Category: Country - Bhutan

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This approach is particularly relevant in developing countries with weak private sector participation in infrastructure and which lack the capacity for commercial borrowing because of debt sustainability considerations. Some examples of countries in a similar situation are the Kyrgyz Republic, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nepal, and Tajikistan where large hydropower potential can be developed to increase their power exports using the PPP model. 
 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: Bhutan

This is critical in countries having mountainous terrain and archipelagos that require large investment to expand the distribution network. 
 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Bhutan

It used a target for impact indicator that linked project output to government revenue. While it is possible to reasonably forecast results, the government revenue may change for reasons unrelated to the project or the sector, as seen in this case.
 

Project Cycle Stage: Completion and Evaluation
Country: Bhutan

Sufficiently trained implementing staff monitor the safeguard elements of all energy sector projects and ensure that these do not trigger adverse effects.

Project Cycle Stage:
Country: Bhutan

In addition to these project-level lessons, mainstreaming the formulation of the GAP into all energy access projects, with sufficient attention and support, enhances project impact through measurable changes for women.

Project Cycle Stage:
Country: Bhutan

Thus, even when ADB is working with a development partner reputed to have sector expertise, it remains important for ADB to have sufficient understanding of the issues to be able to address the developing member country’s capacity problems. This is especially important during implementation when other development partners have departed from the scene

Project Cycle Stage:
Country: Bhutan

This project’s wind component was a pilot initiative aimed at demonstrating the potential of the wind renewable resource for long-term energy security in Bhutan. The successful implementation and operation of the wind power plant serves as a useful benchmark for future planning of wind energy development.  Future scaling up initiatives will benefit from: (i) the use of common infrastructure; (ii) the experience gained by the Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC) in implementing and operating the completed pilot project; and (iii) further strengthening the technical capacity in BPC for designing, implementing and operating wind plants. 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: Bhutan

The results of the gender review of the energy sector programs and policies of Bhutan highlighted further actions to sustain the headways gained.  These actions could include: (i) providing innovative energy-based livelihood opportunities for women, along with business development services to make such opportunities viable; (ii) offering programs in schools to encourage more girls and young women to pursue academic courses and careers related to energy, and internship or apprenticeship programs within the relevant government agencies; and (iii) raising public awareness on the benefits of gender equality and women empowerment. 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: Bhutan

The project’s target to allocate to women 40% of the 120 village technicians to be trained was ambitious and was reduced to 20% during the review mission. The difficulty in finding women to become village technicians for on-grid and off-grid systems and be part of the energy sector of Bhutan indicates the need for more innovative approaches.  Future support could involve (i) developing programs in schools to encourage more girls and young women to pursue academic courses and careers related to energy, (ii) developing an internship and/or apprenticeship program in relevant government agencies for women interested in energy sector careers, (iii) raising public awareness on the benefits of gender equality in the energy sector, and (iv) providing energy-based business development services to women entrepreneurs.  

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: Bhutan

The need to identify new households for off-grid solar home systems, because the initially proposed households were already connected to the grid, was among the key reasons for the first extension of the project implementation period.  The new connections occurred more quickly than expected.  In future, initiatives to install solar home systems must be based on a detailed technical assessment of the areas that could not be connected to the grid. Safety and sustainability considerations, including the availability of well-trained village technicians and technical support and the establishment of proper controls over the issuance of materials, should also be incorporated into the plans.  

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Bhutan

The executing and implementing agencies had regular meetings to discuss matters related to project implementation. Appropriate corrective action was taken on day-to-day basis in response to implementation challenges relating to bad weather, transportation of equipment through difficult terrain, and scheduling of works, and better strategies were implemented. As a result, all project-related issues that arose were resolved.

