|1. Project Data:
ICR Review Date Posted:
|Congo Democratic Republic|
|Emergency Demobilization And Reintegration Project
Project Costs(US $M)
Loan/Credit (US $M)
Cofinancing (US $M)
|Multi Country Demobilization and Reintegration program (MDRP)
Board Approval Date
|Other social services (95%), Health (5%)|
|Conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction (29% - P)
Social safety nets (29% - P)
HIV/AIDS (14% - S)
Gender (14% - S)
Other social protection and risk management (14% - S)|
||ICR Review Coordinator:
||Robert Mark Lacey
|2. Project Objectives and Components:|
In 2002, the Bank together with 13 donors and the governments of the Greater Lakes Region signed the Multi-country Demobilization and Reintegration Pogram, which is a financing framework to finance and coordinate the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants, and their re-entry into civil life. This Emergency Demobilization and Reintegration Project became effective in 2004 and was implemented under the Multi-country Demobilization and Reintegration Program. Additional Financing was approved in 2008.
According to the Development Grant Agreement (2004), the Trust Fund Grant Agreement (2004) and the Financing Agreement for the Additional Financing (2008), the objective of the Emergency Demobilization and Reintegration Project was: "to assist the Recipient in creating long-term sustainable social development and supporting macroeconomic stability in its territory through the: (a) demobilization of approximately 150,000 Ex-Combatants, while providing support for their reinsertion and social and economic reintegration; and (b) contribution to reallocation of the Recipient’s resulting budget savings from defense to social and economic sectors."
According to the Memorandum and Recommendation of the President (p. 6), "the general objective of the Emergency Demobilization and Reintegration Program is to help consolidate peace and promote economic stability and sustainable development in the DRC and in the greater Great Lakes region. The specific objectives of the program will be: (i) to demobilize up to an estimated 150,000 ex-combatants and to help support their return to civilian life, and (ii) to promote the reallocation of Government expenditure from military to social and economic sectors. The Additional Financing Project Paper (p. 7) reports identical development objectives.
The objectives in the Grant Agreements and the Project Documents are slightly different. The Grant Agreements do not mention "consolidate peace", The Agreements refer to "budget savings" whereas the Project Documents for the original and additional financing use the term: "government expenditures".
This Review will rate project results against the objective as stated in the three Grant Agreements since they are more monitorable.
b. Were the project objectives/key associated outcome targets revised during implementation?
There were five costed components:
- Orientation and Demobilization. (Planned cost US$34.4 million; actual cost US$69.60 million). Included the establishment of demobilization centers for ex-combatants (including provisions for special target groups: separation of women and children from men). Services included: 1) medical screening, including HIV/AIDS counseling and voluntary testing and identification of special needs for women, 2) socio economic profiling, including verification of ex-combatants’ eligibility status, 3) pre-discharge orientation regarding civilian life and program benefits, 4) demobilization cards, and 5) provisions for special groups.
- Transition and Reinsertion. (Planned costs US$66.2 million; actual costs US$46.40 million): Upon discharge from the Orientation Centers, demobilized combatants were provided with a transitional safety net to ease ex-combatants return to civilian life (transition period). It consisted of a Basic Needs Kit to assist in the actual return and the first part of a Transitional Subsistence Allowance (TSA), both used to sustain the ex-combatant and his/her family until they had a chance to register for the reintegration program in their area. A second and third installment of the TSA would be paid once the ex-combatant registers in the chosen area of reintegration and commenced participation in program activities. In 2007, the reinsertion kits valued $110 were replaced by a $140 cash payment, a bicycle and a reintegration package of $400.
- Reintegration. (Planned costs US$45 million; actual costs US$47.4 million): The project offered economic and social reintegration: (i) Economic reintegration consisting of agricultural and non-farm income-generating vocational and apprenticeship training and advisory services, particularly for the promotion of income generating activities and basic start-up goods, as well as education and scholarships for minors; (ii) Social reintegration consisting of community level programs promoting reconciliation and strengthening social cohesion through the provision of technical advisory and outreach services.
- Special target groups. (Planned costs US$15.8 million; actual costs US$ 8.8 million): Financing for the implementation of special programs for female, disabled and chronically ill (including HIV/AIDS) ex-combatants. Special assistance was also provided to children associated with armed forces and armed groups with family tracing and reunification, counseling, psycho-social care, facilitation of access to education and skills training in communities of settlement through the provision of goods and technical advisory services.
