|1. Project Data:
ICR Review Date Posted:
|Congo Democratic Republic|
|Drc Emergency Economic And Social Reunification Support Project
Project Costs(US $M)
Loan/Credit (US $M)
Cofinancing (US $M)
Board Approval Date
|Central government administration (40%), General transportation sector (30%), Other social services (25%), General education sector (5%)|
|Conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction (29% - P)
Urban services and housing for the poor (29% - P)
Other public sector governance (28% - P)
Rural services and infrastructure (14% - S)|
||ICR Review Coordinator:
||Robert Mark Lacey
|2. Project Objectives and Components:|
a. Objectives:According to the Memorandum and Recommendation of the President (pages 9 and 10), the objective of the project was to assist the Government in the process of economic and social reunification. The sub-objectives were:
(a) to help restore or introduce a sound economic governance system throughout the country;
(b) to complement actions currently underway to address urgent needs in order to alleviate the suffering of the Congolese people and to generate quick “peace dividends” which could contribute to the stabilization of the country, by financing rehabilitation activities in the reunified provinces; and
(c) to prepare for the rapid extension of the Emergency Multi-sector Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program (EMRRP) to all parts of the country.
According to the Development Financing Agreement, the project development objective was to assist the Borrower in its economic and social reunification efforts thereby stabilizing administration, through:
(a) balance of payment support;
(b) institutional strengthening of entities and governance systems throughout its territory;
(c) infrastructure and urban rehabilitation; and
(d) community empowerment.
The objective from the Development Financing Agreement is used for evaluation in this ICR Review since it is more monitorable
The Board Approved an amendment to the Development Financing Agreement on September 23, 2008. According to the Amended Agreement, the objectives of the Project were:
(i) to assist the Borrower in its efforts to economically and socially reunify the Eastern provinces to the rest of the country; and
(ii) to increase access to and use by the local population of basic infrastructure and social services in the provinces of Orientale, Maniema, Nord Kivu, Sud Kivu, Nord Equateur, Nord Katanga, Nord Kasai Oriental.
b. Were the project objectives/key associated outcome targets revised during implementation?
If yes, did the Board approve the revised objectives/key associated outcome targets?
Date of Board Approval: 09/23/2008
c. Components:Original Components
Component A: Balance of Payments Support (appraisal cost US$ 50 million; actual cost US$52.7 million). This component aimed to help the Government face the fiscal shock associated with reunification, in order to allow for the ongoing economic stabilization and reform program to remain on track.
Component B: Institutional Strengthening (appraisal cost US$ 15 million; actual cost US$14.4 million). This component aimed at: (i) restoring essential administrative capacity in the reunified provinces; (ii) supporting the preparation of a participatory Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP); (iii) assisting in restoring effective institutions in the forestry sector in reunified provinces; (iv) helping meet the twin challenges of institutional reunification and decentralization; (iv) strengthening the forestry management agencies and enhancement of local governance of natural resources, including preparation of a national forest zoning plan and developing the administration’s capacity in the provision of forestry services; and (vi) carrying out engineering and other studies to prepare for an extension of the Emergency Multi-Sector Rehabilitation and Recovery Project (EMRRP).
Component C: Infrastructure Rehabilitation (appraisal cost US$ 90 million; actual cost US$113.3 million). This component aimed at (i) rehabilitating and maintaining (for a two-year period) of RN2 (750 km, Bukavu-Mbuji Mayi) and RN4 (780 km, Kisangani-Beni), including rehabilitation of bridges and damaged sections; and (ii) rehabilitation of a 10 km section of RN1, including patching, backfilling, cleaning of ditches, and maintenance of shoulders.
Component D – Urban Rehabilitation (appraisal cost US$ 30 million; actual cost US$32.2 million). This component aimed to provide micro-grants to finance sub-projects including local infrastructure and service delivery in urban areas located in reunified provinces in (i) the main cities of Bukavu, Goma, Kindu, and Kisangani; and (ii) the small cities of Bumba, Butembo, Isiro, Kalémie, Kalima, Kassongo, Lusambo, and Uvira.
Component E: Community Empowerment (appraisal cost US$ 10 million; actual cost US$9.7 million).This component would test and activate a mechanism to support community development in those isolated rural areas where security conditions are adequate for development activities to be implemented. It will: (i) support participatory decision-making and the strengthening of social capital; (ii) recapitalize village assets, so as to facilitate local recovery; (iii) improve service delivery in poor rural communities; and (iv) inject liquidity in a cash-deprived rural economy. The component will finance a series of block grants, which will be allocated directly to isolated rural communities in predetermined amounts and will be managed through broad participatory processes. The component aims to focus on five selected pilot areas.
Component F: Implementation Costs: (appraisal cost US$5.0 million; actual cost US$6.4 million).
