Category: Project Cycle Stage- Implementation

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Seven sector councils—one per priority economic sector—were established to review and approve the priority occupations to be supported under the project, as well as occupational standards, teaching materials, and technical specifications for the training equipment. Their engagement varied from sector to sector, but industry representatives were generally not active, and the councils remained largely a project-led effort. This led the executing agency to discontinue supporting sector councils and instead establish direct partnerships with 11 business associations, which proved more effective and sustainable. The partnerships promoted sustained cooperation between the vocational schools and employers, including holding master classes, job fairs for graduates, and supplementary workshops. 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Kyrgyz Republic

A major challenge leading to the delay of subprojects was the DISCOs’ lack of understanding of ADB project administration policies and guidelines. Weak contract management and delayed action on important project requirements such as the opening of letter of credit, nomination of inspection team members to witness type tests and pre-shipment inspections, approval of drawings and design data also held up implementation. So did weak decision making and the need to hire second financial management consultant firm due to nonperformance by the first firm. In cases where the executing agency is unfamiliar with the project delivery approach planned at appraisal, it would be helpful to conduct a capacity assessment exercise that would give a better picture of the challenges at hand. This way, appropriate actions and capacity-building exercises can be planned to fill the gaps identified. 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
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The PEFM reform process in Viet Nam was supported by many development partners, including the European Union, International Monetary Fund, Japan International Cooperation Agency, United Nations agencies, World Bank, and various bilateral agencies. Their active participation in policy dialogue helped align policy messages and build consensus around reform measures. Close collaboration during program preparation led to the establishment of a development partner PEFM working group in 2015 to provide support for reform programs in a coordinated manner.  Each development partner was consequently able to provide cutting-edge and value-adding contributions to the various reform areas in the country. Adequate coordination and timely consultation resulted in good synergy and complementary support to the government. (Preparation, Implementation: reform programs/projects, coordination and engagement, donor coordination, donor coordination Viet Nam)

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Viet Nam

Knowledge and capacity constraints often challenge the design and implementation of reforms. ADB has helped the government address these constraints through two TA grants. The first TA, approved in December 2016, aimed to help the government design and implement PEFM reforms targeted under subprogram 2 and boost the capacity of the implementing agencies in carrying out the proposed reforms. The second, approved in August 2017, has targeted critical public debt management knowledge and capacity gaps among provincial governments, which the reforms have granted a range of new responsibilities.  While enhancing the design and implementation of reforms, improved capacities of key stakeholders have also been proven by experience to accelerate and foster the sustainability of the reform process.  

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Viet Nam

This subprogram’s design, as with the whole program, was well informed by the comprehensive findings of the 2013 Public Expenditure and Fiscal Accountability assessment. The program’s formulation was anchored on close and extensive consultations with the government and development partners thus fostering strong national ownership and championship. It was fully aligned with the government’s strategies and priorities as well as the ADB country partnership strategy for Viet Nam, 2016–2020. As a result, subprogram 1 targeted appropriate interventions that effectively helped address key constraints on public expenditure and investment quality in the country, including the inefficient allocation of public resources, poor identification and management of fiscal risks, and weak oversight and evaluation of expenditure.   coordination and engagement, stakeholder engagement)

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Viet Nam

This project’s budget was overestimated, therefore resulting in some loan surplus. Part of the surplus was utilized for new subprojects while the remaining amount was cancelled. Building on this experience, the DISCOs’ design and procurement departments have decided to coordinate and maintain a database of all equipment purchased along with associated costs.  This database will be regularly updated. They have also agreed to continuously monitor project expenses against the budget baselines to ensure efficient financial management as well as allow for better future project estimations.  

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Pakistan

The DISCOs that implemented this project lacked basic understanding of ADB project administration policies and processes, a major challenge that led to subproject delays. Significant delays were also noted in several important activities such as the opening of letters of credit, nomination of inspection team members to witness type tests and pre-shipment inspections, and approval of design drawings and data specifications. Obvious weaknesses in decision making and contract management and the need to hire a second financial management consultant because of nonperformance by the first firm exacerbated the problems. So did the persistent understaffing of project management units, lack of authority of the project staff, and the frequent transfer of trained staff members to other units of their organizations. A careful assessment of the existing EA/IA capacities and institutional issues that could hamper the implementation of the project should have been undertaken during the design stage. This would have enabled the preparation and subsequent execution of measures to mitigate the risks associated with EA/IA capacity and institutional issues, including the realignment of functions, human resource allocations, training and capacity building, and targeted implementation support from ADB and other relevant agencies. (Preparation, Implementation: power distribution projects, EA/IA capacity assessment, EA/IA capacity development, project staffing, implementation arrangements)

 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Pakistan

The distribution lines of one subproject pass through an insurgency-affected area, and this posed a challenge during project implementation.  The project completion review mission was also disrupted by violent protests that occurred in one area in December 2019. With Assam generally considered unsafe and insurgency prone, and given the ongoing insurgency in northeastern India over many years, it is important for the design and implementation of ADB projects in these areas to be informed by a detailed assessment of the security conditions. Security arrangements need to be prepared ahead of project implementation and review missions. Alternatives to site visits should be explored to ensure continuous project monitoring despite the security conditions.  