- Institutional Development and Program Implementation Support. (Planned costs US$35.7 million; actual costs US$62.7 million): This component supported the government, including all operating costs (no civil servant salaries) for the project. It financed two new entities the National Commission for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (CONADER) and the Financial Management Committee for Demobilization and Reintegration (CGFDR) to manage, oversee and execute the project, undertake financial management, audits, donor coordination, prepare annual implementation plans, undertake detailed costing, and coordinate the contracted implementing agencies (UNICEF, FAO, CARITAS, NGOs). It developed and financed CONADER and CGFDR capacity at the central and local levels. It also financed the establishment and operating costs of the Project Implementation Unit (UEPN) which replaced CONADER. Advisory, training and other technical assistance were provided. Financial audits and financial management services provided by the international accounting and consulting firm KPMG were financed. It also supported the opening of provincial branch offices and community level offices (total of 39 such sub-offices to be in close proximity to the demobilization centers and communities of reintegration) for CONADER, the purchase of vehicles, equipment, M&E systems, data management and analysis, studies e.g. on reintegration and the impact of use of cash payments; comprehensive beneficiary studies of ex-combatants; and the final comprehensive evaluation by Consultants.
The ICR reports that a sixth component, Sensitization, was carried out, but was not costed in the project document or in the ICR. Under this component, CONADER commissioned specialized agencies to inform and sensitize the potential beneficiaries and their communities about the demobilization and reintegration program. The objective was to manage expectations and secure participation in the program. Specialized agencies also instituted specific reconciliation activities in communities where the return of ex-combatants might cause tension or hostilities.
Overall, 44% of total project expenditure directly benefited ex-combatants in terms of payments to ex-combatants, in cash, household items kits and sub-project reintegration activities. The handicapped and other special needs groups received shelter, food, transportation, medical services and counseling and comprised 4% of project costs. Demobilization costs accounted for 30% of overall project cost.
d. Comments on Project Cost, Financing, Borrower Contribution, and Dates
Actual project costs at completion were US$234.9 million (Bank's operation portal and ICR Annex 1).
The project experienced major cost overruns which were financed by Additional Financing. Transport and logistics consumed large amounts of project funds (e.g. airlifts, vehicles) given the poor state of DRC infrastructure and the size of the country. Initially the project did not include a budget for transportation costs associated with the relocation of ex-combatants to their home areas. The government was expected to cover these costs; however, government financing did not materialize. The airlifting of ex-combatants ($36 million) and prolonged operation of the demobilization camps were the main reasons for the cost overruns which were funded by Additional Financing and a reallocation reducing the funds left for reintegration. CONADER’s operating costs were also higher than originally budgeted, further contributing to the overruns (Additional Financing Project Document p. 8). The ICR reported that some cost increases were also due to the greater numbers of child beneficiaries than expected and the need for specialized assistance to handicapped ex-combatants.
The original project approved in 2004 had two financing instruments, an IDA grant of US$100 million and a multi-donor trust funded grant of US$100 million. Additional IDA grant financing of US$50 million was approved on April 22, 2008 to cover cost overruns associated with the demobilization and reintegration activities.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) approved parallel funding of US$22 million to support the national disarmament, demobilization and reintegration program.
The ICR (Annex 1 p. 29) reports Borrower contribution in the amount of US$6.6 million. However, the Bank's Operation Portal system reports zero Borrower contribution.
When the Additional Financing was approved in April, 2008, the project’s closing date was extended from September 30, 2008 to June 30, 2010. The project was again extended (Level 2 restructuring approved by the Country Director on May 17, 2010) to allow for completion of activities and closed on September 30, 2011.
|3. Relevance of Objectives & Design:|
a. Relevance of Objectives:High
The objectives of creating long-term sustainable social development, macroeconomic stability and demobilizing and reintegrating ex-combatants are still highly relevant in the war-affected country context. The objective is in line with the overarching multi-donor financial framework agreement. It is relevant in the context of the country's Poverty Reduction Strategy goal of peace and stability, and the Bank's Country Assistance Strategy 2008-2011, both of which aim to lay the foundation for a medium-term poverty reduction effort by strengthening infrastructure, institutions and policies. The project development objective is in line with the five pillars of the Country Assistance Strategy including consolidate peace, macroeconomic stability and economic growth.