After the amendment of the Development Financing Agreement, the five project components were revised as follows:
(i) the forest sub-component of Component B (strengthening the forestry management agencies) was dropped, due to the difficulty of managing a forestry component which calls for highly participatory arrangements and would, therefore be very time consuming for an emergency operation; and
(ii) the scope of works for Component C (rehabilitation of RN2 Bukavu-Mbuji-Mayi) was reduced due to cost overruns. The road maintenance activities were also dropped due to the fact that higher than anticipated road construction costs reduced the availability of funds.
d. Comments on Project Cost, Financing, Borrower Contribution, and DatesProject Cost: The actual project cost was US$228.6 million, somewhat higher than the appraisal estimate of US$214 million largely due to exchange rate fluctuations of the US dollar against SDR.
Financing: At appraisal, the project was to be funded through an IDA credit of US$50 million (to finance the balance of payments support component) and an IDA Grant for Post-Conflict of US$164 million (to finance the other four components). At completion, the IDA credit was US$52.7 million and the IDA Grant for Post-Conflict of US$175.9 million. According to the ICR, the differences between appraisal estimates and actual are partly due to exchange rate fluctuations of the US dollar against SDR and partly due to cost overruns and re-allocations.
Borrower Financing: None.
Dates: The credit closing date was extended twice for a total of two and a half years. The first extension was from September 30, 2008 to September 30, 2010, and the second, to March 31, 2011. Both extensions were granted to complete project activities after implementation delays in infrastructure rehabilitation, urban rehabilitation, and community empowerment components due to logistical challenges faced by contractors and service providers in some of the more isolated areas of the country.
Restructuring: The project was restructured by the Board on September 23, 2008. The main reasons for the restructuring were (i) to redefine the development objectives and to have them more aligned with the project’s components; (ii) the recognition that an emergency operation could not address the important forestry issues in DRC; (iii) to develop a better results framework more aligned with the PDOs; and (iv) to address the cost overruns associated with road works on RN4 (Kisangani-Beni) and on RN2 (Bukavu-Mbuji-Mayi). Cost overruns were identified later on during the preparation of detailed technical studies after security conditions were restored in the project implementation areas. The number of road kilometers to be rehabilitated was reduced from the initial 1,779 km to 976 km.
According to the project team, the balance of payments component of US$50 million was fully disbursed in December 2003 immediately after project effectiveness as anticipated in the Development Financing Agreement. The disbursement of the non-BOP components from January 2004 to June 2005 was US$31.6 million compared to the estimated disbursement of US$63.0 million, with an average disbursement rate of about 50 percent. The restructuring was delayed due to implementation issues and lack of a quick decision by the government on cost overruns. Cost overruns were identified (during implementation) with the preparation of detailed technical studies after security conditions were restored. Regarding the cost overruns; it took a long time to convince the government to change the physical characteristic of the roads (changing the width of the right-of-way from 9 meters to 7 meters).
|3. Relevance of Objectives & Design:|
a. Relevance of Objectives:Original objectives: High.
At the time of appraisal the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was emerging from a decade of political instability and a series of conflicts that occurred during the 1990s. The development objectives were, therefore, highly relevant as they aimed at the economic and social reunification of the country after years of wars which ended in the effective separation of certain DRC territories, particularly the Eastern and Northern Provinces from the rest of the country. The PAD (page 6) defines economic and social reunification as "the reintegration of all provinces into a single and common economic space, under a common and inclusive authority." During the December 2002 Consultative Group meeting, donors called on the Bank to take the lead in preparing for an extension of the priority program of investment for rehabilitation and reconstruction. They also encouraged the Bank to commit resources rapidly which could contribute to stabilizing the economic and social situation in the eastern and northern provinces.
There was no Country Assistance Strategy at the time of appraisal. However, there was a Transitional Support Strategy (2001) which identified the main activities needed to assure the transition to peace and stability. These activities were related to the rehabilitation of key infrastructure, the strengthening of institutions, and increasing capacity in the areas of management and good governance.
Revised objectives: High
The objectives remain highly relevant to two out of the three pillars of the 2008-2011 World Bank Group's Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for the Democratic Republic of Congo (as stated on page iii of the CAS): "Promotion of good governance and consolidation of peace," and "Achievement of sustained and shared economic growth through infrastructure rehabilitation and expansion."
b. Relevance of Design:Relevance of design to the original objectives: Modest.
Neither the Memorandum and Recommendation of the President, nor its Technical Annex, included a results framework. By directly financing activities aimed at the rehabilitation of the main infrastructures and the water systems, and by addressing physical isolation and the lack of access to infrastructure and basic services, the project aimed to support economic and social reunification. There was, however, no clear causal chain between these activities, their expected outputs and the attainment of the development objectives as written.
