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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Agricultural Research and Pilot Extension Project

1. Project Data:   
Project ID:
Project Name:
Agricultural Research and Pilot Extension Project
Research, Agriculture
L/C Number:
Partners Involved:
Prepared By:
Charles Derek Poate, OEDST
Reviewed By:
Madhur Gautam
Group Manager:
Roger Slade
Date Posted:

2. Project Objectives, Financing, Costs, and Components:

Objectives: To increase agricultural production, reduce food imports and raise income levels, the project objectives were to establish strong and responsive research and extension services, and to strengthen links between farmers, research and extension.

Components: There were two components. The research component aimed to (i) strengthen the institutional structure; (ii) introduce research programming by objectives; (iii) introduce a system of resource allocation and monitoring by research program; (iv) implement priority research programs; and (v) appoint and train new staff. The extension component was designed to (i) test on, a pilot basis, different approaches to the provision of agricultural extension services; (ii) strengthen training centers; (iii) train staff; and (iv) set up a monitoring and evaluation system.
Costs and financing: Costs at appraisal were US$75 million, with IBRD providing US$32.0 million. Final costs are expected to be US$10.0 million. US$12.5 million was canceled following the mid-term restructuring in June 1995, and US$10.0 million is expected to be canceled when accounts are settled.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

The project failed to achieve its major objectives.
Research Component: Poor institutional relations between the National Institute for Agricultural Research for Algeria (INRAA) and the technical institutes prevented institutional restructuring and delayed implementation, including recruitment and training of staff. After the mid-term review, INRAA strengthened its ability to carry out basic research, but the research capabilities of the technical institutes and collaboration remained unsatisfactory. The project failed to strengthen research-extension linkages.
Extension Component: The project made some progress in improving staff organization and training, programming of activities, communication with farmers through mass media and a more proactive monitoring system. However, the project focused on one extension system and did not provide a plan for a national system. The evaluation of the impact of extension remains weak.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

The project did not have any major achievement but it did have some successes:
(i) The Government's contribution to the ICR notes the success in testing new approaches to extension.
(ii) Despite the political turmoil, some institutional issues were resolved, including the updating of INRAA staff's status to that of higher education personnel and formulating a statute for extension personnel.
(iii) Although delayed, INRAA succeeded in introducing programming by objectives.

5. Significant Shortcomings (include non-compliance with safeguard features):

(i) Institutional issues, especially the lack of institutional cooperation, had a serious negative impact on the research component. Agricultural research has not been restructured. There is still no clear institutional framework, and no cooperation in planning and undertaking research.
(ii) Although some progress was made in extension, the project design failed to envisage a national strategy for extension, limiting the development of a national extension system.
(iii) The limited achievements made are unlikely to be sustained because of lower priority given to research and extension by the government in the face of increasing civil unrest.

6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
Highly UnsatisfactoryUnsatisfactory
    The extension component did partially achieve its objectives and the research component also had some success when compared to the revised objectives in an unstable civil and political environment.
Institutional Dev.:
    Same rating.
Bank Performance:
    The ICR rates both appraisal and supervision as deficient and hence its satisfactory rating is unwarranted. Critical institutional problems and the complexity of the research component in relation to national capacity was underestimated.
Borrower Perf.:
    Same rating.
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

(i) Major institutional issues should be resolved before implementation, or their effects more fully taken into account in project design.
(ii) Local context, capacity and limitations should be carefully assessed before introducing complex management approaches such as programming and budgeting by objectives
(iii) Institutional development, in this case that of a new extension system, requires a well articulated strategy at the national level.

8. Audit Recommended?  No


9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR clearly sets out the project' objectives and outcomes, analyses the successes and failures, and identifies a number of key lessons to be learnt. However it is not consistent in its ratings of project outcome and Bank performance.

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