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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Provincial And Rural Infrastructure Project

1. Project Data:   
ICR Review Date Posted:
Project Name:
Provincial And Rural Infrastructure Project
Project Costs(US $M)
 23.3  24.4
L/C Number:
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 20.0  17.4
Sector Board:
Cofinancing (US $M)
 0  0
Board Approval Date
Closing Date
09/30/2007 12/31/2011
Roads and highways (83%), Central government administration (9%), Sub-national government administration (8%)
Rural services and infrastructure (25% - P) Conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction (25% - P) Other accountability/anti-corruption (24% - P) Injuries and non-communicable diseases (13% - S) HIV/AIDS (13% - S)
Prepared by: Reviewed by: ICR Review Coordinator: Group:
Kavita Mathur
Kristin Hallberg Soniya Carvalho IEGPS1

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives:
According to the Project Appraisal Document (p. 2) the objective of the project was to assist the Kingdom of Cambodia to enhance the livelihood of the peoples residing in the provinces of Kampong Thom, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear and Siem Reap by providing sustainable access to markets and essential services through (i) a program of road rehabilitation and maintenance; (ii) a program of capacity building and training; and (iii) development of improved public policies and strategies. The objectives in the Project Appraisal Document and the Development Credit Agreement are the same.

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? No

Date of Board Approval:

c. Components:
The project comprised five components.

  1. 1. Maintenance management (appraisal estimate (US$1.0 million, actual cost US$0.1 million). This component would support: (a) installation and operation of road maintenance management systems at the national level in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and Ministry of Rural Development. At provincial level in Provincial Public Work Department for MPWT and Provincial Department Rural Development for MRD at the Kampong Thom province, Oddar Meanchey, PreahVihear and Siem Reap; and (b) annual programs of routine maintenance on all roads in good and fair condition in the provinces of Kampong Thom, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear and Siem Reap. The routine maintenance would be funded from the Government's annual budget allocations.
  2. Rehabilitation and periodic maintenance of secondary-national, provincial and tertiary roads (appraisal estimate US$18.65 million, actual cost US$19.8 million). The component included a program of rehabilitation and periodic maintenance in the four provinces of Kampong Thom, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear and Siem Reap. It covered: (a) approximately 300 km of strategic secondary-national and provincial roads under the Ministry of Public Works and Transport; and (b) approximately 300 km of tertiary roads under the Ministry of Rural Development. The works were to be contracted out and a program to develop qualified private contractors was to be run concurrently, increasing private sector involvement in the road sector.
  3. Capacity building program (appraisal estimate US$2.60 million, actual cost US$4.0 million). The project would support a program of institutional strengthening for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Ministry of Rural Development.
  4. Policy and strategy development (appraisal estimate US$0.2 million, actual cost US$0.07 million). This component would support a program to improve the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Ministry of Rural Development policy and strategy development in the areas of: (a) integrated planning and budgeting of roads; (b) least cost life-cycle standards; (c) use of appropriate technology; (d) mainstreaming of road maintenance; and (e) institutional reform. This component would also support the on-going policy development in the transport sector, primarily supporting initiatives that are already underway.
  5. Community awareness programs (appraisal estimate US$0.55 million, actual cost US$0.08 million). This component would support community awareness program aimed at increased awareness of road safety; HIV/AIDS; people’s participation in road planning, and access to public information; mine and Unexploded Ordnance Risks; and mine clearance programs.

d. Comments on Project Cost, Financing, Borrower Contribution, and Dates
Project Cost: The actual project cost was US$24.4 million slightly higher than the appraisal estimate of US$23.3 million.

Financing: The actual credit amount was US$ 17.4 million. A total of US$2.29 million was cancelled.

Suspension: The project disbursements were suspended from June 5, 2006 to February 1, 2007, except for contracts associated with preparation of the financial audit and the construction of two essential bridges on a district road. The project was suspended for 8 months due to the miss-procurement of six civil works contracts. A good governance framework was developed for the project and an Action Plan was established. An International Procurement Adviser (IPA) - Crown Agents - was recruited. Responsibility for project procurement activities was taken away from the two implementing agencies and passed to the IPA. A Contract Supervision Consultant was recruited to inspect the quality of the civil works and to approve payments. This responsibility had previously been with the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation and the Ministry of Rural Development who had delegated this responsibility to their provincial offices. In addition a Technical Audit was included in the project activities.

