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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Car Food Response Project

1. Project Data:   
ICR Review Date Posted:
Central African Republic
Project Name:
Car Food Response Project
Project Costs(US $M)
 7.00  6.44
L/C Number:
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 7.00  6.44
Sector Board:
Agriculture and Rural Development
Cofinancing (US $M)
 0  0
Board Approval Date
Closing Date
08/17/2010 02/17/2012
Other social services (50%), Crops (20%), Animal production (15%), Agro-industry marketing and trade (10%), General agriculture fishing and forestry sector (5%)
Global food crisis response (100% - P)
Prepared by: Reviewed by: ICR Review Coordinator: Group:
Ebru Karamete
Robert Mark Lacey Soniya Carvalho IEGPS1

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives:
The statement of development objectives in both the Development Grant Agreement (p. 6) and the Project Appraisal Document (PAD, p. 4) is: “to provide increased food access to primary and pre-school students in targeted areas and to support farmers' capacity to ensure adequate supply response for medium term improvement in food security."

b. Were the project objectives/key associated outcome targets revised during implementation?

c. Components:
1. School Feeding Program (appraisal estimate US$3.25 million, actual US$ 2.91 million).

This component aimed to support school feeding for primary-level and pre-school students in targeted regions, within the framework of the World Food Program’s Support to Education for All and Health Project by providing two meals per day to 145,000 primary school children and 8,000 pre-school children. In addition to its nutritional benefits, this effort was expected to have a significant impact on the school performance and attendance of beneficiary students. The program targeted six prefectures. Component 1 was intended fill a World Food Program financing gap, supporting the implementation of the fourth year of the program as originally designed, while also allowing an increase in the number of children reached.

2. Agricultural Supply Response (appraisal estimate US$ 3.25 million, actual US$ 3.11 million).

Component 2 aimed to support producers, producer organizations, and rural communities to strengthen the agricultural supply response by providing improved planting material and inputs to farmers, supporting technical training to improve productivity on a sustainable basis, and providing postharvest infrastructure to reduce post-harvest losses and/or improve the quality and market value of produce. This component was designed to deliver immediate benefits to food-insecure rural communities while preparing the groundwork for longer-term support to the sector. Production support to farmers would concentrate on maximizing impact during the 2009 and 2010 planting seasons. These activities were entrusted to Field Implementing Entities, which were international nongovernmental organizations that were to work in partnership with national NGOs and to collaborate with the public in order to enable the public institutions to assist producers and producer organizations, as well as to define a medium-term framework of interventions. Twelve out of seventeen prefectures were eligible for support:

3. Project Management, Monitoring, and Evaluation (appraisal estimate US$ 0.5 million, actual US$ 0.42 million).

Component 3 aimed to support: (i) the fiduciary and coordination functions of the Permanent Technical Committee of Structural Adjustment Programs (Comité Technique Permanent du Programme d’Ajustement Structurel); (ii) the creation and functioning of a Technical Steering Committee responsible for the technical content as well as for overall technical guidance and monitoring of activities supported under Component 2; (iii) strengthening the capacity of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to monitor food security and agricultural activities; and (iv) analytical work and technical assistance for the agricultural sector.

d. Comments on Project Cost, Financing, Borrower Contribution, and Dates
Project Costs:
Total projected cost was revised in April 2010 from the appraisal estimate of US$7 million to US$6.66 million due to underspending of US$ 337,097 (which was canceled) from the School Feeding Program. The actual cost at closure was US$ 6.45 million.

The Project was financed by a US$7 million grant from the Global Food Crisis Response Program, which was approved by the Board on May 29, 2008. At project closing, 92 % of the original Grant had been disbursed.

Borrower Contribution:
There was no Borrower contribution.

On February 4, 2010, the original closing date of August 17, 2010 was extended by 18 months to February 12 2012 to compensate for delays in implementation of Component 2.

3. Relevance of Objectives & Design:

a. Relevance of Objectives:
Deprived of human talent and financial resources after a prolonged history of conflict, the economy of the Central African Republic has chronically under-performed. At the time of appraisal, two-thirds of Central Africans lived below the poverty line. The Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that 44 percent of households were food insecure and that the country imported about 25 percent of its food consumption requirements. The widespread poverty and extreme underdevelopment were attributable mainly to low agricultural productivity since about 80 percent of the population depended on agriculture as the primary source of livelihood. Between January and April 2008, food prices in Central African Republic rose 25 percent on average, which was driven by increases in global food and fuel prices that affected particularly landlocked countries including Central African Republic. These price increases threatened to undermine progress toward the Millennium Development Goals by reducing household and national food security and threatening macroeconomic stability as well as peace restoration efforts.

