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Implementation Completion Report (ICR) Review - Emergency Demobilization And Reintegration Project


  
1. Project Data:   
ICR Review Date Posted:
03/25/2013   
Country:
Congo Democratic Republic
PROJ ID:
P078658
Appraisal
Actual
Project Name:
Emergency Demobilization And Reintegration Project
Project Costs(US $M)
 250  234.9
L/C Number:
CH089, CH362
Loan/Credit (US $M)
 150  144.3
Sector Board:
Social Development
Cofinancing (US $M)
 100  90.6
Cofinanciers:
Multi Country Demobilization and Reintegration program (MDRP)
Board Approval Date
  05/25/2004
 
 
Closing Date
03/31/2008 09/30/2011
Sector(s):
Other social services (95%), Health (5%)
Theme(s):
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)
         
Prepared by: Reviewed by: ICR Review Coordinator: Group:
Pia Schneider
Robert Mark Lacey Soniya Carvalho IEGPS1

2. Project Objectives and Components:

a. Objectives:


    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?
No

c. Components:

There were five costed components:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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

Costs:
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.

Financing:
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.

Borrower contribution:
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.

Dates:
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.

Outputs

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.

Outcomes
    • 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.

Outputs

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).

Outcomes
    • 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.

5. Efficiency:

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:


Rate Available?
Point Value
Coverage/Scope*
Appraisal:
No
%
%
ICR estimate:
No
%
%

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

6. Outcome:


Relevance of objectives is high and relevance of design is modest. The two project objectives (supporting macroeconomic stability and long-term sustainable social development) are rated modest, because of a weak results chain and because the needs of the most vulnerable groups, especially women and the disabled, were not adequately addressed. Efficiency is modest in view of the considerable inefficiencies during the first three years of implementation.

a. Outcome Rating: Moderately Unsatisfactory

7. Rationale for Risk to Development Outcome Rating:

    The risk to the development objective of long-term sustainable social development and macroeconomic stability is rated high. Despite the signing of the Global and Inclusive Accord in December 2002, the eastern part of the country has continued to be unstable, with a plethora of armed groups remaining active and the county’s national forces (FARDC) engaging in military operations against these armed groups (ICR p. 37). The eastern part of the DRC (especially around Goma) faces conflict and security remains volatile. Armed groups continue to destabilize the area, thereby challenging project objectives. The continuing insecurity presents a high risk of conflict in the eastern DRC. The conflict in DRC is particularly complex and has been called the "African World War" because of the number of armed groups operating there.

    The project implementation unit (UEPN) continues to support DDR after project closure, while the African Development Bank (AFDB) supports reintegration efforts for ex-combatants in five provinces of the country.

    a. Risk to Development Outcome Rating: High

8. Assessment of Bank Performance:

a. Quality at entry:

The Bank project team responded in a timely manner to urgent requests from the international community and the transitional Government of DRC to support its demobilization efforts under the National Program for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), in a very difficult and challenging country context. To mitigate the risks, the Bank drew heavily from the collective knowledge, experience and resources of the Multi-Country Regional Program and other existing national DDR projects. The project received consistent policy support from the Regional Program in its design and implementation.

From 2003-2006, funds from the regional MDRP program helped finance the placement of Bank staff and technical specialists in the country during project preparation and early start. The ICR reports that the country counterparts regarded this as having been invaluable to the project.

However, Bank performance was weak in a number of important respects. Although the project was strategically relevant, the expectation that the Government would achieve budget savings and agree to a public expenditure review of the security sector to monitor the allocation of such savings, was unrealistic. The Bank team assessed the Government’s fiduciary capacity as extremely weak to manage project procurement and financial management. A financial management agent was established; but it took longer than anticipated to get the agency going, which hampered project start. According to the ICR (p. 25) under the revised Emergency Operational Procedures the Bank team had the option to use an international agency to implement the first component, demobilization. This would have freed up the program to advance despite the early political inertia. However, the project team subsequently explained that there remains a lot of policy debate about this model and there is no proof that an international agency would have done better. An external Fiduciary Agent would have provided the Bank the necessary control and confidence that funds were being used for their intended purpose

The Bank could not sufficiently anticipate and plan the necessary resources for relocating individuals in a large country with little or no infrastructure. The project team explained that during preparation there was no information available on the exact number of people to demobilize, where the demobilized soldiers were or where they wanted to go. The preparation team did not accurately take into account and plan for special support to female and disabled ex-combatants. Environmental aspects were not accurately addressed during preparation, though some corrective actions were taken during supervision (see Section 11). The project team explained that in the context of the DRC at the onset of the project, environmental issues were difficult to take into account. According to the ICR (p. 23) the Bank initially lacked the necessary human resource capacity. This resulted in design weaknesses including inaccurate analysis of project components, acceptance by the Bank team of faulty implementation arrangements at the Government, and an underestimation of supervision needs. These shortcomings affected early project performance.

