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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Sri Lanka: North East Housing Reconstruction Program


  
1. Project Data:   
ICR Review Date Posted:
05/07/2013   
Country:
Sri Lanka
PROJ ID:
P083932
Appraisal
Actual
Project Name:
Sri Lanka: North East Housing Reconstruction Program
Project Costs(US $M)
 77.0  120.7
L/C Number:
C4014, C4428
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 75.0  118.0
Sector Board:
Urban Development
Cofinancing (US $M)
 0.0  0.0.
Cofinanciers:
Board Approval Date
  12/14/2004
 
 
Closing Date
06/30/2009 12/31/2011
Sector(s):
Housing construction (97%), Sub-national government administration (3%)
Theme(s):
Urban services and housing for the poor (29% - P) Conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction (29% - P) Land administration and management (14% - S) Social safety nets (14% - S) Personal and property rights (14% - S)
         
Prepared by: Reviewed by: ICR Review Coordinator: Group:
Kavita Mathur
George T. K. Pitman Soniya Carvalho IEGPS1

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives:
The project development objective as stated in the 2005 Development Credit Agreement (page 19) and the 2008 additional Financing Agreement (page 4) is:


    "to assist conflict affected communities in the Borrower’s North-East with housing improvement and reconstruction".

The project development objective as stated in the Project Appraisal Document (page 3) is:

    "to facilitate the reconstruction of 46,000 houses in the North East over a four year period through the provision of housing support cash grants".

This review uses the objectives as defined in the Development Credit Agreement as they are more evaluable.

b. Were the project objectives/key associated outcome targets revised during implementation?
No

c. Components:
Component A: Housing Assistance (appraisal estimate US$68.8 million, actual cost US$110.4 million).

  • Cash grants would be provided to construct 46,000 houses (each to a maximum area of 400 square feet) that included 36,800 fully-damaged and 9,200 partly-damaged. The grants would be either Rs150,OOO for a fully-damaged house or Rs70,000 for partly damaged house to eligible beneficiaries and paid in performance-based installments to the joint bank accounts of the selected households. The beneficiary would be allowed a period of four months to complete construction.
  • The program would select divisions and villages for participation based on a ranking system, taking into account: (i) caseload of damaged housing stock; (ii) caseload of returnees; (iii) ethnic sensitivity while cognizant that certain villages suffered disproportionate damage; (iv) extent of mine clearance; and where available (v) North East Provincial Council vulnerability and poverty maps. The number of grants per village would be based on: (i) caseload of returnees; and (ii) damaged housing stock. Following selection of villages the North East Housing Reconstruction Unit (NEHRU) would undertake a Housing Damage Assessment and Social Verification Survey in the selected villages to determine eligible beneficiaries and prioritize them. A potential beneficiary must meet four eligibility conditions: including main beneficiary permanently settled in village, regularized land title, income of less than Rs. 2,500, and a conflict-damaged house. Families would be prioritized according to eligibility criteria based on quantified ranking criteria including year of return, number o f times displaced, number of family members, women headed households, and disabled members. In the event that any individual in a village disagrees with the list or his/her classification, he/she would be at liberty to participate in a grievance redressal process first at a divisional level, then at the district level and finally at a provincial level. The provincial level arbitration of the Chief Secretary of the North East Provincial Council (NEPC) is final.
  • Two methods of implementation would be available to the homeowner for the construction: homeowner-driven construction and partnership construction. In the case of homeowner-driven construction, the beneficiary would facilitate their own construction using their own labor and/or private firm/skills. For partnership construction, the beneficiary would choose to ‘opt’ into a contract with a pre-identified partner organization. NEHRU and the district/divisional administrative units would facilitate the supply of construction material in bulk for selected beneficiaries to mitigate the risks of environmentally unsustainable resource extraction, price escalation and supply constraints. However, beneficiaries would have the prerogative to independently procure their own materials. The District Secretariat would ensure that the Government’s environmental guidelines are adhered to in the extraction of resources. Monitoring of construction and impact would occur through several mechanisms including a continuous social impact assessment, technical reports of the district and divisional secretaries, a follow-up environmental monitoring and a third-party audit of civil works.

