Category: Project Cycle Stage- Completion and Evaluation

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During the completion review field visits, it was observed that irrigation facilities are better maintained than low-volume rural roads. This is because budget allocations to irrigation management companies provide for a minimum level of service and people are engaged on a part-time basis to maintain canals and keep gates in operating condition. In the case of low volume rural roads, not only are commune funds more limited than provincial sources, the institutional structure to maintain alignments is also inadequate.  As a result, commune people’s committees often engage voluntary groups (youth or women’s associations) to carry out basic maintenance and vegetation control at a scale that requires mechanical intervention.  Without a formal organization and institutional arrangement to do the job, the maintenance of rural roads is often left undone or done too late.

Country: Viet Nam

The financial sustainability analysis conducted at MFF completion showed that there are enough state operating receipts to meet the O&M expenses of the project facilities. Given that the operating institutions did not achieve recovery of the O&M costs as envisaged at appraisal, fiscal transfers from the state and central governments need to continue to ensure the sustainability of the project assets.

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Completion and Evaluation
Country: India

The Constitution of India mandates that the state allocate to urban local bodies (ULBs) the funds required to maintain their functions and sustain service delivery. The Central Finance Commission transfers accounts for 30%–40% of ULB finances, of which up to 90% may be used for the O&M of municipal assets. The state finance commission likewise supports the O&M of municipal assets through compensation grants and transfers to the municipal corporations. At project completion, state operating revenues appear enough to meet O&M expenses.  Nevertheless, continued payment by municipal corporations of O&M fees for water treatment plants and sewage treatment plants (STPs) would still be necessary for optimal maintenance and sustainability.  

Country: India

The financial sustainability analysis conducted at MFF completion showed that there are enough state operating receipts to meet the O&M expenses of the project facilities. Given that the operating institutions did not achieve recovery of the O&M costs as envisaged at appraisal, fiscal transfers from the state and central governments need to continue to ensure the sustainability of the project assets. 

Project Cycle Stage: Completion and Evaluation
Country: India

Both the governments of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh have entered into public-private partnership (PPP) agreements for a part of the assets created under the project. Based on the financial analysis at project completion, the revenues generated from these PPP arrangements and from the yearly allocations to the respective departments by the participating state governments and municipalities can absorb the operation and maintenance (O&M) cost of the project assets, estimated at 10% of capital costs.  Revenues directly generated by the post-handover public agency owners, operating private agencies, and temple trusts from managing the assets would provide additional resources.  Thus, even if the proposed subprojects were considered nonrevenue generating at appraisal, the experience shows there is scope for tourism infrastructure development projects to recover costs through tariffs, end-user charges, and the like.  Planning cost-recovery schemes during the preparation of future similar projects could yield better results.

Country: India

Notwithstanding prior damage and needs assessments, the outputs and outcome targets of EAL cannot always be specified accurately at project preparation stage.  Therefore, flexibility is required in target-setting and the assessment of outcomes.  Following this approach, the project was deemed highly effective in achieving its expected outcome, despite shortfalls on two output targets that were aspirational.  

 

Country: India

Although the output targets were achieved without delays, most policy actions identified in the post-program partnership framework (PPPF) were still in progress at program completion. Progress on PPPF actions to prepare legislation and regulations has been slower than anticipated. This can be explained in part by government capacity constraints, combined with interruptions during the election period in 2019 and disruptions due to COVID-19 in 2020. Therefore, there is a need for ADB to stay fully engaged with monitoring the non-tranche PPPF actions to help ensure they are completed within an appropriate time. The conversion of the ADB Extended Mission in Solomon Islands to a Pacific Country Office and the approval of additional staff, will facilitate continued monitoring of these non-tranche actions. This lesson is 1 of 2 additional lessons demonstrated by this program’s experience, which has also confirmed several lessons from earlier policy-based programs in Solomon Islands, including the need to (i) maintain dialogue with the government to ensure policy actions are aligned with government priorities, (ii) consult with development partners to ensure reform efforts are coordinated and to avoid duplication of effort, (iii) ensure a sharp focus and realistic time frames for policy action, (iv) continue TA support because there is limited government capacity to implement certain reforms, and (v) ensure that essential policy actions are linked to disbursement. 

Project Cycle Stage: Completion and Evaluation
Country: Solomon Islands

Inadequate attention was given during this project’s preparation to ensuring that performance indicators in the design and monitoring framework were appropriate and data was collectible and verifiable.  A project performance monitoring system (PPMS) was also not established. The completion survey, a norm in ADB-financed projects, was not conducted, although there were some assessments made by the EA on project accomplishments in some components.  These shortcomings inhibited the conduct of a comprehensive assessment of project performance and sustainability of results. In future, ADB should work with EAs to establish project PPMS immediately at startup and ensure its consistent and effective implementation. Appropriate feedback mechanisms, which can help with the early resolution of implementation issues, should be established.  Close monitoring of expenditures by budget category is equally important to assess implementation progress.

