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LESSONS:

Viet Nam: Emergency Rehabilitation of Calamity Damage Project

sector: Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development, Education, Transport | country: Viet Nam, Socialist Republic of

The project completion report (PCR) provided valuable lessons to ADB operations. The clarity of the project’s purpose, objectives, processes, and procedures helped ensure the government’s commitment and focus in implementing the project, and fostered effective coordination at the national and provincial levels. This validation concurs with the PCR explanation that certain institutional factors, like the use of cost norms in capital expenditure budgeting, led to start-up delays and should therefore be addressed by the government. Receptivity and capacity to adjust to changes in loan administration policy and procedures, and the prompt action on the recommended reforms in rural infrastructure rehabilitation works are important lessons for both the government and ADB in designing and implementing this project. Future interventions to address similar emergency situations through any modality akin to the emergency assistance loan (EAL) have to be doubly scrutinized. Projects for EAL consideration should be selected more carefully. The delivery of the desired outputs, especially those that are capital expenditures in nature, could easily be constrained or at worst derailed by restrictions that are inherent in such assistance, but not often seen in ordinary program and/or project loan operations. Rehabilitating damaged infrastructure and facilities often take a long time, and sometimes require redesign to be sustainable. ADB- supported rehabilitation efforts also have to be synchronized with those of other donors and humanitarian relief organizations with vast experiences in disaster relief and mitigation to ensure timely delivery, quality, and immediate impact of the assistance. However, given the short time frames for EALs, longer-term rehabilitation activities should be mainstreamed in future country operational plans with corresponding alternative funding mechanisms explored.

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