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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Efa/fti: Education Sector Development Program

1. Project Data:   
ICR Review Date Posted:
Project Name:
Efa/fti: Education Sector Development Program
Project Costs(US $M)
 14  14
L/C Number:
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 14  14
Sector Board:
Cofinancing (US $M)
Board Approval Date
Closing Date
06/30/2010 03/31/2012
Primary education (86%), Central government administration (14%)
Education for all (100% - P)
Prepared by: Reviewed by: ICR Review Coordinator: Group:
Eluned Schweitzer
Pia Schneider Ismail Arslan IEGPS2

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives:

    This project is a sub-set of activities drawn from the Government of Mauritania Education Sector Development Program (EDSP, 2001-2011). The Project Development Objective is stated in several ways in the documentation and there are differences between the Project Appraisal Document (PAD) and the Legal Agreement.

    According to the PAD (pg. 5), the Project Development Objectives were to "help the Government of Mauritania to accelerate the implementation of the Government's Education Sector Development Program (ESDP 2001-2015) in its entirety. Activities financed by the CF are within the ESDP's plan of action over the period 2008-2010. The Catalytic Fund would have the following more specific objectives:
        (i) promote access to education and improve equity and retention in the sector by building additional classrooms in existing incomplete schools and through the acquisition of equipment, furniture and the expansion of the school feeding program;
        (ii) improve the quality of the pedagogical content of the primary education and the internal efficiency of the education system;
        (iii) improve the quality of teaching and the internal efficiency of education to improve monitoring and management of the education system."
    The Catalytic Fund (CF) Grant Legal Agreement lists only these three specific objectives.

    The Implementation Completion Report (ICR) evaluated the project against the specific objectives as stated in the PAD (pg. 5). This Review also rates the project against those objectives.

    The project appraisal document uses the wording of the objectives as the titles for project components.

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? Yes

Date of Board Approval: 06/09/2010

c. Components:

The project had three components:

I. Promote Access to Education and Improve Quality and Retention in the Sector (Appraisal US$9.14 million, Actual 10.23 million). This component was intended to support: (i) building 600 classrooms equipped with 201,100 students desks with priority given to incomplete 6 year primary schools. The project was also to have supported training for Parents Associations (PA) members in school management and the expansion of school feeding.

2. Improve the Quality of the Pedagogical Content of the Primary Education and the Efficiency of the Education System ( Appraisal US$2.83 million, Actual US$2.09 million). This component was to have purchased 3 million textbooks and 75,000 instructional materials to supply school libraries and reading corners.

3. Improve the Quality of Teaching and Learning and Internal Efficiency of Education ( Appraisal US$2.03, Actual US$1.68). This component was to: (i) support the ongoing incentive system for teachers who are judged to be teaching well for three months, to fill a gap between budget approval and disbursement to teachers in three poor regions; (ii) finance the development of a teacher evaluation system; and (iii) support improvements in the quality of student examinations and the student learning monitoring unit.

d. Comments on Project Cost, Financing, Borrower Contribution, and Dates

Project Cost: According to the Implementation Completion Report, the total project cost was US$14 million which was insufficient to carry out the planned activities. Errors in costing led to funds being reallocated between components. Funds went from the "soft" quality related components to the purchase of equipment. In addition, under component 3, activity (i) was carried out, but only parts of activity (ii) and (iii) were carried out, with the remaining funds reallocated to the school feeding program.

Financing: The project was financed by a grant from the Fast Track Initiative Catalytic Fund. Planned expenditures were US$14 million and this was all disbursed.

Borrower Contribution: No information is available at the time of writing.

Dates: The project was extended twice. The first extension was because the project was suspended on August 6, 2008 following political upheaval in the country. A Level 2 restructuring was approved on June 9, 2010 extending the closing date to September 30, 2011. The Bank re-engaged with the government on September 11 2009. A second extension and restructuring was granted on September 20, 2011 to complete school construction and finalize the acquisition of desks and textbooks.

3. Relevance of Objectives & Design:

a. Relevance of Objectives:

Substantial. The sub-set of specific objectives remained relevant at project closing. Support for basic education was and is included in the Country Assistance Strategy FY2008-FY2011, which has as its Pillar 3 "to develop human resources and generalize access to basic social services" (pg.15). Pillar 3 highlights better access to health and education and improvements to gender equity and notes significant improvements in gross enrollment rates between 2002 and 2003. Improving the quality of education is noted as key to addressing key challenges in the education sector.

