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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Emergency Drought Recovery Project

1. Project Data:   
ICR Review Date Posted:
Project Name:
Emergency Drought Recovery Project
Project Costs(US $M)
 50.48  57.03
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 50.00  53.64
Sector, Major Sect.:
General agriculture fishing and forestry sector, Central government administration, General education sector, Health, Other social services,
Agriculture fishing and forestry; Law and justice and public administration; Education; Health and other social services; Health and other social services
Cofinancing (US $M)
L/C Number:
C3719; CH012      
Board Approval (FY)
Partners involved
Closing Date
11/30/2004 06/30/2005
Evaluator: Panel Reviewer: Division Manager: Division:  
Anna Amato
Ridley Nelson Alain A. Barbu IEGSG

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
To assist the government in maintaining key commitments to its economic and investment priorities as laid out in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) while meeting the exigencies of the food crisis, and to help restore productive capability of the affected population. It was aimed at helping the Government to respond effectively to the 2001/02 drought, by supplementing their efforts to: (a) prevent starvation and malnutrition; (b) support drought mitigation measures such as providing drinking water, improving critical transport and logistical links, supporting health and sanitation services, providing support to keep children in school and protecting the threatened livestock population; (c) support farmers to raise crops in the next agricultural season; and (d) enhance government capacity for longer-term disaster management,including support for developing an effective early warning system (EWS).

b. Components (or Key Conditions in the case of Adjustment Loans):
(A) Quick-disbursing assistance to finance imports (Appraisal: US$35.00 million; Actual: US$30.75 million, or 54.4 percent of total project costs)

(B) Social safety net interventions (public works) (Appraisal:US$7.3 million; Actual US$10.60 million, or 18.7 percent of total project costs). Cash assistance to vulnerable groups who provide labor for road projects, and water and sanitation works.
(C) Agricultural rehabilitation (Appraisal: US$7.16 million; Actual: US$13.16 million, or 23.3 percent of total project costs). Provision of agricultural supplies to vulnerable farmers and support to an animal disease control program.
(D) Improving early warning system and disaster management and mitigation capacity (Appraisal US$1.02 million; Actual: US$2.04 million,or 3.6 percent of total project costs).

c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing, Borrower Contribution, and Dates
The original allocations for the Credit and the Grant were US$30 million (SDR 22.8 million equivalent)
and US$20 million (SDR 15.2 million equivalent) respectively. The total amount disbursed amounted to US$53.64 million, which includes a disbursement of US$2.91 million (out of $3.38 million allocated) under a NORAD grant. The only explanation given in the ICR for the difference between the original and actual is a footnote that says the government counterpart funds were not broken out separately, but it this is not clear. Project closing was delayed by 7 months due to procurement issues and poor coordination by the local agencies and NGOs.

3. Relevance of Objectives & Design:

The project’s objectives are fully consistent with the Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy for Zambia and is supported by Government of Zambia’s own Drought Recovery and Mitigation Plan and fits squarely with the country’s overall development objectives as expressed in Zambia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (2003). The project was designed to make both macro-economic and micro-economic efforts to get the country through a drought which occurred at a critical period. But to sustain both, the project should has been given a longer time horizon which would have enabled it to meet the sustainability and institutional development aspects of the objectives. Even for an emergency project with short term objectives, a longer time frame would have been desirable since food security is not a short term issue.

4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :

The project largely achieved its development objectives, particularly in terms of maintaining government commitment to its reform and poverty reduction programs which allowed it to attain the completion point of the HIPC initiative, and in supporting government drought mitigation measures. The overall objective of assisting the government in maintaining key commitments to its economic and investment priorities was met by the effective financing of imports under the positive list, which played a key role in addressing the 2003 balance of payments crises (although no reason is given why the amount for this component was reduced by US$5 million in the course of the project.)The targeted activities had mixed results:
a) Prevent starvation and malnutrition: 151,709 beneficiaries participated in the public works program (target 160,000) which provided cash for labor, thereby allowing for purchase of food and other necessities
b)Support drought mitigation measures and protect the threatened livestock population: 2,881 km of roads (target 1,400 km) were built or improved, although a bridge building subcomponent was not completed due to procurement delays and poor planning; Reduction in the prevalence of important animal diseases, including ECF, CBPP, Trypanosomiasis and Anthrax;
(c) Support farmers to raise crops in the next agricultural season: 191,950 farming households were supported over two agricultural seasons (target 120,000); however not many were restored to self-sufficiency, as was hoped.
(d) Enhance government capacity for longer-term disaster management: A Disaster Management and Mitigation Policy was prepared and approved and a Disaster Management Operations Manual as well as a draft Disaster Management and Mitigation Law are currently pending parliamentary approval. There is evidence that the Early Warning System handled last year's food crisis better than in previous years.

