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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Cambodia: Flood Emergency Rehabilitation Project

1. Project Data:   
ICR Review Date Posted:
Project Name:
Cambodia: Flood Emergency Rehabilitation Project
Project Costs(US $M)
 40.4  43.4
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 35  37.50
Sector, Major Sect.:
Irrigation and drainage, Central government administration, General education sector, Roads and highways, Flood protection,
Agriculture fishing and forestry; Law and justice and public administration; Education; Transportation; Water sanitation and flood protection
Cofinancing (US $M)
 0  0
L/C Number:
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
12/31/2004 06/30/2005
Evaluator: Panel Reviewer: Division Manager: Division:  
Anna Amato
Fernando Manibog Alain A. Barbu IEGSG

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
Primary: To rehabilitate economic and social infrastructure damaged by the 2000 floods while also indirectly supporting a recovery in rural production and incomes.

Secondary: To assist the government in formulating a long-term strategy aimed at reducing the country’s vulnerability to flooding.

b. Components (or Key Conditions in the case of Adjustment Loans):
a) The rehabilitation of damaged sections of national primary and secondary roads; (Appraisal: US$12.3m; Actual: US$12.92m)
(b) The rehabilitation of rural infrastructure; (Appraisal: US$8.1m; Actual: US$8.1m)
(c) The rehabilitation of flood control and irrigation systems; (Appraisal: US$9.3m; Actual: US$11.63m)
Revision: The number of irrigation sub-projects to be rehabilitated was reduced by 60 percent -- from 89 to 33 -- at the time of the mid-term review (MTR) because the costs of initially-considered sub-projects were discovered to be under-estimated.
(d) The rehabilitation of primary and secondary schools; (Appraisal: US$9.4m; Actual: US$9.41m) and
(e) Project management and financial assistance to carry out studies to help the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGOC) in the development of a long-term strategy to reduce vulnerability to flooding.(Appraisal: US$1.3m; Actual: US$1.34m)

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing, Borrower Contribution, and Dates
IDA financed a total of US$37.5 million compared to the US$35.0 million foreseen at appraisal, the
difference being the result of exchange rate movements with respect to the SDR. These additional funds
were reallocated to the components with pressing demand for sub-projects. The project was extended for one year, but no specific reason was given in the ICR, other than general comments about delays in procurement, hiring and greater-than-expected damage to the roads.

3. Relevance of Objectives & Design:

The project was adequately designed to meet the first objective of rehabilitation and economic recovery following the floods, however only one small subcomponent was directly designed to meet the secondary objective of formulating a long term strategy to reduce vulnerability to future floods. Since Cambodia is a flood-prone country, more resources and activities toward a national mitigation strategy would have been appropriate. In addition, although a full appraisal is not required and might take too long for an emergency project, the ICR notes a number of activities, such as agricultural extension and identification of sub-projects, that, if included, would have greatly improved the project. Taking a bit more time for appraisal and design, or organizing a subsequent regular investment project that would focus on these activities and longer term sustainability would have enhanced the effectiveness of this project's results.

4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :

Primary objective: The miles of roads rehabilitated and the number of flood control structures repaired or reconstructed [components a) and b)] were exceeded. However, component c) was significantly downsized. Due to the lack of experience in the provincial office, the cost for rehabilitating individual sub-projects was greatly underestimated at appraisal. As a result, the total number of irrigation sub-projects that could be rehabilitated with the available funds had to be reduced during the MTR, from 85 at appraisal to only 33 in actual implementation. Since this component had the greatest impact on economic recovery and on the poor, according to the report, the foregone subprojects would have done a great deal toward furthering those objectives. Gains from the SDR exchange rate also went to make up this shortfall. Component d) also suffered from lack of appraisal experience. The monies for repair of school rooms was reallocated toward building of new ones because it was found during implementation that the nature of damage to existing school buildings was more serious and the costs for making sound repairs was unexpectedly high. As a result, the total number of classrooms repaired under the project was reduced significantly (from 2,000 to 33) and the number of classrooms constructed was increased from 1,100 to 1,459. In total, that means that 1,492 classrooms were put back into use, rather than the 3,100 envisioned.
The second objective was met as conceived by the Component e): a case study on disaster mitigation was completed which was helpful toward a national strategy and flood protection infrastructure and early warning systems were built or reconstructed. However, it seems this objective was given very little focus in the project. Mitigation planning in a flood-prone country such as Cambodia is a crucial activity.