The remaining part of the project objectives, - the reallocation of budget savings from defense to social and economic sectors - is less relevant in this context. Budget savings implies a reduction in defense expenditures which cannot necessarily be expected in a country with continuous conflicts and an Army that is being restructured. However, the project team subsequently informed that there were realistic expectations at project launch that this could be realized: (i) the Multi Country Demobilization and Reintegration Program (MDRP) donors wanted this objective and they represented significant international leverage and (ii) basic calculations indicated that the Government’s military payroll would significantly increase if there was no DDR program. By the end of Phase 1, a tactical decision was made to keep the second objective as the World Bank had agreed at the highest level (the President of the World Bank) to urge the Government to undertake a Public Expenditure Review of the military.
b. Relevance of Design:Modest
The Project was a national program covering the whole territory of the Demographic Republic Congo (DRC). The project design with four components (demobilization, reinsertion, reintegration and special groups) supports the demobilization of 150,000 ex-combatants, and helps support their return to civilian life. However, the initial design did not accurately account for country-specific challenges that severely hampered implementation including weak government stewardship, the lack of infrastructure, the geographical distances, and the support to economic activities to support social development. The project targeted all ex-combatants of the signatories of the ceasefire and non-signatory armed groups specified in the Presidential Decree; Congolese ex-combatants abroad seeking to return home; and children involved in the conflict. Special target groups included females, disabled and chronically ill ex-combatants, and all children associated with or released from Armed Forces and Group. The original design did not accurately plan for the special needs of child-soldiers, female and disabled ex-combatants and did not take into account the geographic challenges and risks in the reintegration, which resulted in several years of delays for ex-combatants. This design flaw was addressed in the Additional Financing with the support of CARITAS.
The results framework does not provide a clear causal chain between the objectives of social development and macroeconomic stability and the project components. The project objectives are too general to enable the assessment of a causal link with activities. This was also the assessment of the project team at the 2006 mid-term review; however, the objectives were not changed.
|4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :|
1) Supporting macroeconomic stability in the Recipient's territory. Modest.
Demobilization of approximately 150,000 Ex-Combatants, while providing support for their reinsertion and social and economic reintegration.
Combatants, who entered the demobilization process, had the choice between reintegration into civil life or integration into the Congolese Army which involved military training of ex-combatants in specific centers.
- A total of 210,000 ex-combatants were processed for demobilization; however, 88,645 of them chose to integrate into the Congolese Army. However, the Government’s efforts to impose the rule of law and secure these eastern provinces have been thwarted by influential members of the national army (United Nations 2009; Global Witness 2009) (cited in CEM p.15). This leaves 121,355 ex-combatants choosing re-insertion into civilian life missing the target of 150,000.
- Totally 109,846 adults and 31,738 children were demobilized by the project and received support for reinsertion, almost meeting the target of 120,000 adults and 39,000 children. The project team subsequently explained that exact figures of the size of armed forces during ongoing conflict are difficult to measure due to a variety of factors, including exaggerated reporting by armed groups for their own interest. Hence, international agencies have to rely on good estimates.
- The 109,846 adult ex-combatants had received their reinsertion payments which were important transitional subsistence allowances. 80% of the ex-combatants received their allowance in a timely manner within the project performance standard of 9 months after demobilization. This increased to 100% over time. An independent audit found a remarkably low error rate of 0.6%
- Disabled: Of the 2,221 disabled ex-combatants, 1,239 chose to demobilize, of them only 262 (3%) received reintegration assistance. The majority of disabled persons remained in the military, despite a Social Action Fund, and a special program for the disabled and even though all disabled ex-combatants received the same support as non-disabled ex-combatants. This was due to lack of clarity in general laws on compensation for the disabled, and the fact that the disabled faced stigma which was reduced if they remained in uniform.
- Special needs of female ex-combatants: Relatively few women ex-combatants opted out of the military, even though as ex-combatants, they were entitled to receive all the benefits available to their male counterparts. Overall 4,524 female ex-combatants were registered for demobilization, but only 2,396 of them benefited from reintegration into civilian life. Reasons for lack of participation included the prerequisite to hand in a gun to be enrolled, which precluded many women who had served various roles outside of ‘fighting units’. Women felt less stigmatized if they opted to return to the military, as they felt they could not be accepted back into their communities. However, according to subsequent comments by the project team, the program was a front-runner in its ability to recognize and react to this limitation by creating alternatives and programs specifically targeting all women affected by conflict.
