Lesson Search

This program successfully tackled a wide range of highly complex, interlinked issues.  In addition to the appropriate sequencing of reforms, its success was attributable to the development of adequate capacity among key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Central Bank of Uzbekistan, and State Asset Management Agency. Capacity development was made possible by the provision of ADB technical assistance. 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Uzbekistan

Declining global commodity prices and subdued growth in some export destination countries since 2013, followed by an economic downturn in the Russian Federation had adversely affected Uzbekistan, particularly in terms of exports, budget revenues, and household incomes.  To facilitate economic stability and sustainable high growth, the government embarked on a series of macroeconomic reforms.  In September 2017, it initiated a comprehensive exchange rate reform to solve long-standing difficulties associated with limited access to foreign exchange and requirements to surrender foreign exchange. The reform aimed to promote foreign investment, private and banking sector development, and exports.  

However, liberalizing the foreign exchange market created many macroeconomic challenges because of weak governance structure and though the devaluations in 2017 probably increased some revenue receipts, such as value-added tax, their overall impact on budget revenues was negative. At the same time, the burden on the state treasury increased as the government aimed to (i) mitigate the adverse impact of reforms on vulnerable groups; and (ii) ensure smooth functioning of strategic industries, including state-owned enterprises (SOEs), banks, and financial institutions. This resulted in a budget deficit of almost 3.3% of GDP in 2017 (as against a deficit of 0.6% in 2016) and around 2% of GDP in 2018. It was difficult for the government to incur additional costs to carry out its reform agenda, unless expenditures on specific items were protected and partly financed by development partners.

The Economic Management Improvement Program, a $600 million programmatic policy-based loan provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), met a portion of Uzbekistan’s development financing needs and helped the government to pursue its macroeconomic reform agenda without jeopardizing expenditure on essential items.  The loan was divided equally to support two subprograms: subprogram 1 was approved in June 2018; and subprogram 2 in November 2019.  It was to facilitate policy reform actions in three areas: (i) macroeconomic data collection, analysis, and dissemination systems; (ii) fiscal and financial management; and (iii) SOE governance and private sector operations.

At completion, the program was able to fully implement all the required 29 policy actions, enabling it to achieve or overachieve its output and outcome targets. Output targets exceeded included (i) under the first reform area, the full implementation of the enhanced general data dissemination system (e-GDDS) and the development of a plan for implementing the special data dissemination standard (SDDS); and (ii) under the second reform area, the establishment of internal audit units in five additional ministries, almost double the target of three additional ministries. The government also submitted an action plan to update e-GDDS indicators, methodology, and frequency of data publication to comply with the requirements of the International Monetary Fund’s SDDS. The SDDS transition will be completed by 2022.  Policy actions under the third reform area, including among others the adoption of corporate governance rules in seven SOEs and a sustainable debt management strategy for the Joint Stock Company (JSC) Uzbekenergo, and the passage of the public-private partnership law that expanded private sector participation in public sector infrastructure projects facilitated private sector development and operations,

Successful performance at the outcome level was evident in the over 147% increase in loan amount extended to small businesses in 2020, as compared to the 2017 baseline data and significantly exceeding the target increase of 50%. Policy lending to SOEs remained below 3% of GDP and was at 1.4% of GDP in 2020.  By creating a fiscal headroom through better fiscal management, the program overall enabled higher public investment and budget allocations for poor and vulnerable groups and improved access to finance, with the private sector contributing to business growth and job creation.

The Ministry of Finance was the executing agency.  It was joined by the Central Bank of Uzbekistan, State Committee on Statistics, State Committee for Assistance to Privatized Enterprises and Development of Competition, JSC Uzbekenergo, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Energy, State Asset Management Agency, and the Public–Private Partnership Development Agency in implementing the program.