Component B: Capacity Building and Monitoring: (appraisal estimate US$2.7 million, actual cost US$6.3 million). This component would support a comprehensive technical assistance program to ensure smooth implementation to cover:
  • Land Dispute Resolution through the engagement of a multi-disciplinary mobile Land Task Forces (LTFs) in each district for nine months on a contractual basis and the related operating expenditures;
  • Skills Training for Construction Labor that would support the training of 1,200 masons and carpenters for four months at each training site to bridge the acute shortage of skilled construction labor in the North East. The contractor and NEHRU would enter into a memorandum of understanding that these laborers would be made available to the selected villages for part of their apprenticeship;
  • Support for Partner Organizations to ensure that the partner organizations are made cognizant of their roles and responsibilities in carrying out their construction function through three-day workshops held in each district;
  • Study for Housing Finance to examine the feasibility of housing finance mechanisms in the North East; and
  • Technical Assistance for Program Implementation, including (i) a Communication Campaign to ensure transparency through Continuous Social Impact Assessment that would facilitate the articulation of community perceptions, grievances and feedback covering the selection of villages, the identification of beneficiaries and the mobilization of resources; (ii) monitoring of the social dimensions of NEHRP and flag potential reputational risks; and follow-up Environmental Impact Assessment to ensure proper management o f the environmental dimensions of the program.

Component C: Program Management: (appraisal estimate US$4.7 million, actual cost US$3.9 million). This component included program management and implementation support for the project.

d. Comments on Project Cost, Financing, Borrower Contribution, and Dates
Project Cost: Final project cost was US$142.25 million compared with US$77.00 million estimated at appraisal. There primary reason for the increase was that the requested caseload exceeded financing available and the Bank provided additional financing to reconstruct 13,615 more houses in the North and East using the same selection criteria distributed across the eight districts in proportion to the incidence of conflict-damages. During implementation there were two reallocations of funding. In April 2010 'Unallocated Category‟ amount of US$733,800 was reallocated in order to: (a) expand skills training program in the Northern Districts; (b) expand environmental mitigation programs (tree planting in the constructed houses); and (iii) build more housing units in the Northern Districts. In November 2010 the undisbursed funds under the Unallocated Category were reallocated for: (a) housing constructions in the newly resettled areas in the Northern Province; (b) scaling up skills training in the hard-hit districts during the war; and (iii) protecting the environment by planting trees in the areas where trees were cut for the use of timber in housing construction.
Financing: The original IDA Credit of US$75.0 million increased to US$78.01 million due to depreciation of the US$ against Special Drawing Rights, the currency of the Credit, and this was fully disbursed.

The unavailability of material and shortage of labor slowed down progress of housing construction in the North, especially in Jaffna district. Further, on December 26, 2004 Sri Lanka was hit by the tsunami and the reconstruction process that followed significantly increased the demand for raw materials in the country. Additionally, the recurrent conflict and associated mobility constraints had reduced labor availability. Many masons had moved elsewhere leaving the North East with fewer construction workers. As a result of increase in the cost of construction material and labor, the housing grant was increased from Rupees 250,000 to Rupees 325,000 at the Mid term (November 2008) review. An additional financing of US$43 million was approved on November 10, 2008. Additional Financing of US$40.64 million was disbursed at the time the project closed and US$7,858 was cancelled. The status of the remaining balance of US$2.35 million is not given in the ICR.

The European Commission provided cofinancing of US$21.00 million equivalent that increased due to depreciation of the US$ to US$22.06 million. By project closing US$20.90 million had been disbursed and US$0.64 million was cancelled.

Borrower contribution: The Government of Sri Lanka contributed US$ 2.7 million, higher than the appraisal commitment of US$2.0 million.

