June 30, 1995
Somalia: Second Agricultural Extension Project (Credit 1794-SO)
The Implementation Completion Report (ICR) on the Somalia Second Agricultural Extension project (Credit 1794-SO, approved in FY87) was prepared by the Africa Regional Office.
The aim of the project was to increase agricultural production and farmers' incomes by improving agricultural extension and research. Project activities started in late 1987 and, despite initial management problems, went well and soon had a beneficial impact on smallholder production. However, a year later the security situation began to deteriorate. Constrained activities continued for two years until civil war and the ouster of the Government in January 1991 brought operations to an end. By then the project's civil works had nearly been completed, but reportedly most have since been destroyed, and the project's vehicles and equipment are gone. About 130 staff received overseas training, but many are no longer in Somalia. Those that remain or return could form the core of a revival of research and extension activities when political stability returns.
The ICR was prepared by the Africa Regional Office and follows the new guidelines. It provides a clear and concise account of the demise of an otherwise promising project. An ICR field mission was not possible, and in the absence of formal authorities in Somalia, comments could not be obtained from the borrower. No comments on the ICR were received from the cofinancier, the African Development Bank.
In the circumstances, project outcome is rated as highly unsatisfactory (unsatisfactory in the ICR), institutional development as negligible (partial in the ICR) and sustainability as unlikely. Circumstances also dictate that the performance of the Borrower in implementation and operation be rated as highly unsatisfactory (satisfactory in the ICR). The ICR rates Bank performance as satisfactory, with a number of qualifying remarks, but there is insufficient information for OED to form an independent opinion.
The lessons learned in the ICR are familiar: the need for early agreement on cooperation arrangements between project agencies and cofinanciers; the need to carefully evaluate government's ability to provide counterpart funds; and the powerful impact on implementation performance of an energetic and competent project manager. However, the overriding lesson is that country conditions determine the ultimate fate of a project.
No audit is planned.