    The project objectives are also highlighted in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper 2 where it is noted that progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is unsatisfactory (pg.10, CAS 2008-2011). The activities under the Catalytic Fund Grant were expected to contribute to laying the foundation for broad improvements in the education system, key to human development goals and economic growth. This Catalytic Fund Grant supported specific areas of the Government's Education Sector Development Program (2001-2010) and did not aim to support the entirety of the Program. However, the objectives were too broad and too vaguely defined.

b. Relevance of Design:

Modest. The Implementation Completion Report (p. 5) states that "the project was designed to support the 10 year Education Sector Development Program with a results framework that included sector-wide indicators to measure progress and was linked to the Program objectives and goals. Linking project results frameworks to a country's larger education sector goals and objectives was typical of Education For All - Fast Track Initiative projects at that time". The design of the project was intended to bolster the goals of the Government ten year program and provide additional funding for key issues at the time of a financing gap. The project design was expected to assist in improving the quality of education which would contribute to increasing the productivity of the poor and developing a human capital base, contributing to poverty alleviation through its effects on overall economic growth and improving equity in education provision. It focused on assisting rural children to access and complete basic education. Attention to significant social issues in addressing the needs of the poorest were made through targeted program activities in deprived areas. Gender issues at the primary level in these areas and across the country were also taken into consideration in project design, although the definition of gender issues as related to enrollment were not the most relevant. The issue of retention appears to be significant at the primary level and would have been a preferable target.

All the envisaged activities were expected to have contributed to the improvement of equity, access, efficiency and quality at the primary education level. However the activities chosen and the results framework were too ambitious for a three year project. As a result, it is not possible to identify a clear causal chain between the vaguely defined objectives, some of the activities and the envisaged outcomes. This is mainly due to multiple variables and unfinanced components in the broader program that would have potentially affected outcomes. Section 10 provides a more detailed assessment of the M&E framework. Some of the activities were bridging activities, such as the salary payments to rural teachers.

It is difficult to disentangle activities that were financed under this Catalytic Grant from other activities ongoing in the broader government Education Sector Program. The project was designed under criteria from the Fast Track Initiative which were not entirely synchronized with the requirements for standard World Bank projects. Comments on the draft ICR from the region note that these parameters have since been changed to provide a more uniform approach to project design and to allow for improved evaluation but at the time of project development this was not the case.

4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :

This ICR Review follows the same method as the ICR and rates project efficacy against the sub-objectives.

Most of the outputs achieved related to the first objective of increasing access.

(a) Promoting Access to Education and Improve Equity and Retention - Modest

Outputs :
    • 600 classrooms built - 64% of the classrooms built between 2008-2010.
    • acquisition of 30,000 desks for students
    • an expansion of the school feeding program to 149,609 children.
    • training of some parents in canteen management. This was included in the project even though no financing was provided. Actual achievements are unknown.
    • Parent Association school management training, which is a standard education activity where responsibilities for education are being devolved to school level, was not achieved. This would have been a relatively inexpensive activity and it is not clear why it was not undertaken.


It is not entirely possible to measure how much the activities under this Grant contributed to overall program outcomes.

    • Nationwide the percentage of primary schools offering a complete cycle increased from 43% to 71% between 2008 and 2012, in large attributable to the schools/classrooms improved under the project. The construction of classrooms and the presence of books and desks improved the capacity of the school system.
    • Gross intake rate at primary level increased by 3.5% nationwide over the life to the project.
    • Ratio of girls to boys at primary remained 50%.
    • Issues with access and girls enrollment may have been shifting to post primary under component (d) of the Government program which addresses secondary, vocational and technical education.
    • Although access to primary education was improved through the provision of hard inputs, other key inputs to ensure sustainability were not implemented including the training of parent associations in school management and maintenance. This activity was part of a planned larger decentralization of roles and responsibilities which did not take place, hence placing at risk the concept of community responsibility for primary schools.
      • The targeting of some activities under the project to three disadvantaged areas were expected to have an impact on equity issues; however the ICR does not provide any data by socio-economic groups.
      • Schoolmapping showed that 90% of the 600 classroom built under the project are in poorest areas.
      • The percentage of girls enrolled in primary schools in the three disadvantaged regions under the Catalytic Fund Grant increased from 48.2% in 2006/7 to 50% in 2012, meeting the Education Sector Development Program results framework target. With girls enrollment in primary near parity with boys at the beginning of the project, the goal of increasing access had been largely met by the time of this grant. This outcome can be partially directly attributed to the combination of inputs under this project - new buildings, equipment and school feeding. School feeding programs are known to encourage short term spikes in enrollment and attendance which drop off as the feeding programs close.
      • Some results are unclear. For example in one disadvantaged Wilaya (Brakna), retention results appear to either be lower or only slightly higher in 2011/12 than in 2008/9 and these data are not explained.
      • Overall it is the quality of education and the retention of students at the primary level that was of major concern, including for girls.
    There is little information on the effectiveness of the World Food Program activity which was a sub grant to implement a school feeding program, although it is stated that more children were reached than had been envisaged. Information as to what this activity consisted would have been helpful, for example about its contribution to community engagement in longer term development of school canteens, and whether it altered local feeding practices which would give the activity some degree of sustainability.

