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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Cultural Heritage Pilot

1. Project Data:   
ICR Review Date Posted:
Project Name:
Cultural Heritage Pilot
Project Costs(US $M)
 15.5  12.0
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 4.0  4.1
Sector, Major Sect.:
Sub-national government administration, Other social services,
Law and justice and public administration; Health and other social services
Cofinancing (US $M)
 5.2  6.3
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
UNESCO, Aga Khan Foundation, World Monument Fund, Governments of Italy, Netherlands, Croatia, EU. 
Closing Date
12/31/2002 12/31/2004
Evaluator: Panel Reviewer: Group Manager: Group:  
John R. Heath
Ridley Nelson Alain A. Barbu OEDSG

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives

According to the PAD, the objective was to "Improve the climate for reconciliation among the peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina through recognition of their common cultural heritage [in Mostar]". The ICR notes that "a special dimension of the stated objective was that it was 'to be pursued through a unique cultural support partnership that includes the local community, national and regional governments, UNESCO, the World Monuments Fund, and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture'".

b. Components (or Key Conditions in the case of Adjustment Loans):

(i) Investments, including reconstruction of the Old Bridge in Mostar, restoration of monuments in the historic districts of the city, upgrade of neighborhood infrastructure (Estimated cost, US$10.5 million; Actual cost, US$8.6 million).
(ii) Geological Investigations (Estimated, US$0.3 million; Actual, US$0.6 million).
(iii) Technical Assistance (Estimated, US$2.4 million; Actual, US$1.4 million).
(iv) Office Equipment (Estimated, US$0.1 million; Actual, US$0.1 million).
(v) Salaries and Operating Costs of Project Coordinating Unit (Estimated, US$0.9 million; Actual, US$1.3 million).

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing, Borrower Contribution, and Dates

The final project cost was 77 percent of the appraisal estimate, owing to savings arising from the efficiency with which contracts were competitively tendered. The borrower's contribution was US$1.5 million, compared to the US$2.0 million forecast at appraisal. There was a two-year completion delay because it took longer than expected to mobilize funds from the many donors, each of whom had different budget cycles; also, the pre-investment studies needed proved to be more extensive than anticipated at appraisal.

3. Relevance of Objectives & Design:

Relevance is rated substantial. The reconciliation objective was appropriate for a region emerging from a devastating war. The need to coordinate multiple donors resulted in a challenging project design but including so many partners was justified because it helped to build international consensus and to raise the profile of Bosnia-Herzegovina. For example, setting up an international expert committee under UNESCO auspices helped to ensure that the highest standards were brought to bear in restoring the Bridge and Towers complex.

4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :

Efficacy is rated substantial. The ICR states that the the objective is abstract, making it difficult to derive appropriate indicators and targets. It suggests that this problem be tackled, in part, by referring to measures of "economic revitalization", given that reconstruction of the Old Bridge (a key project output) was, according to the PAD, a pre-requisite for revitalization. The increase in tourist arrivals is cited as evidence of revitalization. Arrivals rose from 50,000 in 2003 to to 220,000 in 2004; five years earlier almost no tourists visited. This has helped to stimulate local business. But there are other, if somewhat disparate, indications that the prime objective of reconciliation was achieved. Support for the project cut across ethnic groups; the Project Coordinating Unit was held up by various people as a model of cooperation; there was apparently no ethnic favoritism in the awarding of contracts; a permanent multi-ethnic institution arose from the project; surveys in 2003 and 2004 showed growing optimism among local people (significant even if this cannot be directly attributed to the project). At project end, all the physical assets and some of the staff of the Project Coordinating Unit were taken over by a city-level agency that would be responsible for continuing to maintain project investments and for preserving the cultural integrity of the city. The project contributed to Mostar's scheduled inclusion in UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites

5. Efficiency:

Efficiency is rated substantial, mainly because project outputs were substantially completed and for a lower-than-expected cost. No economic rate of return was estimated---it would not have been appropriate or useful. Competitive tendering arrangements apparently enhanced efficiency.

6. M&E Design, Implementation, & Utilization:

The M&E framework was limited. The PAD proposes as an indicator the extent to which the local population perceived an improvement in working relations and social cohesion. This could have been measured by survey but was not. On the other hand, the small size of the project and the self-evident linkage between the project outputs and community wellbeing suggest that a large monitoring effort was not justified. More perhaps could have been made of the scope for using small-scale attitude surveys to measure the level of reconciliation achieved.

7. Other (Safeguards, Fiduciary, Unintended Impacts--Positive & Negative):

8. Ratings:
OED Review
Reason for Disagreement/Comments
Institutional Dev.: 
ModestSubstantialThe multiethnic nature of the project coordinating unit helped to further reconciliation; and the unit left a permanent legacy in the shape of a city-level agency which will continue to protect Mostar's cultural heritage.
Bank Perf.: 
Borrower Perf.: 
Quality of ICR: 

- When insufficient information is provided by the Bank for OED to arrive at a clear rating, OED will downgrade the relevant ratings as warranted beginning July 1, 2006.
- ICR rating values flagged with ' * ' don't comply with OP/BP 13.55, but are listed for completeness.

9. Lessons:

  • If the Bank is to contribute successfully to cultural heritage projects it needs to form partnerships with agencies strong in the skills that it lacks.
  • Renovating community spaces in historic cities is as important as restoring large, world-famous monuments.
  • When several donors are involved in funding, delays in project startup should be anticipated in the implementation schedule.

10. Assessment Recommended?  Yes

          Why?  In order to explore more fully the reasons for the success of this project and to verify the sustainability rating.

11. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR is concise and clearly presented.

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