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LESSONS:

Viet Nam: Forestry Sector Project

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

The project completion report (PCR) drew many lessons from the Project, covering (a) the need for an extended implementation phase, (b) better matching of investment with government capacity, (c) project design that aligns with the Government’s procedures, (d) the use of appropriate institutions to implement the Project, and (e) more realistic and flexible matching of consultant input to project progress. From this validation, more realistic design is the main lesson. It may be noted that while the Board endorsed the Project, two relevant concerns were raised. One member expressed concerns that the Project would have difficulties with bureaucratic procedures in Viet Nam; another described the Project as high risk due to the perceived weakness of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in community-based approaches.

Project design must take more realistic account of existing institutions, processes, and procedures. If these are not in accordance with the requirements of a project, then either the project should not proceed or should only proceed if irrevocable agreements are in place to allow the project to function in accordance with its design. It is hoped that the lessons coming from the Project have been taken into account in the design and implementation of the Forests for Livelihood Improvement in the Central Highlands Project.

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