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: Bhutan

The project constructed wildlife underpasses to mitigate wildlife and biodiversity conservation risks.  Cameras were installed in select underpasses to monitor wildlife movement and use of the underpasses.  As of February 2017, an ADB monitoring report revealed that human presence and obstructions near the underpasses had reduced their use by the target species, particularly elephants. ADB appreciates the importance of government support facilities such as immigration and forestry check posts and anti-poaching camps and patrol, especially near the border, in addressing wildlife and security concerns.  Efforts to prevent wildlife collection, transport, and illegal trade should continue in the project areas.  So should the integration of climate change risks in future road interventions, omission of which from this project’s design has led to damages in several drainage structures and instigated the preparation and mainstreaming of climate resilience guidelines by the DOR.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Bhutan

The design of this project focused on road construction.  To ensure sustainability, future ADB-financed projects in the country should aim to incorporate a road asset management and maintenance system.  This is particularly important considering that road maintenance in Bhutan is constrained by budget, equipment, and labor.  Performance-based maintenance contracts, proven in several ADB member countries to be more economical than method-based or conventional contracts may be explored, and sound pavement selection and survey enhancement should be worked out. Use of aggregates from landslide material to widen road sections that, according to representatives from the project executing agency, the Department of Roads (DOR), has been widely applied in Bhutan, providing a win-win solution for issues with unstable geology, may also be considered in future projects.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: Bhutan

.  The project was marked by cost overruns and implementation delays. The detailed design estimated the cost of all contracts at 12.8% higher than at appraisal. During implementation, the actual cost of the civil works rose by about 32.9% more than the contract price, mainly because of price escalation and additional works. Civil works contract periods were set at 32 months regardless of the contract value, location, and site conditions, including topographical and geotechnical.  This uniform contract duration proved unachievable, as the project encountered significant physical hindrances during construction, primarily heavy rainfall during the monsoon seasons, which caused the cessation of project activities for 3–4 months and largely prompted the extension of all civil works contracts by 92–410 days.  The experience highlights the importance of carefully considering the steepness of terrain, whether civil works are greenfield or brownfield, and impacts of the monsoon season in the preparation of future road projects in Bhutan.  Such factors can significantly impact the contract and project durations and the cost estimates of future similar interventions.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation
Country: Bhutan

Reliable assessment of program performance was hindered by ambiguous outcome indicators and the absence of baseline data. For instance, the outcome indicator that border transit would improve by 15% was not only vague; it was also to be measured against baseline data wrongly assumed to be available from a time release study to be completed in 2013. To ensure reliable assessment of end−of−project performance, future project preparations should include the development of clear-cut outcome indicators and the generation of baseline data at design stage.

Project Cycle Stage:
Country: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal

Caution should be exercised in planning the delivery of outputs that are contingent on the implementation of an activity beyond the control of the program. In Bhutan, for example, program formulation should have anticipated the potential risks in basing the development of the automated customs management module (CMM) on the timely implementation of the nationwide Revenue Administration and Management Information System project whose significant delays and technical issues negatively impacted the development of the CMM. Coordinating with the implementers of the nonprogram activities the most feasible implementation phasing of the linked outputs right at program design could minimize possible delays and other implementation risks to the program.

Project Cycle Stage:
Country: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal

The capacity to implement the national single window (NSW) concept seemed to have been overestimated under the program. A proper definition was not developed and agreed upon, and the timeframe for complex activities related to NSW was not adequately assessed to ensure correct configuration and sequencing of actions. In addition, country differences in the time and procedural requirements for adopting institutional and legal changes were not carefully considered. Country−specific considerations should be embedded in the design of future similar projects to ensure that they will be realistic in scope and implementation timeframe.

Project Cycle Stage:
Country: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal

The program’s promotion of customs reform at the regional level facilitated conceptual clarity and a common vision of customs modernization in the 3 participating countries. Specifically, through their participation in the various platforms provided by the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal developed broad support for their reform agendas. The strategic guidance and knowledge they gained from the SASEC south–south exchange directly benefited program implementation and capacity building.

Project Cycle Stage:
Country: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal
Independent Evaluation, ADB
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