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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Nat Ext Proj Ph.ii

1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
Project Name:
Nat Ext Proj Ph.ii
Project Costs(US $M)
 32.95  30.60
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 31.10  28.24
Sector, Major Sect.:
Agricultural extension and research, Sub-national government administration,
Agriculture fishing and forestry; Law and justice and public administration
Cofinancing (US $M)
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
12/31/2001 12/31/2003
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
Ridley Nelson
Fernando Manibog Alain A. Barbu OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
The higher level original project objective was to "continue to improve the delivery of extension services to smallholder farmers for increasing their incomes and productivity, while improving its relevance, sustainability and cost-effectiveness". The project aimed to achieve this by continuing the essential elements of the Training and Visit system of extension (T&V), but with emphasis on a participatory group approach. The lower level, more specific, original objectives (against which this review evaluates) were to: (i) reshape and limit the role of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MAC); (ii) increase participation; (iii) develop human resources; (iv) and increase smallholder income. In 1999, following the initiation of decentralization to Local Government Authorities, the project was restructured and the objective was altered but largely to adjust the means by which the improved extension, and thus incomes, would be achieved. The objective became: "to continue to improve the delivery of extension services to smallholder farmers by focusing on the enhancement of the technical and administrative capacity of the Local Government Administrations to provide such extension services”. Also, Zanzibar was added to the project. Since the revised objective was more related to means than ends the project is evaluated here against the original objectives, as was done in the ICR.

b. Components
There were four original components: 1. Institutional Strengthening, including reorganization and strengthening of extension services at headquarters and in the field, increasing the number of Subject Matter Specialists, retrenching staff, and M&E (US$15.7 million). 2. Extension Education and Training, including staff training, farmer training, and training support. (US$12.6 million). 3. Communications Support, including establishing six Zonal Communication Centers (ZCCs), reorganizing the ministry publicity unit, needs assessment, overseas and local training, and technical assistance. (US$2.9 million). 4. Pilot Initiatives, including improvement of extension management, farmer extension in research linkages and participation of other providers, and seeds support (US$1.7 million). After the restructuring the first component was expanded and redirected, the second and third components were reduced and the fourth component was expanded.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
The project was extended by two years. Actual total project cost was about 93 percent of the original planned total cost estimate.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

With respect to objective (i), reshaping MAC, this appears to have been largely achieved, but as much through the decentralization shift as through the project itself. Staff numbers , positions and location were rationalized, and more Subject Matter Specialists shifted down to district level. The revised objective, aimed at strengthening the decentralized capacity, was largely consistent with the original objective of reshaping and limiting the role of MAC. With respect to objective (ii), increasing participation, this was probably partially achieved, although the evidence is sketchy (e.g. is the 45% of farmers training fellow farmers really evidence of a participatory approach?) and the scale of this increased participation is unclear. With respect to objective (iii), developing human resources, this was partially achieved since the project fell short of the training targets. With respect to objective (iv), to increase smallholder income, the data is limited and attribution is difficult, but it is probable that this was only partially achieved due to the marketing and price constraints discussed in the ICR.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

1.The institutional framework for extension services at local level has been reasonably well established with 5,835 extension workers covering 10,470 villages, notwithstanding the initial failure of the project to plan for the decentralization.

2. Some 900 village extension officers were retrenched and many subject matter specialists redeployed.
3. Most targets for physical facilities were achieved.
4. A number of alternative extension methods were piloted, including Farmer Field Schools and private roles for extension.
5. Zonal Research and Extension Liaison Offices were established but the separation of research, controlled by a national agency, from extension, controlled at the local level, has made it difficult.

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

1. As noted by the ICR, the fact that decentralization was already decided and planned prior to appraisal yet the project design did not accommodate it, was a major quality-at-entry weakness.
2. As noted by the ICR, the continued support for a T&V system, albeit with modifications, was a design weakness
3. The new extension strategy vision still does not have full acceptance at the decentralized level.
4. Training targets were not fully achieved.
5. Staff in Districts are still deployed following a standard T&V system whereas the objective was to substantially modify T&V towards a participatory approach.
6. Poor promotional opportunities are resulting in poor staff morale.
7. Extension impact is limited by input supply, marketing and credit. This suggests that extension packages are still more technical than economics focussed.
8. The data on outcomes is weak and hard to interpret (ICR Annex 1). It is not clear how the surveys were conducted and by who. Yield changes are affected by the fact that the final survey year was a drought year. The extension contact data, while impressive, show no baseline comparators.

6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
SatisfactoryModerately SatisfactoryThere is partial achievement of objectives in a number of areas and the data on incremental impact, especially on yields, is weak.
Institutional Dev.:
SubstantialSubstantialThere have been significant first steps into decentralization but there is still much to be done to achieve the extension vision.
Bank Performance:
Borrower Perf.:
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

There is one particular lesson which warrants highlighting here. This is the lesson that Bank management and senior staff need to listen to staff concerns and provide an atmosphere for open debate based on evidence. The ICR was very open about the suppression by highly placed Bank staff of the concerns of more junior staff about the T&V system. Even now, in the ICR, there is a telling disclaimer in parenthesis that, “This lesson is the opinion of the Sector Manager, and not necessarily that of the primary authors of the ICR”.
Other lessons are:
1. Restructuring in response to changes in the institutional environment needs to be prompt and carefully designed.
2. Public funding should be distinguished from public provision of services. Public funding is appropriate when users are too poor to purchase optimal quantities through private transaction.
3. Adoption rates much lower than awareness rates suggest problems with marketing, inputs, credit and pricing and suggest the need for research and extension staff to better understand economics as well as technical issues.

8. Audit Recommended?  Yes

          Why?  The evidence of impact is elusive. It is not entirely clear what level and scale of benefits were achieved, partly because it is not clear how representative the beneficiary survey results are and how they were obtained. It is not clear what the incremental changes were in many cases, partly because the final survey year was a drought year.

9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

A nicely prepared ICR with a good discussion of the issue of objectives and the design problems and very frank about the T&V issue, in some respects exemplary. The application of the data to the rating of the achievement of each objective might have been stronger but the data itself is limited.

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