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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Environment Management Capacity Building

1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
Project Name:
Environment Management Capacity Building
Project Costs(US $M)
 4.5  -
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 2.6  1.97
Sector, Major Sect.:
Environmental Institutions,
Cofinancing (US $M)
 1.3  -
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
12/31/1997 08/31/1999
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
Patrice A. Harou
Fernando Manibog Alain A. Barbu OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
The overall objective of the project was to establish capacity within the new National Environmental Agency (NEA) and other relevant agencies to guide environmental planning and management and mainstream the environment into the economic and social development of Gambia. The objective was consistent with the Bank's CAS which focused broadly on institutional capacity building.

b. Components
The WB partly financed 6 out of the 10 activities identified under the institutional capacity building of the Gambia Environmental Action Plan (GEAP) :(1) Institutional support for the coordination of the GEAP; (2) GEAP monitoring and Policy Development; (3) Environmental education and public awareness; (4) Monitoring of environmental quality and enforcement; (5) Environmental information management; and (6) Contingency planning and disaster preparedness.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
The IDA credit of $2.6M was reduced to $2.29M of which $1.98M was actually disbursed by the closing date of the project which had been extended from 12/31/97 to 08/31/99. GTZ prematurely withdrew from the project and what they spent on the project from the initial estimated of $ 1.3 M is not reported in the ICR.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

The objective of the project was partly achieved. The project succeeded with other donors in building NEA from scratch but this was not enough to ensure concrete environmental improvements on the ground.

The main factor affecting the outcome of the project was the military takeover of July 1994. Some of the donors and qualified professionals left and the WB suspended operations for six months. Another important factor that has affected implementation of WB activities was the high turnover of local professionals working with the project as many professionals had better incentives ( daily allowance and long term training grant) to work with other co-financiers.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

The main outcomes of the project were:
  • The preparation and implementation of the GEAP became an example of good NEAP practice in Africa.
  • The GEAP results were widely distributed and contributed greatly to raise environmental awareness in the country.
  • The monitoring of Environment Quality (water quality, air pollution and solid waste) and a system of enforcement was put in place.
  • The Environment Information Management component succeeded in creating five data centers.
  • Contingency planning and disaster preparedness has been strengthened through the preparation of response plans .
The special contribution of other donors are only mentioned in the ICR: GTZ established the EIA process and the monitoring of environmental standards; UNDP capacity 21 program supported environmental education and awareness activities; and USAID supported the EIS.

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

The state of the environment did not improve because:
  • NEA was not able to work effectively with the line agencies to mainstream the environment in their work and to coordinate the donors work on the environment.
  • The project did not provide NEA with a fully functional administrative and financial management system.
  • Policy analyses financed by the project were weak and a National Environmental Policy is not yet in place in part due to the absence of an effective NEMC and political will.
  • Training was organized in an ad hoc manner.
  • The inspectorate created to implement regulated environmental standards suffer from a lack of financing and political will to back enforcement.
6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
SatisfactoryModerately SatisfactoryThe institution exists but does not seem to have made any change in environmental management in the country.
Institutional Dev.:
LikelyLikelyGEAP will survive but with a lower level of activity and influence than during the project
Bank Performance:
Borrower Perf.:
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

(1) The active participation in broad consultation to establish priorities in NEAP often ends in a plan and the creation of an environmental agency while environmental degradation continued unabated. Resources for building capacity of environmental institutions may be used more efficiently if they are partly directed towards mainstreaming the environment in the main line agencies.
(2) Wars and political turmoil makes it difficult to implement any type of environmental projects, especially of an institutional strengthening type. Most WB environmental projects should be stopped automatically under such circumstances.

8. Audit Recommended?  No


9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR was complete and objective. The difference concerning the outcome rating arises from OED definitions of "satisfactory" and "moderately satisfactory". Overall the moderately satisfactory score recognizes, as the ICR does, the lack of impact on the ground. The ICR could have benefitted from at least a table specifying the financial and technical contributions of the co-financiers but probably also from more specific discussion as well as their comments on the ICR.

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