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LESSONS:

Capacity Building Project in the Water Resources Sector

sector: Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development | country: Indonesia

Early project implementation was delayed due to a number of factors including poor consultant performance. If quality assurance procedures, closely monitoring delivery of outputs from consulting services had been in place, better value for money may have been achieved.

New management systems (e.g., results-oriented management) should be carefully integrated to improve planning and management systems. Often, new techniquesare best used to enhance and develop existing practices. Poor translation of �new� ideas can cause suspicion and non-acceptance during project implementation.

Project experience confirms a commonly held view that traditional classroom training has limited application; various forms of on-the-job training brought to the trainees, while more time-consuming and expensive, and requiring skilled delivery, is generally more beneficial and of better value.

Project implementation, particularly coordination, was complex. A more focused, compartmentalized approach to project implementation with specific implementing units (within the executing agency) held responsible for delivering simple, measurable outputs/impacts might have helped avoid some delays in early project implementation. In addition, if consultations and the preparation of implementing units had been allocated more time in the project design phase, the executing agency might have been more ready.

The ability of the project to adjust when challenged by external factors was important in increasing implementation efficiency. Close monitoring and flexibility by the government and ADB optimized the use of project resources.

The project was designed before top-down decentralization took place. A closer understanding of the characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses of local government would have led to a more tailored approach to activity design and program distribution.

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