Borrower Contribution: The Borrower actual contribution was US$6.9 million compared to the appraisal estimate of US$3.3 million.

Dates: The project closed on December 31, 2001, more than four years after the closing date of September 30, 2007 for the following reasons:

  • The project closing date was extended from September 30, 2007 to September 30, 2009 to make up for time lost due to the suspension and slow start-up of the Independent Procurement Agent.
  • The closing date was further extended from September 30, 2009 to December 31, 2010 due to late procurement process by IPA and to complete the second annual work program and capacity building activities funded under the Policy and Human Resource Development Grant (TF56974).
  • The closing date was further extended from December 31, 2010 to December 31, 2011, to complete a final six civil works packages that would provide basic all-weather access and connectivity to higher order roads for a number of poor rural communities.

3. Relevance of Objectives & Design:

a. Relevance of Objectives:
Relevance of Objectives: high. The project objectives remained consistent with the most recent Country Assistance Strategy (April 18 2005) which among other things focussed on improving rural livelihoods. The project objectives were in line with the National Poverty Reduction Strategy (2003-2005).

The Government and donor support was being directed towards the most basic needs at the village level through community driven development projects, and one of the project had reconstructed tertiary roads in six provinces located in the southeastern part of the country. The project complemented these efforts as it focused on the road network’s “missing middle”, that is, the part of the network between the national network and village access roads/tracks. This part of the network was critical for the reintegration of severely war affected people and areas into the national economy, and for the creation of opportunities for employment in rural areas and sustained livelihoods.

b. Relevance of Design:
Relevance of Design: modest.
The activities included in the project components were designed to contribute to the achievement of the project objectives through transport-related access (rather than the availability of services or ability to pay). The project component focussing on the rehabilitation and periodic maintenance of secondary, provincial and tertiary roads was critical for improving access. The project also supported the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Ministry of Rural Development in the areas of policy and strategy development. The project adopted an inclusive participatory planning approach that was new to Cambodia. This approach has been mainstreamed in the planning for roads.

The Project design had a number of shortcomings: the underestimation of costs; the failure to account for the severe capacity constraints in implementing agencies; the lack of an integrative framework for the policy and strategy development program; and the failure to recognize the imperfectly competitive market structure that led to collusion.

4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :

Assist the Borrower to enhance the livelihood of the peoples residing in the Project Provinces by providing sustainable access to markets and essential services: rated modest.

  • The project assisted in the rehabilitation of 263.4 km of strategic secondary-national and provincial roads compared to the revised target of 250 km.
  • About 84 km of rural roads and two bridges were rehabilitated compared to the revised target of 80 km.
  • The project assisted in the maintenance of 738 km of secondary and provincial roads compared to the original target of 300 km (the target was not revised).
  • The project also assisted in the maintenance of 602 km of tertiary roads compared to the original target of 300 km (the target was not revised).

Institutional Capacity Building

The project did not fully implement the policy and strategy development component. The use of appropriate technology and institutional reform was not carried out. Following outputs were partly achieved:

  • A three-year rolling program for investment was developed, but at project closing was not fully operational.
  • Training was extended to national and provincial public works departments, and also to private contractors who were capable of carrying out civil works but lacked skills related to business processes. About 450 staff from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and 215 staff from the Ministry or Rural Development received training in project management, planning, road maintenance, road safety, etc. The ICR reports that the link between the training and the sustainability of improved road services has been seriously compromised by the Government’s decision to terminate programs designed to adequately remunerate and thereby retain high caliber staff (ICR p. 13). Furthermore, on the job knowledge transfer was also undercut after suspension when procurement and supervision authority was transferred from ministry staff to the IPA and Supervision Engineer.
  • A Roads Maintenance Management System was established for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport. An inventory of all road assets was done and the Ministry staff were trained, but problems with data interpretation precludes the system's use to develop prioritized road maintenance plans.
  • A Roads Maintenance Management System was installed in two provinces but the Ministry of Rural Development lacked funds to pay the servicing fees. It is in the process of developing its own system using Microsoft Access (Map Source and Arc GIS).
  • A new Roads Law was approved.
  • According to the Government, after project closing, many staff at MRD-PRIP have become specialists in procurement, M&E, Environment and Safeguard Issues and a teacher at University (Community Development).


