|1. Project Data:
ICR Review Date Posted:
|Bn-national Community Driven Development Project
Project Costs(US $M)
Loan/Credit (US $M)
Cofinancing (US $M)
Board Approval Date
|Other social services (26%), Health (26%), Primary education (26%), Sub-national government administration (13%), Micro- and SME finance (9%)|
|Decentralization (33% - P)
Other human development (17% - S)
Education for all (17% - S)
Participation and civic engagement (17% - S)
Other social protection and risk management (16% - S)|
||ICR Review Coordinator:
||Judyth L. Twigg
||Christopher D. Gerrard
|2. Project Objectives and Components:|
According to the Project Appraisal Document (p. 4) and the Financing Agreement (p. 19), "the objective of the Project is to promote the use of the community-driven development approach by line ministries, decentralized local governments and local communities to improve the access of the poorest communities to basic social and financial services, so that the line ministries and decentralized local governments will be ready for further implementation of community-driven development (CDD) activities through programmatic support."
This original objective can be broken down into two outcome-oriented objectives:
1. "the line ministries and decentralized local governments [are] ready for further implementation of community-driven development activities through programmatic support."; and
2. "to improve the access of the poorest communities to basic social and financial services."
The evaluation of the first objective requires interpretation of what "being ready" means. The rationale provided in the PAD (pp. 1-3), the project design, and the revised objectives at restructuring suggest that this objective can be interpreted as "to increase the capacity of the government to implement the CDD approach."
The project was formally restructured in June 2010 with the following revised objectives: "to (i) increase the utilization of the community-driven development approach, and (ii) improve access for the poorest communities to basic social and financial services, in the Recipient’s territory" (Financing Agreement [Additional Financing for National Community-Driven Development Support Project], p. 5).
The revised objectives place emphasis on "increasing the utilization" instead of "promoting the use."
The original outcome indicators and targets were:
1. by the end of each fiscal year, at least 90% of IDA funds expected to be managed by targeted communities have been effectively managed by them;
2. by the end of each fiscal year, 100% of the Borrower's Financing shall have been disbursed to finance sub-projects; and
3. by the end of the project, the execution time of community sub-projects (from submission to completion) financed with Government Financing is not superior to the execution time of community sub-projects financed with IDA funds.
The revised outcome indicators and targets (after restructuring) were:
1. Public capital expenditures on basic services that are implemented by communities through the CDD approach (% of total public capital expenditures on basic services, three year rolling average)(rephrased with respect to original);
2. The original was dropped because measurement of disbursements is not a suitable outcome indicator;
3. Moved to intermediate indicator and re-phrased: "Time taken for the execution of community sub-projects financed with Government Financing relative to the time taken for IDA-financed community sub-projects (ratio.)"
Five new outcome indicators were added:
4. Direct project beneficiaries (number); of which female (%);
5. Students enrolled in schools constructed/rehabilitated through the CDD approach (number);
6. People with access to an improved water source in rural areas (number);
7. People with access to micro-finance services (number);
8. Beneficiaries satisfied with the results of the sub-projects (%).
b. Were the project objectives/key associated outcome targets revised during implementation?
If yes, did the Board approve the revised objectives/key associated outcome targets?
Date of Board Approval: 06/17/2010
The project had originally four components (that were not revised at restructuring). A fifth component was added at the time of restructuring.
1. Strengthening the capacity of the ministries, communes, and communities to implement community-driven development or CDD (appraisal estimate US$9.44 million, of which IDA credit US$8.18 million; actual US$9.64 million).