    (b) Improved Quality of the Pedagogical Content of the Primary Education and the internal efficiency of the education system - Modest

    Improved quality and internal efficiency are measured by an increase in the completion rate at primary level.

      • 2.78 million textbooks were procured not quite meeting the target of 3 million textbooks.
      • the planned 75,000 supplementary materials were not purchased
      • 100% of primary school teachers were retrained to teach in French and Arabic meeting the target of 80%.
      • 3,381 additional teachers graduating from pre-service training exceeding the target of 3,286 and 100 percent of the primary school teachers were retrained to teach the new curriculum in the bilingual system

    At the time of project closing the textbooks procured had not been distributed and supplementary reading materials had not been purchased due to a shortage of funds, so this output could not have immediately contributed to recent quality and retention gains. Also, it is not clear that the materials purchased under this component were an improvement on earlier materials, although improvements in actual pedagogical content could have taken place under other activities in the Government program.
      • No information is available on the % of primary students with textbooks in four core objectives, and the target of 96% was not met.
      • During the project period, the national completion rate increased from 50% in 2008, to 73.1%, surpassing the projected target of 64%. The region subsequently informed that this would likely not have happened without interventions of the Project such as the US$1.6 million in bridge financing that covered three months of teacher incentives until the extra budget was approved by parliament and regularized in the education budget. This support helped keep teachers in the classrooms and reduced likelihood of dropouts among more students.
      • No information is available on school performance. Thus decision making is not based on school performance.
      • No information is available on the internal efficiency of the education system
    (c) Improve the Quality of Teaching and Internal Efficiency of Education to improve monitoring and management of the education system. - Modest

    Improved quality and internal efficiency are measured by an increase in the completion rate at primary level.

      • the project provided incentives to teachers in poor areas in bridge financing (US$1.6 million) to cover for 3 months of incentives until the Government extra budget was made available.
      • the project provided short term training to Ministry of National Education (MNE) staff from the assessment unit in Senegal and France as part of the setting up of an official assessment unit.
      • the teacher evaluation mechanism was not developed
      • there was no training of parent associations to be engaged in school libraries
      • the project did not implement the planned supporting improvements in student examinations (except through the short term training outlined above)
    The Grant financed the development of a teacher evaluation questionnaire, preparatory to a baseline study of teacher behavior, short term training of the Ministry of National Education's student assessment team, the development of associated materials and an initial learning assessment. These are small scale capacity building inputs. Bridging payments to teachers also provided bridge financing covering three months of incentives to rural teachers until the extra budget was approved by Parliament. Comments from the region on the draft ICR clarified that this was a significant contribution to retaining teachers in the system and creating the possibility for improved enrollments and retention.

      • The student to teacher ratio at primary level declined from 47 students per teacher to 39 to 1 teacher meeting the target of 40 to 1.
      • During the project period, the national completion rate increased from 50% in 2008, to 73.1%, surpassing the projected target of 64%. However increased completion could also have been affected by improvements in the student/teacher ratio and the numbers of teachers trained and receiving in-service training, which were not financed by this grant.
      • No information is available on the internal efficiency of the education to improve monitoring and management

5. Efficiency:

    The Project Appraisal Document refers to a sector study of May 2006 which carried out cost-effectiveness analyses between school management structures, educational inputs and school performance. This concluded that the objectives and strategies of the ESDP were appropriate. It did not carry out a specific analyses related to this Catalytic Fund grant. The ICR contains cost effectiveness analyses for construction activities and discusses the role of classrooms and other inputs for children in rural areas, noting that 78% of out of school children are in rural areas.