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: India

Updating of the environmental and social safeguards documents for this project was excessively delayed.  Several technical aspects of the detailed project design, including the location of towers and substations and the line routing foundations, took some time to be finalized. Audited financial statements were also submitted late, in addition to being of poor quality. These issues basically stemmed from lack of capacity in the EA, which seems to have not been given adequate attention in the project.  ADB implementation support and guidance and inputs from the safeguard consultants engaged under tranche 1 seem to have been primarily relied upon to address EA capacity constraints.  While both had been of help, they could not substitute for the key role played by adequate in-house capacity in ensuring the success of projects. At the very least, trainings on ADB guidelines and procedures should have been included in the project design.  A firm knowledge transfer arrangement should have also been worked out to enable the EA staff to learn from the consultants. 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: India

Besides poor performance by one contractor, project implementation was also held back by delays in importing equipment and considerable time spent in determining the location of towers and substations and the type of foundation to be used for line routing.  In addition, the high turnover in project management staff affected the continuity and consistency of project decision-making.  It is essential that the core staff in future projects be maintained throughout implementation.  At the very least, a handover protocol should be put in place to minimize the disruptions that could result from staff transfers and turnovers. 

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: India

Works financed by this tranche, which were divided into nine geographic subproject areas all covered by turnkey contracts awarded through international competitive bidding, were physically completed 3.5 years behind schedule. The long delay was caused by the termination of one subproject in the middle of civil works due to poor contractor performance.  The contractor reportedly faced financial and labor problems.  To avoid the experience from recurring, the qualification criteria for similar works contracts need to be strengthened.  Contractual provisions on mobilization, staffing, and deployment of equipment and funds need to be firmly established with due penalties for breaches and violations.  Strong contract administration must be ensured, with the executing and/or implementing agency (EA/IA) taking a direct role in problem-solving.   

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: India

Though the CDD design of this project was appropriate for emergency operations, the government approval process delayed loan effectiveness. It is important that ADB coordinates closely with the government to ensure that actions for effectiveness (including special authorities to negotiate and clearances from monetary board authorities) are adequately and quickly addressed. 

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: Philippines

The project engineering staff conducted a pre-construction phase workshop where the workplans were clearly laid out and each job position was explained in detail. It was during this workshop that women realized that they could contribute meaningfully and were capable of taking on tasks beyond gender stereotypes. Presenting the civil works program to the community helped drive the recruitment of women into construction work. 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Philippines

Livelihood subprojects often have multiple components (e.g., skills, market linkages, organizational development, and financial literacy) compared with infrastructure subprojects. Communities require more time to prepare design proposals and be trained to comply with subproject fund flow and financial requirements. The added layer of complexity often requires increased training and coaching and the involvement of other service providers and technical agencies.    

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
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Common issues in EALs are: (i) lack of and higher costs of supplies and service providers, (ii) limited staff capacity and availability, (iii) heightened land acquisition issues, and (iv) financial institutions and fund transfer conduits need recovery time and support. EALs will benefit from the early preparation of an extensive risk assessment to develop a risk mitigation road map in advance of implementation. To mitigate the risk of fraudulent transactions, the project executing agency, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), emphasized the specific fiduciary duties and responsibilities of the community project staff in the subproject implementation agreements and memoranda of agreement. The DSWD also included timely liquidation of fund transfers in performance evaluations to detect any incident of fraud. 

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: Philippines

CDD works well in delivering fast support to communities affected by disasters. The project deployed rapidly, reaching 10,572 barangays and about 3,668,000 households soon after approval. Two-thirds of subprojects received financing in the same year as loan effectiveness. However, CDD operations require investment in the capacity of communities and program staff. In a disaster setting, this can be challenging. 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Philippines

This project became effective 6 months after approval, with the signing of the loan agreement taking 3 months, and the issuance of legal opinion another 2.5 months. The delay could have been avoided through more effective dialogue between ADB and the government. Close supervision by ADB led to timely interventions in at least two instances: (i) adjusting the level of the advance account to support a surge in cash requirements; and (ii) acting immediately on procurement delays by batching procurement and informing potential suppliers through a workshop. Close coordination between ADB and government counterparts also contributed to effective implementation. 