This included four main sub-components:
(a) Strengthening the institutional capacity of the public sector at the central and local levels to develop and implement CDD strategy, policy, and programs, by assisting the Government in developing the legal and administrative framework for the implementation of a national CDD policy, and building the line ministries' capacity to realign their roles according to both decentralization and CDD;
(b) Strengthening the capacity of Communes to implement CDD, at the village, neighborhood, and Commune levels, by building the capacity of the participating local governments to integrate a CDD approach into their local planning and the implementation mechanisms of sub-projects according to the subsidiary principle;
(c) Strengthening the capacity of grassroots communities to plan and implement village and neighborhood sub-projects within their Commune Development Plans (PDC -- Plan de Developpement Communal), by building the communities’ capacity to initiate, develop, implement and monitor sub-projects;
(d) Strengthening the capacity at all levels to provide M&E and communication on project-related issues to all stakeholders. This sub-component was meant to support the installation and operation of an M&E system to facilitate management and strategic decisions at all levels and the establishment of a communication system to ensure transparency and improve accountability.
2. Improving access by the poor to basic services and infrastructure (appraisal estimate US$44.29 million, of which IDA credit US$18.86 million and IDA grant US$12.30 million; actual US$57.02 million).
This component was meant to:
(a) Improve access of the poor to basic services and infrastructures through multi-village sub-projects implemented by Communes, by providing grants to the Communes for the implementation of communal sub-projects of multi-village interest. The sub-projects to be funded had to be initiated by the Communes themselves, included in the Commune development plans (PDC), developed according to sectoral norms and specifications, and implemented by the Communes themselves.
(b) Improve access of the poor to basic services and infrastructures through single villages or neighborhood sub-projects implemented by communities themselves, by providing grants to communities for the implementation of small-scale sub-projects of single village interest, initiated and prepared by the targeted communities in a participatory manner on the basis of their priorities. These sub-projects had to be approved and financed by the Communes in the framework of their PDC, but their implementation was the complete responsibility of the communities themselves, including financial and procurement management.
3. Improving access of the poor to financial services for income-generating activities (appraisal estimate US$5.43 million, of which IDA US$5.15 million; actual US$2.95 million).
This component was meant to:
(a) strengthen micro-finance institutions' (MFIs’) capacity to supply microfinance products and services better matching the needs of targeted communities, with special attention to financing income-generating activities. Project activities under this sub-component would provide grants to existing MFIs to fund acceptable plans for the development of new financial products and services that better suit the needs of the project’s target population seeking access to financial services, including loans to finance income-generating activities;
(b) provide advisory services for the development and management of income-generating activities. This sub-component was to provide grants to communities to finance the advisory services of their choice to improve their income-generating activities, mainly in agriculture, with the possibility to be financed by MFIs.
4. Support for the management of community-driven development (appraisal estimate US$6.05 million, of which IDA US$4.85 million; actual US$9.75 million)
This component was meant to:
(a) support the Executive Secretariat (Secrétariat Exécutif Permanent – SEP) of the National Committee for Community-Driven Development through the provision of technical advisory services to enable it to coordinate the day-to-day operations for project implementation, manage IDA and Government counterpart funds, support the management of Government financing, and prepare the transition to programmatic support;
(b) support Environmental Management. This sub-component was to provide (i) a mechanism to screen future sub-projects for potential environmental and social impacts and identify needed protective measures; (ii) environmental training for members of the SEP as well as the Fiduciary Agency (FA), Communes, concerned line ministries and NGOs, and representatives of the beneficiary communities; and (iii) an outline of the institutional arrangements under the project that would allow for the effective implementation of sub-projects as well as the strengthening of environmental management capacity in the context of Benin’s ongoing decentralization process.
The fifth component, added at the time of restructuring, was:
5. Technical assistance for development of an efficient Social Safety Net (SSN) system (appraisal estimate US$0.50 million; actual US$0.25 million)
This component was meant to:
(a) carry out a technical assistance program to strengthen the Recipient's SSNs, including (i) a review of the existing SSNs; (ii) a review of the Recipient's needs in terms of SSNs, updated information on possible target groups for SSNs, and definition of appropriate instruments for each such target group; and (iii) the preparation of an action plan to improve the cost-effectiveness of existing SSNs and assist with the development of new SSNs; and
(b) carry out a technical assistance program to develop a Cash Transfer Program in the Recipient's territory, including (i) feasibility studies specifying design parameters for a Cash Transfer Program (i.e. potential coverage, benefit levels, methods of targeting, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, etc.); (ii) studies/assessments on an appropriate implementation arrangement for such Cash Transfer Program, including institutions involved in the implementation of the potential pilot program; and (iii) the development of a staff capacity building plan for the proper management and administration of the potential Cash Transfer Program.