5. Efficiency:

Because this is an ERL, there was no ERR calculation. However, the project showed some evidence of efficiency. First, budget and balance of payments support enabled the government to import maize to cover the food deficit thereby easing inflationary pressures. The government was also able to maintain existing spending programs and avoid budgetary diversions towards drought mitigation activities, which would otherwise have undermined long-term development objectives. Second, the balance of payment support strengthened the exchange rate and helped improve the foreign exchange reserve position of Bank of Zambia at a critical time when the country was facing a balance of payments crises. However, among the less efficient aspects, was the lack of achievement of the ambitious goal of restoring agricultural production (the 3rd component), which was generally not achieved due to implementation problems and a second year of drought.
6. M&E Design, Implementation, & Utilization:

Project performance indicators were underdeveloped, focusing mainly on outputs rather than outcomes. For instance, Component C met the output target of providing agricultural supplies to 120,000 farmers during the first year of the drought, but the outcome target of bringing vulnerable farmers to a level where they could sustain themselves was not measured.
7. Other (Safeguards, Fiduciary, Unintended Impacts--Positive & Negative):

8. Ratings:
ICR Review
Reason for Disagreement/Comments
Institutional Dev.: 
LikelyLikelyThis is a marginal rating since a) no maintenance or gazetting of the roads that were built is planned; and b) the food security intervention was too short to provide sustainable results. However, the macroeconomic activities that allowed the government to attain the HIPC completion point will be continued and the sustainability of the capacity building for EWS and disaster management is highly likely.
Bank Perf.: 
Borrower Perf.: 
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. Procurement: In cases where an implementing agency has little experience with the Bank's procurement procedures and direct assistance is needed within a short time, special and intensive training in these procedures should be done as soon as possible in the project cycle (even before approval, if possible.)

2. Timing: Short term and long term activities can be successfully combined in one lending instrument, if enough time is given for the longer term activities. This lesson differs from the ICR conclusion, and is based on the experience of many similar projects which were reviewed in the recent IEG evaluation of the Bank's work in natural disaster.
3. Donor Coordination: The implementation of a multi-sectoral project, should be complemented by multi-sectoral donor coordination to avoid duplication and inconsistencies. In the case of support to the Early Warning System, for instance, the Bank was promoting the disaster management unit as a national focal and coordination point, while other donors supported the Early Warning Secretariat of the agriculture ministry in a similar role.
4. M & E: Appropriate outcome-oriented monitoring and evaluation indicators must be identified at appraisal,even in an emergency operation when project preparation time is limited.
5. Timing of public works projects needs to be coordinated with rainy seasons in drought situations so there is no conflict in employment opportunities offered at the same time as regular farming activities.
6. When projects include training of beneficiaries in new technologies, a longer time frame is needed to confirm whether the technology will be adopted and its outcome. Smallholder farmers are risk averse and unlikely to widely adopt a very new technology in the short term. Some period of time with demonstration on their own fields is usually needed and should be expected.

10. Assessment Recommended?  Yes

          Why?  It would be good to look at what appears to have been an effective emergency Balance of Payments project to affirm the lessons learned and so to be able to apply them elsewhere.

11. Comments on Quality of ICR:

Overall, the ICR is rated Satisfactory, but there were some weaknesses:
1. The description of project costs and disbursements was very confusing and inconsistent. For instance, the final project cost was given as US$56.55 million on page 9 and as US$57.03 million on page 15.
2. The Borrowers Completion Report came to different conclusions on some of the components. There was no explanation of this difference in perspective.
3. No reason was given for the substantial reduction of the successful Balance of Payment component from US$35 million to US$30 million.

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