Country: Philippines

The benefits of the nonmotorized transport initiatives under this project have been significant and contributed to a greener, more livable city and an efficient urban transport system in Lanzhou. Data collection for pedestrian and bicycle crashes and fatalities should be strengthened to effectively monitor all the benefits.  Similarly, the project’s impact and outcome indicators are supposed to have the current data for 2020, but as of end-August, the data is still unavailable. Complete project data, based on the project’s design and monitoring framework, needs to be ensured to better evaluate project impacts and outcomes. 

Project Cycle Stage: Completion and Evaluation
Country: China

This project, the first ADB-financed bus rail transit (BRT) project in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), rapidly gained replication momentum even before completion.  The many lessons learned from its design and implementation have been successfully applied in the design of subsequent ADB-funded BRT projects in the country, including the Hubei-Yichang Sustainable Urban Transport Project and Jiangxi Ji’an Sustainable Urban Transport Project. The project also pioneered nonmotorized transport improvements in the overall urban development plan of Anning district and was the first, and to date, the only ADB transport project to apply for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). 

Project Cycle Stage: Preparation, Completion and Evaluation
Country: China

BRT is very well suited to medium-sized cities like Yichang, but its long-term sustainability depends on effective O&M and strong management support. These two factors are also key to maintaining the project’s status as a model BRT and demonstration project.  In view of these, parking management along the BRT corridor needs to be strengthened, as in 2019, cars were again being parked along the dedicated pedestrian walkways. Better enforcement is needed to reverse this trend. 

Country: China

Several environment-friendly and cost-effective construction good practices were piloted under this project.  Such practices include the use of cold mix bitumen, roller-compacted concrete laying, and plastic waste in road pavement.  To help minimize moisture damage, the use of nanotechnology to waterproof the bitumen layers was also encouraged.  The second phase of this program aims 15% of the targeted total road length to include similar innovative measures, in line with which, the scope of the technical assistance attached to the program will include an assessment and documentation of this project’s innovations.  Results of this assessment and documentation may also be valuable for other road projects in India and other countries.

Country: India

The ADB project team noted that the new equipment installed, especially transformers, were heavily loaded within a year of commissioning. To meet the ever-growing consumer demand and keep losses to a minimum, the distribution companies (DISCOs) have to ensure timely and adequate upgrades to the power systems. Assets installed under the program also require regular maintenance and overhauls to ensure reliable and efficient operation. Although the program included supply of some operation and maintenance equipment and trainings, the DISCOs must ensure that adequate staff and equipment are available and used in a timely manner. DISCOs could explore having experts readily available to advise station managers on equipment failures as a maintenance support arrangement. (Completion: sustainability power distribution projects, O&M power distribution projects)

Project Cycle Stage: Completion and Evaluation
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The assets installed under this project require regular maintenance and overhaul to ensure their reliable and efficient operation. Most project transformers are already heavily loaded, and the load will continue to increase if augmentation or expansion is not done on time. Updating of expansions plans is therefore necessary to ensure adequate capacity and electricity supply to consumers.  So is the provision of adequate maintenance equipment to ensure smooth operation of the assets.  As effective and timely technical support for grid station managers would avoid the need to replace equipment and improve the sustainability of the project and distribution company ((DISCO) operations, maintenance support arrangements such as having experts readily available to advise station managers on equipment failures need to be explored.  

Project Cycle Stage: Completion and Evaluation
Country: Pakistan

Operation and maintenance (O&M) manuals are vital documents to ensure correct operation, particularly of gates, and proper flood management. It is therefore most important that the information from these manuals be disseminated to provincial departments of water resources and meteorology, farmer water user communities (FWUCs), and communes. Also, because strengthening FWUCs are essential to sustainability, continued support for building FWUCs’ capacity should be incorporated in O&M planning.  

Country: Cambodia

The M&E results of the basic skills training under this project were stored in a computerized database, which was merged with the TVET database of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology after project completion. A more extensive database incorporating detailed training, testing, and employment data needs to be established.  Such database is essential for improved planning and evidence-based decisions.

 

 

Country: Nepal

The regional units of the project implementing agency, the Azeravtoyol State Agency (AAR), carry out routine and periodic maintenance of the road network. The budget for road maintenance has grown robustly and the annual allocations have been sufficient overall. With assistance from the World Bank, 7 new specialized regional road maintenance units were established under the AAY. One unit is responsible for maintaining the new Alat–Astara highway, constructed with funding from ADB and the World Bank.  The next steps will include introducing performance-based contractual relations between the specialized regional units and the AAY, with the aim to promote efficient utilization of road maintenance funding. The country’s planned first tolling on the M1 highway will be an important step in introducing demand-based, user-pays provision in public infrastructure maintenance, and in strengthening the financial sustainability of road maintenance.