Project Cycle Stage:
Country: Uzbekistan

Although none of the 37 contracts under this project experienced any implementation delays, the performance of the contractors could have been better with respect to the quality of work and the technical specifications and construction standards.  Specific issues were (i) design-related, affecting certain circuit-breakers, concrete poles for distribution lines, the size of pre-cast foundations, cross-arms, and system earthing; and (ii) construction-related, such as the stringing of transmission and distribution lines, installation of self-supporting insulated wire distribution lines, compaction of ground, installation of pre-cast foundations for steel lattice towers, anchor bolts for substation equipment, and grouting. These issues were either partially resolved or recommended for better technical specifications in future tranches of the MFF.  Employing national and international best practices will be key to improving the quality and technology in future tranches.  Encouraging contractors to improvise where possible and introduce new technology standards, incorporating lessons learned and issues identified in the technical specifications for the initial tranche, and prompting the project management units to be more proactive in using the project management consultant to develop the capacity of the operational staff on new technology and standards will also be helpful.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Azerbaijan

This MFF’s tranches 2 and 3 were supposed to be approved in November 2017 and March 2018, respectively. However, the restrictive approach taken by Azerbaijan to public external borrowing, which was absent at appraisal time, led to the deferment of these tranches. It might have been possible to push through with these tranches if they were processed close to the start of tranche 1, with the locations and routes identified upfront and thoroughly analyzed for potential construction and safeguard impacts. Overlapping processing and implementation of the first and subsequent tranches would have maintained the implementation momentum and maximize the benefits from the MFF.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Azerbaijan

Electricity generation in Azerbaijan is sufficient to meet domestic needs, with the surplus exported to neighboring countries. However, continuing challenges such as improving operational and financial efficiency, restoring and maintaining a high level of services across the country, and establishing a sustainable cost-recovery financing mechanism have constrained the supply of reliable electricity in rural areas, affecting the living conditions of households and discouraging new economic activities.  Overall, the unreliable power supply and inefficient utilization of resources undermined industrial competitiveness, constrained economic growth, and created urban–rural income disparity.

To address the urban–rural income divide and diversify from hydrocarbon export industries, the government sought to enhance the availability and reliability of the electricity supply Azerbaijan.  Against this backdrop, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a multitranche financing facility (MFF) of $750 million for the Power Distribution Enhancement Investment Program in July 2016. The MFF was to be provided in 3 tranches, with an implementation period of 7 years.

The investment program’s expected impact is increased availability of reliable electricity supply to all domestic consumers.  Including tranche 1, its intended outcome is improved efficiency and reliability of the power distribution networks.  Some 1.45 million customers are envisaged to benefit from the program, of which 60% are from the residential sector. The tranches were to have similar project components, differing only in terms of the locations selected.  Tranche 1, approved for a loan of $250 million along with the MFF, was to rehabilitate 4 units of 110 kilovolt (kV) substations, 16 units of 35 kV substations, 1,157 units of compact transformer station, and 1,415 kilometers (km) of 110, 35, 10, and 6 kV lines.

All the intended physical outputs of the tranche 1 project were delivered and commissioned before the loan completion date. All the output targets were likewise achieved, although certain targets on 610 kV, 35 kV, and 110 kV transmission and distribution lines differed from those set at appraisal because of slight alignment changes and procurement modifications.

The project was re-categorized from C to B for involuntary resettlement because timely and adequate social safeguard monitoring activities were not conducted for certain subprojects. This minor change affected project effectiveness from a safeguard monitoring perspective but did not affect the attainment of the project’s intended results.

The distribution network improvements delivered through the project addressed the deteriorating power distribution infrastructure in the project areas, contributed substantially to power supply stability and sustainability, reduced losses, and helped to meet growing electricity demand. Without the project, power distribution in the project areas would have further worsened and outages increased.

The Azerishiq Open Joint Stock Company(OJSC) was both the executing agency and borrower for the MFF and tranche 1, and the Republic of Azerbaijan was the guarantor. The Azerishiq Open Joint Stock Company OJSC established a dedicated program management unit for the implementation of the entire MFF.

Project Cycle Stage:
Country: Azerbaijan

Unaddressed comments from the executing agency (EA) for the Toktogul rehabilitation works, the Electric Power Plants (EPP) joint-stock company, left questions regarding the quality of the dam safety assessment component of this project. A report on this assessment was provided and accepted by the EA in-charge of the soft components and which also managed the assessment, the Ministry of Energy and Industry (MOEI).  An unclear communications chain complicated matters, as the consultant disregarded EPP’s comments unless received via MOEI.  In future, careful and adequate thought should be given to selecting the most appropriate EA, considering as well likely organizational changes that could impact implementation.  For example, frequent changes in the government’s ministerial structures under this project hindered continuity and the smooth implementation of some components.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: Kyrgyz Republic