- Delays occurred from 2004-2007 between demobilization and reintegration, as the original project did not plan for transport costs for ex-combatants who were subsequently waiting several years in centers to be transferred to their communities. Among them were children who had reached adulthood by the time they received reintegration support. According to the ICR (p. 10) the program cannot claim success as agents lacked qualifications and there was no follow-up after children had left the demobilization centers.
Reallocation of the Recipient’s resulting budget savings from defense to social and economic sectors.
- The Bank did not conduct a public expenditure review to monitor budget savings in the defense sector.
- DRC’s defense budget grew from $113 million (2003) to $163 million in 2010 (ICR p. 36).
- However, the project team subsequently clarified that without the DDR project, military expenditures could have been even higher. The alternative would have been the integration of demobilized ex-combatants into the armed forces. This would have increased the size of the army; thus, the DDR program provided significant relief to the Government in avoiding that additional fiscal burden.
- Since 2001 (before project effectiveness), the government has introduced economic reforms to restore macroeconomic stability with support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank. The ICR reports macroeconomic improvement for the country, including annual GDP growth of around 5 percent since 2002, before the project became effective.
- Overall, DRC' s economy grew on average by 4.3 percent between 2001 and 2005 and by 5.6 percent between 2006 and 2010. The project team subsequently pointed to the Country Economic Memorandum (CEM) of 2012 which highlighted growth particularly in agriculture in rural areas. Agricultural and informal sector growth picked up after 2006 in provinces where peace and security had improved (CEM p.2). Both subsistence farming and production for local markets are growing rapidly in areas where security has been reestablished. However, this was not the case in both of the Kivu provinces in 2007–08 (CEM p.5).
- The ICR reports (p. 30) that the 2006 election violence and fights by rebel group in the Kivus led to a drop in GDP, which improved in late 2006/2007 after a period of relative stability. The global economic crisis in 2008 negatively affected the DRC through a general collapse in the prices of key mineral exports, including cooper, cobalt and diamonds. GDP growth declined sharply from 6.2 % in 2008 to 2.8 % in 2009.
- Postconflict provinces have attracted practically no new investment; for example, South Kivu has received only one percent of the value of all investment projects approved by the National Investment Promotion Agency, while the workforce has expanded some two-to-three percent a year (CEM p.29).
In the absence of any evidence of the project contribution to relevant macroeconomic stability indicators, this objective is rated modest.
2) Creating long-term sustainable social development in its territory. Modest.
Demobilization of approximately 150,000 Ex-Combatants, while providing support for their reinsertion and social and economic reintegration.
- Some women went back quietly to their villages without letting it be known that they were former combatants. When they are processed officially they are identified and known in the communities, because the project works with communities to reintegrate the ex-combatants. The Beneficiary Survey for ex-combatants showed about half of the women were not employed, while and men and children ex-combatants were more easily reintegrated into society. Following the Additional Financing, CARITAS was contracted to implement six special programs for 10,000 women, but only 876 women were reached. Women were the most adversely affected and many reported permanent food insecurity (Beneficiary survey).
- Of the 31,800 children demobilized, 23,000 were registered as having been reunited with their families or placed in transitional families in their home provinces. Of the 23,000, 34% enrolled in schools while 66% opted to participate in project supported income generating activities. UNICEF was the primary entity contracted by the project to implement activities related to the child ex-combatants. The project team added that there is no evidence of children voluntarily re-joining armed groups nor of the re-recruitment of children back into conflict. Extensive counseling services were provided to children once they entered the transit centers.
- The project provided households of 33,000 orphaned and vulnerable children affected by the conflict, with “free basic external support” to care for the children. The ICR did not provide details of this support.
- A medical commission was only created at the end of the Additional Financing phase of the project. A contract signed with an NGO which delivered psychosocial support and medical rehabilitation was provided to 347 ex-combatants. Psychosocial support consisted of basic services and of limited services targeting children. The project team explained that due to their voluntary nature, psychosocial services were employed through more discreet methods and not recorded (due to stigmatization). 6,560 ex-combatants received testing and counseling for HIV AIDS which were offered on a voluntary basis
- Ex-combatants were encouraged to join economic associations. After 2008, the project had helped create over 800 associations which received support, including: vocational and apprenticeship training in agricultural and non-farm income generating activities; technical advisory services; tools to start up small businesses; social integration back into communities; and counseling. About 30,000 ex-combatants benefited from these activities. A project-supported study indicated that the associations generated social capital among the ex-combatants which helped in the social reintegration process.
