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         Southern Kordofan agricultural devlopment project

December 26, 1995

Sudan: Southern Kordofan Agricultural Development Project (Credit 1867-SU)

The Sudan Southern Kordofan Agricultural Development project, supported by Credit 1867-SU for US$9.7 million equivalent and cofinanced by the African Development Bank (AfDB), was approved in FY88. The Implementation Completion Report (ICR) was prepared by the FAO/Bank Cooperative Programme for the Africa Regional Office, and provides a good account of the implementation of the project. It follows the structure provided in the new guidelines and includes a realistic assessment of the project's future prospects. No comments have been received from the Borrower on the ICR.

The objective of the project was to assist smallholder farmers and livestock owners in Southern Kordofan to improve their standard of living. This was to be achieved through selected direct interventions and institutional development. The project provided hardware (civil works, vehicles, equipment), software (technical assistance and training), agricultural inputs and operating expenses in order to improve agricultural services, availability of farm inputs, water supplies and the feeder road network.

The project design was complex: eight components implemented by five public agencies coordinated by a Project Management Unit. A clear plan of action was not developed at project preparation; instead studies to be undertaken during project implementation were to provide the plans for subsequent project action. The project achieved few of its physical objectives, largely because of widespread insecurity and unsettled political conditions during the early years of implementation, persistent inadequate funding by government and later, because of suspension of disbursements by both IDA and AfDB following government's failure to repay loans. An effective on-farm technology testing process was established with farmers towards the end of the project, but this had not been included in the project design.

The Operations Evaluation Department (OED) agrees with the ICR in rating project outcome as unsatisfactory. In accord with the ICR, the sustainability of the project is rated as unlikely, since the road and wateryard maintenance unit was not operational when the project closed and the level of Government funding remained unsatisfactory. Institutional development is rated as modest because there is a likelihood that the project team trained during the project will form an experienced base for the newly emerging regional development agency. The performance of the Bank is rated as unsatisfactory.

This project offers a number of lessons including: (i) monitoring and evaluation should not depend solely on long-term technical assistance; building an effective capacity for M&E is best achieved through on-the-job training of national staff by short-term technical assistance; and (ii) early project closure should be considered when serious security problems seriously impede implementation.

No audit is planned.

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