The project increased access to all weather roads. Before the project only 708 out of 1932 villages (37%) in the project provinces were linked to secondary and provincial roads in good condition. After project completion, 1059 out of 1932 villages (55%) had all weather access to the secondary and provincial road networks. The ICR noted that these roads were selected in a participatory manner, i.e., the residents considered these roads most essential for access to markets and services, and for connecting to the national road network, and/or for linking provincial centers together (ICR p. 12). Most of the project roads remained in good condition, despite the extraordinary weather conditions of 2009 and 2011 (extensive rains and severe flooding).

The rehabilitation of roads resulted in reduction in travel time and costs of transportation (see table below).

Travel Time
Cost (Riel)
Before the Project
After Road Rehabilitation
Before the Project
After Road Rehabilitation
Angkor Chum to Varin -
Svar Sar Commune (travel to town)
Five hours*
45 minutes*
Angkor Chum to Varin - Charchhouk Commune (travel to town)
Three hours
25 minutes*
Road PR 213 - Reakreay Commune (comunie to village)
One hour
Less than half hour
Road NR 71 (transport to NR 6)
Road PR 181 (travel to district)The earth road was impassable even during the dry season.
Four hour walk.
The final section of the road to the Commune Center, which would serve about 10,000 people, is still not passable in the wet season.

* Based on figures provided by the Government.

Access to markets, health centers and schools was improved:

  • Angkor Chum to Varin road - Svar Sar Commune. Before the road was improved, rice growers had to bring rice to the market, at a cost of Riel 500/kg; now the rice broker comes to the village and pays Riel 1200/kg. Before the project, the patients had to be transported to the hospital. After the road was rehabilitated, ambulance service was possible. Before, villagers could only travel in daylight; now that the mines have been cleared, it is safe to travel after dark.
  • Angkor Chum to Varin - Charchhouk Commune. Travel time was reduced from three hours to twenty five minutes and the cost decreased from Riel 30,000 to Riel 8,000. Despite the improvements in the road, there were drainage problems.
  • Road PR 213 - Reakreay Commune. Before the road was improved, no middleman would come to the village to buy rice. After road improvement , the middleman comes and pays R 1200/km. Before the villagers relied on traditional medicine; now they can visit health clinics when sick. Before the school drop-out rate was high after 4th grade (the village school only went to 4th grade); now they have a secondary school and school attendance is high.
  • Salavisai to Stoung road. The road serves about 2000 people and passes through two communes. Before improvement, only animal cart transport was possible. After the road was improved, the cost to Kampong Thoms dropped from 35,000 to 2-3,000 Riel. Access to markets, schools, clinics and the hospital improved, and traders and NGOs are coming into the area.
  • According to the the regions comments, the Bank’s EXT colleagues in Cambodia interviewed beneficiaries and produced a video which was posted on the Bank website. The people interviewed siad that through the project their revenues have increased because more buyers visit their villages, the project has reduced the travel distances and times on the roads, improved access to markets, health centers and schools, etc. During the interview, a woman who lives in a village near one of the roads of the project said with tears in eyes: "I could not go to high school because there was no road to reach the high school from my village. Today, thanks to the road rebuilt by the project, I am proud that my children can go to high school easily".

Social development was promoted with the participation of about 15,000 people in preventive activities (HIV/AIDS awareness, road safety, unexploded ordnance awareness).

The ICR reports that road safety became a problem with the improvement in roads. There were some accidents - 12 in 2011 and 9 in 2010 on Angkor Chum to Varin road - Charchhouk Commune. On PR 213 - Reakreay Commune, traffic accidents are a problem, due to high speeds and drunk driving. In one month there were four accidents.