Project objectives to provide emergency support to address the urgent food security needs of vulnerable populations in targeted areas were well aligned with the macroeconomic measures put in place by the Central African Republic Government to mitigate the impact of food price increases (in the short run), as well as with the actions proposed under the draft rural development strategy to improve food security (in the medium to long run). The interventions were appropriate with respect to the coordinated response agreed among the leading development partners, as articulated in the joint United Nations response. The objectives were relevant to the broader objectives of the Bank’s Global Food Response Program to reduce negative impact of high and volatile food prices on the poor, support governments in design of sustainable policies to mitigate impact of high food prices, support broad based growth in productivity and agriculture to ensure sustainable and adequate food supply response.

The objectives were also relevant to the 2009-2012 Country Partnership Strategy, of which the seventh outcome was "Improved Agriculture and Livestock Productivity."

b. Relevance of Design:
Design was largely relevant to the project's objectives and to the Central African Republic’s institutional realities. The first objective -- increased food access to primary and pre-school children in targeted areas -- was clear and measurable. The second objective -- to increase farmers' capacity to ensure adequate supply response for medium term food security -- was less easy to measure. The implicit results chain for the first objective was convincing -- increased food access to primary and pre-school children would be achieved through the school feeding program.
The objective of supporting farmers' capacity to ensure adequate supply response for medium term improvement in food security was to be achieved through the activities in component 2 -- providing improved planting material and inputs to farmers, supporting technical training to improve productivity on a sustainable basis, and providing post-harvest infrastructure to reduce post-harvest losses and/or improve the quality and market value of produce. Given the considerable implementation difficulties, both the simple outcome target and the time frame -- the aim was that targeted producers would adopt at least one new technology supported by the project during the current agricultural cycle -- were realistic. However, while the supported activities, if sustained, could be expected to contribute to an improved food security over the medium term, little provision seems to have been made for their post-project continuation. Even if they were to be sustained, taken together they would be necessary, but not sufficient, conditions for "ensuring an adequate supply response for medium term improvement in food security."

4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :

The project objectives are :“(a) to provide increased food access to primary and pre-school students in targeted areas and (ii) support farmers’ capacity to ensure adequate supply response for medium-term improvement in food security ."

(a) Provide increased food access to primary and pre-school students in targeted areas: Substantial.


· 120,177 primary and pre-school students in target areas received two meals daily.

· The training sessions provided to parent associations, teachers and cooks were combined into one program, and 25 sessions out of a target of 31 for parents and teachers were undertaken in the 2009-10 school year. For cooks, however, the 25 sessions fell short of the target of 62 in the school year.

· 397 primary and pre-schools had functioning canteens. This was 77 % of the target of 514 canteens.

By project closure, the number of primary and pre-school students receiving two meals daily was 120,177 against a target of 153,000 students (79 percent achievement). Achieving the program targets proved impossible, since certain schools were inaccessible because of insecurity and road degradation. 397 schools were reached in the 2008/09 school year and 374 in 2009/10 as compared to the target of 514 in each year, resulting in fewer beneficiary students. At the accessible schools, all attending students received two meals daily, and to compensate for the reduced geographical scope of the feeding program, the school canteens were kept open for 101 feeding days more than originally planned. The ICR reports that the guarantee of two daily meals contributed to the 12 percent growth in enrolment (against a target of 5 percent) and the 10 percent reduction in dropout rate (in accordance with the target) between the two school years. The effects of school feeding on weight and on educational and cognitive achievements as compared to a situation without the program were not assessed.
According to the ICR, without the project, the World Food Program would not have been able to continue this program due to the financing shortfalls, and many of these students would not have had adequate food, as their families tried to stretch already thin food stores farther. The effects of the food crisis would, therefore, have been exacerbated.

