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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project

1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
Project Name:
Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project
Project Costs(US $M)
 34  21.8
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 26  20.8
Sector, Major Sect.:
Cofinancing (US $M)
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
05/17/1999 06/30/1999
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
Binyam Reja
John R. Heath Ridley Nelson OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
The objectives of the project were to:

  1. repair and reconstruct deteriorated sections of the sea defenses and lay the basis for the development of an efficient operations and maintenance system;
  2. improve the overall performance and efficiency of the management and operations of the transport sector
  3. facilitate agricultural, agro-industrial and mining production -- particularly for export -- through reduced transportation costs; and
  4. reduce the need for the premature replacement of transport vehicles, spare parts and fuel imports.

b. Components
The project comprised three major components:

  • Civil Works: (i) reconstruction and rehabilitation of 4 km of sections of sea defenses, (ii) rehabilitation of around 60 km of the Essequibo Coast Road, (ii) rehabilitation and maintenance of the Linden Highway, and (iv) preventive maintenance of around 141 km of high priority roads.
  • Studies and Institutional Strengthening: (i) four studies for the construction of an off-port container terminal, (ii) the establishment of a Port Authority, (iii) the environmental impact of the Lethem-Linden Road, (iv) road sector financing, and (v) the provision of technical assistance to the Central Transport Planning Unit (CTPU), the Hydraulic Division (HD), the Road Administration Division (RAD) of the Ministry of Public Works, Communications and Regional Development (MPWCRD) to improve sector management capacity, and implement reforms in road, sea defenses and port management and financing.
  • Purchase of Equipment: (i) vehicles for CPTU, RAD and HD, (ii) equipment for moving the mud bank and fire-fighting equipment.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates

  • The project was approved on March 25, 1993 and closed on the request of the government on May 17, 1999 shortly before the original closing date of June 30,1999.
  • Total project cost was US$21.8 million versus the appraisal estimate of US$34 million.
  • Total IDA credit disbursement at completion was US$20 versus the approved credit amount of US$26 million.
  • The reimbursement from the Government of ineligible expenditures in an amount of US$1 million is pending, upon receipt of which the remaining balance of the Credit will be canceled.

  • 3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

    The project failed to achieve most of its major objectives efficiently.
    Operations and Maintenance System for Sea Defense:
    • No significant rehabilitation works were undertaken as the planned physical works were not done because of perennial procurement difficulties.
    • Numerous stretches of sea defenses remain in poor condition and vulnerable.
    • The maintenance backlog has increased during the project period, and no feasible and sustainable cost-recovery mechanisms have been put in place.
    • Resources from this component were reallocated for the rehabilitation of the Essequibo Cost Road.
    Management and Operations of the Transport Sector:
    • Achievements with regard to strengthening sector institutions have been limited.
    • The management and maintenance system of the road sector have not improved.
    • No significant institutional reforms have taken place
    • Studies aimed at institutional redesigning were carried out as planed, training took place and equipment was provided. However, the capacity of sector agencies remains deficient.
    • Institutional development efforts in the port sub-sector was more successful. The capacity of staff in charge of implementation has improved; comprehensive and feasible reforms have been designed and are about to be implemented.
    Reduction of Transport Costs and Replacement of Transport Vehicles and Spare Parts:
    • The objective to reduce transport cost, facilitate economic activities and reduce foreign exchange requirement has not been achieved since the road network remains in poor condition and not properly maintained.

    4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

    Institutional development efforts in the port sub-sector was more successful. Comprehensive and feasible reforms have been designed and about to be implemented.

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

    The project had the following significant shortcomings:
  • Inefficient procurement and contract management
  • Violation of principles of sound financial management system
  • Inappropriate use of IDA funds
  • Deficient IDA supervision
  • 6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
    Institutional Dev.:
    Bank Performance:
      Bank performance during lending preparation (identification and appraisal) was satisfactory, but supervision was unsatisfactory.
    Borrower Perf.:
    Quality of ICR:

    7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

    The following lessons from among the many drawn by the Bank and borrower ICRs have broad applicability:
    1. The use of Project Implementation Units (PIUs) to compensate for the weak capacity of government staff is unsustainable and therefore ill advised. Establishing PIUs does not resolve the overarching sector issues of poor planning and management, which require sustainable institutions and a conducive incentive framework.
    2. The borrower's supervision and monitoring capacities should be realistically assessed through a thorough institutional risk analysis, and taken into account in project design and supervision
    3. The borrower should be partner to policy reforms long before the start of the project to allow the phasing of reforms and build consensus for their implementation.

    8. Audit Recommended?  No


    9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

    The ICR is of satisfactory quality. It provides a thorough and candid assessment of the project's implementation experience and results. Its critical assessment of Bank and borrower performance is noteworthy.

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