Often, not enough attention is given to developing indicators that are precise and can be easily assessed in post-project evaluations.  In this project, the impact indicators of increased exports and increased domestic supply did not foresee the high growth in domestic demand that prevented the export target from being achieved.  In this case, total supply, i.e., exports plus domestic supply, would have been a better indicator.  Similarly, the output indicator of reducing commercial losses to 10% by the end of the project was poorly selected because KESC’s identifying losses is only the first step. The second step would be to introduce a targeted loss reduction program. It should also be noted that the design and monitoring framework wrongly categorized total distribution losses, including technical and commercial, as commercial losses. Recurrence of these shortcomings in future projects should be avoided as it could hamper and impact on the reliability of performance evaluations.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: Kyrgyz Republic

This project experienced some implementation delays and had two loan extensions. Toktogul’s rehabilitation was delayed by almost 2 years due to a lack of responsive bidders during the initial bidding. The establishment of the Kyrgyz electricity settlement center (KESC) was delayed by 3 years because of difficulties, including disagreements, in developing the implementation consultant’s TOR and incompatibility between the KESC server hardware and the metering and data acquisition software. Two lessons emerge from this experience: (i) contracts need to be carefully packaged, i.e., the initial Toktogul HEPP contract should have been broken into separate lots, while the two separate KESC packages for server hardware and metering software packages should have been combined to improve compatibility; and (ii) clear consultants’ TORs should be developed and agreed by all relevant stakeholders well before implementation, especially when there are complex issues to be resolved.  

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Kyrgyz Republic

Utilizing loan and grant savings, a works contract to rehabilitate the 500-kilovolt switchyard at the Toktogul hydroelectric power plant (HEPP) was added to the scope of this project.  The additional scope required a supplementary initial environmental examination (IEE) that included the handling of asbestos-containing material, which was not covered by the EMP and therefore needed to be addressed. The executing agency and the project management consultant for the Toktogul HEPP experienced some difficulty in doing this because precise requirements were not specified in the EMP.  It would have been useful for ADB to conduct a training on asbestos handling in addition to ADB’s Safeguard Policy Statement. In ongoing and future projects, training and advice on ADB’s safeguard policy should be strengthened and made responsive to issues and concerns that emerge during project implementation.

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: Kyrgyz Republic

The Kyrgyz Republic has abundant hydropower resources. More than 90% of the country’s energy is generated by 16 hydropower plants, with the rest produced by two thermal combined heat and power plants. With its significant summer exports of surplus hydropower, the Kyrgyz Republic was the largest net power exporter within the Central Asian Power System during the 1990s and 2000s. However, load shedding was common, during years when river water levels and discharges were low.  At appraisal, reliability of power supply was also hindered by (i) high system losses, (ii) obsolete and inefficient technology, (iii) power cuts caused by dilapidated equipment in use since the Soviet era; and (iv) tariffs below cost recovery. These factors, along with dramatically increased national demand, kept power exports and export revenues significantly below their potential.

The Power Sector Rehabilitation Project, approved in June 2012 by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a loan of $15 million equivalent and a grant of $40 million, was designed to help address these issues by (i) supporting the phase 1 rehabilitation of the Toktogul hydroelectric power plant (HEPP), the largest HEPP in the country, which is critical for national and regional power supply; (ii) establishing the Kyrgyz electricity settlement center (KESC) to reduce commercial losses and improve sector financial performance; (iii) assessing the safety condition of dams on the Naryn cascade and identifying remedial measures; and (iv) conducting a public information program to gain support for sector reforms.  The project’s expected outcome was improved operational performance of the country’s power sector. Its anticipated impact was increased reliability of national and regional power systems.

At completion, the project achieved almost all its intended outputs.  The Toktogul HEPP was rehabilitated, with additional scope because of cost savings. The KESC was established and has been publishing electricity flow data since 2020, allowing distribution companies to identify commercial losses and facilitating the implementation of a loss reduction program going forward.  However, while inspection was completed and remedial measures were identified for each dam of the Naryn cascade, unaddressed comments on the assessment report from the owner of the cascade and the study client, the Electric Power Plants (EPP), left questions regarding the assessment’s quality. Public awareness of sector issues was increased through a public consultation, national newspaper articles, and television reports, facilitating public acceptance of the tariff increase implemented shortly after the public information campaign ended.

As a result, the project was able to substantially achieve its intended outcome.  Availability of the Toktogul HEPP reached 89% in 2019, a bit short of the 90% target. Distribution losses were cut in half, from 25% to 12.3%, by 2019 but the 10% loss target was not quite reached.  This was because identification by the KESC of losses is only the first step that needs to be followed up with the introduction of a targeted loss reduction program. Substantial output and outcome deliveries enabled the project to overachieve by 25% its impact-level target of increasing domestic power supply to 8,500 gigawatt-hours in 2019. But due to a dramatic increase in domestic demand, the Kyrgyz Republic was unable to achieve its export target.