d. Comments on Project Cost, Financing, Borrower Contribution, and Dates
The project costs at closing were aligned with planned costs (after restructuring), although funding was redistributed across components (from the safety nets and the financial and income-generating activities components to the fourth component, support for the management of community-driven development).
The project cost at appraisal included US$12.20 million in IDA grant financing (under the second component; actual US$13.07 million) and US$3.02 million to be provided by contributions of the local communities (actual US$2.98 million). US$12.00 million additional financing was approved in June 2010 under the Crisis Response Window.
According to the disbursement profile in the ICR Data Sheet, both the original Credit and the Additional Financing were fully disbursed.
The project benefited from a contribution by the Government of Benin of US$12.5 million, plus an additional US$2.0 million to fund more local investments using Government financial channels.
The project was approved by the World Bank Board of Directors on October 7, 2004 and declared effective on May 2, 2005.
At restructuring, the project's original closing date (May 30, 2010) was extended to September 30, 2011.
The project's closing date was further extended to April 30, 2012 on July 27, 2011, because of delays in implementation.
|3. Relevance of Objectives & Design:|
a. Relevance of Objectives:
The project development objectives were and remain relevant to the economic and social conditions of Benin. In 2003, at time of project appraisal, the national poverty rate was 39 percent, with 22 percent living in extreme poverty. Poverty was disproportionately concentrated in rural areas and manifested in lack of access to basic services, particularly education, health, and water. The Government's strategy to improve services to the poor was progressively building on the decentralization process that had started in 1999, and relied on increasing local control and community participation in the management of services.
The project's objectives are fully aligned with the Government Strategic Development Orientations (SDO), which defined the development policy framework for 2006-2011 and whose second fundamental objective is "reducing poverty and improving the quality of life of the population" (as reported by the Country Assistance Strategy, 2009, p. 6). The Growth Strategy for Poverty Reduction - adopted in April 2007 as Benin's second-generation Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper - is based on the main elements of the SDO. The project's objectives are fully aligned to its second pillar ("infrastructure development"), third pillar ("developing human capital and improving basic services"), and fourth pillar ("improving governance and transparency and fighting corruption").
The project's objectives are relevant to the World Bank's strategic support to Benin, both at time of the project's closure and at time of the project's design. The Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) objectives (at design) included the elaboration of a national CDD support project to build on the experience of three successful World Bank-funded community-level operations (PAD, p. 3). The CAS for Benin for the period FY09-12 (the latest approved strategy document) has as a second strategic objective "improving access to basic services," including improving access to safe and sustainable drinking water and sanitation services, improving quality education services, and increasing access to health services -- all main goals of the project. Moreover, the third strategic objective of the CAS is "promoting better governance and strengthening institutional capacities," including support to decentralization through community development. The project is also fully relevant to this strategic objective, which states that "better implementation of the decentralization program is needed to strengthen accountability, transparency in local decision making, and responsiveness to local concerns" (CAS, 2009, p. 20).
b. Relevance of Design:
The project design emphasized the need of both responding to one of the main challenges facing Benin, that is improving access to services for the poor, as well as supporting the new decentralization framework adopted by the Government. The PDOs are consistent and clearly articulated around those two priorities.
The rationale of the design was strongly anchored on the Community-Driven Development approach: support communities in the identification and implementation of projects using participatory mechanisms in order to reflect priority needs, while at the same time ensuring lasting institutional effects on line ministries, local governments, and communities in terms of increasing their capacity to support CDD by the end of the project. The components of the project were coherent with these two goals and especially emphasized capacity building at all levels.