( b) Support farmers’ capacity to ensure adequate supply response for medium-term improvement in food security: Modest


  • 12,025 beneficiaries received technical training (against an initial target of 2,000 and a revised Mid-Term Review target of 4,000), for an achievement rate of 300 percent.
  • 18,595 beneficiaries received improved vegetal resources-seed and bales of cassava cuttings (against a target set at the Mid-Term Review of 14,000), for an achievement rate of 133 percent.
  • 14,633 beneficiaries received tools-hoes and machetes (against a target set at the MTR of 8,000), for an achievement rate of 183 percent.
  • 9,388 beneficiaries (against a target set at the MTR of 8,000) received improved animal resources-goats, pigs, chickens, oxen and chicken feed, for an achievement rate of 117 percent.
  • Overall, 82 % of the targeted producers received technology packages that gave them new skills and resources that were intended to have an immediate impacts on their ability to increase food production. The project reached 140,000 beneficiaries directly, against the Mid-Term Review target of 173,000 beneficiaries. 45 % of beneficiaries were women, which was less than the 50 % target.
Measurable indicators which could determine the impact of project activities on a medium-term supply response, in accordance with the objectives, were not available from the M&E system. The Field Implementing Entities recorded some direct impacts on food supply in their final reports, including: (i) a 78.9 metric ton increase in production among beneficiary producer groups covered by the project between the 2010 and 2011 agricultural seasons; (ii) among beneficiaries, 42 percent were reported to have returned to agricultural activities they had abandoned for gold mining or because they lacked production inputs; (iii) 46 percent of beneficiaries ate three meals a day, compared to only one meal two years ago; and (iv) an additional 27 percent of households (for a total of 54 percent) grew sufficient food to supply their family needs for the year due to larger harvests. However, these results were not tracked with appropriate indicators and control groups, giving rise to concerns related both to data reliability and attribution. Moreover, there is no evidence to suggest that the increased production can be sustained or whether it would be sufficient for a medium term improvement in food security.

5. Efficiency:

Efficiency is rated Modest.

No analysis of efficiency of this emergency operation was carried out at appraisal. No data that could be used to estimate efficiency at closure were collected. Benchmarking to regional or other national projects is imperfect given the post-conflict, transitional reality of Central African Republic, and the efficiency differences between humanitarian and development projects carried out in different geographical zones. Nevertheless, other measures of efficiency were estimated, such as that of production contracts with the Central African Agricultural Research Institute, costs per beneficiary of a sample of micro-projects in the country and analysis of implementation overhead costs as a percentage of total contract cost.

Component 1 of the Project compared favorably in cost against similar World Food Program projects in other countries. Transportation costs in Central African Republic were very high, therefore the quantity of commodities purchased were proportionately reduced. However direct operational costs and the World Food Program overhead were reasonable compared to similar programs (for example direct operational costs and overhead of World Food Program was 18 % of total costs, compared to 26% in Kenya and 28% in Malawi). Component 1 unit cost of US$24 per student per year was below what the ICR calls (page 41) the "industry standard" of US$ 34 per student per year, given 200 feeding days and 700 calories per daily ration.

For Component 2, cost comparisons are less favorable. It was found that the production contracts for seed with the Central African Research Institute were economically inefficient. The Institute was paid 200% more than the market value of the final product, and therefore it would have been more efficient to buy the seed on the market. The analysis found that the cost per beneficiary of a sample of micro projects financed under the project was less than, or comparable to, that in similar micro projects funded by other donors. The overhead costs of the implementing agencies were, however, high (65% for COOPI and 50% for CRS). This was partly due to the fact that additional human resources were needed at every level of supervision, particularly for procurement and financial controls, and for implementation in zones where population density was low.

The closing date had to be extended by 18 months due to delays in implementing Component 2, mainly because of confusion over the contracting procedures for engaging the Field Implementing Entities. The issue took the Bank team nearly a year to resolve. Delays also stemmed from capacity weaknesses in the implementing unit for component 2, which was located in the Ministry of Finance. The unit displayed insufficient fiduciary management capacity, lack of familiarity with the agricultural sector, inadequate procedures for communicating with the Ministry of Agriculture, and low staff motivation. Inefficiencies also arose from the lack of an effective M&E framework.