    The project did attempt to address efficiency issues in concrete ways relating to project component implementation but there were shortcomings leading to a less than efficient use of financing.

    (i) The project disbursed US$5.9 million to finance the construction of 600 primary classrooms, most of which were new construction. A community based approach to construction was used which according to the Implementation Completion Report resulted in a lower unit cost than private sector estimates, despite an increase in construction material costs over the life of the project. However it is not clear if the standard of construction for these classrooms is the same as if they had been constructed by a private company. There seems to be little provision for school maintenance in the program or the government approach leading to concerns about long term sustainability.

    (ii) The unit cost for desks was less than budgeted for. However it is also noted that some 9,900 of the desks were of an inappropriate size/design for small children and these had to be purchased twice, thus using up funds originally allocated for other activities.

    (iii) The Implementation Completion Report notes that textbooks purchased were less costly than those procured in nearby countries. This is attributed to using national authors but procuring services from overseas printing and editing companies. However the unit price was still higher than had been originally estimated, resulting in the utilization of funds for textbook purchase that should have been used for the instructional materials component.

    (iv) The project used known government entities to implement the project. These had a good track record in financial management and general project management but were deficient in other skills such as Monitoring and Evaluation, leading to delays in data collection and use and loss of implementation time.

    (v) procurement delays did not allow for timely distribution of textbooks.

    Rating for efficiency is 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 substantial. These were and are still relevant to the outcomes outlined in Country Assistance Strategies and Education Sector Strategies agreed by IDA, the Government and other Donors.

The Relevance of Design is rated modest. The project was a sub set of activities taken from the broader long term program which, given country context, were not easily monitorable or implementable in the short timeframe. In particular the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework did not include sufficient intermediate indicators to track project activities.

The three sub- objectives are rated modest. The textbooks purchased were not delivered to schools. The project accomplished some of the basic purchases under the access and equity component, and financed some small capacity building activities.

a. Outcome Rating: Moderately Unsatisfactory

7. Rationale for Risk to Development Outcome Rating:

There is continued commitment on the part of government to invest in education. However, there are risks in a number of other areas: (i) financial risks as funds for the government education program are insufficient for needs; (ii) potential environmental risks as it is not clear that Bank standards and safeguards policies have been adhered to and (iii) potential issues of stakeholder ownership at the local government and community level if planned decentralization and associated support mechanisms for the transfer of responsibilities ( such as local school management) are not supported. The short term nature of some of the inputs such as school feeding might mean that current gains in retention and enrollment may dissipate over the coming years. There may also be a future risk of further political instability jeopardizing any gains in educational coverage and quality.

The outputs of the project as implemented are largely infrastructure and materials. Some of the components which would have contributed to longer term development impact in terms of improving the quality of education were not undertaken reducing the possible impact on the quality and efficiency of the education sector in Mauritania.

a. Risk to Development Outcome Rating: Significant

8. Assessment of Bank Performance:

a. Quality at entry:

As a sub-set of the Education Sector Development Program, the project components were strategically relevant to country needs as defined between the Bank and the Borrower in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and the Country Assistance Strategy. The design of the project did take into account the need for good financial management. Arrangements were made for project activities to be undertaken by an implementing agency known to be competent in this regard.

The Bank team prepared the project in only four months in response to an urgent demand from the Fast Track Initiative (FTI). The region subsequently informed IEG that this was driven by guidelines set by the FTI, which at the time, the Bank was required to adhere to. Since then, discussions at the macro level have resulted in more gracious preparation times and FTI's development of operational guidelines that are more harmonious with the Bank's. Activities chosen for the three year period of grant implementation were overly ambitious and initial inaccurate project costing led to the abandonment of some of them. There was no Quality of Entry Review, as it was not required and the short time did not allow for it.. Donor experts did contribute to the design of the project. The project document does not contain appropriate intermediate outcome indicators for the components, making evaluation difficult. Nor did the project comply with Bank environmental safeguards, although local standards were adhered to. It should have been possible for the preparation team to anticipate the amount of time it would take to involve a third party implementing agency such as the World Food Program and to plan accordingly.. The Bank began discussions early in project design but the process progressed very slowly, with extensive negotiations along the way.

Confusion regarding project development objectives relates to issues with the Project Management Framework and the M&E structure and is further discussed in section 10.