5. Efficiency:

At appraisal the Economic rate of return was estimated at 35%.
The ex-post analysis used actual costs and traffic volumes. The current (2011) traffic counts were available for only two of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport roads (NR 65 and NR 71). These counts showed traffic levels that were approximately equal or somewhat lower than those assumed at appraisal. The ICR (p. 28) reports that overall trends show substantial increases in traffic volumes throughout Cambodia, it is likely that the counts were incomplete and/or influenced by the count location.

For the Ministry of Rural Development roads, traffic counts were taken shortly after completion of each road. These show levels of traffic growth that were higher than expected, with increases of 45% in Oddar Meanchey Province, 186% in Preah Vihear Province, 352% in Siem Reap Province and 358% in Kampong Thom Province. The counts include non-motorized and motorized vehicles, with the highest growth in numbers of motor cycles. As the roads were barely passable, if at all, prior to improvement, high levels of traffic growth are reasonable.

For Ministry of Public Works and Transport roads, six road links yielded a range of NPVs from US$0.025 million to US$8.8 million and ERRs ranging from 15 percent and 21 percent. These fall within the same range as the original estimates for the same roads. For Ministry of Rural Development, the ex-post ERRs range 19 percent and above 50 percent.

The project closed on December 31, 2011, more than four year after the closing date of September 30, 2007. There were no major cost overruns.

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:

Rate Available?
Point Value
ICR estimate:

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

6. Outcome:

The relevance of objectives is rated high, while that of design is assessed as modest. Project efficacy and efficiency are assessed as modest. The project outcome is moderately unsatisfactory.

a. Outcome Rating: Moderately Unsatisfactory

7. Rationale for Risk to Development Outcome Rating:

The risk to development outcome is rated high for the following reasons:
  • Inadequate funding for road maintenance. While allocations from Treasury for road maintenance have steadily improved, total funding for roads is inadequate and the risk of inadequate, unpredictable and/or untimely funding remains.
  • Lack of a policy framework and strategy to guide the development of the roads and transport sector. Ratification of the proposed Roads Law is expected soon, which will clarify roles and responsibilities (roads will be classified by function rather than traffic volumes), but questions remain over such issues as sources of funding for roads, commercialization of road services and the role of the private sector.
  • Inability to retain technically qualified staff. Both the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Ministry of Rural Development are short of trained staff, and will continue to be until such staff can be adequately compensated. This requires a civil service reform. Civil service reforms related to conditions of service and remuneration have been rescinded but not replaced.
  • While the adoption of a Good Governance Framework is a good start, the risk of fraud and corruption remains. Some progress has been made, as measures put in place by the two Ministries have contributed to more transparent processes and reporting, and the oversight role of civil society may develop over time.

    a. Risk to Development Outcome Rating: High

8. Assessment of Bank Performance:

a. Quality at entry:
Project preparation benefitted from analytical work carried out under the Road Rehabilitation Project (RRP, Cr. 3181-KH, FY99) and a PHRD grant (TF26422). The former provided initial thinking on transport sector policy and strategy, including proposals for legislative and institutional reform. The latter enabled a broader and more intensive analysis of rural access needs and solutions at the provincial and district levels. Safeguards were appropriately identified. However, there were a number of shortcomings:

  • Some of the risks were underestimated. The project was assigned an overall risk rating of substantial risk. However the only risk rated high was that a road maintenance policy and maintenance financing mechanism would not be established within the three-year time frame of the project. The risk associated with security and rule of law was rated modest, while the risk associated with transparent competitive tendering processes of public road works was rated substantial. These risks should have been rated high.
  • Lack of due diligence in vetting technical designs and cost estimates. The costs were underestimated and the quality of designs was poor (especially of the Ministry of Rural Development roads). The poor quality of the designs not only affected the quality and quantity of civil works that could be carried out, but also contributed to governance problems by opening the door to variation orders and cost overruns.
  • The project design failed to to account for the severe capacity constraints of the implementing agencies. The Ministry of Rural Development was a relatively new ministry and inexperienced in road planning and management, while the Ministry of Public Works and Transport was more experienced but under-resourced/under-staffed.
  • The policy and strategy development program lacked an integrative framework; the component simply comprised five practical areas intended to improve various aspects of decision-making and cost-effective implementation.