The project had the Ministry of Energy and Industry (MOEI) and, subsequently, the State Committee on Industry, Energy and Subsoil Use, successor of MOEI, as executing agencies for its soft components. The open joint-stock company EPP was the executing agency for rehabilitation of the Toktogul HEPP.

Project Cycle Stage:
Theme:
Country: Kyrgyz Republic

There was a delay of 1.5 years in project completion.  This can be attributed to the 13-month delay in mobilizing the service providers, which affected social mobilization and the award of subproject grants. Advanced contracting of the consultants during project design would have avoided startup delays.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Nepal

Banks are heavily dependent on collateral, and rural property are not readily accepted by banks.  Future agriculture value chain projects should include such a component to help farmers access formal finance.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: Nepal

Project areas were hit by extreme weather events such as hailstorms and high winds, which were not typical for those areas. The greenhouses were able to protect the project farmers’ crops when the crops of other farmers were wiped out completely. With climate change predictions forecasting increasing frequency of extreme weather events, developing insurance schemes along with promoting climate-resilient infrastructure and technology will be important to cover for losses and damages from extreme weather events.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: Nepal

While the project made it mandatory for agro-processors to get registered and follow government food standards, federalism has complicated the jurisdiction of the three tiers of government in developing an effective and coordinated quarantine and food quality control system.  Future similar projects need to give greater attention to this, channeling lessons and good practices from other countries and ADB projects as appropriate.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: Nepal

The commodity-specific multi-stakeholder platforms established by the project brought together producers and processors along with other value chain actors. These need to be sustained and may be replicated as appropriate in other parts of Nepal as well as in other countries to accelerate the development of agricultural value chains that will be beneficial especially for small and medium farmers.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: Nepal

Limited availability of local inputs and technical know-how has affected the implementation and sustainability of this project. Specifically, farmers faced difficulties in acquiring certified seeds and materials for the construction of greenhouses, screen houses, and drip irrigation because of the limited number of input supply companies in Nepal. Operation and maintenance of plants and machinery also relied heavily on technical manpower imported from India. The experience highlights the critical need for focused public sector investments to help input supply businesses innovate and expand and build technical knowhow domestically to promote agriculture commercialization in Nepal.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: Nepal

Subprojects related to cold storage construction could not access the government’s intended customs duty subsidies for the agriculture sector because of ambiguous wording in the policy documents. An analytical and monitoring framework to assess the cost and benefit of each tax incentive needs to be developed to rationalize the tax incentive program. Especially for an economy that is just emerging from subsistence agriculture, it will be imperative for the public sector to continue to absorb some of the investment risks in agriculture, either through subsidies or through clearly defined and well-targeted tax incentives.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: Nepal

The outlay for agribusiness grant facility (AGF) established by the project rose by 52.7% during implementation. This resulted from a larger scale of agribusiness investments than anticipated, reflecting improved investor confidence during the post-insurgency period.  Matching grants to the AGF from ADB, the government of Nepal, and the Netherlands Development Agency, SNV, further boosted investor confidence.  For every $1 spent, the AGF leveraged $1.65 of private investment.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Nepal

Nepal in 2010 remained a largely agrarian society: an estimated 80% of its population lived in the rural areas and around 66% engaged in agriculture, livestock, and forestry for their livelihood. Despite this, agriculture’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product fell from 72% in 1975 to 35% in 2010.   Weak supply chains, limited access to credit, poor infrastructure, underdeveloped market chains, and lack of services all contributed to low agriculture productivity, leading to low rural incomes and risk-averse decision making in farming. As a consequence, poverty incidence in the rural areas, at around 35%, was three times higher than the 10% urban poverty rate. Poverty rates in the districts of the former mid- and far-western development regions, where the civil conflict in 1996 to 2006 was particularly severe, were even higher at 40% on average.  More than 65% of smallholder farmer households in these districts lived below the poverty line.