Quality-at-Entry Rating: Unsatisfactory

b. Quality of supervision:

Bank supervision of the project was diligent in terms of fiduciary and procurement matters and the Bank teams continued to oversee and work with the government through difficult political events. The Supervision teams aimed to ensure implementation of activities post re-engagement with the government, at which time none of the project activities had been completed. The project cannot be delinked from its parent Program. This interconnectivity was difficult for Task Managers and the government to manage in terms of implementing and assessing progress under the CF specific set of activities.

The Bank supervision teams rated the project continuously Satisfactory on the basis of disbursements, which remained reasonably on target due to the construction component. Thus, the quality and candor of performance reporting was not adequate. In addition, the Bank did not adequately identify or address project design and implementation weaknesses in a timely fashion, nor were they addressed during the initial restructuring. At that time the Bank team could have changed those objectives and activities that were not feasible within the project timeframe. Simplifying the project M&E framework would have made it easier to identify successes. Comments from the region on the draft ICR emphasized that the financing made a major contribution to the development of the Government Education Sector Plan which has helped attract resources from other donors. Donor involvement in the education sector has been strengthened by their cooperation in this effort.

Quality of Supervision Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

Overall Bank Performance Rating: Moderately Unsatisfactory

9. Assessment of Borrower Performance:

a. Government Performance:

    The Government was highly engaged in identifying education sector needs and activities under the Catalytic Fund grant. It was and remains committed to the broad education program and members were accessible to the Bank both before and after political upheavals. Beneficiary and stakeholder consultations were carried out and these validated to some extent the relevance of the program. However at a practical level there were significant gaps in the implementation of activities due to political circumstances and the consequent administrative changes within the government. Changes in Ministerial structure and responsibility brought delayed implementation.

    There were also issues with oversight of the implementing agency, particularly in regard to the M&E and textbook procurement activities. It is not clear why the government discontinued annual donor partner meetings which were a requirement under the project.

    The Government is requesting further funding to continue the broader education program of which the Catalytic Fund Grant activities are a part. Their investment in the program is reflected in interesting comments on the ICR and a realization of the further inputs needed to grow the education program as originally envisaged.

Government Performance Rating: Moderately Unsatisfactory

b. Implementing Agency Performance:

There is no description of the Project Coordination and Facilitation arrangements in the project document. nor any given budget for this task. A cost of US$2 million does appear in the Legal Agreement. The CF Grant was implemented by the Ministry of National Education (MEN) through the Directorate of Education and Training Projects (DPEF) in close collaboration with the Ministry of National Education Procurement Sub-Committee as well as the National Procurement Committee. The implementation schedule followed the existing Project Implementation Manual for the Education Sector Development Program including the disbursement schedule.

The implementing agency functioned well in its fiduciary capacity. Throughout implementation there was compliance to fiduciary standards and requirements and that there were no qualified audits. It also had good relations with Bank staff and donors and provided adequate support to the Bank staff in their visits and facilitated discussions with Government.

However frequent management and procurement staffing changes led to delays in implementation. Major issues were experienced with the textbook procurement and with the quality of equipment procured, which delayed project implementation and contributed to the inefficient use of project funds. Textbook procurement took two years to complete, the procurement of desks suffered from similar disputes due to bidder complaints and contractual issues. In addition the Agency proved unable to cope with the data collection necessary for the M&E component which subsequently had to be transferred to the government statistical agency.

Implementing Agency Performance Rating: Moderately Unsatisfactory

Overall Borrower Performance Rating: Moderately Unsatisfactory

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

a. M&E Design:

The M&E design used the PDO indicators and targets taken from the Education Sector Development Program. Most of these indicators are country wide and macro level and some did not relate to the project components under the CF grant. It did not include sufficient relevant intermediate outcome indicators for the actual project activities. In addition documentation includes several definitions of the PDO, giving rise to evaluation confusion.

Given the short timeframe of this project it would have been ambitious in any event to see direct impact from these particular project inputs which were bolstered by many other variables. In addition several indicators were only added in the 2010 restructuring to meet requirements for M&E from the World Bank Africa region. The M&E design included joint annual government donor meetings to discuss progress. Improve the Quality of Teaching and Internal Efficiency of Education to improve monitoring and management of the education system." Quarterly reports to the World Bank were also required.

