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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Env. Management Proj


  
1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
08/13/2002   
PROJ ID:
P000112
Appraisal
Actual
Project Name:
Env. Management Proj
Project Costs(US $M)
 9.3  8.37
Country:
Benin
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 8.0  6.36
Sector, Major Sect.:
Environmental Institutions,
Environment
Cofinancing (US $M)
   
L/C Number:
C2712; CP871      
   
Board Approval (FY)
  95
Partners involved
 
Closing Date
12/31/1999 12/31/2001
         
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
Elaine Wee-Ling Ooi
Andres Liebenthal Alain A. Barbu OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
The objective of the project was to develop the national environmental management capacity to: a)conceive, plan, and implement policies and programs; b)monitor and enforce legislation; c)strengthen coordination mechanisms; d)develop an information system; e)promote better integration of environmental concerns in the framework of socio-economic development plans; f)help improve awareness, understanding and knowledge of environmental issues for the various segments of the population; and g)foster integration of environmental considerations in the education system.

b. Components
i)Institutional strengthening ($5.85 million):support environmental management, coordination, planning, enforcement and monitoring capacity of National Environmental Agency (ABE) and support decentralized environmental planning and action oriented activities

ii)Monitoring of regulatory framework and quality control ($0.8 million): definition of procedures and guidelines; monitor implementation of regulatory framework and of environmental impact assessment policy; preparation of contingency plans, monitoring of quality standards and prevention of environmental risks.
iii)Establishment of effective environmental information management & monitoring system ($0.64 million): develop common architecture to exchange information between different structures collecting and retrieving information; and integrate data collected by various sources with different standards and methods
iv)Education, information and communication ($1.08 million): promote public awareness of environmental issues.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
Actual IDA costs were $6.36 million against $8.0 million planned at SAR, while government expenditures were $1.4 million against $1.3 million at appraisal. Project implementation took two years longer than planned and was completed on 12/31/2001.


3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

The project design lacked an effective M&E system which made it difficult to assess actual outcomes and impacts. Nonetheless, overall project objectives for the development of national environmental management capacity are likely to have been achieved:-
a)plan and implement policies & programs: achieved. The National Environmental Agency's (ABE) technical capacity was strengthened considerably. ABE provided good technical assistance to NGOs and local municipal governments in developing municipal environmental action plans (MEAPs); and to the Ministry of Environment, Housing & Urban Development (MEHU) in preparing the national environmental management program.
b)monitor & enforce legislation: achieved. 9 implementation decrees providing for environmental impact assessments (EIA) of investment projects, environmental audits and air & water quality standards etc were prepared as were technical guidelines for EIAs. EIAs and environmental audits were duly carried out for all major public and private investments, and key industrial plants.
c)strengthen coordination mechanisms:achieved. Technical working groups of environmental specialists from academia, public and private sectors were created which met regularly to discuss and resolve cross sectoral environmental issues.
d)develop information systems:partially achieved. The Environmental Information Management & Monitoring System (SISIE) was set up very late - the functionality of the system with respect to its analytical capabilities was of lower than desired quality. A coastal zone management master plan was developed leading to design of a GEF funded integrated coastal zone management project.
e)integration of environmental concerns:achieved. Creation of environmental cells in different sectoral ministries helped mainstream environmental issues into public investment programs, as do the MEAPs and technical working groups (see above a and c).
f)improve awareness and knowledge:difficult to assess. Artists, religious groups, journalists were educated on environmental issues. A national hymn was written for the environment and radio programs and documentary films covered environmental concerns.
g)integrate environmental considerations in the education system:difficult to assess. Relevant teaching manuals developed for primary schools and training undertaken of teachers, inspectors and school directors in their use; environmental reading materials were developed for adult literacy programs; and 200 rural women farmers and 95 agricultural extension workers were trained in environmental issues associated with farming and small scale processing of farm products.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

Regulatory framework/legal foundation put in place which provided for the initiation and sustaining of environmental protection and management activities - adoption of the environmental framework law and various implementation decrees
  • Considerable strengthening of relevant organizations in their planning and implementation capabilities of environmental management policies and programs - these include the municipal level environmental associations which were prepared to contribute 10% to the costs of implementing the municipal environmental action plans they had participated in developing
  • Mainstreaming of EIAs into all major investment projects and the capacity building of private sector contractors in the undertaking of EIAs.

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

Project lacked an effective M & E system which hindered tracking of project performance and the assessment of outcome and impact. Under normal circumstances the monitoring system developed at SAR would have sufficed as this was to be complemented by a completion and impact study. A project such as this with multiple objectives and which involved partners from different sectors, required a more comprehensive M & E system than was designed. The impact study, (ICR pg 11) did not yield the information required.
  • As a result of delays in project implementation, combined with higher than expected demand, many of the MEAPs prepared by local communities could not be implemented before project closing.
  • Construction costs of ABE headquarters experienced a major cost overrun.
  • 6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
    Outcome:
    SatisfactorySatisfactoryIn spite of the shortcomings mentioned in section 5, the project achieved its most important objectives.
    Institutional Dev.:
    SubstantialSubstantial
    Sustainability:
    LikelyLikely
    Bank Performance:
    SatisfactorySatisfactory
    Borrower Perf.:
    SatisfactorySatisfactory
    Quality of ICR:
    Satisfactory

    7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

    The financial autonomy enjoyed by the national environmental agency enabled it to objectively exercise its responsibilities over EIA compliance. Likewise the contractual arrangements for its staff (non civil service) helped ensure their efficiency and accountability.
    • Effective multisectoral participation in project implementation can, given strong leadership and networking capabilities of the lead agency, be achieved through partnerships instead of formal coordination structures.
    • Pro-active and participatory engagement of local government and other constituencies can help integrate priority environmental concerns into local capacity building and development agenda. This local planning process can be applied to other countries faced with rapid environmental deterioration due to fast growing secondary towns.

    8. Audit Recommended?  No

              Why?  

    9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

    ICR is satisfactory. There are however inconsistencies in the project cost data between section 5.4 and Annex 2 of the ICR, and its unclear exactly how much was spent on the project.

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