Project management flexibility provided to the borrower or executing agency may negatively affect project implementation and, consequently, the achievement and sustainability of project outcomes. The project could have benefitted more from a closer analysis of (i) the institutional arrangements for school financing and management; (ii) the need to rebuild schools that had deteriorated due to lack of maintenance; (iii) the budgetary and human resource implications of adding 2 years of education in 12 district secondary schools; and (iv) community acceptance of government prescriptions for enrollment ceilings and zoning, and school committee composition and responsibilities. Thus, essential sector analyses should be carried out to ensure appropriateness of project design.
Lessons from the ESP PCR regarding harmonization of external inputs were applied to the ESP II under a sector-wide approach. While progress in harmonization of aid arrangements has been recognized in the recent evaluation of the implementation of aid effectiveness principles by the Government of Samoa, the funding agencies and government partners noted continuing problems, as arrangements require them to conform to ADB procurement systems, which are difficult to apply in a very small island country.
The IEM's school survey highlighted the thin spread of limited resources across the formal education system, which was also noted in the 2006 National Human Development Report for Samoa. Undertaking economic analysis of the education sector with examination of affordability issues would encourage policy development toward a more efficient use of resources such as specialist teachers and modern educational technology, including computers in schools. Given the excellent roads, transport services, and communications in rural Samoa, a greater consolidation of education services will improve the achievement of education sector objectives. In addition, community understanding and appreciation of these economic issues would ensure greater efficiency in achieving equity and improving quality in Samoa’s education system.
Following the restructuring of Public Works Department in the early phase of project implementation, a new mechanism was required to ensure proper supervision during subproject design and construction. As the midterm review for the ESP II noted, an education ministry cannot be expected to have the technical resources for this purpose.
Nameplate capacity needs to be considered in the context of a plant’s capacity factor. No power plant runs 100% of the time, and power plants, like that of AKL, that run on auto diesel fuel will need to shut down routinely for scheduled maintenance. Routine maintenance combined with unscheduled shutdowns lower actual net capacity. Hence, to mitigate the risk of providing support to nonviable private sector power generation projects, it is necessary that ADB include scheduled shutdowns and the possibility of unscheduled shutdowns when calculating initial economic and financial rates of return.
This is important when technical problems arise that cause major shutdown of operations, as was the case of AKL due to a 2004 fire. Private sector insurance enables unforeseen technical problems to be fixed along with compensation to the insured for revenue loss due to the incident. Foreign investors can leverage important insurance that is often difficult for sovereign entities to acquire.
Alternative fuels consist of renewable energy sources and thermal fuels, including clean coal options. Private sector support to the power sector is optimized with a comparative analysis of real fuel options.
The flaw in the wording in one of the agreements could have been avoided. ADB needs to thoroughly review all legal documents, particularly those that could cause it financial or reputational harm.
The project clearly demonstrated the importance of strong and committed project sponsors to help ensure the success of a project. Telenor had the technical competence, managerial skills, and extensive telecommunications experience to run a world-class telecommunications operation in Bangladesh. Grameen Bank, for its part, had the brand recognition and distribution network to help market Grameenphone’s services in both urban and rural areas. Both companies have also observed high ethical standards. These are the types of sponsors that ADB should be looking for in future private sector projects.
In evaluating project ownership, attention must be given during appraisal not only to investment planning priorities but also to whether counterpart funding has been committed, key staff are in place, coordination mechanisms across and within different government levels are working effectively, and an institutional capacity exists to address social and environmental issues affecting the project’s long-term sustainability.
To achieve this goal, funding needs to be committed before loan approval to ensure that such issues will be addressed during implementation, and independent monitoring mechanisms put in place to measure the impact on local communities.
For Asian developing countries with a well developed local capacity in electric power or other infrastructure sectors, partnership with an international consulting firm in the implementation arrangements can be an effective mechanism to enable the transfer of state-of-the-art management and operational practices to national companies and agencies.
Delegation of implementation responsibility to the resident mission at an early stage of the project cycle is also good practice, provided locally recruited staff have sufficient familiarity with ADB operational and procurement procedures.
Unrealistic work schedules, poor procurement planning, insufficient implementation details, and loose monitoring targets prolonged implementation. A well-qualified and experienced project team leader and consultants’ familiarity with ADB processes are essential to implement an ADB-financed project.