Against an estimated $183.2 million, the total project cost at completion amounted to $202.1 million. The cost increase was prompted by minor modifications to the technical design of the project components. The modifications also required a longer implementation period than estimated at loan appraisal. The modifications enhanced system stability and reliability and made the project more relevant. They were addressed through loan reallocations and a 6-month extension in loan closing.
The difficult Social Action Program experience with the multi-sectoral approach is raised in the PCR and validation as a lesson missed in the program design, but this was not the underlying weakness in the design. Lessons from international experiences in devolution and capacity development were missed.
In addition, project documents revealed that review missions in the early years of the project were not adequately apprised, by the PMU or consultants, of the seriousness of the project’s problems. The lesson from this is the need for (i) in-depth analysis by missions, and (ii) the establishment of mechanisms for consultants to prepare realistic reports to the PMU and ADB.