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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Belize Roads And Municipal Drainage Project


  
1. Project Data:   
ICR Review Date Posted:
05/26/2006   
PROJ ID:
P040150
Appraisal
Actual
Project Name:
Belize Roads And Municipal Drainage Project
Project Costs(US $M)
 18.39  18.41
Country:
Belize
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 13.00  12.44
Sector, Major Sect.:
Central government administration, Roads and highways, Flood protection,
Law and justice and public administration; Transportation; Water sanitation and flood protection
Cofinancing (US $M)
   
L/C Number:
L4575      
   
Board Approval (FY)
  01
Partners involved
 
Closing Date
06/30/2004 09/30/2005
         
Evaluator: Panel Reviewer: Division Manager: Division:  
Peter Nigel Freeman
Roy Gilbert Alain A. Barbu IEGSG

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives
The original objectives as indicated in the PAD were:

  1. Improve year round traffic flows on the national road network by upgrading the road bypass connecting the Northern and Western Highways;
  2. Improve natural drainage and reduce floods and/or the impact of floods in the selected municipalities through storm water drainage improvements;
  3. Assess the potential of private sector participation in road maintenance activities through implementation of a pilot project; and
  4. Improve management of the transport sector, including transport policy coordination among the different government ministries and agencies involved in transport, through the transport sector and road safety strategies.

b. Components (or Key Conditions in the case of Adjustment Loans):
Upgrading of the national road network through rehabilitation/improvement of the Burrell Boom Bypass (20 km.) and the Burrell Boom Bridge (appraisal US$8.48 million; actual US$10.16 million).

  • A pilot project for road maintenance by contract (appraisal US$1.15 million; actual nil).
  • Drainage-related works (14.7 km) for six selected municipalities (appraisal US$5.73 million; actual US$5.63 million).
  • Institutional strengthening and capacity building through technical assistance and training; supervision, safety and transport database, drainage management and planning study, planning and land use support study, environmental studies and on-the-job training of 12 municipal staff members (appraisal US$2.74 million; actual US$3.06 million).
  • Procurement of goods; vehicles, computers and office equipment (appraisal US$0.16 million; actual US$0.01 million). (Excludes US$0.13 million up-front fee.)

  • c. Comments on Project Cost, Financing, Borrower Contribution, and Dates
    Shortly after effectiveness, the third objective was dropped through an amendment approved by the Board on October 4, 2004 because the government wished to pursue it instead through a parallel project funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The amendment included a formal reallocation of loan proceeds to additional drainage works in two municipalities and corresponding consultancy services. Two extensions delayed loan closing by 15 months. This was because government response to Hurricane Keith required some counterpart funds to be diverted for emergency needs as well as the re-design of aspects of the Burrell Boom bridge to ensure it would be secure in future tropical storm conditions. US$0.57million undisbursed at loan closing was formally canceled.


    3. Relevance of Objectives & Design:

    The project objectives were substantially supportive of the Bank country assistance strategy goals to improve the quality of life of the population through improved infrastructure (especially to relieve flooding), to increase participation of the private sector and to strengthen the regulatory framework and planning capacity of the public sector; these aspects were also consistent with government policy reform strategy. Government showed commitment to and ownership of the project through financing the engineering studies in advance and its efforts to meet counterpart financing arrangements in implementation despite unexpected calls on its funding following Hurricane Keith.

    4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :

    Improve year round traffic flows on the national road network by upgrading the road bypass connecting the Northern and Western Highways; (highly achieved).
    After the road improvements were completed, traffic increased in the first year by 22% far exceeding the 10% increase expected at appraisal. The all-weather road link to the international airport has been shortened and the travel time reduced by about 30 minutes depending on traffic conditions and direction; there was also a 62.5% average reduction in vehicle operating costs with the road roughness index improving from 8 to 2. The improved road has also enabled heavy traffic to avoid Belize City, thus relieving traffic congestion there.

    Improve natural drainage and reduce floods and/or the impact of floods in the selected municipalities through storm water drainage improvements; (substantially achieved).
    A total of 14.3 km of drainage works were completed against an estimate of 14.7 km at appraisal; 7, 740 people in the most flood-prone areas have benefited through substantially reduced impacts and incidence of flooding of streets and property. The reduction of the incidence of flooding is now reflected in higher property values. The additional drainage works which were to have been funded through savings due to the dropping of objective 3 were not carried out because there were delays in preparing the tender documents, first priority having been given to the original scope of works. Although the government requested a further extension of the project to complete these extra works this was not granted by the Bank since it considered the original project objectives to have been attained.

    Assess the potential of private sector participation in road maintenance activities through implementation of a pilot project ; (not rated as objective formally dropped and no disbursements were made by the Bank. The IDB undertook the anticipated maintenance work and did use private sector contractors, but only one new private sector contractor was created and the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications continues to use force account for most of its work).