Dates: The closing date of the project was extended by two and a half years from June 30, 2009 to December 31, 2011 to accommodate the activities under the additional financing.


3. Relevance of Objectives & Design:

a. Relevance of Objectives:
High
Project objectives were and remain relevant. More than 20 years of civil conflict in Sri Lanka had led to loss of life, displacement of persons belonging to all ethnic groups, and the destruction of infrastructure, housing, health centers, and schools. At the time of appraisal, approximately 2.5 million persons lived in areas of direct military activity. Of these, up to 700,000 had left the country while about 615,000 individuals remained internally displaced as of June 2002. About 172,000 of the internally displaced persons lived in refugee camps. About 326,000 houses were either damaged or destroyed in the civil conflict. The war had led to the destruction or damage of 58% of the total housing stock in the North East i.e. 326,000 units. The Jaffna district alone accounted for 45% of these damaged units.

The project objectives are in line with the Government's development strategy to rehabilitate the conflict-affected areas and encourage the return of Internally Displaced Persons.The objective of the project remains relevant to the Bank's Country Partnership Strategy for the period FY 2013-16 which aims to support improvements in living standards and social inclusion in order to ensure the benefits of rapid growth and higher quality services are broadly shared. Activities in this area include restoration of basic infrastructure, housing construction, and cash for work as well as support for starting new businesses in the conflict affected North and East regions of the country.

b. Relevance of Design:
Substantial
The project results framework provided a logical link between the activities financed by the project and the outputs. The project included three outcomes: (i) the provision of improved housing; (ii) the provision of affordable housing units, and (iii) the provision of housing to the poorest conflict-affected families in the North East. The cash grants included in the housing component would provide
assistance for the construction of partly-damaged as well as fully damaged housing units thereby improving housing and provinding affordable houses. To provide housing to the poorest conflict-affected families, the project design included "vulnerability criteria' (PAD page 6).


4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :

The project development objective to assist conflict affected communities in the Borrower’s North-East with housing improvement and reconstruction was substantially achieved.
The targeting of the conflict affected communities was adequate. The project included a 3-step selection process consisting of: (i) initial allocation of houses across districts based on housing damage assessment; (ii) village selection within each district based on ranking according to quantifiable criteria, and (3) beneficiary ranking within each selected village, based on an established quantifiable criteria. All information was entered into the database and subjected to review by Social Impact Assessment (CSIA) (ICR page 3). The ICR (page 6) reports that selections were done in a transparent manner which involved the communities, the Village Rehabilitation Committee (VRC) members and a Community Based Organization (CBO) representative supported by the village headman/woman called Grama Niladari.

Outputs

  • The project assisted in reconstruction of 49,507 houses compared to a target of 50, 061(99%) in eight districts (five in the Northern Province and three in the Eastern Province). A total of 544 houses were not completed for various reasons such as: unresolved land problems and disputes, internally displaced, displaced to India, and death. The ICR does not provide data on the number of poorest conflict affected beneficiaries. Also, there is no analysis on affordable housing. Half way through the implementation, house construction had to be suspended at Killinoichi, Mulaitivu, and Jaffna because of the escalation of war in those areas. Construction started in the newly resettled areas in the North only after the conflict was over and cleaning up of land mines in those places.
  • The appraisal target of 46,000 houses was reduced to 27,932 houses due to increased costs resulting from: (a) the Government's decision to increase the cash grant from Rupees 250,000 to Rupees 325,000 in May 2007 (at mid-term review), the project (allocation of Rupees 100,000 for partly damaged houses remained unchanged), and (b) a change in the ratio of fully damaged to partly damaged houses from initial estimate of 80:20 to 95:5 which was actually observed on the ground. An Additional Financing was approved in November 2008 and the new target was set for 50,061 houses.
  • About 45,000 new title deeds were issued under the project. The Land Task Force ensured that land title was issued in the name of both husband and wife where ever possible.

