Afghanistan: Supporting Water Resources Development Program

Sovereign Project | 44411-012 Status: Approved

Summary

As of 17 February 2011, ADB's ongoing Natural Resources Sector Portfolio in Afghanistan comprised 1 OCR loan and 6 grants (3 ADF, 1 DFID, 1 CIDA and 1 JFPR) totaling to $218 million, in four projects. These four projects are (i) Western Basins Water Resources Management (co-finance by CIDA); (ii) Agriculture Market Infrastructure; (iii) Rural Business Support, and (iv) multi-tranche financing facility (MFF- tranche 1) for the Water Resources Development Investment Program (WRDIP) (co-financed by DFID). A JFPR community-based irrigation rehabilitation project was closed in June 2010 and another JFPR project expanded on the earlier project is currently being processed. These projects cover a considerable array of critical constraints within the natural resources sector, focusing on rehabilitation of irrigation system infrastructure, institutional reforms and capacity building, and improvement of rural services.

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Project Name Supporting Water Resources Development Program
Project Number 44411-012
Country Afghanistan
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development - Agricultural policy, institutional and capacity development - Irrigation - Land-based natural resources management - Water-based natural resources management

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Description

As of 17 February 2011, ADB's ongoing Natural Resources Sector Portfolio in Afghanistan comprised 1 OCR loan and 6 grants (3 ADF, 1 DFID, 1 CIDA and 1 JFPR) totaling to $218 million, in four projects. These four projects are (i) Western Basins Water Resources Management (co-finance by CIDA); (ii) Agriculture Market Infrastructure; (iii) Rural Business Support, and (iv) multi-tranche financing facility (MFF- tranche 1) for the Water Resources Development Investment Program (WRDIP) (co-financed by DFID). A JFPR community-based irrigation rehabilitation project was closed in June 2010 and another JFPR project expanded on the earlier project is currently being processed. These projects cover a considerable array of critical constraints within the natural resources sector, focusing on rehabilitation of irrigation system infrastructure, institutional reforms and capacity building, and improvement of rural services.

Project implementation, however, is often slow as a result of (i) the poor security situation, (ii) weak capacity of the implementing agencies (IAs), (iii) difficulties to recruit and retain qualified staff, within the IAs, contracted firms, and within ADB. Within the natural resources sector, the Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW), the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) are IAs for the on-going natural resources projects. IAs do currently not have adequate capacity for the timely implementation of these projects. Project management offices were not able to recruit appropriate staff from the local market during 2010. Most technical and procurement related issues often remain unresolved for substantial time periods resulting in considerable implementation delays. This poses challenges to (i) delivering development impact, (ii) guarantee successful project implementation, and (iii) supervising project progress.

The proposed TA will employ a consultant for a total of 18 person-months (to be spread over a 2 year period). The TA's impact is to improve the capacity of IAs to implement natural resources projects, and help the Government to improve implementation efficiency in ADB's Agriculture and Natural Resources sector portfolio. The proposed outcome is an improved performance of ADB's natural resources portfolio, which would be reflected in (i) satisfactory ratings for active projects, (ii) achievement of contract award and disbursement projections, and (iii) due diligence of ADB's pipeline projects. The TA would also assist IAs in reviewing key project documents, including but not limited to (i) preparation of draft RFPs, (ii) preparation of procurement plans, (iii) bidding documents, (iv) bid evaluation, (v) contract negotiations and (vi) subsequent contract administration. The consultant will be recruited by ADB and based in AFRM, and report directly to ADB.

The TA will also help ADB's AFRM to provide effective supervision of its natural resources portfolio, increased frequency of project reviews and timely identification and resolution of implementation issues. Currently there is only one National Officer at the Afghanistan Resident Mission (AFRM) involved full-time in supervision and administration of the considerable amount of natural resources projects currently implemented in Afghanistan. The TA will play a critical role to achieving natural resources development results in Afghanistan. The sector division and AFRM will continue to provide oversight, track progress, and maintain close liaison with the Government and coordination of donors.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The ADB country partnership strategy for 2009-2013 recognizes that Afghanistan continues to suffer from (i) insecurity and conflict; (ii) lack of good governance and accountability in the delivery of public services, particularly with respect to public financial management and procurement; (iii) an extremely low level of human development, which makes it difficult to deliver development assistance and transfer knowledge, skills, and technology; (iv) weak and often outdated institutions; and (v) the limited availability and poor quality of infrastructure. The government acknowledges these limitations and, in seeking support to address them, it has asked ADB to focus its assistance on a limited number of sectors, including agriculture and natural resources (ANR).

ADB has five ongoing ANR projects in Afghanistan.The implementation of these projects has been delayed by poor security, the weak capacity of the implementing agencies, and difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified implementing agency staff and consultants. Capacity is very limited at the implementing agencies for the ongoing projects, which are the Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW); the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL); and the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD). Project management offices have suffered from frequent changes in staff and many technical issues have prolonged procurement processing and delayed implementation significantly. This puts successful project implementation and the delivery of intended development impacts at risk.

Efforts to build a skilled and experienced professional cadre in these agencies started from a very low base and will likely take time. Significant capacity gaps need to be filled in the meantime to ensure achievement of project development outcomes and impacts. The TA will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the implementing agencies in preparing and implementing ANR sector projects through capacity development and management support for ongoing operations. The capacity of the implementing agencies will be strengthened in (i) strategic planning and the implementation, administration, and management of projects; (ii) project and program development; and (iii) financial management. The TA will help ensure that ADB's assistance program is responsive and supports the ANR sector as effectively as possible.

Impact The success rate of Afghanistan Natural Resources (NR) programs and projects is improved
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Implementation of the NR portfolio in Afghanistan is improved
Progress Toward Outcome --
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. The capacity of MEW, MAIL, and MRRD to prepare and implement programs and projects is increased

2. Priority Investment Strategies are operational

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

The Financial Management Specialist was mobilized in March 2013. Financial Management Guidelines and model TOR for auditors have been finalized.

Consultants assessed the capacity of project staff and workshops were organized based on these assessments. In total more than 50 EA and PMO staff attended targeted training sessions.

More than 10 project implementation staff have received specific training in project management.

The Water Resources Engineering and Management Specialists, both international and national, have been working with water related agencies to develop the Afghanistan Water Resource Sector Development Plan. This is in an advanced stage of preparation, and is now receiving good engagement from the relevant ministers and ministries.

Geographical Location
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design The TA design was done in consultation with the (i) Ministry of Energy and Water; (ii) Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock; and (iii) Ministry of Rural Reconstruction and Development to identify institutional gaps in the ANR sector to ascertain where ADB can help build capacity in the implementation of ANR projects in the country.
During Project Implementation Consultants working on the TA are in constant contact with staff and officials from the three government agencies. Consultations with the three government agencies and other key stakholders are ongoing. The outcomes of these consultations will provide inputs for the design of trainings and workshops which the TA will also support and will be done towards the end of TA implementation.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services Will be required.
Responsible ADB Officer Hans Woldring
Responsible ADB Department Central and West Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, CWRD
Timetable
Concept Clearance -
Fact Finding -
MRM -
Approval -
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 26 Aug 2011

TA 7994-AFG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
14 Dec 2011 09 Jan 2012 09 Jan 2012 31 Dec 2013 31 Dec 2015 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 14 Dec 2011 1,338,570.36

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Safeguard Documents

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