    Improve management of the transport sector, including transport policy coordination among the different government ministries and agencies involved in transport, through the transport sector and road safety strategies;
    (modestly achieved).
    This objective was only partially achieved because only a few aspects have so far been implemented. The Transport Database, Road Safety Strategy, Transport Strategy, Drainage Management and Planning Study, Land Use Support Study, and Environmental Studies have all been completed. Some 12 municipal staff members also received training during the preparation of the studies. Despite all this groundwork, few action plans have been completed and some have not yet started. Actual implementation to date has been modest consisting primarily of first steps to restructure ministerial oversight and policy responsibility for the transport sector and to consolidate these functions into one ministry.

    5. Efficiency:

    The ex ante ERR for the road component was 23% (based on 52% of the project) and the ex post ERR was 27% (based on 55%). For the drainage component the figure at appraisal was 33% (based on 31% of the project). At completion, the ERR was recalculated as 12%, but since it used more conservative assumptions, especially regarding property values no direct comparison can be made. Nevertheless it was still an acceptable ERR. Taking both components together the efficiency appears to be substantial.

    Hurricane Keith impacted the project. The drainage sub-project was delayed when funding was diverted to emergency requirements and procurement of some of the drainage component was delayed. Also, the original bridge design was upgraded and its location altered. This ensured a more robust structure was built to mitigate future potential hurricane and flood damage. Although this resulted in a cost increase of $2.18 million (30%), this amount was more than covered by the higher benefits that emanated from the project.
    6. M&E Design, Implementation, & Utilization:

    Monitoring indicators devised for the road improvements were appropriate and quantifiable albeit the targets were set rather low and thus easily achieved. The use of property values as a proxy for the benefits of improved drainage is more questionable since the procedure followed differed betwen the PAD and the ICR making comparisons more difficult. Incidence of flooding (e.g. extent, frequency and damage costs) may be a better indicator if the necessary data are available. M&E design for the implementation reform program was inadequate.
    7. Other (Safeguards, Fiduciary, Unintended Impacts--Positive & Negative):

    No safeguard requirements were violated. The project also ensured that there is an improved evacuation route from Belize City in the event of future hurricanes and tropical storms.

    8. Ratings:
    ICR
    ICR Review
    Reason for Disagreement/Comments
    Outcome: 
    SatisfactorySatisfactory
    Institutional Dev.: 
    ModestModest
    Sustainability: 
    LikelyUnlikelyThe limited progress toward implementing the institutional reforms, the continued preference for forced account maintenance and the uncertainty of the adequacy of sufficient funding for maintenance in a tightening fiscal situation make it difficult to evaluate sustainability at this stage, even though the government has demonstrated commitment previously at least for the maintenance of main roads. It is also not clear how well prepared the municipalities will be after taking over the maintenance of the drainage structures following project closure.
    Bank Perf.: 
    SatisfactorySatisfactory
    Borrower Perf.: 
    SatisfactorySatisfactory
    Quality of ICR: 
    Satisfactory

    NOTES:
    - 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:

    Projects in hurricane risk areas should take into account safety features to cope with severe storms at the design stage.
    1. Road infrastructure projects such as the one in this project that speed up the potential egress of people from an area in an emergency should be included in the updating of hurricane preparedness plans as soon as possible.
    2. Project design could have been improved by reformulating the existing objective for institutional reform to be more specific and establishing target dates for follow-up actions.
    3. Implementation experience suggests that small local private firms could have been given a larger percentage of consultancy and contracting assignments than were provided in the procurement plan.
    4. The Bank needs to take heed of the experience of the local implementing agency in respect of the speed with which contracts can be executed, unless it has good reason to take a contrary view.

    10. Assessment Recommended?  Yes

              Why?  To assess the extent of progress with institutional reforms and confirm whether the rating for sustainability has improved. The question as to whether lined drains reduce maintenance costs should also be pursued.

    11. Comments on Quality of ICR:

    The ICR is well-presented. More could have been said in the ICR, however, about the reasons why the IDB took over the road maintenance portion and whether the Bank was happy with this arrangement, which only resulted in one additional private contractor being established. It is also not very clear from reading the ICR to what extent the government is committed to the institutional reform program. More could also have been said in the ICR about the decision to re-design and relocate the bridge. Was this triggered by Hurricane Keith? Why in any case was the hurricane risk not factored into the original design when Belize is clearly a hurricane prone area? The component for goods (US $0.16 million) was dropped except for some computers, but no explanation is given in the ICR as to why items such as vehicles deemed necessary at appraisal were no longer required.

    (ES-Rev4B-Dec/05)
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