citizens in the delivery of public services (PAD, pages 6-7).

Quality-at-Entry Rating: Satisfactory

b. Quality of supervision:

The supervision missions were deemed to be satisfactory (ICR page 7). The ICR however does not provide details either on the frequency of missions, or about the quality of the team (neither in terms of technical expertise nor in terms of continuity). The ICR reports that the the implementation progress was rated as highly rated until April 2012, when the rating was downgraded to satisfactory due to the delays associated with the transfer of the rehabilitated roads from the local government to the General Road Directorate.

The four principles of the governance filter were incorporated in the project at the implementation stage -- seeking transparency in the use of public resources through conducting studies on the functional categorization of roads and the condition of the rural road network, supporting increased autonomy through establishing a road asset management system, supporting decentralization through strengthening the local government’s capacity to procure and manage private contractors for maintaining local roads, and strengthening mechanisms for increased involvement of citizens through training local personnel (ICR page 45-46).

Supervision pertaining to ensuring compliance with safeguards and fiduciary policies was satisfactory. The ICR (page 13) further notes that many of the M&E design weaknesses were rectified during implementation.

One important safeguard issue arose pertaining to the resettlement and compensation related to the construction of a new bridge (see Section 11a below) financed by the OPEC Fund for International Development. Although the resettlement and compensation process was handled in compliance with the relevant Bank safeguards policies, the time taken for completing it was longer than expected, and the process was still incomplete by project closure.

Quality of Supervision Rating: Satisfactory

Overall Bank Performance Rating: Satisfactory

9. Assessment of Borrower Performance:

a. Government Performance:
The Government (both at the national and at the local level) provided strong support to the project during both preparation and implementation. The Borrower's counterpart contribution was appropriately budgeted and provided in a timely manner. Although there were delays due to difficulties in coordinating the different parties involved, the transfer of the rehabilitated secondary roads to the General Roads Directorate was executed satisfactorily. The Government also increased the annual maintenance budget for the secondary and the local road networks by 71%. The considerable expansion in the scope of the secondary and local roads investment program through more financial support from external partners was due in no small part to the obvious strength of the Government's commitment.

Government Performance Rating: Satisfactory

b. Implementing Agency Performance:

The project was implemented by the Albanian Development Fund (ADF). The agency was responsible for the financial management of the project (including for the flow of funds, accounting, budgeting, reporting and auditing). Given the considerable number of donor agencies involved in activities similar to that of the project, adequate coordination was essential. The ADF ensured good coordination between the central government, local government and the multiple development partners financing different components of the project. All reporting under the project was done in a timely fashion. (ICR, Page 23).

All safeguards (including the environmental and social), and fiduciary compliances were observed by the agency throughout the implementation period. Although there were problems with M&E design, these were resolved during implementation.

One minor shortcoming was that a more diligent follow up on the part of the implementing agency could have reduced the delay associated with the restoration of the old bridge (see section 11 below).

Implementing Agency Performance Rating: Satisfactory

Overall Borrower Performance Rating: Satisfactory

10. M&E Design, Implementation, & Utilization:

a. M&E Design:

Baseline information was to be collected by a consultant hired by the implementing agency. There were significant shortcomings in the M&E's design:

  • There were no outcome indicators to measure progress in strengthening the management of the secondary and local road network. Many important activities aimed at strengthening the management of the secondary and local road network (Component 3), especially those financed out of the Project Preparation Advance, were not adequately captured by the results framework.
  • There were no baseline data for three out of the four key associated outcome indicators.
  • Although the completion of improved and rehabilitated roads was not expected before year three of the project, communities were expected to have improved access to markets and services from year one (before the roads had been rehabilitated).

b. M&E Implementation:

Many of the limitations in the M&E design were resolved during the project implementation stage. The implementing agency was regularly collecting data on the number of communities and their population. The ICR (page 12) reports that the missing baseline values for two out of the three outcome indicators (traffic volumes and travel time on the project roads) were collected before the start of the road improvement work, and information on the fourth indicator (the perception of road users regarding road quality) was to be obtained through the Beneficiary Assessment Survey. In addition to M&E reporting and the Beneficiary Assessment Survey, the implementing agency initiated an Impact Evaluation for the project in 2012. The impact evaluation was still ongoing when the ICR was completed.

a. M&E Utilization:

The project M&E system was expected to feed into a wider M&E system for the Secondary and Local Roads Improvement Program. At project completion, the Asset Management System was functional using the Road Management System Software (ROMAPS). This system contains data on approximately 4,120 km of secondary and local roads (including data on road inventory, road condition, location referencing, traffic video data collection and drainage structures). These data are being used by local government units for budgeting purposes, and for supporting investment decisions for selection of roads to be implemented under the overall secondary and local roads improvement program.

M&E Quality Rating: Substantial

11. Other Issues:

a. Safeguards:
The project was classified as Category A for Environmental Assessment purposes. Environmental Assessment (OP/BP 4.01), Natural Habitats (OP/BP 4.04), Physical Cultural Resources (OP/BP 4.11), Involuntary Resettlement (OP/BP 4.12) and Forests (OP/BP 4.36) were triggered. All required safeguard documents (including Environmental Safeguards Framework, Environmental Management Plans, Resettlement Policy Framework, and Resettlement Action Plans) were satisfactorily prepared and disclosed at the appraisal stage (PAD, pages 65-68).

The ICR (page 13) reports that the “Overall safeguards compliance with the Bank policy and procedural requirements is rated satisfactory.” However, there is little or no discussion of compliance with OP 4.01, OP 4.04, Op 4.11, or OP 4.36.

