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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Tn-agricultural Sec Inv

1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
Project Name:
Tn-agricultural Sec Inv
Project Costs(US $M)
 211.0  177.0
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 120.0  115.8
Sector, Major Sect.:
Irrigation & Drainage,
Cofinancing (US $M)
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
06/30/1999 12/31/2000
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
John R. Heath
Hernan Levy Alain A. Barbu OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
"The central objective of the project would be to support sectoral growth through assuring availability and improving management of public resources. This objective is comprised of three strategic elements. First, the project aims to allocate resources so as to reorient and support public investment in activities where the state has a justifiable role to play. Second, policy reforms and key actions are anticipated to improve the economic impact of public investments through the incentive framework affecting either the direct use of the investment or the undertaking of complementary private investment. Third, institutional strengthening, primarily in the Ministry of Agriculture, is planned to improve the planning, preparation and implementation of this investment". (Staff Appraisal Report, p. 6)

b. Components
(i) Investments, comprising building hill dams, tubewells and associated small-scale irrigation, rehabilitation of irrigation perimeters, monitoring of groundwater, supply of rural drinking water, establishing small-scale fishing ports, soil and water conservation schemes, animal vaccination campaigns, strengthening of animal disease monitoring, and consolidation of land parcels. (ii) Policy Reform, including increasing irrigation water tariffs, privatizing veterinary services, reforming the incentive framework for fisheries, and introducing policy measures and action plans in support of soil conservation.

(iii) Institutional Strengthening, including establishing centralized monitoring of projects undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Regional Commissariats for Agricultural Development, decentralizing some functions of the Ministry of Agriculture to the Commissariats, and improving project planning.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
The cost of hydraulic studies was 146 percent of the appraisal estimate; given that the actual total project cost was 16 percent lower than the original forecast, this suggests that, to some extent, physical investments were squeezed in favor of studies.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

All the project's objectives were relevant, building on previous adjustment operations and a public expenditure review. Annex 5 of the SAR contains a detailed list of performance indicators, but no numerical baseline data or targets, making it difficult to compare estimated and actual project achievements. (Given that the investments were selected from a broad menu, and were not pre-determined at appraisal, this omission is to some extent unavoidable). Despite this limitation, the text of the ICR shows that much was achieved on all fronts. The first objective----improving the balance between public and private investments----was substantially met, including introduction of standardized criteria for economic viability and acceptable levels of social and economic impact. The second objective----policy reform----was also largely met: for example, irrigation water charges were progressively increased so that by project end 97 percent of costs were recovered, compared to 73 percent before the project; and selected veterinary services were privatized, including 50 percent of artificial inseminations. The third objective----institutional strengthening----included significant strengthening of monitoring.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

The economic rate of return for deep tubewell exploration and small tubewell construction was respectively 18 percent and 20 percent, based on conservative assumptions about the increased value added from crops. The project helped initiate dialog with the government on several sector issues, preparing the way for future operations in the agriculture and water sectors, broaching the sensitive issue of land reform, and encouraging Tunisian fisheries to comply with European Union environmental regulations, improving access to these markets.

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

The project did not substantially advance decentralization, because technical and human resources were not sufficient to ensure the necessary strengthening of the Regional Commissariats, or to improve oversight by the Ministry of Agriculture. Rangeland improvement was limited by drought and the heavy administrative cost. Appraisal of proposals for hill dams failed to sufficiently involve beneficiaries, and took insufficient account of social impact; compensation of families adversely affected by the dams was delayed. A study bearing on restructuring of the Regional Commissariats was not carried out.

6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
Institutional Dev.:
Highly LikelyHighly Likely
Bank Performance:
Borrower Perf.:
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

(i) Projects succeed when, like this one, there is government commitment, a sound partnership between Bank and government, and a good policy dialog; (ii) Simplified, standardized procurement procedures help smooth project implementation---their absence handicapped this project; (iii) Complex, multi-component projects need lengthy preparation time if they are to succeed; and (iv) The strengthening of borrower monitoring capacity should involve training in the measurement of outcomes, not just inputs and outputs.

8. Audit Recommended?  Yes

          Why?  To see if the various investments made, and the reforms introduced, are sustained.

9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

Very thorough and balanced, with a sound attempt to assess economic rate of return (where possible), and a good section on lessons learned.

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