- Beneficiary surveys estimated that 64% of the demobilized men and women were to have achieved a productive economic livelihood, which is below the 83% target of all demobilized persons. Self-reported indicators of wellbeing among all ex-combatants were generally positive (Beneficiary Survey). An external evaluation (IDL Consultancy Group, September 30, 2011) found that: 75% of men and women had applied the skills gained. Many were optimistic about their future, yet only an estimated 20% have found long lasting employment.
Reallocation of the Recipient’s resulting budget savings from defense to social and economic sectors.
- The Government regularly under-estimated the costs associated with the defense sector resulting in substantial budget over-spending. In 2009 and 2010 the defense expenditure was 44% and 72% respectively above the amount that had been initially budgeted. For the same period, the health sector received only 38 % and 74 % of its approved budget respectively. Thus, there were no budget savings in defense and no reallocation could be made to the social sectors (ICR p. 37).
- Similarly, the CEM reported that concerns about security affected the composition of spending. In 2010 the defense budget was fully executed, while the education budget was 25 percent underexecuted, with even lower rates for other ministries (CEM p. 36).
- The project team subsequently explained that a common critique of DDR projects is that reintegration activities largely fail and ex-combatants return to armed groups. However in this case, 75% of male and 69% of female ex-combatants (surpassing the target of 60%) were reintegrated into their communities and engaged in productive economic activities (or schooling) four years after receiving their final payments; 98% of children were reintegrated by end of Phase II. At the end of the project 80.7% (up from 60% at the end of Phase I) of the demobilized benefited from reintegration assistance.
- The Human Development Index increased from 0.260 in 2005 to 0.286 in 2011. Still, the DRC is ranked last on place 187. http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/COD.html
Nonetheless, in view of the modest results achieved for vulnerable groups with regards to sustainable social development, and the relatively low level of government spending for social sectors, efficacy of this long-term sustainable social development objective is rated modest.
The overall per capita costs for each ex-combatant were estimated to be $1,228 (the Project Document did not indicate if operations and management costs including transport costs, were included), which was within the cost range established by the Great Lakes Regional MDRP program. The program cost-per-beneficiary estimated by the ICR was considerably higher, namely $1,817, excluding operations and management costs.
The decision to air-transport demobilized ex-combatants to their reintegration communities because of the scale of operations and DRC’s vast territory also contributed to cost overruns (originally to be financed by the government, the $36 million was financed by the Additional Financing). According to the ICR, although higher than the original cost, $1,817 falls within the costs benchmarked against similar programs in much smaller countries including Rwanda ($2,065 per beneficiary) and Burundi ($2,775 per beneficiary). Project management costs averaged 27% at closing, compared with 28.2% in Rwanda and 18.3% in Burundi. These costs included technical assistance to the implementing entities, as well as evaluation studies and program tools (ex-combatant beneficiary surveys, MIS tracking of beneficiaries and project M&E). However, it is not clear whether Rwanda and Burundi are high or low efficiency benchmarks.
High program efficiency was achieved through the innovative use of Celtel which resulted in 100% of adult ex-combatants receiving reinsertion assistance, with an error rate below 1%. The computerized Management Information System established at the beginning of the Project to undertake the registration of ex-combatants in demobilization centers supported the efficient use of resources (see Section 10).
The ICR indicated inefficiencies during the first three years. There were considerable delays due to weak financial management and oversight, leading to an accumulated three year (75%) extension of the closing date. The dissolving of the Financial Management Committee for Demobilization and Reintegration and its replacement in 2007 by UEPN also added to the project management and capacity building costs. After 2008, implementation progress improved considerably. The project Mid-term review recommended several efficiency-enhancing measures including the closing of offices with no or little workload. These closures were only implemented when CONADER had to close several offices due to budgetary constraints, even in areas of high needs. Furthermore, the mismanagement and procurement issues slowed the project and in some cases caused a breakdown in the delivery of services to ex-combatants. This led to problems in the field.
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