The need of having in place the "right" legal and regulatory framework as a pre-condition for project effectiveness was clearly identified. The design strongly emphasizes this element and includes in its first component a number of activities to ensure that the relevant laws, regulations, and institutional bodies are in place and effective.
The support to access to services for the poor was mostly targeted to provision of infrastructure, while the budget allocation for access to financial services and income-generating activities was much smaller. While targeting support for basic services and infrastructure for education, health, water and sanitation is to the benefit of the larger community (and more likely inclusive of the poor), more so than supporting micro-finance institutions and income-generating activities, one may question whether this latter component (especially the income-generating activities part) received the critical minimum level of support to ensure full success, especially in the light of the results achieved (below expectations).
Despite the PDOs inclusion of increased access to social and financial services by poor communities, the original outcome indicators did not measure real impacts on the ground. At restructuring a number of more appropriate outcome measures were selected. Although restructuring happened almost six years into the life of the project and less than two years before its closing, the team was able to retroactively track new and more pertinent outcome indicators -- an indication that the causal chain from inputs to outcomes, even if not fully explicit, was clear and correctly constructed in designing the project.
|4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :|
Objective #1 (original): "The line ministries and decentralized local governments [are] ready for further implementation of community-driven development activities through programmatic support.": High
The capacity of the government to implement the CDD approach was built through a series of activities at the national, sectoral, commune, and community levels, and by improving the ability at all levels to provide M&E and communication, as follows:
(at the national and sectoral level)
- The Law 2001-07 on La Maîtrise d’Ouvrage Public was revised to allow the delegation from communes to communities as required by the CDD approach. The ICR erroneously suggests it was "approved" (p. 26), but it was already in place when the project was approved. The project team clarified that much emphasis was placed in the preparatory phase on the importance of the law to be in place as a condition for project effectiveness.
- A National CDD Coordination Commission was created as a high-level policy defining and coordinating body.
- The principles of the CDD approach -- such as participatory planning, subsidiary principle, and the role of the communities -- were explicitly included in the National Guidelines for Commune Development Plans.
- A National decree in 2009 was issued allowing for the transfer of funds from local government to community accounts.
- The National Procurement Code adopted in 2009 was more conducive to community-managed procurement practices.
- A National Operational Directive on CDD in Sectoral Policies was adopted in 2011 to provide consistent guidance for all sectoral ministries on how to integrate CDD approaches.
- Five key strategies adopted by the Ministries of Health, Primary Education, Finance, Water, and Agriculture incorporated CDD into their operational processes.
- Tool-kits on service delivery through CDD were developed and disseminated by the same five key Ministries.
- 240 central staff and 1080 deconcentrated staff participated in 3 training sessions.
- Deconcentrated staff participated in all stages of the sub-project cycle, including ex-ante reviews and supervision visits.
(at the commune level)
- Over 8,800 staff in 74 communes were trained in general CDD principles, participatory budgeting, integration of community-driven projects into communal development plans, participatory monitoring and evaluation, and management of the implementation of small-scale infrastructure. 97% of commune staff was satisfied or very satisfied with the training received, based on the results of a Beneficiary Assessment carried out in 2011.
- Commune capacity increased from a distribution of 31-64-3 percent (low-middle-high) to 0-13-87 percent, as measured by a composite score based on 15 performance indicators, surpassing the target of 0-30-70 percent. The ICR notes that, despite the fact that other decentralization programs were providing training in the same communes targeted by the project, the growth in performance was highest for the indicators directly supported by the project.
(at the community level)
- A pool of 36 senior and junior trainers was established.
- 3,000 community focal points were identified.
- Grassroots Management Training (GMT) was carried out in all communities, with 2,491 training sessions involving 144,495 participants (person-presence) and over 29,000 people trained. Spill-over effects -- each trained participant carried out informational sessions within their communities -- brought the number of those receiving GMT orientation up to 750,000.