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, as providing emergency support to address the urgent food security needs of vulnerable populations in targeted areas was relevant to country priorities. Relevance of design is rated modest, reflecting a poor fit between the second objective and the scope and continuity of the activities intended to achieve it. The sub-objective of providing increased food access to primary and pre-school students in targeted areas is rated substantial: although not all outcome targets were met, the project succeeded in significantly mitigating the impact of the food crisis on the beneficiary populations. The sub-objective of supporting farmers’ capacity to ensure adequate supply response for medium-term improvement in food security is rated modest due to lack of supporting evidence and difficulty of attribution. Efficiency is assessed as modest, reflecting administrative inefficiencies and high overhead costs for the second component.

a. Outcome Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

7. Rationale for Risk to Development Outcome Rating:

Political risk to development outcome is high. The macroeconomic environment in CAR is very challenging; the formal private sector barely exists, and public financial management is extremely weak. CAR is considered a post-conflict country, yet its progress toward peace is inconsistent, and it is characterized by extreme political instability.

· The risk of low government ownership and commitment to the project's development outcome is moderate. Nationally, the Government’s current commitment to addressing food security issues is high. In 2012, the first National Agriculture and Food Security strategy was drafted and ratified. A National Investment Plan for Agriculture and Food Security exists in draft form, and a number of large agricultural development projects are underway. However, continuing commitment is vulnerable to acute political instability.

· Institutional risk to development outcome is high. The Field Implementing Entities made a conscious effort to promote sustainability within the emergency context of project-supported activities. However, public sector capacity remains weak, particularly among institutions that influence agricultural growth. Ministry of Agriculture agencies are officially present in the field, but they lack operational budgets, equipment, transportation, renewal training, and adequate staffing. Nearly all operations are financed by donors. The enabling legal context is outdated and incoherent..

· Financial risk to development outcome is significant. The World Food Program faces significant funding challenges as aid for emergency operations in the country dries up. Financial risks to a sustained supply response will be mitigated in the medium term by a follow-up Bank emergency operation (Agro-Pastoral Recovery Project, approved by the Board on June 2, 2011, P124278). This operation builds on the experiences of the project under review and will continue to support some of the same beneficiaries.

· Social risk to development outcome is high. Recurring conflicts in the country have destroyed the social fabric that often acts as a safety net for rural, isolated, and agriculturally dependent communities. This lack of social cohesion threatens the positive outcomes achieved by the Project, particularly with respect to the development of farmer organizations.

· Technical risk to development outcome is significant. The sustainability of project supported activities is expected to vary by component. With respect to Component 2, however, the lack of improved inputs (seed, tools, breeding stock) in the country jeopardizes current production rates and certainly threatens any future growth in production.

a. Risk to Development Outcome Rating: High

8. Assessment of Bank Performance:

a. Quality at entry:
The Project was developed under the Bank’s policy and procedures on Rapid Response to Crises and Emergencies (OP/BP 8.0), as a response to food crises affecting many countries including Central African Republic. Therefore, the preparation time was accelerated (less than 1 month), without the benefit of identification and preparation missions. The quality at entry issues were mainly due to this exceptionally rapid preparation. The analysis supporting the social safety-net approach under Component 1 was limited. There was no social protection specialist or a nutrition specialist on the team to assess the methodology and targeting. Targets in terms of number of beneficiaries, geographical coverage as well as costing of components could not be planned accurately. The choice of agency to carry out project management and coordination proved to be problematic (the agency was the Cellule Chargée du Suivi des Réformes Economiques et Financières, or Monitoring Unit for the Economic and Financial Reforms, known by its French acronym, CS-REF) .

A number of lessons from previous engagements were considered, such as the need to work with organizations that have proven experience and capacity in implementing project activities with sufficient staff and equipment. Therefore, the implementation arrangements proposed for the Project, and the decision to rely on the World Food Program and international NGOs for field implementation reflected awareness of institutional and capacity weaknesses in the country.

Most major risks such as political instability and regional problems, weak financial controls, elite capture, limited implementation capacity of the government and lack of fiscal sustainability of school feeding program were identified during preparation, and most mitigation measures were appropriate with the exception of addressing the weak implementation capacity of the Government. Also, two operational risks were not well identified: logistical bottlenecks that could disrupt the delivery of school feeding program; and insufficient availability of agricultural inputs.