To help address the situation, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved in November 2010 a $20.1 million grant for the Raising Incomes of Small and Medium Farmers Project.  The project sought to reduce the market and business risks for small and medium farmers diversifying to high value commodities (HVCs) by providing grants to (i) members of farmer groups or cooperatives with established market supply agreements for initial inputs and farm development; and (ii) postharvest enterprises for developing value chain infrastructure to support the market supply agreements.  The project’s anticipated impact was an increase in the profitability of small and medium farmers in 10 project districts. Its expected outcome was increased production of HVCs by small and medium farmers, to be achieved through the following outputs: (i) HVC value chains in the mid-western development region and far-western development regions to supply markets, (ii) business plans for producing and adding value to HVCs in the project regions, and (iii) effective project management.

At completion, the project achieved or overachieved most of its output and outcome targets. At appraisal, it was estimated that the project would result in 7,500 hectares (ha) under HVC production, generating 64,500 tons with a retail value of $31 million, farmgate value of $13.5 million, and gross margin to farmers of $9.5 million per annum. At completion, the project had facilitated 2,585 supply agreements through 878 farmers groups producing HVCs on 8,074 ha of additional land, which yielded 111,552 tons of HVCs with a farmgate value of $23.6 million and gross profit to farmers of $7.9 million. This resulted in farmers’ returns increasing by 239% on the same unit of land through switching from cereals to HVCs (target: 30% increased returns from HVCs). The project awarded 100 grants for post-harvest operations (target: 110) and 280 grants to disadvantaged groups and marginal farmers (DGMF) (target: 30 farmers groups and 90 DGMF). Similarly, 281 subprojects related to on-farm development were completed (target: 70), with participating farmers producing HVCs on additional 0.396 ha on average.

The subproject investments directly and indirectly benefited a total of 79,641 farmers and agro-entrepreneurs, 55% of whom were women.  Women likewise comprised the overwhelming majority (5,825 or 87%) of the individual members of the 280 DGMFs that were assisted. Farmers groups and cooperatives of mukta kamaiya and haliya groups (freed bonded laborers) supported by the project enabled it to contribute to social inclusion, a critical goal for the country to recover from civil strife.  A total of 10,573 Dalits (55% women); and 32,225 indigenous people (53% women) benefited from the project.

Women’s benefits from the project were facilitated by the successful implementation of the gender equality and social inclusion action plan, which overall resulted in greater access to economic opportunities and cash income increases (NRs121,619 annually) for disadvantaged and marginalized women farmers, 82% women representation in the executive committees of farmer groups and cooperatives, and recognition of women-leader farmers as local resource persons in agro-entrepreneurship. Participating women’s cash income is estimated to have increased by 74% compared to 2011 levels (target: 60%), thus contributing to household expenses, children’s school fees, medical purposes, and other essential needs.

Mostly successful attainment of the output and outcome targets enabled the project to overachieve its impact targets. An independent impact evaluation carried out by ADB in 2020 revealed that incomes of small and medium farmers in the project districts increased by 34% in real terms between 2014 and 2018 (target: 20% by 2020 over the 2011 baseline).  The 239% value addition realized by farmers switching to HVCs was a far cry from the 15% HVC value added estimated at project appraisal. In addition, the project leveraged $21.79 million in private investments in the agriculture sector, generated 1.3 million labor-days of employment, and contributed to climate change adaptation through improved technology adoption.

The project had the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (previously named the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives) as executing agency.  A project management unit, established by the Department of Agriculture, acted as the primary implementing agency.

Project Cycle Stage:
Country: Nepal

Designs prepared for the schools under this project can be prototypes for rehabilitating or constructing schools with community emergency shelters throughout the country. In fact, the Ministry of Education and Training is already using these designs for two secondary schools under a World Bank-financed project.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country:

While the original and revised project design and monitoring frameworks were reasonable, the impact statement could have been nuanced to reflect the specific support provided to the education sector. The outcome and shelter-related output indicator should have been specific to the project schools to correlate with project inputs and overall objectives. The gender action plan (GAP) design could have included more quantitative indicators and activity targets for enhanced monitoring and evaluation. As GAP activities occurred later in the project cycle, baseline data could have been collected midway for refining the GAP targets during the midterm review. Regular GAP monitoring could have been strengthened, as this data would have further strengthened project management.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country:

It is unclear why a covenant was necessary to ensure the use of single-source consultant recruitment. The method may not always save time, as the need to negotiate remuneration rates poses a significant risk of offsetting the time savings from bypassing advertising and shortlisting.

