Independent Evaluation - Home > Search

Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Peasant Enterprise Zones Development Project

1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
Project Name:
Peasant Enterprise Zones Development Project
Project Costs(US $M)
 6.6  5.8
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 5.0  4.2
Sector, Major Sect.:
General agriculture fishing and forestry sector, Central government administration,
Agriculture fishing and forestry; Law and justice and public administration
Cofinancing (US $M)
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Inter-American Institute for Agricultural Cooperation (IICA) 
Closing Date
12/31/2001 12/31/2003
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
John R. Heath
Ronald S. Parker Alain A. Barbu OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives

"The project develops a replicable methodology for the establishment and operation of a Peasant Enterprise Zone for areas of colonization affected by violence and illicit activities and of prototype actions to protect rainforest reserves and nearby indigenous territories" (Project Appraisal Document)

The project was supported by a Learning and Innovation Loan and the achievement of its objectives is evaluated accordingly.

b. Components

(i) Peasant Enterprise Zones Development (Estimated cost, US$5.3 million; Actual cost, US$4.5 million). Three zones were developed, in the Departments of Caqueta, Guaviare, and Cundinamarca. The component included: participatory planning and implementation of land titling, farming and environmental protection; community capacity building; social and environmental assessments of each zone; technical assistance.

(ii) Evaluation and Design of Follow-On Actions (Estimated, US$0.6 million; Actual, US$0.4 million). Comprised an end-of-project impact assessment and strategic design study to enable the government to scale-up the Peasant Enterprise Zone model.

(iii) Project Management (Estimated, US$0.6 million; Actual, US$0.9 million). Technical assistance, equipment and operating costs deriving from the coordinating and monitoring activities of the Project Management Unit.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates

In addition to the actual project cost, the project was supported by US$1.4 million from the government land reform agency (INCORA) funds taken from its dedicated program for Peasant Enterprise Zones. The staffing needs of the Project Management Unit were underestimated at appraisal; recruitment of extra staff explains the increase in the cost of this component. The difficulties of recruiting suitably qualified staff and the problems posed by operating in conflict zones led to implementation delays, explaining why the loan closed two years later than expected.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

The objective was relevant; and it was achieved. The Colombian Institute for Rural Development has formally adopted the method and instruments developed by the project and has incorporated support to the three pilot Peasant Enterprise Zones into its program. Although scaling-up has not yet been achieved the action-oriented learning resulting from this project fully lives up to expectations for operations supported by Learning and Innovation Loans, and project results are commensurate with the small size of the investment.

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:

  • In each Peasant Enterprise Zone, communities democratically selected the members of a local implementing organization that entered into a contract with IICA for carrying out local planning and subproject selection in accordance with the established procedures, and for monitoring compliance.
  • Communities identified 531 subprojects of which 145 were approved and 122 were completed by loan closing. The subprojects supported small-scale infrastructure development (45 percent of all projects), farming (26 percent), environmental protection (15 percent) and capacity building (13 percent). On average, 184 families benefited per subproject, at a cost of roughly US$41 per family.
  • Land titles were issued to 570 families.
  • One hundred families in the Caqueta Zone benefited from three farms purchased with funds from the land reform agency using a negotiated, market-based approach (rather than expropriation).

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

  • The project was founded on laudable but somewhat unrealistic assumptions about the prospects for a nationwide reduction of the armed conflict. Although the project's results will be sustained in the three zones that were piloted (through the program of the Colombian Institute of Rural Development), there are currently no plans to scale-up, owing partly to the accession of a new government less sympathetic to negotiating with insurgents in conflict areas.
  • 6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
    Institutional Dev.:
    HighSubstantialThis refers to the impact in the three pilot Zones rather than farther afield.
    LikelyLikelyThis refers to the sustainability of results in the three Zones that were supported and does not imply that the model will be replicated elsewhere.
    Bank Performance:
    SatisfactorySatisfactoryThe Bank showed courage and imagination in preparing and supervising a project seeking to mitigate rural violence. An external evaluation praised the Bank for being flexible in its response to the needs of each region while being consistent in its application of corporate policies and guidelines.
    Borrower Perf.:
    Quality of ICR:

    7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

    • Learning-by-doing is an effective way to build community capacity.
    • Substantial time is needed (in this case, two years) to lay the foundations for a participatory process.
    • Once the process is in place, it is important to respond quickly to local priorities and community expectations in order to maintain trust.
    • The approach taken needs to be flexible and adapted to the needs of each area.
    • Explicit rules need to be developed at the outset and clearly signaled to the various stakeholders.
    • Providing the appropriate information and technical assistance is critical if results are to be achieved.

    8. Audit Recommended?  No


    9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

    The report is generally satisfactory (although a bit long at 21 pages, roughly double the recommended length of an ICR).

    © 2012 The World Bank Group, All Rights Reserved. Terms and Conditions