There were a number of shortcomings:
  • The training targets were not achieved. The project trained over 1284 masons compared to the appraisal target of 1,550; and 617 carpenters compared to the appraisal target of 752. The project provided short term training on housing requirements to over 1,000 traditional construction workers.
  • Beneficiaries were often unable to complete construction of their houses within the allocated housing grant envelope. They frequently utilized their savings and incurred debts. The ICR reports that this happened generally when many of them built houses bigger than the standard project specification of 500 sq. ft for a house (There is discrepancy in core house specification: PAD 400 sq. ft (page 3); ICR 500 sq. ft (page 10)).
  • Some houses were built using asbestos roofs. The project promoted using tiles as the roofing material, however with cost escalation the beneficiaries found it increasingly difficult to complete the core house within the given budget. As a result, the North East Housing Reconstruction Unit as well as the Bank agreed to the use of asbestos sheets in order to facilitate project implementation and also to ensure beneficiaries were not pushed into obtaining loans to build the roof. According to the project team, asbestos use was limited to Jaffna. The project was implemented around the time Sri Lanka was hit by Tsunami. Also, the war was still going on. Most roads were closed so transportation of bricks was a problem. Environmental Safeguards specialist was involved and cleared the asbestos. These asbestos sheets were specially treated so no environmental safeguards were violated.
  • The resolution of land disputes was inadequate. A total of 1,712 land dispute cases received of which 811 were resolved (47% success rate ), denoting constraints in the System (ICR page 41).
  • The Grievance Redressal System appears to have had a limited impact. About 6,891 grievances were received (only for phase V) of which only 1,075 (16%) were accepted and the balance 84% were rejected (ICR p. 44).

Outcomes
  • The Government mainstreamed the project standards and since 2009 it has been using the project standards as the national standards for the post-housing reconstruction in the North.
  • The ICR provides the following anecdotal evidence of the project's outcomes: (a) with a permanent house, it has become easier for beneficiaries to search for employment because their possessions can be secured in a locked house as opposed to a temporary shelter, (b) because of the skills development program, skilled and semi-skilled workers at village levels are working as masons and carpenters and their earning capacity has increased, (c) special attention was given to women during selection of skill programs in masonry and carpentry, special training was given to women, especially in Mulaitivu district, and (d) because the beneficiaries own their houses, they are in a better position to apply for bank loans to start businesses and thereby increase their income potential.

5. Efficiency:

At appraisal a cost benefit analysis was done for the housing assistance component. The analysis assumed that beneficiaries with land and housing ownership will have better livelihood and productivity, and can earn or generate higher income in a more sustainable manner. The household income was expected to increase by US$ 220 per annum. Beneficiaries were expected to start other income generating activities (home gardening, poultry farming). At completion, the project yielded modest returns measured in terms of Benefit: Cost ratio and Net Present Value of cost and benefit streams. At 8% rate of interest the Benefit: Cost ratio was 2.14, which implies that a dollar invested in the project yielded $2.1 as returns. At a higher discount rate of 12 percent, the project returned a Benefit: Cost ratio of 1.91.

The benefits stream included the incremental value of the reconstructed houses under the project, economy-wide multiplier impacts of wage incomes of construction expenditures, increase in wage incomes as a result of improved skills of workers trained as part of the project and benefits from rehabilitation and settlement of internally displaced families/persons due to the conflict. The values of houses were found to appreciate over the years in the project area. The rate of appreciation is expected at an annual rate of 9 percent for the next 15 years. In addition, it is assumed that the trained construction workers will earn additional wage incomes for the next 15 years of their productive life.

The ICR (page 22) reports that towards the end of the project, there were frequent changes of project directors and other senior staff of NEHRU, which adversely affected implementation. In addition it reports that (ICR page 10) technical officers did not always have adequate knowledge of construction practice while the training of masons and carpenters was not sufficient to meet the need for skilled labor.

The project was extended by two and a half years.