Quality-at-Entry Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

b. Quality of supervision:

In addition to having more full-time international staff in the field than any single project in Africa at that time, the Bank team responded quickly to implementation problems when they came up. There was insufficient knowledge on how to best to incorporate women and the disabled; however, the project adapted programs when the problems became evident, as shown by the link to the Social Fund targeting women.

The Bank's mid-term review in 2006 recommended restructuring the project objectives, which were considered overly-ambitious; however, this recommendation was not implemented. Leveraging the Additional Financing in 2007, the Bank persuaded the Government to replace the National Commission for DDR (the original implementing agency) with the more professional and technical Project Management Unit (UEPN).

More supervision missions were fielded from 2008 onwards and implementation progress improved. Four different task team leaders managed the project in 7 years, but according to the ICR, the transitions did not severely affect the project and continuity in project supervision and engagement with counterparts was maintained (ICR page 23). After 2008, the Bank supported efforts to move services closer to the beneficiaries. It financed decentralized "extensions" of the Implementing Agency, allowing for some 30 branch offices, community and mobile demobilization units of the UEPN to be set up.

The project was classified as Category “B” for Environmental Assessment purposes, but the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment was conducted only in 2008. By this time the camps and demobilization centers had been dismantled. The project did not develop an Environmental Management and Regulatory Framework as recommended by the Assessment. The 2008 Assessment found inadequate management of solid and oil wastes from the decommissioned camps. According to the ICR, corrective action was taken.

The ICR (page 23) reports that the Bank’s financial management performance was initially weak, because of insufficient technical assistance and supervision. This led to blockages in cash flows and a lack of transparency, resulting in delays in the selection of implementing partners. However, “this was corrected over time.”

The M&E framework had weaknesses in terms of collecting the relevant indicators to measure progress towards achieving project objectives. However, it included an innovative information system that helped track the transparent allocation of cash to beneficiaries (see Section 10).

In the ICR Partner's Comments, the African Development Bank noted the strong and collaborative relationship it had with IDA. This helped ensure complementarity in their respective programs.

Quality of Supervision Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

Overall Bank Performance Rating: Moderately Satisfactory

9. Assessment of Borrower Performance:

a. Government Performance:

During preparation and early implementation, the project did not get the full support and cooperation of the Coalition Government including representatives of different armed groups. Hence there was little support for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process. The primary entity charged with providing broad government oversight of the project was the high level Inter-ministerial Committee on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR). This committee determined Government policy and strategies for DDR, and had representatives from multiple (14) ministries and from the President’s Office. However, the Committee met only twice during the life of the project.

Initial delays were related to two factors: (i) the Government did not meet a key condition in a timely manner, namely the recruitment of an independent financial agency; and (ii) there was a lack of understanding on respective roles of the two bodies created to manage the National Program for Demobilization and Reintegration. Substantial delays in Government decisions slowed down project implementation. For example, it took two years for the Government to provide a detailed plan for military integration of armed forces assembled in centers around the country. The legislative authorities failed to clarify the legal basis for compensation for disabled ex-combatants and did not transfer responsibility from Defense to Social Affairs. This inaction negatively affected the disabled combatants who were less willing to participate in demobilization.

In 2007 with the Additional Financing, the Government became more responsive to project needs and took corrective actions to replace CONADER the implementing agencies which had not been performing (see below). In 2007, by Presidential Decree, a stronger, professional implementing agency, UEPN, was established as the principal implementing agency. The Government agreed to reimburse all ineligible expenditures to IDA as a condition to receive Additional Financing; and to outsource key financial and procurement management to the consulting firm, KPMG.

The Government did not provide the necessary data on security sector spending. As a result, the Bank could not conduct a public sector expenditure review to examine progress in shifting budgetary savings from defense to the social sector.

Government Performance Rating: Moderately Unsatisfactory

b. Implementing Agency Performance:

At the beginning, the performance of the implementing agency was very weak. Initially until May 2005, the project was managed by the National Commission for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (CIDDR), CONADER and the CGFDR, which had financial and procurement oversight. There was lack of clarity in their roles and internal disagreements arose between these agencies. Their clashes, combined with weak financial management, transparency issues, and misprocurement negatively affected project implementation. In May 2005, CGFDR was dissolved and CONADER took over fiduciary management. KPMG was hired as an advisor, which was insufficient to control for transparency and accountability issues in CONADER. The project confronted serious fiduciary and procurement issues. Until 2005, yearly audits were not conducted as required per the legal agreement. An INT investigation in 2007 found US$6.4 million of ineligible expenses. Several procurement procedures were violated (see Section 11.b below). Fiduciary duties (including procurement and accounting tasks for local transactions) were devolved to the provinces and regions to bring resources closer to activities on the ground. However, this resulted in weak financial and procurement management practices and contributed to blockages in cash flow and mis-procurement. Contracting of implementing agencies such as UNICEF and FAO were delayed.