5. Efficiency:

No ERR is required for an ERL. However, a Cost and Benefit analysis was done in the areas impacted by the road and irrigation components that showed significant efficiencies. The completed roads increased traffic flow from 2,943 vehicles per day in 2000 to 15,163 in 2005. The efficiency of the irrigation component is mixed. With the number of projects lowered by 60 percent, each individual subproject was more costly than envisioned. However, the rice paddy yields showed an increase in rice production of 98,600 tons in 2004 compared to 1998 (before the floods) in the areas affected by the irrigation works. Annual agricultural production per capita in the area was increased by 35-53 percent, of which the project contributed about 17-26 percent, according to this analysis. The annual farmer agricultural income per capita was increased by 73-97 percent, of which the project contributed about 35-43 percent. The success of the irrigation activities emphasizes the lost opportunity in that only 33 of the 89 proposed sub-projects for this component could be funded.
6. M&E Design, Implementation, & Utilization:

The design of the M and E to keep track of results from the components was adequate, although there was no indicator for the secondary objective (disaster mitigation strategy) as conceived in Component E. The appraisal, in the form of the Technical Annex, included an indicator for amount of school furniture supplied but there was no report on this indicator in the ICR.
7. Other (Safeguards, Fiduciary, Unintended Impacts--Positive & Negative):

The project clearly had a positive impact on a great many people. According to the ICR and a supporting analysis (Annex 8: Social and Poverty Impact Assessment) included in it, the project is estimated to have benefited directly some 5.92 million people in the provinces covered by the project. However, given that the flood damage assessment claimed that 3.4 million people were affected by these floods (the worst in 40 years), and that the population of Cambodia is 13.6 million, the ICR's estimate seems to stretch the definition of "benefit."

8. Ratings:
ICR Review
Reason for Disagreement/Comments
SatisfactorySatisfactoryThe basis of this rating, despite the downsizing of components c) and d), is the Region's clarification that: (i) there was very little time for detailed cost estimates at appraisal, hence the costs of the irrigation subprojects and construction of schools ended up being under-estimated; and (ii) given the project budget, better quality of outcomes would not have been achieved even if there had been better cost estimates.
Institutional Dev.: 
LikelyLikely"Marginally likely", if this rating were available. Although the 4 infrastructure components all have plans for O&M, the ICR reports that the budget available for 3 of them is insufficient. The Water User groups in particular need agricultural extension services and funds to maintain the irrigation systems.
Bank Perf.: 
SatisfactorySatisfactoryDue to the insufficient appraisals of both the irrigation and schools components, and the inadequacy of cost estimation, quality at entry was unsatisfactory, which would make overall Borrower performance Moderately Satisfactory, if this rating were available.
Borrower Perf.: 
SatisfactorySatisfactoryHowever, more interest from the borrower in formulating a long-term strategy to reduce the country's vulnerability to flooding would have improved the project's long term impact.
Quality of ICR: 

- When insufficient information is provided by the Bank for IEG to arrive at a clear rating, IEG 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:

1. Since Cambodia is a flood-prone country, more resources and activities toward a national mitigation strategy would have been appropriate.

2. Having a list of sub-projects identified through field visits with priorities or ranking for IDA financing at project appraisal would have made approval and supervision much more effective.
3. Better appraisal and more time estimating project costs would have made better use of the money (irrigation and schools components had to be revised dramatically).
4. Availability of agricultural extension services is crucial to increasing farmers' incomes, not only for poverty alleviation but also for sustainable O&M for their irrigation facilities rehabilitated under the project.
5. Planning is crucial to sustainability . There was no budgeting for how the Water User groups would be able to sustain themselves and the systems, nor was there a budget to maintain the restored/constructed infrastructure. (By the end of the project, many embankments repaired 3 years earlier at the beginning of the project, already need to be fixed again and no funds are available.) Also, contingencies should have been planned for destruction caused by floods occurring during project implementation.
6. Participatory community contracting for school construction is an efficient means of procurement when large numbers of schools need to constructed over a wide geographic range. These groups were able to identify smaller regionally-based construction companies and supervised the work quite well.
7. Training of implementing agency staff in project management, procurement and financial management is critical for civil works restoration projects.

10. Assessment Recommended?  Yes

          Why?  The sustainability of the project results and the status of the Water Users groups would be important to investigate as well as whether further mitigation measures recommended by the mitigation study were implemented. Also, a project that claims to impact almost half the population of a country is worth verifying.

11. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR is rated satisfactory and was mostly complete and balanced and gave a good overview of the implementation of this project. A specific explanation for the one year extension could have been given. Conflicting numbers were given for the irrigation subprojects -- in some places it was 85 and in others it was 89. The number in the Technical Annex was 89, so that is what this review used.

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