Combination of weak systems and absence of a regulatory framework governing involuntary resettlement pose a major challenge to safeguards compliance in ADB-financed projects in the country. The TA will focus on improving institutional safeguards management to effectively address internal capacity constraints, and providing legal advice, interpretation and recommendations on applicable national and provincial laws to address resettlement related issues in two key federal agencies, the National Highway Authority (NHA) and the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), responsible for transport, and water and power development, respectively. NHA and WAPDA will be the EAs for the TA. Each agency should appoint a qualified Director, Resettlement prior to start of TA implementation.
NHA: NHA established the Environment Afforestation Land and Social Unit (EALS) 2007, at the headquarters in Islamabad. However to date, NHA has not recruited a resettlement specialist to undertake even a minimal level of quality supervision. Staff resources in the environment section are better with a director, environment and 3 staff members in place. However, four regional assistant director positions for environment remain vacant. Similar positions for responding to social safeguards are not available. The focus of the unit is on expeditious land acquisition and not on mitigating adverse social impacts. NHA has a total of 52 ongoing projects across Pakistan. There is no effective management information system (MIS) for tracking safeguards. The staff resources in EALS are insufficient and not skilled to manage both domestically and externally financed projects. Staff designated to work on resettlement are legal experts with exposure and training on safeguards obtained by working on externally financed projects. Safeguards preparation is outsourced to large engineering firms with limited safeguards capacity. The combined effect of NHA's weak capacity and outsourcing to engineering firms results in poor compliance both at preparation and implementation. At the field level, resettlement is managed by land management staff with no skilled personnel assigned for resettlement management. Institutional support is necessary if NHA is to respond effectively to social safeguards issues.
WAPDA: WAPDA is the key federal agency responsible for developing multipurpose water resources projects. After the Ghazi Barotha project completed in 2002, no new hydropower projects have been built except for raising Mangla dam. The Tarbela project (officially completed in 1976 with funding from the WB) is still plagued by unsettled land compensation and uncertainty about numbers of displaced households. Pakistan faces a critical situation with regard to water storage and energy. Under WAPDA's vision 2025, 8 priority projects for major dams at an estimated cost of $28.7 billion are identified. The report also points out that there is much confusion in Pakistan about benefit sharing. Essentially, paying special attention to those who pay the price in terms of giving up their lands and are resettled. Large scale projects typically entail the resettlement of several thousand households. In 2010, WAPDA established a Land Acquisition and Resettlement Unit (LARU). The unit has had a high staff turnover. WAPDA Environment Cell (WEC) was established in 1987 however it is not adequately integrated into the business operations. The principal challenge for WAPDA in undertaking major resettlement programs is the limited pool of expertise and experienced specialists in the LARU and in Pakistan in general. Even with experienced experts, large resettlement programs require several full-time experts to be fully engaged in preparation and supervision of implementation. Capacity and systems for internal monitoring of large scale resettlement and environment performance are yet to be developed. The model for project development requires a shift in thinking, where design, civil works and safeguards should be effectively coordinated and projects designed to be environmentally and socially sound.
Provincial revenue department staff and staff from engineering and management of the two agencies will be included in key TA activities. A degree of institutional restructuring will be required to ensure environment and social safeguards units are effectively incorporated into each agencies structure. Further, tools for safeguards screening will be prepared to ensure a structured and uniform process for safeguards management in each agency. Both agencies will be supported to develop a policy framework for managing resettlement to be approved by the respective Boards. Often, field level staff engaged in day-to-day land acquisition and resettlement activities are unable to participate in training workshops due to budget limitations and/or time availability. The standard approach of seminars and workshops is insufficient to address the detail of safeguards planning; coordination with multiple agencies will be supported leading to the development of procedures for interaction with key stakeholders. The proposed TA will carry out key institutional improvements and policy development at the agency level accompanied by establishing an integrated approach to project development and safeguards management. The TA approach is to work directly with the NHA and WAPDA and jointly develop work plans to ensure ownership and commitment for the expected changes resulting from the TA.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
a. Link to Country Partnership Strategy/Regional Cooperation Strategy:
The TA is consistent with the Country Partnership Strategy 2009-2013 that pays major attention to project implementation. TA supports two key areas of the CPS focus: (i) effective implementation of projects and program, and (ii) capacity building of the government agencies. The support envisaged under this area of focus in the CPS included technical assistance on request to improve safeguards management processes and training of executing agency staff on ADB procedures and policies. The TA will draw on ADB's experience in project preparation and implementation in the two sectors of TA focus.
Safeguards requirements for transport, and water and power development projects executed by NHA and WAPDA are effectively managed.
Safeguards management system established in NHA and WAPDA.