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country:

During project preparation, community consultations were held at each school, but testimonials indicate that some community members felt the final design did not fully consider their suggestions. Better feedback to communicate information about why certain design suggestions were not adopted could have addressed this problem. It could also have made the community feel more included and strengthened their ownership of the project.  Based on project experience, community outreach activities in future similar interventions in Vanuatu should involve (i) separate consultation sessions for males and females, with workshops scheduled on days when women are not undertaking care or income-generating activities; (ii) consultations with local communities on strengthening project sustainability; (iii) awareness-raising activities to achieve a common understanding on the basis for final design criteria and special design features; and (iv) prioritized needs-based institutional capacity building at the local level for a stronger first response to disasters, especially in remote areas.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country:

Infrastructure investments based on build-back-better principles and capacity development support provided by this project contributed to strengthening disaster resilience at the local level. The post-completion review found that increasing school enrolment numbers can help to channel sufficient funds to facilities’ operation and maintenance. In addition, future projects can help improve schools’ operational sustainability through measures such as combining schools for administrative efficiencies and exploring opportunities for schools to generate additional revenue. There is also need for a national strategy and operational plan to strengthen the disaster resilience of school assets, including a holistic assessment of other school infrastructure needs.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country:

In March 2015, Tropical Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu, causing one of the worst disasters in its history. Total economic damage and losses were estimated at 64.1% of the country’s gross domestic product. The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment completed by the government and development partners concluded that Tafea and Shefa provinces were most affected, with the social sector sustaining significant damage. The education sector’s estimated medium to long-term recovery needs totaled $62.30 million, in response to which the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved in November 2015 a $5 million grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction it administers for the Cyclone Pam School Reconstruction Project.

The project was designed to support recovery and rehabilitation efforts in the education sector, focusing on the reconstruction of junior secondary schools (JSSs) in the Tafea province. It followed a two-pronged build-back-better approach that involved (i) constructing and rebuilding school infrastructure to withstand future disasters and provide community emergency shelters during disasters; and (ii) building local disaster resilience capacity by training the community, students, school administrators, and provincial education officers.

The project’s anticipated impact was accelerated social recovery in Vanuatu’s cyclone-affected provinces.  Its expected outcome was critical education services resumed with disaster-resilient infrastructure.  This was to be achieved through two outputs: (i) rebuilding and/or upgrading of schools, and (ii) capacity strengthening of communities and the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) management in disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness.  During implementation, a minor change in scope was implemented to focus the project on Tanna Island, the largest of five islands in Tafea Province that accounts for 88% of the province’s population.

At completion, the project achieved all its five output targets. It rebuilt and/or retrofitted existing buildings as well as constructed new ones in four JSSs to make them more disaster-resilient and to enable some to function as emergency shelters. The overall functionality of these schools was further improved through furniture provisions such as bunk beds, mattresses, dining tables and chairs, library shelves, science lab benches and stools, teachers’ tables, and student desks. As per projections from the project’s economic analysis, the four project-supported schools can provide shelter to about 24.3% of the population (1,086 persons) within a three-kilometer radius. 

Because of the robust technical review procedure established by the project management unit facilities delivered were responsive to gender needs and the needs of the differently abled while meeting national disaster resilience standards. The various capacity development workshops on (i) disaster risk management, including cyclone simulation exercises for schools and communities; (ii) sexual and reproductive health; and (iii) hygiene awareness complemented the build-back-better approach and were appreciated by female students. The inclusion of provincial education office staff in these workshops helped build local-level capacity in disaster resilience.

Delivery of all the output targets enabled the project to achieve its expected outcome.  Discontinuity in schooling was minimized and the outcome target of increasing island-wide student enrolment at JSSs for both boys and girls to at least 60% of the pre-cyclone level was exceeded. As of August 2020, JSS enrollees in Tanna totaled 2,196 boys and girls, representing 173.6% of the revised enrollment target and exceeding the original target by 4.6%.

For the four schools upgraded with project support, student enrolment increased from 451 in 2015 to 634 in 2020 (44% female).  According to the MOET, this figure indicates that enrolments in the four project JSSs had returned to levels before Tropical Cyclone Pam and education services have fully resumed with disaster-resilient infrastructure. Overall, the project has thus likewise achieved its intended impact of contributing the post-Cyclone Pam social recovery of Vanuatu.  The Ministry of Finance and Economic Management was the executing agency and the MOET, the implementing agency.

Project Cycle Stage:
Country:
Independent Evaluation, ADB
Go back to top