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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Community Reintegration And Development Project


  
1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
03/05/2004   
PROJ ID:
P051931
Appraisal
Actual
Project Name:
Community Reintegration And Development Project
Project Costs(US $M)
 5.3  6.3
Country:
Rwanda
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 5.0  5.0
Sector, Major Sect.:
General agriculture fishing and forestry sector, General public administration sector, Other social services, General transportation sector, Agro-industry,
Agriculture fishing and forestry; Law and justice and public administration; Health and other social services; Transportation; Industry and trade
Cofinancing (US $M)
 0.0  0.2
L/C Number:
C3138      
   
Board Approval (FY)
  99
Partners involved
 
Closing Date
12/31/2001 06/30/2003
         
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
Roy Gilbert
Nalini B. Kumar Alain A. Barbu OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
- project development objective (as per PAD /ICR):

To demonstrate that community reintegration and development can effectively take place through a process of government decentralization and community participation.
- project objectives (as per DCA/PAD/ICR):
a) Assist returnees and other vulnerable groups through a process of community-based reintegration and development.
b) Strengthen the capacity of local communities and the administration at the communal and national levels for the implementation of development projects.

b. Components
i) Community initiatives covering sub-projects in infrastructure (health centers, schools and roads), income generation (e.g. livestock bank), and capacity building.
ii) Institutional and capacity building covering participatory rural appraisals and training.
iii) Studies to deepen understanding of decentralization, participation and the community role in socio-economic development.
iv) Project coordination and monitoring including midterm and final evaluations and annual external audits.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
Final costs per component are not reported by the ICR. Total final costs were 19% higher than expected, thanks to double the government counterpart expected (US$0.6m. at appraisal rising to US$1.2m. by completion. This meant that the IDA credit financed 80% of project costs at completion, against an appraisal expectation of nearly 90% at appraisal. The project was closed eighteen months later than planned, but reasons for this delay are not clear from the ICR.


3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

Development objective of demonstrating that decentralization can work was achieved, but there is a lack of evidence that this was achieved through reintegration of returnees and other vulnerable groups as the project intended.
Objective a:was probably partially achieved after Community Development Committees (CDCs) provided micro-credits worth US$157,000 to 6,795 beneficiaries (US$23 per beneficiary) to support their agricultural, pastoral and commercial activities. But the ICR does not report what share of the total final beneficiaries belonged to the target group of returnees and other vulnerable groups. Nor does the ICR indicate the scale of the project benefits in relation to the total need of all returnees and other vulnerable groups in Rwanda, who need assistance through follow-on operations.
Objective b: was fully achieved as CDCs successfully procured works, goods and services to implement 1,000 subprojects. Four rounds of training of 161 CDC members helped do this. Evidence of what was actually done through income-generating projects, the majority, is not clear.
[There is little evidence of what was learned through this LIL especially regarding post-conflict reintegration, that could guide follow-up actions that could meet this project's objectives on a significant scale.]

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

Strong project ownership by CDCs who managed the resources under their control.
  • Strong government commitment as illustrated by doubling its expected counterpart funding.

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

Lack of an explicit plan for, or findings to inform, the scaling and speeding up any further assistance to follow this potentially useful, but very small intervention.
  • Poorly conceived outcome/impact indicators at appraisal, that could not and were not, meaningfully measured during implementation or at completion. This is especially so with regard to final project beneficiaries (returnees and other vulnerable groups).
  • This led to an insufficient focus upon results in terms of learning about reintegration especially that could benefit follow-on work in Rwanda and other post-conflict situations elsewhere.
  • 6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
    Outcome:
    Highly SatisfactoryModerately Satisfactory[The ICR's 4-point scale does not allow for a "moderately sat." rating]. A worthwhile project, but with significant shortcomings in monitoring and evaluation of benefits to final beneficiaries (returnees and other vulnerable groups). There were also significant implementation delays caused by slow disbursement and other processing.
    Institutional Dev.:
    SubstantialSubstantial
    Sustainability:
    Highly LikelyUnlikelyThe appraisal's "realistic recurrent cost-recovery plan" foreseen in the project design was not implemented, undermining the project's financial sustainability. The ICR informs that "the project cannot yet sustain without external support". In its plea for a follow-on project, the ICR points to the risks of the project being "completely forgotten because of lack of funds". (Sustainability is about the likely continuity of the flow of benefits to project beneficiaries, not about the likely permanence of legal/organizational arrangements put in place by the project--the latter being the ICR's understanding).
    Bank Performance:
    SatisfactorySatisfactory
    Borrower Perf.:
    SatisfactorySatisfactory
    Quality of ICR:
    Unsatisfactory

    7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

    Ensuring beneficiary participation at all stages of a project, including evaluation, promotes a sense of ownership in project achievements by the population, supporting the sustainability of the these achievements.
    • The initial ceiling of a special account should be adjusted, if necessary, by ongoing assessments of real cash needs during implementation.
    • Patience is needed when working at the community level, when people may lack technical knowledge and skills. Building these capacities and developing an understanding of formal Bank procedures is time consuming.
    • When the Bank is flexible and willing to take risks, and place trust and confidence in local people at the grass roots level, communities become empowered and able to implement improvements themselves and cost-effectively.

    8. Audit Recommended?  Yes

              Why?  As and input to OED's on-going evaluation of Community Driven Development (CDD), OED's work on conflict affected countries and to better report the actual results of this operation and harness the LIL's lessons.

    9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

    Especially for assessing a LIL, where an ICR has a key function in conveying what was learned through an operation, this ICR is less than satisfactory in reporting actual results achieved and lessons learned, especially as far as the final beneficiaries are concerned. It does not report findings of mid-term and final evaluations that were financed under the project's fourth component. Nor does it inform the reader how many returnees and other vulnerable groups were among the beneficiaries. No meaningful measues of the project's four outcome/impact indicators (on openness of dialogue, transparency/accountability, level of beneficiary satisfaction, and evidence of wider scale replicability) that were part of project legal agreements, are included in the ICR. There are also several data omissions/errors in the ICR; (i) it does not report costs per component; (ii) project costs at appraisal are reported higher in the financing table than in the cost table; (iii) an actual cofinancing amount is reported in the financing table, but under cofinancer's comments, the ICR reports N/A; (iv) actual government counterpart funding is reported as twice the amount expected, and yet the ICR reports that delays and lack of counterpart funding hindered project implementation (the Region later clarified that the counterpart funding problem was one of timeliness, not lack of availability as reported by the ICR). Finally, the ICR does not address the reasons why project completion was eighteen months late, a result not reflected in the ICR's project outcome rating. Large scale delays such as this can lower the outcome rating through undermining efficiency. The explicit treatment of significant delays in implementation should be an intrinsic of any satisfactory ICR.

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