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LESSONS:

Anhui Environmental Improvement Project for Industrial Pollution Abatement

sector: Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development | country: China, People’s Republic of

Technical assistance (TA) that is suitably designed, properly targeted, and appropriately timed can providesynergies to a loan project and enhance its overall impact. The advisory TA associated with theproject was directly relevant and well timed, which enabled formulation of an Integrated Environmental Management Plan (IEMP) and enhanced the executing agency’s institutional capacity for enforcing stricter environmental compliance.

The phased implementation of the coke oven plants construction was not fully assessedduring Project Design, resulting in an unrealistic implementation schedule for the Hefei Iron and Steel Corporation (HISC)component of the project. ADB staff should fully assess and anticipate environmental versuseconomic/financial objectives of the industrial enterprises in future projects.

The suitability of a full-time and adequately resourced Project Management Office (PMO) in project implementation fora multicomponent project was proven through efficient implementation and coordination of theproject activities. The PMO approach continued to keep the executing agency’s (Anhui Provincial Government’s) focus on the project. ADB should continue to encourage APG to set up a similar PMO for all multicomponent projects.

Timely availability of required funds is essential for smooth project implementation. Inthis project, availability of counterpart funds was a key issue, because they could not besecured in a timely manner. ADB staff must carefully scrutinize counterpart fund arrangementsand availability during project appraisal.

ADB should play a more active role in resettlement supervision and monitoring to ensure that (i) the resettlement plan would be implemented as agreed between government agencies and ADB, and (ii) actions could be formulated and implemented to address the concerns of the affected people. Also, it is essential to ensure that independent agencies monitor the social impact of the resettlement activities during implementation and evaluate the results for at least 2 years thereafter. Such monitoring would assist the executing agency and ADB to prepare a comprehensive resettlement completion report.

While specific access roads were not identified at appraisal, local roads were constructed and upgraded. Poverty areas along the expressway benefited from the expressway, with improved accessibility to transport facilities, making it easier for farmers to transport their products to market. There is a need to include a specific local road component in the project scope to ensure maximum access to the expressway by the rural population and thus maximize poverty reduction and regional economic development.

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