Emergency Disaster Damage Rehabilitation (Sector) Project
sector: Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development, Public Sector Management, Transport | country: Bangladesh
For complex multisector projects, monitoring of implementation through a central project steering committee (PSC) at a plenary ministry of the borrower is indispensable. Regular interaction between the borrower and ADB through the PSC contributed greatly to the success of the project. The use of a sector approach proved highly beneficial in identifying eligible subprojects spread over a wide geographical area, and enabled reallocation of loan funds from one component/sector to another based on a final needs assessment and performance. Disbursement of funds through separate imprest accounts for the executing agencies handling the contracts also proved to be efficient. When implementing an emergency assistance project, provision for strong consultant support and advance action to select and field them immediately after appraisal proved important.
In Bangladesh, the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) and Roads and Highways Department (RHD) are still the two agencies that are reasonably capable of implementing ADB-assisted emergency projects. Implementation experience suggests that emergency assistance projects generally require adequate program for capacity building in the executing agencies, with strong institutional support regarding contract administration and fostering familiarity with ADB procedures for procurement and disbursement. This will help ensure timely completion of contractual works, submission of withdrawal applications, and liquidation of imprest accounts.
Experience from the project demonstrated that the adoption of simplified approval procedures for procurement and other project activities is effective and enabled timely implementation of the project, and catalyzes early restoration of people’s livelihood in the project-affected areas.
As experienced in all past ADB-financed emergency assistance projects in Bangladesh, delegation of authority to ADB’s resident mission in the borrower’s country is essential for effective monitoring and immediate decision making.
The validation agrees with the project completion report’s (PCR) lessons learned. Project monitoring was weak in at least two respects: (i) the project did not have a clear understanding of the social and economic impact on beneficiaries of the different components and the subprojects within them; (ii) project monitoring in terms of beneficiary impact was not possible. Even if the required analysis was not available immediately, this kind of information could have been made available in the initial stages of project implementation.