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LESSONS:

Enhancing Education Quality Project: Project Completion Report

sector: Education | country: Cambodia

Solid project preparation based on comprehensive sector analysis and learning from previous operations is crucial for effective project design. The integrated and far-reaching project design of the Enhancing Education Quality Project (EEQP) was the result of the extensive stakeholder consultations and findings of the sector analysis undertaken as a part of the project preparatory technical assistance.

Strong government commitment and ownership are critical for successfully steering a demanding project design to effective service delivery. A large number of reforms (e.g., policy framework for teacher education, strengthening the National Institute of Education (NIE), teacher competencies, establishing monitoring and quality assurance systems, and improving textbook procurement policy) were possible only with strong commitment and ownership of the government and the executing agency.

Slow decision-making within the executing agency for procurement and contract management can affect project implementation. More attention to understanding and streamlining review and approval procedures in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) during project preparation would have helped minimize implementation delays.

Adequate capacity within the executing agency to be able to (i) recruit qualified and experienced consultants to support it in procurement work and in contract management, and (ii) select contractors and suppliers that are able to perform satisfactorily on contracts, is critical for minimizing deficiencies in procurement during project implementation. In this project, MoEYS could have more effectively utilized the project management and implementation support consultants to assist it in recruiting individual procurement consultants and in contract management.

Realistic estimation of unit costs is crucial for effective project design and achievement of originally planned outputs. Underestimation of the unit cost of Secondary Resource Centers (SRCs) at appraisal resulted in modifying the number of SRCs that could be constructed under the project.

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