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LESSONS:

Rural Basic Education Project

sector: Education | country: Uzbekistan

Competitive selection of beneficiaries. The competitive approach used in the selection of beneficiary schools (i) proved effective in identifying schools with committed management and supportive communities; (ii) fostered a strong sense of ownership among the school’s stakeholders: and (iii) encouraged a cooperative effort among the school board, school management, teachers, and parents in identifying priority needs and corresponding improvement programs.

Assessment of capacity of the executing agency. During project preparation a comprehensive assessment of the executing agency’s procurement capacity should help identify possible challenges in project implementation. In case of weak capacity, technical assistance grants can help to strengthen procurement capacity, especially in projects where success is linked predominantly to fast- paced, transparent procurement involving international competitive bidding (ICB).

Clear understanding of government and ADB policies, guidelines, and procedures. Lack of familiarity with and understanding of policies, guidelines, and procedures of the government and ADB�particularly on procurement, accounting, and financial reporting�is often a source of confusion and delays. It is important that project implementation unit (PIU) staff, especially new ones where staff turnover is high, be given adequate orientation and hands-on training. PIU budgets should contain allocations for staff training.

Procurement reform. The government procurement policy of verifying price after finalizing a contract under ICB causes serious project implementation difficulties. This policy should be either discontinued or streamlined and made part of the bid evaluation process.

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