ADB provided the Government of Tajikistan a $5 million loan for this first emergency assistance project in December 1999. This evaluation tried to ascertain whether the Project met its objectives of restoring key infrastructure to pre-disaster levels and bringing back to normal conditions the lives of affected people.
In line with ADB's policy on Rehabilitation Assistance after Disasters (1989), the Project aimed to demonstrate reduced poverty and assist in quick economic and social recovery efforts of the Government in the severely affected regions of Sughd and Khatlon oblasts, the Regions of Republican Subordination, and the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region. The Project was evaluated against the outcome of restored economic activity in these regions bearing in mind the following output categories:
- Rehabilitated roads and bridges
- Reconstructed riverbanks
- Rehabilitated water supply and irrigation systems
- Reconstructed power and telephone lines
- Construction of resettlement area and public school buildings
- Procurement of equipment and construction material.
Summary of Findings
Of the 37 subprojects (out of 85) inspected by the Operations Evaluation Mission, the physical condition of 57% of the subprojects visited are rated good to fair, while 43% are rated poor or destroyed. Subprojects in power and telecommunications performed best, while water management subprojects were worst performers. Affected communities confirmed satisfaction with the relief measures and the relocation centers although most still returned to their original homes. The impact of the technical assistance accompanying this loan for the development of capacity building for disaster management was limited by the inefficient recruitment of international consultants.
- The Project is rated 'relevant'. ADB responded quickly in assisting the Government to reconstruct or rehabilitate damaged infrastructure facilities in affected oblasts, in keeping with the Republic of Tajikistan's objectives of mitigating the effects of natural disasters and that of ADB's Disaster and Emergency Assistance Policy.
- The Project is assessed 'effective' in achieving its outcome. Economic activities were restored in the affected regions through rehabilitated roads and bridges, power and energy, water supply, schools, telecommunications, and new public facilities in relocation centers.
- Using a combination of 4 criteria: duration of construction, unit cost of construction, quality of construction, and number of beneficiaries, the Project is rated 'efficient'.
- Sustainability is assessed as 'less likely' in view of the recurrent nature of disasters in Tajikistan, generally weak maintenance regime, and ADB's previous emergency assistance policy that limited the funds available only for quick fixes rather than sustainable development results.
Overall, the Project was rated 'successful'.
- ADB's role in post-disaster operations needs to be focused on transitional emergency assistance if urgency is key and funding is limited. Such emergency interventions can address affected people's immediate needs (i.e., resettlement centers), and leave infrastructure rehabilitation to dedicated project loans which have realistic timeframe and adequate funding.
- Identifying the potentials for reducing response time is more useful in assessing the length of implementation period for disaster relief operations, rather than benchmarking the implementation period on the completion target determined at appraisal.
- Disaster relief assistance cannot remedy deferred maintenance.
- Internalization of repair and maintenance expenditures in the Government's recurrent budget and local community mobilization can help in the upkeep of rehabilitated infrastructure.
- In the case of natural disaster countries, ADB's country strategy and program should consider a special approach that will address preparations for, and the management of, recurrent natural disasters delegated to resident missions to implement as necessary.
- Public education and awareness are keys to disaster protection and prevention.