Indicator 15 on the number of primary school pupils that have textbooks in four core subjects was not monitored as textbooks were not delivered in time to be distributed to schools. The financing for distribution was not in any case included in the sub set of activities for the CF Grant. The Implementation Completion Report results framework report also mentions the number of teacher trainers as an output although these were not supported under the CF Grant.

The Legal Agreement does not include the overarching objective of supporting the Government Education Sector Development Plan but is more specific as to activities. Using this subset of activities more clearly to develop intermediate indicators for CF grant project activities would have been useful and this is correctly noted in the ICR as a project design flaw.

b. M&E Implementation:

Under other activities in the Education Sector Development Program, the Government has undertaken the development of an Education Management System (EMIS) with standardized data collection and presentation. These instruments and data were used during the implementation of the CF grant. Data was collected throughout the project period. However the implementation unit originally tasked with the monitoring and evaluation did not have the capacity to do the necessary work and this was given to the Government statistical unit.

The project did not have adequate monitoring arrangements in place prior to effectiveness. The M&E unit did not have "the required systems and fully trained staff with adequate capacity to fully monitor all aspects of implementation" (ICR pg. 21).

The planned joint annual donor meetings were discontinued after the change of government. The World Bank and the Lead Donor ( French Development Agency) were left to bring together the various donors. Meetings did not take place regularly and there was limited government/donor monitoring of the project or the broader program. and quarterly progress reports to the Bank did not contain in depth data analysis, although regular data collection did take place.

a. M&E Utilization:

During project implementation there was clearly a gap between the ability to collect data and the ability to analyze and use it within the implementing agencies. Government agencies are collecting data on the macro indicators under Education Sector Development Program and this is being used for decision making. However given the situation above this use of data for decision making has not been optimal and the lack of oversight from donors has left a gap in planned quality control.

M&E Quality Rating: Negligible

11. Other Issues:

a. Safeguards:

The preparation team did not disclose the Environmental and Social Management Framework in the project document. Despite this lack, Implementation Status Reports rated the safeguards as satisfactory throughout implementation. The government apparently did confirm that construction was carried out in keeping with standards issued by the Ministry of Environment. A post construction review was carried out confirming no long-lasting environmental damage or loss of livelihood. These norms have not been reviewed by the World Bank. There was no other attempt during supervision to enforce compliance with safeguards.

b. Fiduciary Compliance:
The ICR (pg 8) states that throughout implementation there was compliance to fiduciary standards and requirements and that there were no qualified audits.

c. Unintended Impacts (positive or negative):

d. Other:

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 ICR presented a number of lessons (pgs 20-21):

    • Special agreements with United Nations Agencies and other donors should be cleared early in the appraisal process. This refers to the World Food Program activity which was delayed for a year as there were no standard contracts that could be cleared by the Bank.
    • Community participation for school construction can enable low cost school construction and local ownership. Communities using this approach need to be trained in school maintenance and construction should be complete, including privacy fences and latrines.
    • Project preparation should include a quality review regardless of institutional requirements This lesson draws attention to the lack of quality oversight in the development of the project, although it is clear that not all projects can have a full quality review process. This should be discussed further with the Fast Track Initiative management.

In addition, IEG found two further lessons:
    • Tightening activities and objectives at mid term would have led to a more monitorable project.
    • Projects cannot be considered Satisfactory in Implementation Status Reports if they are not progressing towards overall project development impact. A reasonable disbursement profile does not give the whole picture of project progress towards development goals.
    • As noted in comments from the Region, the Bank needs to ensure that when working as an implementing agency for a third party organization, the criteria for project design are compatible with those standard for the Bank in order to ensure quality and the ability to measure results.

14. Assessment Recommended?


15. Comments on Quality of ICR:

    The Implementation Completion Report is consistent with OPCS guidelines with a good review of the country context. It is written in a concise and readable manner. The report does have a results orientation, focusing on outcomes as well as outputs and is candid about the flaws in project design and the difficulties faced in implementation. The Report does use what data are available to assess project performance; but it struggles with providing a clear picture of project outcomes due to the noted difficulties with indicators and reliable data.

    The document could have more clearly separated out activities funded under this Catalytic Fund grant and those which are part of the overall Education Sector Development Program. There is sometimes confusion as to what was funded under the Grant and what was a broader Education Sector Development Program activity. It presents lessons that are mostly observations on process and are for the most part evidence based.

    a. Quality of ICR Rating: Satisfactory

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