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LESSONS:

Power Rehabilitation Project (Loan 1345-CAM[SF])

sector: Energy | country: Cambodia | region: Greater Mekong Subregion

A systematic needs analysis could well have identified the need for a customer billing system, and the requirements of such a system, and eventually could have led to a less complex implementation.

On hindsight, a project design weakness was the absence of policy components that address broader sector issues such as high tariff and reliance on oil-fired power generation, which resulted in the failure of medium-size and large businesses to use the project facilities to the fullest potential.

Providing ongoing consulting support after project completion as well as before and during project implementation is very important. While this can often be difficult due to budgetary and time constraints, failure to provide such support can lead to suboptimal project outcomes.

The consulting services to support the introduction of a commercially based accounting system were inadequate. The transition from a manual system to the use of a computerized state-of-the-art accounting system required a major cultural shift, which necessarily must take a significant time to implement and establish. Furthermore, the end result is critical to the ongoing management and control of the organization and, once in place, requires the full commitment of staff and management. However, all work to implement the accounting system was done in seven months, which is an inappropriate level of involvement in circumstances where a major organizational change or cultural shift is required.

The lack of involvement of the consultants over the final 2 years of the project is apparent from the utilization summary included in the project implementation consultant s completion report. It has led to the executing agency’s inability to utilize the simulator provided in the project. While no further information is provided, it is possible that the consultant was unable to verify that the equipment operated correctly since he could not connect it to the power supply.

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