|4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :|
The overarching objective of the program was to "continue improving the effectiveness of Poland’s national road rehabilitation and maintenance systems, with emphasis on quality, efficiency, financial viability, safety and road user satisfaction'. Assessment of each of the five sub-objectives; quality, efficiency, financial viability, safety, and road user satisfaction are presented below.
Outputs: The project implemented 218 contracts with a total length of 1,103 km which corresponds to six percent of the national road network.
Outcomes: Between 2003 and 2009, the percentage of national roads in good condition increased from 37 percent in 2003 (baseline of the first project) to 59.6 percent in 2009, essentially achieving the project target of 60 percent in good condition. In 2012 the percentage of roads in good condition increased to 62.7 percent as a result of increased periodic maintenance funding. The load bearing capacity of the road network improved significantly beyond the target of 3,300 km from the baseline of 2,191 km to 5,897 km.
The Bank has financed a significant portion of the civil works. An IEG mission which was undertaken after project closure learnt that the works undertaken had been subjected to technical audits and found to be of good quality. The achievement of the quality sub-objective was therefore rated as High.
Outputs: The pilot for the performance based maintenance and management of roads was not implemented as scheduled because of the strong resistance from GDDKiA operating staff, deficiencies in the quality of the consultant and frequent changes of GDDKiA management. However, towards the end of the project GDDKiA did procure a four year maintenance contract termed "sustained standards" contract, similar to what was originally prepared under the project, for 84 km of the expressway and planned to use this contract for all newly constructed highways and upgraded roads. In addition some routine maintenance works were outsourced. As of 2013, the government has rolled out this new form of performance based contract in at least six road networks.
With regards to the modernization action plan, the project supported the reorganization of GDDiKA into three departments; (i) planning; (ii) investment; and (iii) maintenance and establishment of units for traffic management and quality control of construction. Functional reclassification of the road system however was not implemented as scheduled because of political resistance to reallocate the budget. Some progress has been made to revise the procurement rule, and to modernize human resources, information and data, and financial management. However, the use of the system is limited to accounting and financial management.
The enabling environment to use the HDM-4 system was created through system installation and capacity building of GDDKiA staff, and the system is being used for the purpose of assessing each investment by all sixteen regions. In at least two to three regions, the system has also been used for optimizing the allocation of resources at the network level under budget constraints. Some regions are experiencing difficulties using the system for the network analysis and prioritization purpose because of the complexity in collecting the necessary data.
Outcomes: The sustained standards contracts implemented by GDDKiA found that using private contractors, the same maintenance work could be carried out with only 37 percent of the costs, saving 63 percent of the maintenance budget. According to the TTL, the government continues to approach the World Bank to seek for more guidance in handling performance based contracts. Albeit with delays, the project at least partly contributed to the government's plan to use performance based road maintenance and management contracts. GDDKiA has also managed to contain its number of employees despite the increasing budget and this has resulted in significant productivity increase for the agency. There is limited evidence that demonstrate successful efficiency outcomes of GDDiKA’s modernization action plans, but the increasing use of HDM-4 system by the regional offices of GDDKiA is also likely to contribute to the efficiency of the sector.
The efficiency sub-objective of the project is therefore considered to be partially achieved, and therefore rated as Substantial.
3. Financial Viability
Outputs: The project did not include any components or features that would support this sub-objective.
Outcomes: The National Road Fund which would have provided a stable source of maintenance funding, has been specifically instructed to fund only new construction with minor exceptions for works justified on road safety grounds. Counterpart financing requirement for accessing EU funds strained the Government’s financial resources available for the road sector. The severity and length of the financial crisis that has impacted the Government’s finances since 2009 has exacerbated the situation. As a result, the funding for rehabilitation and maintenance was reduced in 2010 and 2011, after the closing of the project. According to the TTL, this the government has recently increased its budget for periodic maintenance but it is unclear whether this increase in allocation of maintenance funding will be sustained during the next few years.
While the routine road maintenance funding is consistently being funded, securing sufficient amount of periodic maintenance funding in a reliable manner continues to be a challenge. Therefore the achievement of the financial viability objective is rated as Modest.
4. Road Safety
Outputs: Outputs related to road safety included; (i) individual and institutional consultancy services to the National Road Safety Council; (ii) road safety studies and analysis, (iii) soft measures in the form of public relations activities and awareness campaigns; and (iv) support for investments and implementation of safety equipment and facilities. Large road safety campaigns were launched to modify behavior to promote road safety, including topics such as “driving vehicles under alcoholic influence”, “driving vehicles at unreasonable speed”, and”usage of seat belts and child restraints”. A blackspot elimination program on regional roads were also implemented.
Outcomes: The number of road accident fatalities in Poland declined from 5,500 (Baseline of the first project) in 2003 to 3907 in 2010 which was well below the project target of <4700 fatalities. However, Poland failed to achieve its road safety program's Vision Zero target of reducing the fatalities by 50 percent between 2003 and 2013, and continued to have the highest fatality rate in the EU at 110 per million population, compared to the EU average of 60 in 2012. According to a report produced by Global Road Safety Facility in 2013, EU average in reducing road deaths over the period 2001-2011 was 45%, compared to 24% in Poland. Achievement of the road safety objective is therefore rated as Modest.
5. Road User Satisfaction
Outputs: After the baseline survey conducted in 2004, subsequent surveys were undertaken in 2005, 2009 and most recently in 2011. The last two surveys were carried out during the project implementation period.
Outcomes: The 2011 survey found significant improvements in road user perceptions of both GDDKiA as an institution as well as of the physical condition of the national roads network. In 2005 only 2-3 percent of users were found to have a positive opinion of the national road network, whereas by 2009 this proportion had increased to 30-35 percent, and in 2011 it was at 38 percent. While the results of the surveys show the desired upward trend, their frequency and regularity could be improved. Achievement of this sub-objective is, nevertheless, rated Substantial.