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: Philippines

The completion of this project’s road works was also hampered by the substantial contract variations required to address the defects in the detailed engineering designs (DEDs). Conducting thorough geological surveys and incorporating their results into the DEDs would have minimized the need for contract variations.    This would have also helped prevent the damages caused by unstable soil and severe flooding on the project roads in North Kalimantan, which as of the project completion review mission still had to be repaired.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Indonesia

This project encountered substantial implementation delays, mainly due to initial delays in consultant recruitment and works procurement. Slow establishment of the project management unit, lengthy prequalification procedures, and drawn out bid evaluation and approval processes underpinned these delays. The need for adequate capacity in procurement committees, which for this project were mostly based in the EA regional offices, was highlighted by this experience.  Development of such capacity could be accelerated through continuous training with ADB support, as necessary.  Limiting prequalification to complex civil works only and tapping the ADB advance action facility so that consultants could be onboarded as soon as the loan became effective should have been agreed upon during loan processing to facilitate project startup.  

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: Indonesia

This project was successfully implemented and there were savings in the actual project cost. Properly administered bidding processes, facilitated by the engagement of a procurement agent, were vital in obtaining advantageous bid offers. Proactive project management, both in equipment procurement and construction, enabled capital cost savings and ensured the quality of construction and equipment supply. The external supervision mechanism adopted also played an essential role in improving the quality of project outputs. The selection and hiring of competent international and national consultants ensured that the quality standards required for the project were met. 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country:

This project did not encounter significant problems in contract packaging, bid document preparation, or bid evaluation. However, variations were processed for a few civil works contracts due to unexpected LAR problems and missing items in the design institute’s bill of quantities. The need for variations would have been avoided through more detailed onsite surveys and adequate geological explorations to improve engineering designs.  

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: China

This project underwent a minor change in scope due to the cancellation of the originally planned combined heat and power plant (CHP) by the China Huaneng Group, a state-owned enterprise.  The cancellation, which was beyond the control of the executing agency, the Tianshui municipal government (TMG), and not foreseeable during project preparation, prompted the TMG to fund and adjust its plan for the district heating component.  The change in scope caused a 2-year extension of project completion.  In another vein, the design of the roads and bridges under the Tianshui urban transport component, was optimized to avoid the risk of implementation delays due to prolonged land acquisition and resettlement (LAR). Similarly, the design of a road section under the Chengji road and flood control component was changed to reduce land acquisition and disturbance to a nearby landslide prone area.  In all these instances, the project has demonstrated how changes in scope and design can strengthen the relevance and improve the performance of projects.  Without the changes, it would not have been possible for the project to achieve its expected outcome.  

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: China

This project was implemented in parallel with other previous and subsequent tranche projects. But building on the flexibility of the MFF modality, efforts were made to ensure synergy in the design and implementation of the series of tranche projects.  Specifically, the preparation of this and other subsequent tranche projects was informed by a careful assessment and consideration of the status and performance of project 1 and the lessons from that and other projects.  This ensured the avoidance of overlaps or duplications between the tranche projects as well as enabled the borrower government to take advantage of economies of scale. 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: India

Provisions were made under tranche 1 of this investment program for the engagement of consultants to assist in project design, construction supervision, and project management, as well as the preparation and implementation of the resettlement plans and initial environmental examination reports and environmental management plans. But only safeguard consultants were engaged by the EA.  While the safeguard consultants overall helped mitigate the safeguards risks during their contract period, submission of the update safeguard documents was delayed, and safeguard monitoring and reporting continued to be weak because of inadequate EA staff capacity and the absence of dedicated personnel. The absence of project management consultants exacerbated problems related to the insufficient financial management capacity of the EA, resulting in poor quality audited project and entity financial statements. Greater effort should have been made to develop the safeguard and financial management capacity of the EA, which is fundamental to successful project implementation.  Trainings should have been conducted and firm knowledge transfer arrangements should have been worked out to enable the EA staff to learn from the consultants and their common experiences under the project. 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Implementation
Country: India

Many of the issues that delayed the implementation of this project were rooted in insufficient safeguard implementation arrangements.  Moreover, because of the executing agency’s unfamiliarity with ADB safeguard requirements and its weak capacity, there were inordinate delays in updating the environmental and social safeguard documents, which affected the entire project schedule. The project could have benefited from more thorough safeguards planning and implementation arrangements.  Putting in place the proper safeguards implementation arrangements right at inception would have sped up the resolution of safeguard issues that hindered timely project progress. (Implementation: safeguards)

Project Cycle Stage: Implementation
Country: India
Independent Evaluation, ADB
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