The efficiency of the project 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:


Rate Available?
Point Value
Coverage/Scope*
Appraisal:
No
%
%
ICR estimate:
No
%
%

* Refers to percent of total project cost for which ERR/FRR was calculated

6. Outcome:

The project facilitated reconstruction of houses in eight conflict affected districts (five in the Northern Province and three in the Eastern Province). The relevance of objectives was high, the relevance of design and efficacy was substantial. However, the project efficiency was modest. The outcome is rated moderately satisfactory.

a. Outcome Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

7. Rationale for Risk to Development Outcome Rating:

The project assisted in the rehabilitation of houses in conflict affected area in the North east region. The houses were transferred to beneficiaries and are now therefore private assets and individual house owners are responsible for the maintenance of their houses.
  • The project developed local capacity in carpentry and masonry thus the skills are there to maintain project-built housing.
  • The main risk for inadequate maintenance is that the individual house owners may not have enough savings to undertake maintenance. The ICR reports that some households are got into debt during the construction of the house. The risk to development outcome rating is moderate.

    a. Risk to Development Outcome Rating: Moderate

8. Assessment of Bank Performance:

a. Quality at entry:
The project design clearly spelled out the criteria to be used for the selection of villages and specific families to benefit under the Reconstruction Program. Stakeholder consultation was undertaken at every stage of planning and assessing environmental safeguards. The project design included grievance redress arrangement, with suitable representation of community members, to resolve complaints relating to determination of land ownership or the selection of beneficiaries. Risks were adequately identified and appropriate mitigation measures were included.

Quality-at-Entry Rating: Satisfactory

b. Quality of supervision:
The project underwent the Quality Assurance Group's "Quality Assessment of Lending Portfolio" review. The Assessment rated the quality of Bank supervision, supervision inputs and processes, and quality of implementation as satisfactory. The Implementation Status Reports realistically rated the performance of the project both in terms of achievement of development objectives and project implementation. Sufficient budget and staff resources were allocated, and the project was adequately and intensively supervised. The task team carried out supervision missions regularly at a time when the conflict was at its peak. Even in the face of safety and security challenges, the team operated efficiently and conducted ongoing risk mitigation measures to ensure that the project was implemented smoothly.
The supervision team was flexible and responsive to the changing needs during implementation. On December 26, 2004 Sri Lanka was hit by the tsunami and the reconstruction process that followed significantly increased the demand for raw materials in the country. Additionally, the recurrent conflict and associated mobility constraints had reduced labor availability. Many masons had moved elsewhere leaving the North East with fewer construction workers. As a result of increase in the cost of construction material and labor, the housing grant was increased from Rupees 250,000 to Rupees 325,000 at the Mid term (November 2008) review. An additional financing of US$43 million was approved on November 10, 2008.

The Bank's procurement and financial management staff worked with the North East Housing Reconstruction Unit staff to explain the rules and procedures to be applied during project implementation, based on the Loan and Project Agreement.

The resolution of land disputes was inadequate. The training targets were not achieved. The Grievance Redressal system appears to have had a limited impact. There is no clear statement as to whether all safeguards policies were complied with. However, the project team clarified that environmental safeguards were complied with.

Quality of Supervision Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

Overall Bank Performance Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

9. Assessment of Borrower Performance:

a. Government Performance:
The project did not suffer from any counterpart funding problems. The government officials worked closely with the Bank's project team on a continual basis, and cooperated fully with the task team. The project did not suffer from any counterpart funding problems. However, towards the end of the project, there were frequent changes of project directors and other senior staff of the North East Housing Reconstruction Unit, which adversely affected implementation (ICR page 22).
The North East Provincial Council used a US$ 1.5 million Project Preparation Facility (PPF) to finance: (i) a pilot housing damage assessment and social verification survey and an Environmental Impact Assessment in 29 villages, (ii) a pilot housing initiative, and (iii) pilot training of skilled construction workers. The housing pilot initiated in July 2004 entailed the reconstruction of 860 houses in the eight districts of the North East.