Country: Azerbaijan

Some indicators in this project’s DMF were generically defined, constraining proactive measures on important subdimensions. For instance, the performance indicator on the percentage reduction of traffic accidents included minor crashes that have little or no serious consequences but are numerous compared to serious crashes. Giving equal weight to minor and major traffic accidents can obscure the road safety issues in the country.

Country: Azerbaijan

During project implementation, the high quality and productivity of the ADB forest attracted farmers’ attention and influenced silviculture activities beyond the project. Intensive project training and extension programs also improved local communities’ SFM understanding and skills. To further enhance project sustainability and impact, the project management office organized a post-completion assessment that recognized high-quality afforestation sites and encouraged continued efforts in post-project SFM. Signboards were installed on prize-winning sites to boost visibility and set examples during the post-project period. 

Country: China

The project implemented various measures to foster the sustainability of the rural infrastructure it improved and the benefits thereof.  For example, it piloted performance-based maintenance and management contracts for three rural roads, which provided a model for more cost effective and sustainable rural road maintenance.  The Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), the project executing agency, continues to apply this practice in other rural road improvement projects, including the ongoing ADB-financed Rural Connectivity Improvement Project.  It also improved LGED’s capacity in maintenance management and mobilized beneficiaries for tree planting in the project area. By employing these innovative and participatory approaches, the project expects to make the maintenance of rural infrastructure within greater reach by local authorities and communities. 

Country: Bangladesh

This project delivered most of its planned outputs but only partially achieved its intended outcomes.  This represents a disconnect between the indicators it used to monitor progress and performance, especially at the output and outcome levels.  The relevance of all indicators is critical for effective monitoring and evaluation, and such indicators need to be closely aligned and linked to each other at various levels of the results chain. ADB and the borrower share the responsibility for not amending the outcome indicators and eliminating the disconnect between the project’s output and outcome indicators following the midterm review, which highlighted the partial irrelevance of many of the outcome indicators identified at appraisal. 

Country: Kyrgyz Republic

The MDF maintained an efficient management and information system throughout the project period, and monitoring system reports were updated every 6 months. This enabled the institution not only to initiate timely management actions but also to comply with ADB reporting and documentation requirements.  Environmental monitoring reports were satisfactorily prepared and included in the project progress reports. The MDF promptly submitted to ADB all progress reports, audited financial statements, and other documents in accordance with ADB guidelines and project administration procedures. The management information system created by the MDF can be replicated in other projects in Georgia. 

Country: Georgia

As of March 2013, all the subproject facilities were functioning and being maintained relatively satisfactorily.  The O&M of municipal roads is contracted out to local contractors for annual maintenance and repair works under the supervision of municipal governments. However, the budgetary allocations and personnel of municipal governments for road maintenance remained insufficient and needed to be increased. The water supply systems were being satisfactorily operated by the United Water Supply Company of Georgia (UWSCG).  However, while it has regional and municipal branch offices, UWSCG capacity for local-level O&M appears limited, with only operators and technicians but no managers, engineers, or specialists.  Furthermore, no municipal government has an existing asset inventory and database, which is essential for planning the O&M and management of municipal infrastructure and services.  These glaring inadequacies highlight the need for future similar projects to plan the O&M of project facilities more carefully and comprehensively.  Legal and technical issues regarding, inter alia, O&M implementation and funding, cost recovery schemes, tariff collection, and metering system should be thoroughly studied as part of project preparation. A comprehensive plan to ensure the adequate O&M and sustainability of project facilities and mitigate risks should be embedded into the loan covenants and other legal agreements, as appropriate. 

Country: Georgia

The construction of oil-fueled power plants by the public and private sectors increased BPDB’s operational costs. The tariff increases approved by the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission in 2008–2012 were contrary to its tariff-setting methodology, which specifies at least a 10% return on assets. Rationalizing the tariff structure to provide an adequate margin to distribution entities can enable these entities to meet future financial requirements.

Country: Bangladesh

The project recorded an economic internal rate of return (EIRR) of 14.9%, above the 12% estimate for the original loan and below the 18.8% estimate for the supplementary loans. The economic benefits arise from: (i) savings in vehicle operating costs, particularly repair costs, because of improved road conditions; (ii) savings in maintenance costs; (iii) time savings for road users; and (iv) benefits to generated traffic. The reappraisal sensitivity analysis indicated that the base case EIRR would be reduced to 12% and the economic present value to zero if the road subprojects benefits were reduced by 15% or the project costs increased by 22%, suggesting that the project is not robust. The most likely cause of the reduced benefits is failure to provide regular maintenance, indicating that project results could be problematic if adequate maintenance activities are not adhered to over a prolonged period.  Consequent ADB funding to PNG road projects has increasingly focused on maintenance funding, with limited results.  While exploring covenanting the amount of maintenance funding in the loan agreement, ADB should move in concert with development partners to ensure that the government commits to adequate levels of maintenance funding in future donor-financed road projects in the PNG.

Independent Evaluation, ADB
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