  • Quality-at-Entry Rating: Moderately Unsatisfactory

    b. Quality of supervision:
    The Bank’s supervision from Board approval to the project suspension on June 6, 2006 was satisfactory. Three supervision missions were carried out per year. These were supplemented by procurement and environment/safeguards missions. Problems were documented in mission reports. The Bank was proactive in working with the implementing agencies to find solutions, but slow to downgrade the project, doing so only after the suspension had taken effect. The decision to exempt from the suspension the construction of two critical bridges on the Salavisai Commune to Stoung District Road was appropriate as these bridges were critical for the beneficiaries. The Bank’s performance during "from the suspension to the restructuring in September 2010" was moderately unsatisfactory. The Bank agreed to lift the suspension, however, this required outsourcing of procurement and works supervision and thus undercut the use of government systems and procedures and “learning by doing” that had been at the core of the project design. Also, the appointment of the Independent Procurement Agent and Supervision Engineer took time and delayed project implementation. The Bank missions were shorter and somewhat less frequent during this. The mid-term review was postponed indefinitely, the project was not restructured beyond the conditions for lifting the suspension, and the performance indicators were not brought into alignment with the reduced available time and funding.

    In mid-2010 the project was downgraded to unsatisfactory in recognition that the original outcomes and targets could not be achieved. The project was restructured and extended for one final year on December 31, 2010. The restructuring revised the targets downward and identified a set of activities that could realistically be completed within a one year time frame if the project were extended for a final 12 months.

    The Bank's performance after restructuring i.e. from September 2010 to project closing was satisfactory. All the activities agreed in the restructuring package were successfully implemented ahead of the project closing date. The Bank closely monitored the project. According to the region, the client acknowledged that the role of the Bank’s team was decisive for the good results.

    Overall, the quality of supervision is moderately satisfactory.

    Quality of Supervision Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

    Overall Bank Performance Rating: Moderately Unsatisfactory

    9. Assessment of Borrower Performance:

    a. Government Performance:
    The Government support for improving budgetary systems and providing adequate funding for road construction and maintenance were delayed. The Government made counterpart funds available and the works were completed as planned. Also, planning and budgeting improved in both MPWT and MRD; budget allocations for road maintenance rose steadily and in the later years exceeded the targets set under the project.

    The finalization and endorsement of the Roads Act, which was needed to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the various ministries and agencies with respect to roads was also delayed. In parallel to the project, the draft Road Law was recently endorsed by the Council of Ministers and is scheduled to be submitted to the National Assembly for approval by September 2012, and a Rural Roads Policy was submitted to the Council of Ministers for endorsement.

    About 450 staff from MPWT and 215 staff from MRD received training in project management, planning, road maintenance, road safety, etc. However the link between the training and the sustainability of improved road services has been seriously compromised by the Government’s decision to terminate programs designed to adequately remunerate and thereby retain high caliber staff.

    Government Performance Rating: Moderately Unsatisfactory

    b. Implementing Agency Performance:
    The Social and Environmental Unit was established within MPWT as planned; and a Financial Management Standard was prepared and implemented.

    The first three audit reports were not delivered on time, and procurement irregularities resulted in mis-procurement of six contracts and cancellation of corresponding amounts from the Credit. The suspension affected morale at all levels and undercut momentum in particular at the provincial level. The imposition of parallel implementation arrangements complicated implementation, and project implementation stalled.

    After the suspension was lifted and the implementation arrangements were clarified, the two implementing agencies, first MRD and then MPWT, resumed implementation of the project. Fiduciary compliance improved, with audit reports produced on time and project progress reports prepared at least on an annual basis. The mandated Good Governance Frameworks were implemented by the two ministries and a complaint handling mechanism was established. The websites and related disclosure of the project information also improved. While monitoring and evaluation data were collected on a more regular basis towards the end of the project, the use of such information as a project management tool has yet to gain traction.

    Baseline data was not collected, and development of project websites was behind schedule. Fiduciary compliance was poor throughout the first half of the project.

