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LESSONS:

Cambodia: Provincial Towns Improvement Project

| country: Cambodia

A lack of in-depth investigations during project preparatory technical assistance, particularly during preparation of the detailed design, has had a significant impact on the finished products. More time should have been given for project design, particularly since the project involved scattered locations and an inconvenient transport system. Furthermore, ensuring ownership of the investment through adequate consultation with local stakeholders is vital to sustainable outcomes.

Proper due diligence is required while assessing institutional capacity at the executing and implementing agencies. Training needs should be adequately assessed and established for all groups of stakeholders. Practical refresher training opportunities, both technical and managerial, are needed for applying relevant knowledge and achieving greater efficiency in operations. Basic training in procurement, contract administration, and construction management should be provided to personnel of the executing and implementing agencies and waterworks, and site staff appointed by the consultant.

More rigorous efforts should be made in ensuring that the quantity and quality of consultants deployed by consulting firms is adequate for specialized tasks. Consultants’ performance should be critically assessed during and after the project by executing agencies and ADB, and appropriate action taken to ensure that consulting services are available for the right purpose, at the right time, and in the right forms.

While recognizing the affordability issue associated with water supply and sewerage connection for the poorer households, an equitable tariff structure based on quantity and purpose of use is needed to ensure sustainability of infrastructure and project benefits over the project’s economic life.

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