Government Performance Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

b. Implementing Agency Performance:
North East Housing Reconstruction Unit was the project's implementing agency. The Unit carried out all aspects of project management, such as financial management, procurement, reporting, and disbursements adequately. To ensure transparency and fairness of the Grievance Redressal Process, the Unit supported the Government to establish a Divisional Grievance Redressal Committee to hear complaints regarding the selection process.
The grievance redress system should not only be transparent but easy to access and should involve substantive communication campaign to ensure broad awareness among beneficiaries. The pilot grievance redress system lacked transparency and ended at the divisional level. Beneficiaries subsequently had little right of appeal. Taking this experience into account, the project designed divisional, district, and provincial grievance redress procedures. It was followed by a substantive communication campaign.

Implementing Agency Performance Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

Overall Borrower Performance Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

10. M&E Design, Implementation, & Utilization:

a. M&E Design:
The results framework included only output indicators such as: number of housing units reconstructed within specified time and allocated budget, percentage of cash grants disbursed within the allocated four month construction period, and number of homeowners awarded with regularized land titles. There were no outcome indicators.

b. M&E Implementation:
The North East Housing Reconstruction Unit collected data regularly on the project outputs. The Management Information System included financial, physical, and operational data with detailed information on each beneficiary i.e. name, location, socio-economic profile, family details, housing data, land ownership etc. It also included modules on village selection, beneficiary selection, grievance redressal, construction progress and financial management.

a. M&E Utilization:
The data was used for decision-making. When problems such as lack of materials for construction were identified, appropriate decisions were made to resolve them.

M&E Quality Rating: Modest

11. Other Issues:

a. Safeguards:
The project was categorized “B” under OP4.01 Environmental Assessment. An Environmental Impact Assessment was undertaken during the course of the pilot based on which an Environmental Management Framework was prepared during project preparation. In addition, at appraisal the following safeguard policies were applied: Forests (OP 4.36), Involuntary Resettlement (OP 4.12), and Indigenous Peoples (OD 4.20). The key environmental issue identified was possible unsustainable harvesting of natural resources as construction material such as sand, clay, rocks, coral and timber. According to the appraisal document, there would be no involuntary settlement as most houses would be repaired in situ. The operational policy on Involuntary Resettlement (OP 4.12) would apply in cases of the relocation of landless people. Regarding indigenous peoples directive, the appraisal document noted that indigenous peoples live in some villages of Batticaloa district. If indigenous people were to be included in the program, a diagnostic consultation with the communities in question was required. A Social Safeguards Framework was prepared and cleared with the Bank. This included guidelines to prepare a Resettlement Action Plan, if needed at a future date.
An Environmental Impact Assessment was undertaken during the course of the pilot based on which an Environmental Management Framework was prepared during project preparation.

During implementation, the environmental issues were monitored by the North East Housing Reconstruction Unit. An Environmental Unit was established and was staffed with Environmental Officers. The environmental issues were assessed through an Environmental Impact Questionnaire. Every village selected for funding under the project was subjected to a rapid environmental assessment (using the questionnaire) based on which a village specific environmental management plan was prepared. This assessment was undertaken at the start of each implementation phase by the technical staff of the relevant divisional secretariats and local authorities. The completed questionnaire were reviewed by the project environmental officers and cleared. It was only upon environmental clearance that social mobilization and housing construction activities in the villages commenced. The ICR reports that the project contributed to the increased demand of construction materials and resulted in increased mining and extraction in numerous sites throughout the region as well as in the rest of the country. It is not clear from the ICR whether increased mining and extraction led to negative effects on the environment. The ICR (page 12) reports that "the on-site environmental impacts of housing re-construction, as implemented under the project, were not considered a serious threat".

