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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Turkey Eastern Anatolia Watershed Project

1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
Project Name:
Turkey Eastern Anatolia Watershed Project
Project Costs(US $M)
 109.79  78.33
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 76.9  48.0
Sector, Major Sect.:
Other Agriculture,
Cofinancing (US $M)
 5.7  5.7
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
10/20/2000 10/30/2001
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
Ridley Nelson
Laurie Effron Alain A. Barbu OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
The main objective of the project as stated in the appraisal report was to "help to restore sustainable range, forest and farming activities in the upper watersheds of the three project provinces, reducing soil degradation, erosion and sedimentation in reservoirs as well as increasing productivity and incomes". In addition to further statements on the focus on productivity and sustainability in the different sub-components the objective was also "to ensure increased responsibility and involvement of local communities in planning and managing of their resources." An additional objective, pursued through a parallel GEF project, was the environmental rehabilitation of degraded land for the conservation of the genetic resources of globally significant herbaceous and woody species indigenous to Turkey. While there were no changes of objectives during implementation, 8 more provinces were added to the project (making a total of 11) through an amendment to the original Loan Agreement. The purpose of this was to test the approach in different socioeconomic settings and to expose more provincial agencies to the approach while utilizing additional funds arising from devaluation.

b. Components
The five original components were: (i) rehabilitation of 54 micro-catchments through treatment of cultivated, range and forestland with local participation; (ii) supporting activities including small-scale irrigation, horticulture and agriculture; (iii) project planning and management; (iv) adaptive research; and, (v) GEF-supported activities including survey and inventory, management of selected sites, monitoring, institutional strengthening in the preparation of a national plan for gene conservation.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
Actual Project Costs in US$ were about 70% of the appraisal estimate but devaluation provided a substantial increase in local currency.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

With respect to restoring sustainable range, forest and farming activities and increasing productivity, the number of micro-catchments treated was 60% higher than the original target and the total area of those micro-catchments was 30% higher. However, the actual treated area at 116,521 ha was only a little over half the appraisal projection. The projected treatment areas were more than achieved on forestland, but fell somewhat short on agricultural land and far short on rangeland. In terms of financial scale, watershed rehabilitation and forest land were the major components with rangelands about one tenth of those larger components. Based on surveys, agricultural yield increases were substantial with improved resilience in drought years. With respect to increasing incomes, the ICR reports that the baseline and follow-up surveys indicate income increases of about US$590 per household which is a little higher than the appraisal projection. It is not clear from either the SAR or the ICR what percent increase on the before project situation this would represent. With respect to reducing soil degradation, erosion and sedimentation in reservoirs, the ICR data are less clear - being almost entirely on an input rather than an output basis. The soil conservation afforestation component achieved about 95,000 ha treated compared to 62,000 ha projected at appraisal. As noted above, improved rangeland management was far less than planned, riverbank protection was more than planned, area of supporting activities such as horticulture was a little below what was planned. The number of trees planted on field boundaries was only about 20 percent of planned. Satellite imagery showed that, while project activities initially reduced vegetation cover slightly, there was subsequently an increase in the proportion of denser vegetation in micro-catchments and also an increase in the area under field crops, orchards, and vineyards. The extent of this increase is not given. With respect to increasing the involvement of communities, the objectives were met with more micro-catchments supported than originally planned across nearly four times the original number of provinces. The achievements on genetic diversity are reported separately in a GEF ICR. The stated project objectives were relevant to the needs of the country but might have been more relevant for a first project if stated in process rather than physical achievement terms. The project took one year longer than projected to achieve these results. Unusually for a Bank project, but realistically for a community-based intervention, a long 8 year project period was planned from the outset. This still had to be extended by one year with disbursement in US$ terms being substantially lower than planned partly due to devaluation.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

The project was rated by QAG as a Best Practice for quality at entry and quality of supervision and was nominated a Project Excellence Award by the Bank. The most significant outcomes included the following: an important shift towards demand-driven community collaboration in the conservation of community land resources now demonstrated across 11 provinces; a significant shift in the project areas from subsistence farming to semi-commercial more intensive farming using more inputs; and some important institutional development impacts in the three implementing agencies (the Ministry of Forestry (MOF), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), and the General Directorate of Rural Services (KHGM)) which gained experience in coordination, new technologies, and good practices in community mobilization and land management. The project promoted farmer to farmer contact between new and old micro-catchments. There was quite a strong staff training program.

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

The project got off to a slow start and achieved only about half the physical targets over 8 years with a one year extension. However, as noted in the ICR, this type of first community-based project should focus more on process than on physical targets. However, in this respect, a weakness of project design was that the objectives were not, in fact, largely stated in process terms but largely in physical achievement terms.There were problems with GOT budget allocations and counterpart funding. Progress on rangelands was limited due to problems of rangeland ownership and an inadequate legal framework for MARA's participation and authority. Legal ownership issues were not thoroughly tested and understood during preparation and appraisal although the new Rangeland Act - anticipated in the SAR and approved later in the project - had been under consideration for three decades. It is not entirely clear from the ICR whether the issue of transhumants' use of high altitude rangeland for summer grazing and conflicts with local users was adequately resolved to the satisfaction of both parties. There were also problems of over-emphasis on physical interventions in rangelands by consultants when, in fact, rotational closure was, in most provinces, the best technical option. The project was not successful in promulgating contour tillage mainly due to the fact that land parcels typically lie up and down the slope rather than across it. There was a low success rate with artificial insemination, partly due to the remoteness of many of the project farms, so, wisely, this was discontinued. There were problems of availability of counterpart funds. Monitoring and Evaluation started late and focused predominantly on monitoring physical and financial inputs rather than outputs.
6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
SatisfactorySatisfactoryThe objectives were set largely in physical terms and only a little over half of the main treatment targets were actually met over a period of more than 8 years. However, one of the stated objectives was to focus on process and institutional learning, and the achievement in these areas was generally quite good. In addition, the project scaled up by spreading to new provinces which expanded the challenge in meeting physical targets.
Institutional Dev.:
Bank Performance:
Highly SatisfactoryHighly SatisfactoryVery strong supervision but the rangeland issues should have been better covered at appraisal.
Borrower Perf.:
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

The ICR lessons are well drawn. The most important, with some modifications, are: (i) a participatory project design should focus on process rather than on physical targets; (ii) where land is an issue a project should understand the land policy situation on the ground and attempt to ensure unambiguous legal conditions; (iii) in rangeland situations some stakeholders may be trans-humants, not present during some parts of the year, and therefore requiring special consultation actions; (iv) one year is generally insufficient to develop commitment and community organizations for land management purposes; therefore phasing of community-based projects needs careful consideration; and (v) Monitoring and Evaluation should be addressed at the start of preparation and focus particularly on outcomes and on ensuring M&E capacity and sustainability.

8. Audit Recommended?  Yes

          Why?  A possibly highly satisfactory project with useful lessons for community development approaches elsewhere but also with some remaining outstanding questions of potential interest to Bank learning, particularly with respect to replicability and rangeland interventions and transhumants.

9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

A generally good ICR, although a little hard to follow on impact data. The reasons for the failure of the rangelands component is still not entirely clear in the ICR. The data on achievement of targets is somewhat confusing with differences between the Performance Indicator table and the text - or possibly lack of sufficient explanation of sub-component definition and overlap in the text. The extent of impact on reducing soil degradation, erosion, and reservoir sedimentation - one of the stated objectives - was not adequately addressed.

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