Relevance of design to the revised objectives: Substantial.
At restructuring, a results framework was prepared. It included outputs and intermediate outcomes that were expected from the Bank financed activities. The causal chain between these activities and the project's development objectives was much clearer after the latter were more precisely specified in terms of economic and social reunification of the Eastern provinces and increased access to, and use of, infrastructure services by the inhabitants of those provinces. Access to the provinces due to improved security conditions also facilitated greater precision both in terms of the physical quantity of infrastructure (for example, the number of road kilometers) that needed rehabilitation and of the costing of these works.
|4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :|
The degree of achievement of the project’s original development objective - to assist the Borrower in its economic and social reunification efforts thereby stabilizing countrywide administration – is rated substantial.
- The US$52.7 million balance of payment support provided within the project assisted in the importation of essential items to support the recovery of the economy. The volume of essential imports grew by 16% during 2004. The support covered the cost of items such as petroleum and fuel products (US$43.5 million), and food (especially livestock and animal products) (US$9.2 million).
- 976 kilometers of roads were rehabilitated, including 750 kilometers of National Routes 4 and 2 which connect the Eastern and northern provinces to the rest of the country. This met the target set at restructuring (the original pre-restructuring target of 1,779 kilometers was not based on technical studies with detailed plans and costs because of security-related lack of access to the areas involved). Technical audits in 2005 and 2006 reported that the quality of the works was good.
- The project supported improvements in the management of public resources in the reunified provinces, and assisted in the technical and financial audits of the Tax and Customs services there.
- Partly based on the results of these audits, the project provided capacity building, equipment, material, and technical assistance, to the provincial branches of: (a) Congo Central Bank in Bukavu and Kisangani; (b) the Tax Directorate offices in Nord Kivu, Sud Kivu, Maniema, Katanga, Kisaï Oriental, Province Orientale, and Equateur; and (c) the Customs services in Nord Kivu, Sud Kivu, Province Orientale, and Kalémie.
- The project also supported the process of national reunification through strengthening a number of institutions and activities at the central government level, including (i) reform of the procurement system through the preparation and approval of the Public Procurement Code (April 2010); (ii) the computerization of the public debt management agency; and (iii) the preparation of the second Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) through financing a survey for the establishment of poverty benchmarks.
- The rehabilitation of the sections of the national roads Bukavu-Mbuji Mayi and Kisangani-Beni, connected the Eastern provinces to the rest of the country, thereby contributing to physical reunification. The ICR (page 13) reports that an estimated 8.8 million people are now using the rehabilitated roads compared to the target of 6 million. The cost of transportation of goods and persons via the rehabilitated roads reportedly fell by 60%; and the re-opening of RN4 provided an alternative to air transportation between Kisangani and Beni. The average travel speed on RN4 (Kisangani-Beni road) is about 70 km/hour (no comparative pre-project figure is provided, but the ICR reports (page ix) that only bicycles and light motorcycles were able to circulate on this road prior to the rehabilitation works). According to the project team, average traffic flows and speed were measured by surveys carried out by the Project Coordination Unit and the supervising firm for the road rehabilitation works.
- Fiscal revenues collected in the reunified provinces increased from US$41.7 million in 2004 to US$94.8 million in 2011. According to the ICR (page vii), this is an indication that key national services (such as revenue collection) are functioning once again thanks to the support of the project in providing equipment and training to local fiscal and monetary entities, as well as through re-establishment of the transport network.
- The extent to which community empowerment was achieved is not discussed in the ICR.
The degree of achievement of the project’s revised development objectives – to (i) assist the Borrower in the economic and social reunification of the Eastern provinces with the rest of the country; and (ii) increase access to and use by the local population of basic infrastructure and social services in the provinces – is rated substantial.
(i) Assist the Borrower in the economic and social reunification of the Eastern provinces with the rest of the country.
The outputs and outcomes for this sub-objective are the same as for the original development objective.
(ii) Increase access to and use by the local population of basic infrastructure and social services in the provinces.
- 1,747 micro sub-projects were financed in six districts of the eastern provinces. Of these, 898 were in agriculture, 211 in education, 187 in tools, 183 in improved water supply, 103 in health, and the rest spread between small processing activities, transport equipment, rural road rehabilitation, and other (unspecified) activities.
- 1,467 communities were reported to be “successfully implementing sub-projects in isolated rural areas,” compared to a target of 500. (ICR, page viii).
- The four main cities of Bukavu, Goma, Kindu and Kisangani, located in the affected Eastern provinces, benefitted from what the ICR (page 24) describes as "projects of major importance," including paving of exit links to national roads, water supply facilities, rehabilitation of power plants and electricity distribution systems, and of hospitals, health centers and schools.
- Investments in health, education and water supply facilities also took place in eight smaller cities of the Eastern provinces.