Although the Forests and Indigenous Peoples safeguards were triggerred at appraisal, The Integrated Safeguards Data Sheet states "The program will not finance reconstruction activities within natural habitats, declared forest and wildlife areas, therefore would not have any adverse impact on environmentally sensitive areas". The ICR does not discuss Indigenous Peoples and Forest safeguards. There were no case of land acquisition. The project team clarified that environmental safeguards were complied with.

b. Fiduciary Compliance:
The project complied with fiduciary covenants during implementation. Internal control arrangements were in place, and adequate financial management system and records were maintained. The financial management arrangements for the Project were based on the Government's Financial Regulations and the project included measures to strengthen the Internal Audit Department of North East Provincial Council which was in charge of doing quarterly internal audit of the project. The Auditor General of Sri Lanka carried out the audit of the project annually. The audits were satisfactory (ICR page 23).
Procurement was carried out in accordance with the Bank guidelines. A Procurement Plan was prepared at the beginning of the project and periodically reviewed and updated as required by the Bank Procurement Specialists to reflect the actual implementation needs and improvements in institutional capacity. Procurement of resources (construction material and labor) was done directly by the beneficiaries for their housing construction, without any middle men.

c. Unintended Impacts (positive or negative):
The ICR states that the reconstruction of a permanent house enabled families to marry off their daughters more easily, because daughters are supposed to get a house as dowry. It also stated that the project facilitated widow remarriage and re-entry into social life otherwise impossible for dispossessed single women.

d. Other:
None are mentioned in the ICR.



12. Ratings:

ICR
IEG Review
Reason for Disagreement/Comments
Outcome:
Satisfactory
Moderately Satisfactory
The project facilitated reconstruction of houses in eight conflict affected districts (five in the Northern Province and three in the Eastern Province). The relevance of objectives was high, the relevance of design and efficacy was substantial. However, the project efficiency was modest. The outcome is rated moderately satisfactory. 
Risk to Development Outcome:
Moderate
Moderate
 
Bank Performance:
Satisfactory
Moderately Satisfactory
The resolution of land disputes was inadequate. The training targets were not achieved. The Grievance Redressal system appears to have had a limited impact.  
Borrower Performance:
Satisfactory
Moderately Satisfactory
Both the Government and the Implementing Agency Performance is rated moderately satisfactory due to: frequent changes of project directors and other senior staff of the North East Housing Reconstruction Unit, which adversely affected implementation, inadequate grievance redress system.  
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.
- The "Reason for Disagreement/Comments" column could cross-reference other sections of the ICR Review, as appropriate.

13. Lessons:
The following lessons are taken from the ICR with some adaptation:
  • The projects involving housing grants need to ensure that a minimum housing package is given and that it is adhered to. It is very likely that for a project like the North East Housing Reconstruction Project, with a duration of about four years, there will be price escalations and consequent cost over runs. In order to cope with these increases, there should be adequate flexibility to adjust the housing cash grant amount.
  • The grievance redress system should not only be transparent but easy to access and should involve substantive communication campaign to ensure broad awareness among beneficiaries. The pilot grievance redress system lacked transparency and ended at the divisional level. Beneficiaries subsequently had little right of appeal. Taking this experience into account, the project designed divisional, district, and provincial grievance redress procedures. It was followed by a substantive communication campaign.
  • Close monitoring and supervision by technical officers and engineers contributed to a standard quality and completion of houses within the time frame. The technical officers and engineers went out of their way to help beneficiaries to resolve shortage of construction materials.

14. Assessment Recommended?

No

15. Comments on Quality of ICR:

Overall, the quality of evidence and analysis is adequate and the lessons are based on analysis. It provides the implementation narrative and anecdotal evidence on social impacts. There is no clear statement as to whether all safeguards policies were complied with. There is no discussion on the Indigenous Peoples or Forests safeguards. The status of the remaining balance of US$2.35 million is not given in the ICR (see section 2d above). The ICR does not explain why 84% of the 6,891 grievances received were rejected.

a. Quality of ICR Rating: Satisfactory

(ICRR-Rev6INV-Jun-2011)
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