    Implementing Agency Performance Rating: Moderately Unsatisfactory

    Overall Borrower Performance Rating: Moderately Unsatisfactory

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

    a. M&E Design:
    The key performance indicators were defined to measure broadly defined access, i.e. actual use of services. These indicators included reduction in travel time and transport costs. The M&E design should have included impact evaluation to determine the extent to which the project caused the final outcome i.e enhance the livelihood of the people. However, this outcome is likely to have been caused both by project-related and external factors.

    The project included indicators such as increased use of health services, increased use of education services, increased volume and revenue of tourism, increased flow of information in rural areas, increased number of non-farm employment opportunities, and increased number of non-governmental organizations active in the project area. Many of the indicators were not readily quantifiable, such as increased flow of information, and it was not clear how the indicators were intended to be measured as the “Data Collection Strategy” column of the Project Design Summary was left blank. Baseline data were not collected during project preparation.

    b. M&E Implementation:
    As mentioned above, there was no baseline data. Data was first collected in 2007 three years after the project became effective. Thereafter the Key Performance Indicator table was updated annually, although some of the data were unreliable or unavailable (ICR p. 8). There was no beneficiary reassessment at project closure.

    a. M&E Utilization:
    The ICR reports (p. 9) that there is no evidence to suggest that the data collected to populate the Monitoring and Evaluation framework was or will in the future be used for decision-making purposes.

    M&E Quality Rating: Negligible

    11. Other Issues:

    a. Safeguards:
    The project was rated Category "A" and following safeguards were applicable: Environmental Assessment (OP 4.01), Natural Habitats (OP 4.04), Cultural Property (OPN 11.03), Indigenous Peoples (OP 4.20) and Involuntary Resettlement (OP 4.12).

    An Environmental Assessment was prepared in accordance with OP 4.01 (PAD 22). The main findings were that, since the project would support rehabilitation of existing roads along their present alignments and within existing rights-of-way, any environmental impact of the project was expected to be limited to the construction effects associated with the rehabilitation and maintenance road works such as noise and dust, disposal of solid wastes, erosion, etc.

    Some of the roads proposed for rehabilitation adjoin protected landscapes, national parks, or wildlife sanctuaries and are therefore subject to OP 4.04 on Natural Habitats. Three important protected areas were located within the four provinces: Beng Per Wildlife Sanctuary, Phnom Kulen National Park, and Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary.

    Given the potential for cultural relics in the project area, particularly in Siem Reap province, OPN 11.3 on Cultural Property became applicable.

    At least one of the project provinces, Preah Vihear have some indigenous communities. At appraisal, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Ministry of Rural Development adopted an Indigenous Peoples' Development Framework (IPDF) (June 2003) in accordance with OD 4.20, and guidelines for screening and implementation are included in the agreed Project Implementation Plan (July 2003) (PAD p. 25).

    The project would support rehabilitation of existing roads. There was expected to be limited acquisition of land and resettlement of people. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Ministry of Rural Development at appraisal adopted a Resettlement Policy Framework (June 2003) in accordance with OP 4.12 and guidelines for screening and implementation are included in the agreed Project Implementation Plan (July 2003) (PAD p. 25).

    In addition to consultations around environmental and social impacts, the project enlisted the support of NGOs to design and implement public awareness campaigns for road safety, HIV/AIDS, mine and unexploded ordnance security, and for monitoring of civil works on the ground.


    A Coordination Committee on Social and Environmental Impacts and Work Quality was established in the project communes of MPWT (MRD used existing Road Maintenance Committees in the communes) to develop awareness campaigns which informed communities through the posting of information on signboards along the project roads. This included project cost and time frame, applicable safeguard frameworks and grievance redress mechanisms (with contact information and comment/complaint boxes). This was also posted on MPWT and MRD websites.