- Altogether, in the major urban areas, 8 hospitals or health centers were rehabilitated: 3 in Bukavu, 3 in Kindu, and 2 in Kisangani. In rural areas, 89 health centers were rehabilitated or constructed in Isiro and Buta (Province Orientale), Gemena (Equateur), Kikombo (Maniena), and Masisi (Nord Kivu).
- In total, 38 kilometers of new or rehabilitated water supply network were constructed with project funds compared to a target of 41 kilometers. In addition, a considerable number of additional water supply connections were constructed or rehabilitated – for example, 7,000 piped water connections were established in Bukavu, 20 standpipes in Kindu; and 34 standpipes in Goma.
- In rural areas, 321 water points were rehabilitated in Buta, Isiro, and Kikombo.
Note: According to the ICR, the sources of data for the outcomes discussed below are the Governments Completion Report (Rapport Provisoire d'Achèvement, 2011), the Final Report of the Community Empowerment Management Firm (Maître d’Ouvrage Délégué aux Actions Communautaires, 2009), the General Tax Directorate and the Customs and Excise Office.
- The ICR reports that the percentage of population with access to water increased from 39% to 48% (compared to the revised target of 60%). It is not clear if this refers to the urban or rural or entire population.
- The project provided 187,000 urban inhabitants with access to water. This estimate is based on the following calculation: one standpipe per 1,000 inhabitants; one water source per 500 inhabitants; one connection to the water supply network per 14 inhabitants.
- The National Company for Water Distribution reduced water leakage by 20% through the replacement of parts of drinking water pipes in Goma, Kindu, and Bukavu.
- 70,300 inhabitants are reported to have benefited from the construction and rehabilitation of hospitals and health centers in urban and rural areas of the Eastern provinces.
- The percentage of people using the health centers in the urban centers rose from 50% in 2003 to 70% at the closing date (achieving the outcome target).
- The attendance at health centers more than doubled in Kindu (from 17,000 to 37,000) and doubled in Bukavu (from 90,000 to 180,000).
- The occupancy rate in hospitals in Kisangani and Bukavu rose respectively from 56% to 89% and from zero to 70%.
- The ICR estimates that 1,025,000 people have access to a basic package of health, nutrition and population services thanks to the project (there is no target or baseline figure).
- There are indications that the activities in the water sector may have led to improvements in health. Rehabilitated health center statistics show a significant reduction in diseases related to water quality in all areas, with an average reduction from 78% to 40% in Buta and Lodja. For example in Isiro, the number of water borne cases decreased from 8,633 to 1,665.
- The percentage of school days lost because of the weather was reduced from 30% to zero (achieving the target) in rehabilitated schools.
- In the nine schools rehabilitated in Goma, Bukavu, Kindu, and Kisangani, the number of students increased by 23%.
- Overall, 700,000 students are benefiting from enhanced access to improved school and classroom facilities (ICR, page viii).
- The share of the rural population of the Eastern provinces with access to an all-season road rose from 15% to 22% (the latter figure comprised an estimated 8.8 million people).
- 86% of the rehabilitated urban infrastructure projects are operational in 12 urban centers compared to a target of 80%.
No ex-ante economic and financial analysis was carried out and no other indicators of efficiency were provided in the Memorandum and Recommendation of the President or its Technical Annex. The ICR does not provide any ex-post Economic Rate of Return, and only contains a few unit cost comparisons from which it is difficult to draw firm conclusions about comparability. The rehabilitation of the RN4 was completed with a unit cost of US$92,000/km. In Mali, unit costs for comparable works was US$80,000/km. The unit cost of construction of classrooms in Goma was about US$8,500, compared to the average of US$16,000 for all Democratic Republic of Congo.
Project implementation took 2.5 years longer than foreseen, mostly due to procurement related delays. Infrastructure rehabilitation costs were underestimated at appraisal due to (i) unreliable data, (ii) absence of technical studies, (iii) poor or non-existent access to the affected areas; (iv) the failure to appreciate the full extent of the logistical challenges; (v) the weak local market for procurement of civil works and goods; and (vi) weak supervisory capacity in managing big contracts awarded only one year after the end of fifteen years of war. The fact that, despite these considerations, the cost overrun was only 7% for civil works, is explained by the significant reductions in the project scope (especially road rehabilitation) after restructuring. The failure to prepare an Environmental Assessment and Indigenous Peoples Plan within the stipulated time frame, and the referral of complaints to the Inspection Panel (see Sections 8b and 11a below) are indicative of inefficiencies in project implementation.
Overall efficiency is rated modest.
a. If available, enter the Economic Rate of Return (ERR)/Financial Rate of Return at appraisal and the re-estimated value at evaluation:
* Refers to percent of total project cost for which ERR/FRR was calculated