Lao People's Democratic Republic: Second Strengthening Higher Education Project

Project Name
Second Strengthening Higher Education Project
Project Number
Country / Economy
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
Project Status
Project Type / Modality of Assistance
  • Grant
  • Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 0500-LAO: Second Strengthening Higher Education Project
Source Amount
Asian Development Fund US$ 23.47 million
Loan 3435-LAO: Second Strengthening Higher Education Project
Source Amount
Asian Development Fund US$ 16.45 million
Strategic Agendas
  • Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change
  • Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
  • Governance and capacity development
  • Knowledge solutions
  • Partnerships
  • Private sector development
Sector / Subsector
  • Education / Tertiary

Gender equity theme
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Links between higher education services and socioeconomic needs strengthened

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome

Quality of higher education services improved

Progress Toward Outcome
Project implementation ongoing. Virtual review mission fielded in Jul 2021.

Implementation Progress

Description of Project Outputs

Quality and relevance of higher education services (teaching, research, extension) enhanced

Access to modern higher education programs introduced

Governance and management of HEIs strengthened

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

Output 1:

1a. On track to meet target. Four participating universities developed curriculum for blended learning per selected disciplines aligned with the COE areas in June 2020.

Workshops in preparation of blended teaching and learning materials with 4 universities were competed in January 2021. Universities intend to roll out the new curriculum this school year.

1b. Completed. A total of 705 faculty and staff, including 259 women, have been trained on pedagogy and instructional methods for university academic staff. A total of 13 workshops, to date, have been conducted to provide continued upskilling support to improve quality and relevance in teaching and research.

1c. Completed. As of July 2021, all 115 scholarships (55 masters (local), 33 masters (international), and 27 doctorate (international) degrees) have been awarded.

1d. On track to meet target. A total of 15 proposals have been awarded related to traditional lao culture, employment preparation, project-based learning, and community development in 2020. A second-round selection process will award 20 IFECA grants across universities starting in Q3 2021.

Output 2:

2a. On track to meet target. CW1, the first phase of SKU civil works comprising construction of linguistics and engineering faculty buildings and related MEP infrastructure, was awarded on 1 Apr 2020. The construction progress as of July 2021 was 42.4%. CW1 is expected to be completed by June 2022.

CW4 ($8.5 million) includes a faculty building (IT), Tech cluster, student dormitory, landscaping for both core and non-core campus areas, miscellaneous facilities (covered walkway), and MEP infrastructure. Package was awarded in January 2021. Progress as of July 2021 was at 11% completion. The contract is estimated to be completed by May 2023.

2b. On track to meet target. Construction of dormitories will be included in the CW4 package, which has been awarded in January 2021.

2c. On track to meet target. As of AY2020/2021, 2,088 (57.87%) out of 3,608 students enrolled in SKU are female.

Output 3:

3a. On track to meet target. Visiting scholars have been onboarded online due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The scholar for Governance and Management submitted a plan for a series of online training for 200 senior managers, MOES staff and academic leaders of participating universities.

3b. Completed. As of July 2021, 23 DHE and university staff were selected to undergo master's and doctoral studies locally and abroad. Of this, 16 or 70% are female.

3c. On track to meet target. HEI contract signed 5 June 2020. Draft Final Study received in November 2020. Final study submitted in Q2 2021, being reviewed by DHE.

3d. Completed. University-level tracer studies/employer surveys completed in November 2020.

3e. On track to meet target. LUMS modules are being developed and will be completed in 2021.

Geographical Location

Safeguard Categories

Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects
The project is classified category B for the environment, in particular for the component for development of facilities as SKU. At other project sites, the classification will be category C as the civil works is minor. The Initial Environmental Examination (IEE)27 indicates that, with the exception of construction phase impacts, the project does not have significant adverse impacts on the environment and any potential environmental impacts can be mitigated through the implementation of the environmental management plan of the civil works program. Due diligence on compliance with the environmental management plan will be undertaken during project implementation by MOES, with assistance from the construction management and supervision consultants to be contracted by the project to provide supervision and quality assurance for civil works.
Involuntary Resettlement
The project is classified as Category C for involuntary resettlement. Civil works will be carried out on government land, which was previously protected forest with no residents. Use of the forest for non-timber forest products (NTPF) has depleted the forest resources to the extent that they are no longer a viable source of nutrition or income. Due diligence has confirmed that there are no informal settlers in the project site. The project has no land acquisition or resettlement issues, including activities that will result in involuntary physical or economic displacement of people. A survey was carried out on social safeguards and assessment of the impact of the project on livelihood in 3 villages bordering the SKU civil works site. The conclusions of the survey support the classification of Category C.
Indigenous Peoples
The project is classified as category C for indigenous peoples. The assessment carried out under the PPTA determined that indigenous peoples will not be negatively impacted. Students, staff and administrators of SKU are not considered Indigenous Peoples following ADB SPS, and the project will not specifically target any ethnic minority group as beneficiaries but will be designed to be socially inclusive and accessible to all. This notwithstanding, to ensure that students from ethnic groups are assured of the potential benefits of the project; focus is placed on these groups for increased participation in higher education. Improving the quality of services and facilities will provide a range of benefits, and the conclusion of the assessment is that there will be a range of benefits to both Lao and ethnic students. The social safeguard for indigenous peoples is therefore categorized as C.

Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation

During Project Design
MOES has discussed the project scope and design with development partners, international and national NGOs, and mass organizations. MOES intends to engage civil society organizations (CSOs) more intensively through engagement with industry and commerce CSOs to support relevant curriculum development, and also with mass organizations to support oversight of the GAP.The government, through MOES, will undertake public awareness campaigns through information disclosure, education and consultation on the Project and its benefits, including but not limited to information related to the RP, EMMPs, and GAP. Public disclosure of the project financial statements, including the audit report on the project financial statements, will be guided by ADB's Public Communications Policy (2011).30 After review, ADB will disclose the project financial statements for the project and the opinion of the auditors on the financial statements within 30 days of the date of their receipt by posting them on ADB's website. The Audit Management Letter will not be disclosed.
During Project Implementation
The project will monitor progress of the stakeholder communication strategy to ensure stakeholder communication, participation and consultation continues.

Business Opportunities

Consulting Services

The project is supported by consultant services recruited through five modalities.

1.The Project has engaged a firm to provide 139 person-months of consulting services (52 person-months international and 87 person-months national), using quality-based selection method, in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2013, as amended from time to time) to provide technical support for the project as well as building longer-term local capacities for planning, management, research, and delivery of higher education. Consulting services will span a broad array of expertise, including (i) strategic planning, project management and monitoring, (ii) curriculum and textbook development, (iii) excellence building and research capacity development, (iv) ICT-based teaching and learning, (v) higher education software development, (vi) gender and social development and (vii) procurement.

2.The Project engaged the consortium of Coelacanth and Associates (C+A) that prepared the original schematic designs during the PPTA using Single Source Selection (SSS) to provide the detailed design development and construction drawings, material specifications and any other documents required for bidding for the civil works component.

3.The Project has engaged a firm to provide technical supervision for the civil works component of the project at SKU. The third firm will also be selected using the simplified technical proposal and quality- and cost-based selection method, in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2013, as amended from time to time). The quality- and cost-based selection weighting will follow the standard quality-cost ratio of 80:20.

4.International scholars (a total of 44 person-months) will be invited as short-term consultants on an individual basis to assist participating universities in developing academic and research programs and in teaching support.

5.The Project locally recruited administrative assistants and accountants on an individual basis as needed to assist the PIUs in project administration, accounting, and other tasks including reporting.


All procurement of goods and works under this project will be undertaken in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (2015 as amended from time to time). All consulting services shall be selected and engaged using the ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2013 as amended from time to time), following the selection methods and review procedures specified in the Procurement Plan.

The D-PIU will be responsible for all procurement, and will liaise closely with the SKU-PIU for civil works, equipment, and furniture at SKU. Procurement of goods such as computers and laboratory equipment will use international competitive bidding procedures if over $1.0 million, national competitive bidding if $1 million or less but more than $100,000 equivalent, or shopping if less than $100,000 equivalent. Civil works will use international competitive bidding if more than $2.0 million, and use national competitive bidding if less, but more than $100,000. Prior review will be used in the procurement processes.

Before the start of any procurement ADB and the Government will review the public procurement laws of the central and provincial governments to ensure consistency with ADB's Procurement Guidelines.


Responsible ADB Officer
Chanthy, Khamtanh
Responsible ADB Department
Sectors Group
Responsible ADB Division
Human and Social Development Sector Office (SG-HSD)
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Education and Sports


Concept Clearance
18 Dec 2014
Fact Finding
21 Mar 2016 to 29 Mar 2016
15 Jul 2016
29 Sep 2016
Last Review Mission
Last PDS Update
04 Oct 2021


Grant 0500-LAO

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
29 Sep 2016 08 Nov 2016 06 Jan 2017 30 Jun 2022 31 Dec 2023 -
Financing Plan
  Total (Amount in US$ million)
Project Cost 27.96
ADB 23.47
Counterpart 4.49
Cofinancing 0.00
Grant Utilization
  Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Cumulative Contract Awards 06 Jun 2024 23.41 0.00 100%
Cumulative Disbursements 06 Jun 2024 23.33 0.00 99%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory - Satisfactory

Loan 3435-LAO

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
29 Sep 2016 08 Nov 2016 06 Jan 2017 30 Jun 2022 31 Dec 2023 -
Financing Plan
  Total (Amount in US$ million)
Project Cost 16.45
ADB 16.45
Counterpart 0.00
Cofinancing 0.00
Loan Utilization
  Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Cumulative Contract Awards 06 Jun 2024 15.35 0.00 96%
Cumulative Disbursements 06 Jun 2024 15.55 0.00 98%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory - Satisfactory

ADB provides the information contained in this project data sheet (PDS) solely as a resource for its users without any form of assurance. Whilst ADB tries to provide high quality content, the information are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. ADB specifically does not make any warranties or representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any such information.

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