Quality-at-Entry Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

b. Quality of supervision:
The intensity of supervision varied over the life of the project. The first mission (Sept 29-Oct 9, 2008 was very productive, and resulted in full disbursement of Component 1. However, Bank supervision was minimal following that. Clarification of appropriate procurement procedures for component 2 were not provided until task team leadership was transferred to the Country Office. During the start-up phase, the Bank team could also have been more pro-active in addressing the obvious shortcomings in the results framework and the M&E plan for the second component. Following the transfer of task team leadership, supervision improved significantly. The procurement process was clarified, a detailed action plan was agreed with the Government and an international consultant was engaged to provide implementation support. For the remaining life of the project, the ICR reports that there were no major shortcomings. Supervision missions were carried out regularly and staffing was appropriate. Implementation Status Reports and aide memoirs were candid in their assessments. However, lack of an adequate M&E system and of impact evaluations led to difficulties in monitoring the medium term food security supply response.

Quality of Supervision Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

Overall Bank Performance Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

9. Assessment of Borrower Performance:

a. Government Performance:
The Technical Steering Committee set up with the representatives from 12 ministries to coordinate activities, had difficulty engaging effectively with project stakeholders during the first year. Some critical functions of the Committee such as technical reviews and dissemination of studies remained weak. The project management agency (CS-REF) had a history of successfully managing donor funded projects. However, in this case the agency demonstrated weak capacity to handle large contracts. The project was not seen as a priority within the Government, and motivation to improve deliverables was lacking. Throughout the life of the project, routine management activities such as processing procurement requests, making payments to service providers, filing financial reports, organizing supervision missions and performing routine M&E functions were not handled in a timely and effective manner despite the fact that the Bank continuously flagged these problems. Furthermore, headquarters based staff of the Ministry of Agriculture were a source of difficulty in negotiating and respecting the agreements signed with Field Implementing Entities (ICR, page 29).

Government Performance Rating: Unsatisfactory

b. Implementing Agency Performance:
The World Food Program, which was contracted to implement Component 1, performed satisfactorily due to its experience and readiness. There were minor shortcomings on financial reporting and administration compliance. Under Component 2, the two agencies contracted were COOPI (Cooperazione Internazionale) and CRS (Catholic Relief Services). CRS’ performance was less satisfactory regarding readiness for implementation and resolving implementation issues on time. However, whatever results the project did achieve was due to the efforts of the implementing agencies.

Implementing Agency Performance Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

Overall Borrower Performance Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

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

a. M&E Design:
In keeping with the emergency nature of the Project, the design of the M&E system was kept simple. The Results Framework included a limited number of performance indicators, which were intended to be relevant, quantifiable, and easily measurable. The M&E plan took into consideration the weak capacity within the Ministry of Agriculture to collect, process, and report M&E data, and it assigned responsibility for M&E activities to the implementing agencies (World Food Program and Field Implementing Entities). Oversight responsibility for the M&E function was assigned to the Technical Steering Committee and CS-REF, who were to compile the M&E data for transmission to the Bank in the form of quarterly narrative reports.

Design had a number of shortcomings. For Component 1, there were no baseline values. For Component 2, the M&E system as designed lacked the indicators necessary to assess several key aspects of the development objectives, especially (i) to show whether increases in food production attributable to the project were leading to an improvement in medium-term food security and (ii) to show whether the project was having any success in strengthening the capacity of the government implementing agencies.

b. M&E Implementation:
Progress against the performance indicators was measured using the M&E systems of the implementing agencies. In the case of the World Food Program, M&E implementation was generally satisfactory: data were collected systematically throughout implementation and reported in the annual reports prepared by the agency. However, the targets (the numbers of schools and beneficiaries) were not revised in light of the difficulties that emerged in reaching certain designated populations.
In the case of the Field Implementing Agencies, M&E performance was more variable, and this was reflected in the final Implementation Status Report, where the M&E function was rated Moderately Unsatisfactory. Although the Field Implementing Agencies had an obligation to report on their own activities, overall responsibility for compiling data for transmission to the Bank lay with the Technical Steering Committee and CS-REF. Quarterly narrative reports prepared by CS-REF were consistently submitted after a delay of several months, resulting in lack of real-time data to address implementation issues in a timely manner. Because the two project NGOs were using their own systems to collect and record M&E data, indicators, data collection and measurement were inconsistent.

a. M&E Utilization:
IIn the case of Component 1, M&E data have been used by World Food Program to reevaluate the design of their school feeding programs in Central African Republic and have led to some design modifications in more recent programs. In the case of Component 2, M&E data have been used by the project NGOs to inform subsequent proposals for agriculture projects. They were also used by the World Bank to inform the design and the costing for the recently approved IDA-financed agriculture project.

