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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Mali:irrig Promotion

1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
Project Name:
Mali:irrig Promotion
Project Costs(US $M)
 4.67  2.1
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 4.2  2.1
Sector, Major Sect.:
Irrigation & drainage, Central government administration, Law and justice, General finance sector,
Agriculture fishing and forestry; Law and justice and public administration; Law and justice and public administration; Finance
Cofinancing (US $M)
L/C Number:
CN021; CP673      
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
06/30/2002 03/31/2003
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
John English
Roy Gilbert Alain A. Barbu OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
Long-term: to improve and expand investment in small-scale irrigation.

Immediate: to enhance the capacities of private institutions involved in providing equipment, services, and financing for small-scale irrigation investments.

b. Components
Project activities were divided into seven components (with estimated cost at appraisal in parentheses):
Support to the implementing agency: (US$0.48 million - 11 percent of base cost). This was to strengthen the institutional and technical capacity of APROFA (the Agricultural supply chain promotion agency) the implementing agency for the project.
Technical and management support services training (US$1.09 million - 26 percent of base costs). This was aimed at providing training to (i) enable small-scale irrigators to better operate and maintain irrigation equipment, and to identify the most cost-effective small irrigation investments; (ii) enable producers and private entities in the irrigation sector to devise more appropriate investment plans; and (iii) enhance the ability of financing institutions to perform technical evaluations of sub-sectoral investments.
Legal services and technical studies - (US$0.44 million - 10 percent of base cost). Aimed to grant private farmers official land titles, creating officially recognized producers' groups and carrying out technical studies pertaining to irrigation development.
Testing of irrigation equipment (US$0.71 million - 17 percent of base cost). To identify and disseminate equipment suited to the needs of small-scale producers.
Capacity building (US$0.17 million - 4 percent of base cost). To improve the institutional and financial capacities of producers' organizations and independent private irrigation farmers.
Monitoring and mitigation of environmental impacts (US$0.18 million - 4 percent of base cost). To gauge the project's ecological effects and develop ways to protect: (i) producers from water-borne diseases and (ii) irrigated areas from soil deterioration.
Socioeconomic surveys and studies (US$0.40 million - 9 percent of base cost). To monitor the incentives offered to private irrigation and the project's development impact.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
Actual project expenditure was US$2.1 million, compared with the appraisal estimate of US$4.67 million. No cost breakdown by component is provided. The ICR claims that US$0.2 million was provided by beneficiaries, compared to US$0.47 million planned, but this is not accounted for in the project cost and financing tables (the latter is missing). The closing date was extended by 9 months (to 3/31/03 to allow some progress to be made in developing production techniques.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

The project's overall objectives were not met. The ICR does not indicate that the project led to any improvement or expansion of investment in small-scale irrigation. Nor were there important achievements enhancing the capacities of private institutions to provide equipment, services, and financing for small-scale irrigation.
The constraints of the irrigation sub-sector were not alleviated. No low-cost technology capable of increasing the incomes of small-scale producers was validated, the format of the advisory services did not meet the producers' needs, and contracts with external service providers, since they were organized too late, failed to yield any results. No additional knowledge of funding constraints was obtained and no significant activity occurred to facilitate irrigation producers' access to financing, or to help them put together viable financing options. However, some positive results were obtained with the demonstration of production techniques. These results came to late, however, to be disseminated under the project.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

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

Support to the Implementing Agency. APROFA itself was not experienced in managing operations of this type. Recruitment of senior staff for the project took a year and they soon proved to be inadequate and did not adapt to the needs of the operation and they were terminated after two years. Further delays followed. Only two senior, technical staff were recruited and their impact was limited in the period of little over a year that remained.
Legal services and technical studies. The project was unable to formalize land titles or to establish producer organizations capable of providing viable services to their members, and failed to carry out good-quality technical studies of small-scale irrigation development. Arrangements were made to obtain technical advice from FAO missions for those preparing the studies, but little improvement was seen.
Capacity-building. Overall results were unsatisfactory because it failed to improve the institutional and financial capacities of producers' organizations and private irrigation producers. Training occurred infrequently and was insufficiently integrated into a training plan suited to the PO's training requirements.
Testing irrigation equipment. Initiation of work on testing irrigation equipment was delayed because of restrictions related to the fact the IDA funds used for the project were drawn from the IDA Interim Fund. This meant that firms or NGOs from some countries were not qualified to bid. This eliminated the US based NGOs that were the most experienced entities in Mali in this area. A Canadian based NGO was finally contracted and did obtain a series of useful results during the 18 months it was able to operate. They demonstrated improved varieties and cultivation methods for a range of vegetable crops suited for irrigated production in Mali and significant numbers of producers have adopted them. The NGO, however, was unable to make much progress on irrigation techniques, because of the time constraints.
Monitoring and mitigation of environmental impact. No evaluation of the project's environmental impacts, or of ways to protect farmers form waterborne diseases was carried out.
Socioeconomic survey and studies. The studies and surveys planned for the purposes of monitoring incentives for private irrigation development and for impact evaluation were not carried out.

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

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

Projects, especially those dealing with member-based organizations, should be based on a simple, clear and coherent design, validated hypotheses, a limited number of components, well-defined target beneficaries, a validated monitoring/evaluation network, and realistic performance indicators.
For such projects a detailed project implementation manual should be prepared so that all parties understand the objectives and operations and what their roles and obligations are.
Projects aimed at strengthening the private sector should, as far as possible, be managed according to private sector procedures.
Managerial staff for 'public/private partnership' projects of this type should be recruited primarily from the private sector. If it is necessary to recruit civil servants, they should be extensively trained to the working methods and specific demands of the private sector.

8. Audit Recommended?  No


9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

This clearly was a project that was in difficulties from the very start and ran into a wide range of problems. The ICR, unfortunately, does not give us an adequate picture of what happened to enable us to understand what went wrong and why.
First, key information is missing. No cost breakdown is given by component, so that one cannot tell what the relevant expenditure shortfalls were. There is also no financing table, so we don't know how much was spent by the beneficiaries (US$500,000 was planned) and on which component. A major problem was the choice of a trust fund as a source of financing. This restricted the agencies that could bid for contracts, thereby excluding the most qualified ones. Who made this decision and why? Presumably the Bank. Could regular IDA funds not have been used? Was Bank management aware of this at the time the decision was made? If not, could the source of funding not have been changed when the problem arose?

Second, the would have been strengthened if it had given more attention to the context of the project. The project was part of a broader effort to support activity by private actors in the Malian economy. It was expected to complement an Agro-processing Trading project (PAVCOPA - also managed by APROFA), ongoing agricultural extension and research projects, and to be supported by a Structural Adjustment Credit and Private Sector Assistance project. It would help, in judging this project, to know whether all these efforts were unsuccessful, or whether PPIPP was unique in being unsatisfactory. Was APROPA, for some reason, just not interested in this project, or was it not satisfactory as a mechanism to provide support to small-scale private businesses? The fact that an organization study is reported to have recommended the formation of a new type of professional association, suggests the latter, while the ICR also implies that APROPA gave priority to PAVCOPA. In other words was the general strategy pursued by the Bank to develop private sector activity flawed, or was it just the design of this particular operation?

As a result of these shortcomings, the ICR is rated unsatisfactory.

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