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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Northwest Mountainous Areas Development Project (NWMADP)


  
1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
04/04/2002   
PROJ ID:
P005733
Appraisal
Actual
Project Name:
Northwest Mountainous Areas Development Project (NWMADP)
Project Costs(US $M)
 50.7  47.1
Country:
Tunisia
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 27.5  24.7
Sector, Major Sect.:
Natural Resources Management,
Environment
Cofinancing (US $M)
   
L/C Number:
L3691      
   
Board Approval (FY)
  94
Partners involved
 
Closing Date
06/30/2000 06/30/2001
         
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
Elaine Ooi
Ronald S. Parker Alain A. Barbu OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
The principal objectives of the project were to alleviate poverty, improve the well-being of the region's population, and to arrest degradation of the natural resource base with active involvement of the population. Specific objectives were: a) to promote measures to increase on-farm productivity and off-farm income supporting activities; b) to improve management and productivity of range and farm land; c) to promote measures to reduce erosion, run-off, and reservoir sedimentation; d) to improve social conditions of the disadvantaged population by providing basic infrastructure and social services; and e) to promote increased involvement of village organizations to take on development responsibilities.

b. Components
i)Agricultural Development: enhancement of farm productivity through improved crop production practices and increased emphasis on livestock; and support of land titling efforts through land surveys;

ii)Watershed and Rangeland Management: reduction of erosion, run-off and reservoir sedimentation; and restoration and preservation of vegetative cover with the participation of village committees;
iii)Income Supporting Activities: supporting, on a pilot basis, the creation of credit unions for groups of settlements for the promotion of financially viable on-farm and off-farm rural enterprises, with the assistance of local NGOs which would establish, manage and supervise these credit unions;
iv)Applied Research: supporting demand driven, short term research on key technical and socio-economic development constraints to the region;
v)Rural Infrastructure: supporting the construction of rural roads, schools, health centers and potable water sources for the improvement of social conditions of the disadvantaged population; and
vi)Institutional Strengthening: enhancement of the technical and implementation capability of the executing agency and the planning capability of village committees, via technical assistance and training.
Following the MTR, component iii) was replaced by "Income Generating Activities" which was essentially a Grant Fund to finance activities identified by local communities, and the preparation of proposals to submit to local banks for financing.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
IBRD provided $24.7 million of project costs, the Government $14.7 million and the communities $4.6 million. The actual Government’s and Communities’ shares were higher than that at appraisal (147% and 124% ) while the Bank’s share decreased. This was partly due to the cancelled $1.5 million component and partly due to the depreciation of the Tunisian Dinar. The project closed on June 30, 2001 one year later than scheduled.


3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

The project achieved its objectives, but with significant shortcomings.
a)On-farm incomes increased but reached only 56 percent and 83 percent of targets for small and medium sized farms respectively.
b)Management and productivity of range and farm land achieved targets.
c)Output targets in watershed and rangeland management, to reduce the degradation of natural resources, were exceeded. Perennial cropping was undertaken on 19,718 ha (176%) of land, and soil & water conservation on 53,044 ha (200%).
d)Outcome in rural infrastructure was mixed: construction of roads and water supplies either met or exceeded targets, while only 50% of schools and 72% of health centers were completed. Nonetheless ICR estimates illiteracy was successfully reduced to 44%.
e)Building capacity in resource users had modest results. The number of active Development Committees formed was 162 out of the expected 230.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

The most important contribution of the project was the strengthening of the North-West Forestry and Pastoral Development Agency as an implementing agency. Reorganized and operating in a totally decentralized manner, it was able to successfully "mobilize" communities. Further, its Monitoring and Evaluation capabilities were greatly enhanced and provided important feedback to project implementation.
  • Application and refinement of the Integrated Participatory Approach throughout the Project which increased the level of ownership and commitment to project activities, by the community and all stakeholders.
  • Overall mechanism of training and engaging communities as development partners in natural resource management, is in place.
  • Project emphasis on women enhanced their overall participation.

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

Results in poverty alleviation were modest and the needs of the landless were inadequately addressed, as most project components had been designed to benefit farmers.
  • The Bank failed to anticipate problems in securing the legal status for setting up the Credit Unions under the Income Supporting Activities component. The component which replaced it was able to provide some access by the committess to credit, but could not fully address the full scope of the original component, including building community capacity for managing self financing schemes.
  • As described in the ICR, sustainability of the rural roads (which is a national problem) sub-component is at risk.
  • 6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
    Outcome:
    SatisfactoryModerately SatisfactoryThe project's efficacy is only Modest because attainment of two key objectives fell significantly below target - farm incomes and capacity building of resource users.
    Institutional Dev.:
    SubstantialSubstantial
    Sustainability:
    LikelyLikely
    Bank Performance:
    SatisfactorySatisfactory
    Borrower Perf.:
    SatisfactorySatisfactory
    Quality of ICR:
    Satisfactory

    7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

    Mainstreaming women's needs and activities into overall project objectives and design, is preferable to having stand-alone "women- specific" components. The former is easily accepted by the communities and has higher chances of success.
    • Specific " targeting" is still necessary for disadvantaged groups such as the landless. It is difficult, as yet, to integrate their needs with that of the community-at-large, even more so in a project designed primarily for farmers. With substantial experience acquired over time, the needs of the landless may eventually be mainstreamed.
    • The project benefited from having an existing line agency as its executing agency. Some key components of this project had already been piloted successfully elsewhere. Using an existing agency also ensured greater ownership of project initiated activities and their ultimate integration into regular work programs.

    8. Audit Recommended?  No

              Why?  

    9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

    Satisfactory overall. The ICR provided a thorough discussion of issues but could have shared more about the project experience with the micro-enterprises and off- farm activities that were set up or supported - the types, who benefited and their overall contribution to poverty reduction.

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