In January 2006, KPMG took over fiduciary duties, which resulted in tensions with CONADER. Only in February 2007, did the Government agree as part of the Additional Financing Agreement, to replace CONADER with a new project management unit UEPN in the Ministry of Defense. In June 2007, under the Additional Financing, KPMG received signing power and became independent of interference from other Government agencies.

From 2007 until project closure, KPMG provided fiduciary oversight and the situation improved substantially. The ICR (pages 21, 24) commends UEPN on its leadership and technical competency in DDR, and its maintenance of an adequate policy framework in a volatile and changing environment. The last years of the project, led by the Project Management Unit, saw rapid implementation of planned activities, and an overall improvement of project performance. Some UEPN members have been asked to mentor counterparts in the South Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission.

Implementing Agency Performance Rating: Moderately Unsatisfactory

Overall Borrower Performance Rating: Moderately Unsatisfactory

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

a. M&E Design:

The vast majority of output indicators were aligned only with the first activity: demobilization of approximately 150,000 ex-combatants, while providing support for their reinsertion and social and economic reintegration. The ICR reported that this could not be tracked. The M&E design did not include an indicators to assess progress towards the objectives of macroeconomic stability and long-term sustainable social development. The activity -- to promote the reallocation of Government expenditure from military to social and economic sectors -- was assessed with an inadequate indicator (ratio between social sector and defense sector expenditures).

Since the project started from ground zero, the baseline values for most of the indicators (numbers reintegrated, numbers receiving transitional allowance, numbers engaged in economic activity etc) were zero. They also had specific target values and time frames for their achievement. In Phase II, the targets were revised and some new indicators were added accordingly.

A computerized Management Information System (MIS) was established at the beginning of the Project to undertake the registration of ex-combatants in demobilization centers. A four person dedicated M&E team (M&E Advisor, M&E Specialist, a MIS Specialist, and a Database Specialist) were retained by the project. The M&E system was designed such that the different implementing partners (UNICEF, NGOs, CARITAS) could provide the same consistency and quality of data to the project, to enable its comparability and usefulness. Based on the analysis of these reports, the M&E team would be able to follow up on progress directly on the ground.

b. M&E Implementation:

The ICR (page 13) noted that the MIS system design in DRC compared to that of other DDR countries in the region, was a best practice example. The system used satellite technology, iris scan technology and mobile phones (see below). The MIS allowed for the list of demobilized soldiers to be available on a daily basis, with accurate demographic and biographic information of each individual. A dedicated application was created to follow-up each beneficiary after demobilization. It permitted the capturing of information on the reintegration benefits. The MIS evolved over time due to changing needs and improvements in technology. An international firm established a registration system, using Iris Scan technology to ensure that each beneficiary could not be registered twice in the system. VSat (satellite technology) was used consistent with the wide spread nature of the demobilization and reintegration efforts. When the project wound down and demobilization centers were closed, the system switched to small portable satellite devices and mobile teams. Mobile phones were used to pay allowances to beneficiaries, and to update and synchronize the payment system with the reintegration process.

a. M&E Utilization:

The project introduced a well-designed Management Information System. One of the innovative aspects of the project was the use of modern technology to track the project interventions and capture its results. These included the use of iris scan technology to identify the ex-combatants, portable satellite technology to link up and synchronize data from the different demobilization centers, and mobile phones to process payments to eligible beneficiaries. The MIS allowed the project to track individual project beneficiaries easily. It was supplemented by the following studies: (i) evaluation on the management of the reinsertion payment to the demobilized; (ii) study on gender; (iii) technical audit of the project components ; (iv) audit of the transition allowance payment system to ex-combatants (v) a study on use of the allowance by ex-combatants and socio-economic reinsertion; (vi) study on the formation and success of economic associations; (vii) two studies of vulnerable groups (women and children); (viii) study on male adults ex-combatants; (ix) comparative analysis of adolescent ex-combatants demobilized three to five years ago as youth (17-18 years) against those demobilized as adults (18-19 years); and (x) a study of communities where ex-combatants settled (ICR p 13).

The information yielded from the MIS and special studies was used to adjust program focus, concentrate on areas where performance appeared weakest, and refine interventions.

