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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Northern resource management project

1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
Project Name:
Northern resource management project
Project Costs(US $M)
 36.00  32.57
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 28.80  25.64
Sector, Major Sect.:
Natural Resources Management,
Cofinancing (US $M)
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
12/31/1998 06/30/1999
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
Ridley Nelson
Gregory Ingram Gregory Ingram OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
The main objective of the five-year Northern Resources Management Project (NRMP) was to provide for the sustainable and economically efficient use of land resources in one of the country’s poorest and most environmentally vulnerable areas through: (a) improving the policy framework within AJK; (b) restructuring and strengthening the main sectoral institutions; and (c) testing, on a pilot basis, programs whereby communities took management and financial responsibility for planning and implementation of activities for sustainable resource management.

b. Components
Components included: policy reforms, including reduced subsidies and transfer of input distribution to the private sector; institutional strengthening in agriculture and animal husbandry; strengthening basic technical services, including extension and training; support for community participation activities, including support for women's group formation, in five pilot areas; and, improvement of 165 km of rural roads.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
The project was extended for 6 months.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

The main objective of the project, providing for the sustainable and economically efficient use of land resources, was largely met.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

Overall, the project was very successful. The policy framework was modified, most planned actions to transfer input production and distribution to the private sector, to eliminate subsidies on inputs, and to redeploy staff, were completed. Institutional strengthening was carried out as planned. Communities were successfully organized in the five pilot areas, and a majority of the Village Development Committees, and the later-formed Women's Development Committees, were functioning satisfactorily, although there are questions about sustainability of these groups. Most of the technical support services were provided and planned studies carried out.

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

During the audit, which was done in conjunction with an Intensive Learning ICR, it was found that the Bank failed to ensure the application of the Involuntary Resettlement Operational Directive with respect to land taken for road widening under the rural roads component. No process was set up to demonstrate that residents gave up land voluntarily (there was no actual relocation since this was road widening). However, the audit mission found widespread enthusiasm for the benefits that the rural roads had brought, and, during very limited sample visits, found no family complaining about the land loss. Nevertheless, the OD was not adhered to.

There were quite serious budgetary problems, some implementation delays, and a cost overrun on roads which, in the end, reduced the scale of some activities.

6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
Institutional Dev.:
    While there remain some uncertainties about the sustainability of the Village Development Committees, the audit judged the overall policy and institutional reforms to carry greater weight for future sustainability.
Bank Performance:
    Due solely to the safeguard violation. For the rest, Bank performance was fully satisfactory.
Borrower Perf.:
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

1. With respect to the sustainability of community organizations: (i) keep to a manageable scale; (ii) plan for the post project period; (iii) develop NGO capacity to play an increasing role; (iv) use the Bank's new project instruments with longer commitments. 2. Community requested training programs on agricultural technologies, delivered within the village, can be a very effective technology transfer mechanism and may be appreciated more by beneficiaries than routine extension visits. 3. Thorough analysis of project and post-project local funds requirement should be carried out at appraisal. 4. Road construction, even road improvement, often involves some land acquisition and therefore falls under the Involuntary Resettlement OD calling for careful consideration of compensation arrangements.

8. Audit Recommended?  Yes

          Why?  Done already, in association with an Intensive Learning ICR.

9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

Satisfactory. It incorporated a number of comments and findings from the associated audit during the process. The Intensive Learning ICR experience associated with the audit (this is the first one done by OED) was very positive, although the OED mission could not be present at the stakeholder workshops.

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