- Test scores of basic competencies on GMT content averaged 84%, based on an ex-post evaluation of GMT. 98% of women and 95% of men indicated that they were satisfied with GMT training.
(strengthening capacity to provide M&E and communication)
- A communication campaign was carried out, consisting of interactive programs on the project and its community management aspects, through 30 community radio stations in the country. The project supported 1,428 broadcasts in 27 different local languages. Based on the Beneficiary Assessment carried out in 2011, 98% of people in the areas targeted by the project had heard of it; the evaluation of the impact of the radio emission program found that 91% of villagers listened to the emissions. 4 information programs were developed for television, each presented twice on the national television channel. A quarterly project newsletter was distributed to all village development associations, sectoral ministries, international partners, and national assembly (5,000 copies overall). The project website (www.pndcc.org) was developed and maintained, although it has not been updated since October 2011 (IEG visit of 04/26/2013).
- A number of evaluation studies were conducted, including (i) a Technical Audit of Infrastructure; (ii) an Ex-post Evaluation of the Grassroots Management Training; (iii) an Assessment of Social Safety Nets in Benin; (iv) a Feasibility Study of Cash Transfer Programs for Benin; (v) an Impact Evaluation of the project; (vi) an Evaluation of the Cost Structure of MFIs; (vii) two Beneficiary Assessment Surveys; (viii) an Environmental Audit; and (ix) an Impact Evaluation of the project's local radio program.
- Training in M&E at the local level was one of the eight Grassroots Management Training modules covered in every beneficiary community (see above, on GMT).
- At the end of the project, all (100%) Credit Funds were managed by local community beneficiaries, surpassing the target of 90%.
Objective #1 (revised): "Increase the utilization of the community-driven development approach": Substantial
The output indicators for the original objective #1 are also output indicators for the same revised objectives. All the capacity building activities that increased the government's capacity to implement the CDD approach are also those that increased its utilization. One specific indicator was identified as an additional intermediate indicator at restructuring (it was originally an outcome indicator): the time taken for the execution of community sub-projects financed with Government financing relative to the time taken for IDA-financed community sub-projects (ratio). This indicator, measured by the ratio between the average duration (in days) of implementation of sub-projects financed with the Borrower's financing (in the numerator) and financed under a local community grant (in the denominator), was 1.1 at the end of the project (that is, 10% longer for sub-projects financed with Government financing). (The duration was defined as the average number of days between the date of submission of a sub-project proposal and its completion date.) The team clarified that, while not attaining the target (it still took 10% longer for a sub-project to be completed with government resources as compared to IDA resources), this ratio still improved over time, since the first measurement in 2008 put the value at 1.21, or 21% longer for a government-financed sub-project.
- At the end of the project, 38.3% of all public capital expenditures on basic services were implemented by the beneficiary communities through a CDD approach. This figure (calculated as a three-year rolling average) was higher than the target of 20%.
Objective #2 (original): "to improve the access of the poorest communities to basic social and financial services": Substantial
Objective #2 was not revised, although new outcome indicators were added and several intermediate outcome indicators were re-phrased.
- The project implemented 1535 community-managed and 113 commune-managed investments targeted to the poorest 1,518 communities (or 40% of all communities) in the country. The total number of individuals who benefited by the project were about 750,000, of which 42% were women. This is above the target of 450,000 and 40% women. Technical audits found that 100% of the infrastructure supported by the project aligned with sectoral quality standards and 90% was classified as functional.
- The project constructed or rehabilitated 3,170 classrooms, 27% more than the target of 2,500.
- The project constructed or rehabilitated 101 improved community water points, twice as many as the target of 50.
- The project built 144 health posts, 20% more than the target of 120.
- 6 micro-finance institutions (MFIs) -- 1 more than the target of 5 -- received financing to help them expand their services to target communities. Financing paid for training, equipment, and fixed costs of opening up new windows, but did not fund the credit itself. These MFIs were able to extend their services to 512 new communities, surpassing the target of 500, through 14 new branches and 40 new service windows.