M&E Quality Rating: Modest

11. Other Issues:

a. Safeguards:
The project was classified as Category "B" for Environmental Assessment purposes. No safeguards policies were triggered by Component 1. Four safeguards policies were triggered by Component 2: OP 4.01 (Environmental Assessment), OP 4.04 (Natural Habitats), OP 4.09 (Pest Management), and OP 4.10 (Indigenous Peoples). Since the project was prepared as an emergency operation using the expedited procedures allowed under OP 8.00, preparation and public disclosure of safeguards instruments were not required until 120 days after effectiveness. The ICR reports that an Environmental Assessment, an Environmental Management Plan (EMP), a Pest Management Plan (PMP), and an Indigenous Peoples Plan (IPP) were prepared and disclosed, but were significantly delayed. During the mid-term review, IPP implementation was found to be behind schedule, but by project closure, all activities under the IPP action plan had been implemented.
The ICR contains no statement of compliance with safeguards policies. The project team subsequently reported that compliance with safeguards policies was found to be "moderately satisfactory." The team stated that “at the time the project was prepared, it was difficult to know what implementation of the safeguards policies would involve, and therefore it was also very difficult to anticipate the safeguards implementation budget. Later it became evident that implementation of the safeguards policies would be more costly than anticipated, and it took some time to mobilize the necessary resources. The reason for the moderately satisfactory rating was because the application of the environmental screening procedures to sub-projects was inconsistent (the screening was done in a timely fashion for some sub-projects but not for others) and delays were experienced in the delivery of environmental training to beneficiaries. For social safeguards, although the IPP was implemented for the majority of the projects, the policy's application to sub-projects was inconsistent (indigenous groups needing assistance were identified in a timely fashion for some sub-projects but not for others) and the government funding needed for implementation of the IPP was inadequate. “

On the basis of the evidence provided in the ICR and by the project team, it is not possible to conclude that Bank safeguards policies were fully complied with.

b. Fiduciary Compliance:
Implementation Status Report ratings for both financial management and procurement were moderately satisfactory. Three external audits were carried out during the life of the Project. Although they were submitted to the Bank with considerable delays, all stated that the fiduciary management of the Project was adequate. One audit flagged a number of ineligible expenditures, which the Government reimbursed in full after some delay. Ex ante and ex post procurement reviews revealed no major shortcomings. Even so, Implementation Status Reports and aide memoires filed by the Bank’s supervision teams noted persistent weaknesses in contract management, most notably a lack of respect for required contract payment methods. Payments to the Field Implementing Entities and to consultants were consistently late, and payments were not always well documented, particularly in the case of individual consultants.

c. Unintended Impacts (positive or negative):

d. Other:

12. Ratings:

IEG Review
Reason for Disagreement/Comments
Moderately Satisfactory
Moderately Satisfactory
Risk to Development Outcome:
Bank Performance:
Moderately Satisfactory
Moderately Satisfactory
Borrower Performance:
Moderately Satisfactory
Moderately Satisfactory
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 offers a number of lessons of which the following are the most important (with some reformulation of language):
1. For emergency operations prepared under OP 8.0, intense implementation support will often be needed immediately following effectiveness to rapidly close any “readiness gaps” and ensure successful outcomes.

2. Outsourcing implementation to non-governmental partners can be an effective strategy in fragile states. The design of Component 2 as the government in the role of coordinator with subsidiary agreements with NGOs lowered the risks and increased the quality. The major shortcoming of this design can be the high overhead cost associated with engaging non-traditional partners.

3. Weak institutional capacity, including the lack of technical, managerial, administrative, and policymaking skills as well as of motivation within key ministries hinders development impact from Bank investments, but cannot be adequately addressed through emergency operations.

14. Assessment Recommended?


15. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR is clear and well argued. The evidence is presented adequately with a frank description of challenges and issues. The sections are comprehensive and the material and analysis presented in consistent with OPCS guidelines. The lessons are well formulated. However, there was no clear statement of compliance with safeguards policies, and much information on safeguards had to be obtained from the project team..

a. Quality of ICR Rating: Satisfactory

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