With regard to OP 4.12, Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF) that was in accordance with both the national laws and the Bank rules was prepared. An Environmental Safeguards Framework (ESF) was finalized at the appraisal stage- to ensure that the project is in compliance with both the laws, regulations and practices in Albania, as well as with the Bank operation policies on Environmental Assessment, Cultural Property, National Habitats and Forestry. Prior to finalization, the ESF draft was disclosed on the implementing agency's website as part of the public consultation. The team clarified that to ensure compliance with the environmental issues, the Albanian Development Fund established a department on environmental management and the Bank missions included an environmental specialist for ensuring compliance with the environmental guidelines. The project also had an World Bank environmental specialist located in Zagreb during the initial phases of the project and subsequently in Sarajevo for providing support during the project execution stage.

Two issues arose during implementation. First, there was a complaint from a resident of a commune about the negative effect of project construction works on private land. The ICR (page 13) reports that this issue was dealt with in accordance with the World Bank policies of resettlement and compensation. The second issue pertained to construction of a new bridge. During the improvement of a local road in the Berat region, a 18th century bridge was identified as a cultural monument. To preserve the historic bridge, the bridge was closed to vehicular traffic, and a decision was made to construct a new bridge nearby. The construction of the new bridge required preparation, and private land expropriation. The ICR (page 14) states that the affected persons were compensated in accordance with the Albanian Law, and in a manner satisfactory to the Bank. Although the process took longer than expected, “it was done diligently” (ICR, page 14), and the new bridge became operational in December 2013 (ICR, page 13-14).
While the ICR does not provide further details, the project team clarified that the implementing agency prepared an extensive Resettlement Plan, which included a detailed analysis comparing the Albanian legislation (on expropriation) with the Bank social safeguards. The plan identified the project affected persons, the assets, and the lands that were to be expropriated. Following this, the agency organized consultations with the affected people, and the local government agencies involved in the process, prior to providing the required compensation to the project affected persons, in accordance with Bank safeguard policies.

The restoration of the old historic bridge had not commenced when the ICR was completed. The works on both the new and old bridges are financed by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID). An extension of the December 2013 closing date was requested from OFID. Action on this request was still pending when the ICR was completed. The project team subsequently confirmed that the extension had been granted.

b. Fiduciary Compliance:

Procurement

The procurement risk was rated high at the appraisal stage, due both to the increase in the number and size of civil works contracts to be procured, and to the country and sector environment. This risk was expected to decrease during the project implementation phase, as the institutional strengthening component of the project aimed at improving procurement capacity at the local level. However to minimize this risk during the initial years of the project, the implementing agency recruited a procurement officer (in addition to the already existing two procurement specialists) experienced in the procurement of civil works under World Bank Guidelines.

The ICR (page 14) reports that the procurement management performance of the implementing agency was satisfactory. There were no delays, and this project was also the first in the Europe and Central Asia Region to pilot e- procurement (the business-to-business purchase and sale of supplies and services over the Internet). There were no reported cases of misprocurement.


Financial Management

At project completion, the implementing agency's financial management performance (including the project audits and the audits of the implementing agency) was rated “satisfactory” in supervision reports (ICR, page 14). "All project audits were conducted in a timely manner and were issued unqualified opinions" (ICR, page 14). Since the project closed half way through the financial year of the borrower, the final project audit - for the last six months of the project -is expected by June 2014.

c. Unintended Impacts (positive or negative):
None

d. Other:



12. Ratings:

ICR
IEG Review
Reason for Disagreement/Comments
Outcome:
Highly Satisfactory
Highly Satisfactory
 
Risk to Development Outcome:
Moderate
Moderate
r.  
Bank Performance:
Satisfactory
Satisfactory
 
Borrower Performance:
Satisfactory
Satisfactory
 
Quality of ICR:
 
Satisfactory
 
NOTES:
- When insufficient information is provided by the Bank for IEG to arrive at a clear rating, IEG will downgrade the relevant ratings as warranted beginning July 1, 2006.
- The "Reason for Disagreement/Comments" column could cross-reference other sections of the ICR Review, as appropriate.

13. Lessons:

The ICR (page 23) reports that there were three main lessons from this project:

(1) Strong political support is required to avoid delays both during project preparation and during the implementation period. This is particularly important when coordination is required between the different actors (such as the national government, local government units, the local community and multiple donors funding different components of a program).

(2) Closely related to the above, a strong implementing agency with proven experience of dealing with the local governments and the local community can significantly improve implementation.

(3) Strong supervision in the initial years of the project is important for reinforcing the implementing agency in areas where its experience may be lacking In this case, although the implementing agency had experience in dealing with the local government, they did not have sufficient background in road construction and supervision. Backing by an international consultant with relevant experience in road supervision was therefore highly productive.


14. Assessment Recommended?

No

15. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR systematically reported both outputs and outcomes of the project, and its assessment of the achievement of the project objectives was evidence-based. It was candid in its discussion of problem areas (for example, M&E design), and also clear in explaining how issues were resolved. A more detailed explanation of the administrative and functional classification of the road network in Albania would have been useful.


There are some inconsistencies. For instance, although the ICR (page 21) states that the resettlement and compensation related to the construction of a new bridge was a cultural resources issue involving OP 4.11, on page 13, it is reported that the construction of the new bridge triggered the resettlement safeguard, OP 4.12.

More information could usefully have been provided on the quality of Bank Supervision (such as the frequency of missions and the quality of the team in terms of technical expertise and continuity). Although the ICR makes a clear statement that safeguards policies were satisfactorily complied with, there is no discussion or analysis of compliance with several safeguards, including OP 4.01. This is an important shortcoming given that this is a Category "A" Project.

a. Quality of ICR Rating: Satisfactory

(ICRR-Rev6INV-Jun-2011)
© 2012 The World Bank Group, All Rights Reserved. Terms and Conditions