- The number of students enrolled in schools constructed or rehabilitated by the project was 158,500, 59% more than the target of 100,000.
- The number of people with access to improved water sources in rural areas was about 25,000, or 2.5 times the target of 10,000.
- The number of people with access to micro-finance services was about 38,000 at the end of the project, largely surpassing the target of 10,000. The project team clarified that the figure of 14,000 beneficiaries reached reported by Table 2 of the ICR is wrong, in that it only refers to one of the MFIs (CCIF) as of 30 October 2010, and not to the total.
- 1006 sub-projects supporting income-generating activities (IGAs) have been completed, 29% less than the target of 1,400. The project team clarified that each one of the 1006 IGA sub-projects benefited a community group, although the exact number of people within the 1,006 groups that benefitted from the IGA sub-component is not available.
- According to a beneficiary assessment carried out in 2011, 94% of the beneficiaries were satisfied with the project. According to the ex-post evaluation of grassroots management training (which included measures of overall beneficiary satisfaction with the project), 96% of the beneficiaries were globally satisfied with the impact of the project.
Efficiency is rated Substantial.
Measures of efficiency are available for parts of the project:
An independent technical audit found that the project delivered school infrastructure (primary schools) faster and at lower costs than conventional methods, while ensuring the same level of quality. Expenses for school infrastructure represented about 71% of community investments.
The schools built by contract management agencies with financing from the Bank's Fast Track Initiative Education project were between 40% and 57% more expensive than those built through the project, while being of similar quality. A similar difference in costs was found for the provision of school furniture (desks and benches). The project also built school infrastructure under the Fast Track Initiative at a slightly higher cost than under the CDD approach.
School infrastructure was also delivered faster through the project than under the Fast Track Initiative. The performance of three contractors (two under the Fast Track Initiative, one under the project) in delivering schools during the same time period was compared and, at the end of the observation period, 88% of the classrooms built under the project were more than 75% advanced, while the majority of the classrooms delivered under the Fast Track Initiative were only halfway completed at most. (The project team later clarified that the Fast Track Initiative (FTI) was a separate project that came several years after the start of PNDCC. The Government was impressed with the PNDCC experience and decided to use the PNDCC mechanism to implement one-third of the school construction supported under FTI. This is why the project was also involved in building schools under the FTI.)
The ICR presents some evidence of efficiency of the microfinance institutions, but only in relation to the private benefit (of the institutions) and not the more comprehensive social benefit. According to an economic analysis of the changes in MFI portfolios, both the savings base and the lending activities expanded. The reimbursement rates of credits were 93%, which indicates that the loans were financially sustainable. There are no data, however, on the benefits derived from these loans for the clients of the MFIs. There are also no data on efficiency for the part of the project supporting income generating activities.
The ICR documents a progressive decrease of the costs of delivering Grassroots Management Training. The initial unit cost of US$1,500 (for a pair of trainers - one junior, one senior) dropped to US$ 1,280 (for one professional trainer plus one trained community agent) and then again to US$ 855 (two trained community agents supervised by a professional trainer), a 43% increase in cost efficiency over the life of the project. These gains, due to the adoption of a "train the trainers" approach, do not measure efficiency in absolute terms, but they are indicative of gains in efficiency over time.
To sum up, only partial measures of efficiency are available. The measure that refers to school infrastructure, though, was cleverly calculated using a survey that allowed a comparison of two different approaches and different providers, for two different types of schools (with three classrooms and two classrooms, with and without office and storeroom). Expenses for school infrastructure represented about 71% of community investments (the ICR does not provide elements to calculate which exact percentage of the project this item represents, and the project team was not able to provide addition information in this respect).
a. If available, enter the Economic Rate of Return (ERR)/Financial Rate of Return at appraisal and the re-estimated value at evaluation:
* Refers to percent of total project cost for which ERR/FRR was calculated