    The ICR reports (p. 10) the environmental and social safeguard compliance was satisfactory or moderately satisfactory throughout most of project implementation. Environmental management plans (EMPs) were included in works bidding documents, and social and environmental training of provincial offices was carried out. Some problems occurred in areas affected by the routine maintenance activities and in the environmental management of road works on NR 64 (which traversed part of the Boeng Per Wildlife Sanctuary). A review mission in mid-2005 found that the contractor had failed to comply with environmental protection measures within the Wildlife Sanctuary. This triggered a review of natural habitats by the Bank in the four project provinces.

    In July 2007, the Social and Environmental Unit of MPWT began to take an active role in overseeing environmental and social issues under the project, starting with NR 64 and carrying on throughout the second works program. Two publications – Final Standard Guidelines for Environmental Safeguards and Final Standard Guidelines for Implementation of Social Safeguards – were finalized in 2009-2010 and made publicly available in Khmer and English.

    The ICR does not report on involuntary resettlement/land acquisition, Cultural Property or Indigenous Peoples safeguards.

    b. Fiduciary Compliance:
    Serious problems were encountered in financial management in the early years of project implementation (ICR p. 9). Both Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Ministry of Rural Development encountered difficulties in finding and retaining qualified financial management staff and the Financial Management Advisor position in each ministry remained vacant throughout much of the first two phases of project implementation (and again for Ministry of Rural Development before project close). Remedial actions were taken by the Project Implementation Unit. This included preparation of a Financial Management Standard (2009).

    Audit compliance was especially poor in the early years. The first three audit reports were "seriously overdue"(ICR p. 9). Audit compliance improved and the audits were unqualified for later years (ICR p. 9).

    The Bank's Institutional Integrity Department (INT) uncovered evidence of corruption, collusion and fraud in four ongoing Bank projects in Cambodia. In case of this project, the investigation uncovered evidence of fraud and corruption in the procurement and/or administration of six contracts (two in Ministry of Public Works and four in Ministry of Rural Development ).


    The project experienced problems with procurement. For six contracts mis-procurement declared. A further procurement problem arose in mid-2009, with evidence of collusion among bidders for construction of drainage structures on MRD and MPWT roads. The Bank agreed for rebidding of two packages of civil works, as it found no evidence of government staff involvement (ICR p.9).

    c. Unintended Impacts (positive or negative):
    None reported in the ICR.

    d. Other:
    None reported in the ICR.

    12. Ratings:

    IEG Review
    Reason for Disagreement/Comments
    Moderately Unsatisfactory
    Moderately Unsatisfactory
    Risk to Development Outcome:
    Bank Performance:
    Moderately Unsatisfactory
    Moderately Unsatisfactory
    Borrower Performance:
    Moderately Unsatisfactory
    Moderately Unsatisfactory
    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.
    - The "Reason for Disagreement/Comments" column could cross-reference other sections of the ICR Review, as appropriate.

    13. Lessons:

    The following lessons are adapted from the ICR (pp. 21-23):
    • A well formulated sector policy and strategy are essential if gains are to be sustained. The Government of Cambodia and development partners have invested heavily in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Cambodia’s roads at the national, provincial, district and local levels. However, commensurate efforts to develop a sector-wide policy and strategy remain fragmented. Questions as to how road services will be provided, managed and financed have yet to be fully resolved.
    • Moving from force account to the contracting out of maintenance works involves not only building the capacity of individual contractors but also the entire contracting environment i.e. a well-defined legal framework within which contractual processes would be carried out; and building the capacity of the government ministries and their provincial departments with contract management.
    • For M&E frameworks to be useful, they have to employ indicators that are relevant and useful to decision makers. Data must be easy to collect and analyze, and progress on key indicators should be reported on at regular intervals.

    14. Assessment Recommended?


    15. Comments on Quality of ICR:

    The ICR is a bit long (22 pages). However, it is well written and is consistent with the ICR guidelines. The discussion and analysis is evidence based and of good quality - although good outcome evidence is missing (a fault of the project's M&E systems). The lessons are thoughtful and based on project experience. The ICR sometimes used the wrong ratings (e.g., “…achievement of the PDO and efficiency are moderately unsatisfactory and efficacy and efficiency are moderately unsatisfactory…” (para. 49). Also, not all of the defined performance indicators were reported in the introductory datasheet.

    a. Quality of ICR Rating: Satisfactory

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