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LESSONS:

Domestic Maritime Transport Project

sector: Transport | country: Maldives

1. Although the project cost estimate was made in 2002, procurement for the civil works was during 2008-2009. Due to price escalation, the bid prices received were much higher than originally estimated. Eventually, the implementing agency reduced the project scope so as to fit the project costs within the original cost allocation. In the future, it would be beneficial to shorten the time between detailed design and procurement and to use advance procurement to minimize start-up delays. Price escalation should also be factored into the project cost estimate.

2. There were initial start-up delays due to re-advertising of the institutional development and capacity building component and rebidding of the infrastructure investment component (IIC). The latter impacted the implementation schedule most and resulted in a one-year delay in completing the IIC. This also necessitated extending the loan by one year to December 2010. In the future, it would be beneficial to undertake more robust feasibility studies.

3. Due to frequent restructuring within the government agencies, the PIU team was unstable throughout implementation. For future projects, permanent technical staff within the project implementation unit (PIU) team should be retained as much as possible to ensure continuity of key knowledge and information throughout the project. To further mitigate this situation, future projects could include strong procurement and project management support to the PIU to ensure smooth project implementation.

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