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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Community Action Prj

1. Project Data:   
ES Date Posted:
Project Name:
Community Action Prj
Project Costs(US $M)
 73  3.7
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 60  2.8
Sector, Major Sect.:
General agriculture fishing and forestry sector, Central government administration, General education sector, Other social services, General water/sanitation/flood protection sector,
Agriculture fishing and forestry; Law and justice and public administration; Education; Health and other social services; Water sanitation and flood protection
Cofinancing (US $M)
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
12/31/2003 12/31/2003
Prepared by: Reviewed by: Group Manager: Group:  
Nalini B. Kumar
Roy Gilbert Alain A. Barbu OEDST

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
The project had two objectives: (i) To assist in reducing the vulnerability of poorer rural communities through fostering opportunities for such communities to strengthen their capacity to mobilize, implement self-help projects, collaborate with relevant local institutions and to benefit from the returns of the communal assets they create and maintain; (ii) To assist in improving the design of poverty reduction policies and programs through promoting improvements in the system to monitor the impact of these policies on the poor. The project was designed to support two key components of the Government of Zimbabwe's Poverty Alleviation Action Plan: empowerment of poor communities and poverty monitoring.

b. Components
There were three components:

(i) Community sub-projects (appraisal estimate US$60.5 million, actual US$1.96 million) was to provide grants to rural communities for investments in social and economic infrastructure, improved natural resources management and capacity building and social mobilization.
(ii) Poverty Monitoring (appraisal estimate US$3.0 million, actual US$0 million) the focus of the component was on commissioning studies, policy advice, dissemination and qualitative data.
(iii) CAP Institutional Support (appraisal estimate US$9.5 million, actual US$0.9 million) was to provide administrative support to the community sub-projects component.

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing and Dates
The project became effective in October 1998. However 18 months later in May 2000, disbursements to the project were suspended because the Government defaulted on its loans to the Bank and other financial institutions. In October 2000, Zimbabwe was placed on non-accrual status by the World Bank and has remained in this status to date. The Bank closed the project and the undisbursed balances for the Credit amounting to SDR 42.3 million was cancelled on December 31, 2003.

3. Achievement of Relevant Objectives:

Neither project objective was achieved. The project was under implementation for only 18 months and less than 5 percent of the credit amount was actually disbursed (short of the appraisal plan of 40 percent).

4. Significant Outcomes/Impacts:


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

A condition of effectiveness---hiring a project manager for the Integrated Poverty Monitoring and Analysis System (IPMAS)-- was not met.
  • There was delay in procuring computers and the server for the MIS. The Information Education and Communications campaign also began several months after the project started.
  • Failure to meet implementation targets during the first 18 months before the crisis.
6. Ratings:ICROED ReviewReason for Disagreement/Comments
Institutional Dev.:
Highly UnlikelyNon-evaluableThere is insufficient information to make a judgment on sustainability of the sub-projects that were implemented.
Bank Performance:
Borrower Perf.:
Quality of ICR:

7. Lessons of Broad Applicablity:

Three lessons:
(i) The building of adequate community participation requires time, resources and explicit attention to incentives for the stakeholders. Setting up grass root organizations is just the first step. More time and resources are needed to strengthen and consolidate gains so that their sustainability over the long run is assured.
(ii) In a project with community empowerment as an objective, the performance measurement system should be set-up to measure both quantitative and qualitative progress.
(iii) The project experience illustrates the need for clearer guidelines to operational staff as to when they should draft and process an ICR as opposed to a Project Completion Note (PCN). In the case of a project that gets cancelled after a brief implementation period OP 13.55 only notes that "An ICR is not prepared for a loan that fails to become effective or is cancelled before significant implementation." It is not clear what exactly constitutes 'significant' implementation.

8. Audit Recommended?  No


9. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The quality of the ICR is generally satisfactory, albeit marginally so in light of following shortcomings:
(i) There is little information on the 91 sub-projects that were completed under the community sub-projects component and the quality of the community participation process;
(ii) Project cost tables in Annex 2 give wrong information under the section Actual/Latest Estimate.
(iii) The ICR does not report on project performance indicators (PAD Annex 1). It should have done so at least for the period of time that the project was under implementation.

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