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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Second Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Project

1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
Project Name:
Second Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Project
Project Costs(US $M)
 33.1  22.8
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 21.2  16.4
Sector, Major Sect.:
Cofinancing (US $M)
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
03/31/1997 12/31/1998
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
Binyam Reja
Andres Liebenthal Gregory K. Ingram OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
The objectives of the project were to:

    (a) Preserve the capital base of the road infrastructure within the constraints on capital and current expenditure;
    (b) Improve road maintenance planning and practices;
    (c) Reduce investment costs through the transfer of all capital works to the private sector and explore the feasibility of private sector participation in routine maintenance;
    (d) Improve road safety; and
    (e) Help the government in its efforts to privatize passenger transport services.

b. Components
The project included three major components:

    (i) Improving the physical conditions of the road network
    (ii) Institutional strengthening and policy reforms of the road sector
    (iii) Institutional strengthening and policy reform of the public transport sector

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
The loan amount was revised down during project implementation from the original SAR amount of US$21.2 million to US$18.5 because of the slow disbursement of the loan early in the project. A total of US$16.4 million was disbursed and a balance of US$2.1 million was canceled at loan closing. The project's closing date was extended by twenty-one months.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

  • The project did not achieve its main development objectives.
    • The physical objectives were partially achieved, with only some of the civil works component implemented as planned. Their scope and design were substantially changed due to cost overruns, with some elements of the rehabilitation and overlay program either dropped or substantially changed.
    • The institutional strengthening and policy reform components failed to achieve their development objectives. The pilot program to introduce routing maintenance by contract was not achieved and failed to introduced much of private sector participation in maintenance work. The effort at road network rationalization developed computerized road condition and traffic database, but the evaluation of road conditions was limited to sight inspection. The technical assistance extended to improve road maintenance operations and the management of maintenance equipment and mechanical workshops did not bring significant changes in the way the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPT) operates and organizes its work. The project sub-component to computerize the financial systems of the MPT was successful, as was the training component. MPT staff benefited from the various local and foreign training programs under the loan. However, the impact on the institutional capacity of MPT is negligible, since many of the institutional and policy improvements were implemented to allow the staff to put their training to work.
    • The institutional strengthening and policy reforms directed at the public transport sector failed to bring any meaningful change in the way the public transport system is organized. The plan to privatize the Barbados Transport Board and increase competition by the private sector did not occur. In addition, the plan to establish a regulatory body, the public transport authority, was not implemented despite recommendations from the 1994 Barbados Public Transport Study and the 1996 National Transport Plan.

  • 4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

    The project outcome is overall unsatisfactory because of the lack of sustainable achievements. There were some degree of success in the civil works components. On the policy side, Environmental Impact Studies are now required for major projects.

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

    Policy reforms supposed to set the foundations and sustain modernization and improved efficiency of the road and public transport sectors have not been implemented. Substantial and recurrent delays have occurred throughout implementation and hampered the execution of most components. Some road works have been completed but with delays, and in a significantly reduced number. Equipment was procured too late, and its management was only very slightly improved.
    6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
    UnsatisfactoryMarginally Unsatisfactory
      The OED rating is based on six point scale (versus the ICR's four-point scale). The implementation of some of the physical works warrants a marginally unsatisfactory rating on the OED scale.
    Institutional Dev.:
      Most of the institutional components were not carried out; those that were implemented had a negligible effect on the institutional capacity of the MPT.
      There is no institutional and policy basis to sustain the benefits of the partially implemented project.
    Bank Performance:
      The Bank could have made a better assessment at the government's commitment and institutional capacity to carry out a comprehensive institutional strengthening and policy reform program.
    Borrower Perf.:
      Borrower failed to implement the project adequately. There were problems with counterpart funding and slow procurement process. The borrower did not carry out the institutional strengthening and policy reform components as agreed, making the sustainability of the project unlikely.
    Quality of ICR:

    7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

    The ICR identifies the following key lessons of broad applicability: (i) Make realistic assessment of the Borrower's implementation capacity and conduct systematic institutional risk assessment at appraisal ; (ii) Monitor compliance and commitment of the borrower to provide counterpart funds using the leverage provided by the IMF and Bank macro instruments; and (iii) Make the Borrower a partner to policy reforms through discussions, workshops and seminars during project preparation to cultivate ownership and understanding of the reforms.

    8. Audit Recommended?  No

              Why?  The project

    9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

    The ICR provides comprehensive and candid assessment of the project results and implementation experience. It identifies useful lessons. No ex-post economic analysis was done, although there were ex ante economic analysis. The ICR has no plan for future operation of the project, no performance indicator for the operational phase, and no plans for future monitoring and evaluation.

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