M&E Quality Rating: Substantial

11. Other Issues:

a. Safeguards:
The Project was classified as Category "B" for environmental assessment purposes. Environmental Assessment (O.P. 4.01) was the only safeguard policy to be triggered. The 2008 Environmental and Social Impact Assessment had the following key findings, most of which were associated with the demobilization and processing centers/camps : inadequate solid waste management, including disposal/removal (decommissioning) of equipment; lack of contingency plans for oil spill control and protection measures; abandoned or discarded equipment and materials; absence of coherent and consistent environmental management plan/system; weak contacts with the agencies responsible for environmental management, such as the Ministry of Environment; lack of knowledge on regulatory framework; no capacity building program for environmental management. The ICR reports that corrective action was taken.

b. Fiduciary Compliance:
The project confronted serious fiduciary and procurement issues. One of the conditions of additional financing was that the Government had to repay almost $6.4 million as a result of ineligible expenses and misprocurement. According to an INT investigation in 2007, applicable procurement procedures were violated in connection with: (i) chartering certain flights to transport demobilized ex-combatants; (ii) recruitment of local staff by CONADER; (iii) a company billed the National Program for Demobilization for time worked by “ghost employees;” and (iv) payments to a project official by two companies in exchange for an award to supply computer equipment and services.

The project's Financial Management Committee was disbanded in 2005 leaving project management to the National Commission. The National Commission was also dissolved and replaced by the UEPN in 2007 (see Section 9b above). The consulting firm KPMG was retained to assume full financial management of the project, after which no further financial issues arose.

External auditors qualified all reports for the semesters up to December 31, 2005. However, all subsequent reports to June 30, 2011 were unqualified. The final external audit (covering the period from July 1, 2011 to the end of the grace period, January 31, 2011) was unqualified, and the auditor did not find any financial management accountability issues or major internal control issues. The auditor's performance rating was considered satisfactory by the Bank.

c. Unintended Impacts (positive or negative):

d. Other:
N/A



12. Ratings:

ICR
IEG Review
Reason for Disagreement/Comments
Outcome:
Moderately Satisfactory
Moderately Unsatisfactory
Relevance of design is modest because there is no clear link between project objectives, components and indicators. The efficacy of both sub-objectives is modest: that of stable macroeconomic growth because progress reported under the project cannot be clearly linked to having contributed to macroeconomic growth; and that of sustainable social development because the needs of vulnerable groups, especially women and the disabled were inadequately addressed. Efficiency is modest.  
Risk to Development Outcome:
Moderate
High
The security situation in the eastern part of the country remains volatile. Armed groups there continue to destabilize the region.  
Bank Performance:
Moderately Satisfactory
Moderately Satisfactory
 
Borrower Performance:
Moderately Satisfactory
Moderately Unsatisfactory
Due to ineligible expenditures and lack of commitment to reallocating government budget savings from defense to social sectors 
Quality of ICR:
 
Satisfactory
 
NOTES:
- 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 has offered a selection of lessons, of which the main ones are shown below:

DDR projects need to be designed within an overarching security framework: The links between the general security sector reform and the delivery of a DDR program have been well explored in the conflict-literature. Without a general process of army integration and security sector reform, comprehensive DDR is extremely difficult to accomplish.

DDR projects should not have ambitious and general goals such as being expected to result in macroeconomic stability, peace, long-term sustainable social development and an immediate decrease in military expenditures and budget savings. Such objectives are too ambitious and difficult to attribute. This is particularly inappropriate in a country where there was continuing conflict and where the Government had a policy of integrating other armed groups into the regular forces.

Rapid response and efficient performance can be enhanced by the outsourcing of implementation and fiduciary control: In situations of political complexity and instability, the Bank team could have exercised the option of making an international agency recipient responsible for the demobilization component. This would have facilitated implementation in the early stages of the program. Moreover, given the early poor performance of the Borrower, the establishment from the outset of an external Fiduciary Agent would have provided the Bank the necessary control and confidence that funds were being used for their intended purpose.

Reintegration design needs to be more flexible and pragmatic to account for the needs of vulnerable groups including women, the disabled, and children with families: Assistance to women, the disabled and children (particularly girls) that have children themselves, and are associated with armed groups, need to be varied and adapted to their circumstances. Regular reintegration packages are not appropriate, and the program needs to be flexible and pragmatic to support their social and economic reintegration.


14. Assessment Recommended?

Yes
Why?
The project could be part of a cluster PPAR on demobilization and reintegration, to extract lessons especially from the decentralized approach adopted in this project. This would be timely given the upcoming IEG evaluation on post conflict studies.

15. Comments on Quality of ICR:

The ICR presents a wealth of information about the project, and reports on a wide range of activities and issues. It is at times very difficult to see how they link together into an integrated coherent manner. The Beneficiary Survey, Stakeholder Assessment and Borrower Comments attached are helpful and give the reader important additional perspectives. There are some inconsistencies in the results presented for some of the target indicators. Some of the actual values achieved in the results frameworks needed clarification, including those targets that were modified as a result of the Additional Financing. The ICR could have included a stronger analysis of the information presented and a more candid assessment and conclusion.

a. Quality of ICR Rating: Satisfactory

(ICRR-Rev6INV-Jun-2011)
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