The Asian Development Bank is working with Armenia to build earthquake-resilient schools and improve the country’s ability to respond to natural disasters. The project is improving and strengthening at least 46 schools, and is supporting the development of disaster preparedness plans and earthquake awareness campaigns.
|Project Name||Seismic Safety Improvement Program|
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Loan
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Strategic Agendas||Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change||Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Private sector development
|Sector / Subsector||
Education / Education sector development
Water and other urban infrastructure and services / Other urban services - Urban policy, institutional and capacity development
|Gender Equity and Mainstreaming||Effective gender mainstreaming|
|Description||The program will support the implementation of the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction during 2015- 2020 by (i) improving school seismic safety to reduce casualties and damage in schools during earthquakes, and (ii) enabling better use of school buildings as shelters for the general public and as focal points for emergency response after earthquakes. The program reflects the key focus areas advocated by the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction, and is in line with the four priorities identified in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2015- 2030.|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
The program will support the implementation of the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction by (i) improving school seismic safety to reduce casualties and damage in schools during earthquakes, and (ii) enabling better use of school buildings as shelters for the general public and as focal points for emergency response after earthquakes. The program reflects the key focus areas advocated by the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and is in line with the four priorities in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2015-2030: (i) understanding disaster risk; (ii) strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk; (iii) investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience; and (iv) enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and rebuilding better in recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.
The program supports equitable and sustainable urban development under the results framework of ADB's country partnership strategy for Armenia, 2014-2018. It is aligned with the Urban Operational Plan, 2012-2020 in terms of planning and investing in infrastructure and services for sustainable urban systems and promoting an improved environment and resilience. The program is aligned with ADB's Operational Plan for Integrated Disaster Risk Management, 2014-2020 and Education by 2020: A Sector Operations Plan. ADB has significant experience in disaster recovery including supporting recovery from major earthquakes in the People's Republic of China, India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, and improving school seismic safety in Bhutan and Nepal. ADB also has gained considerable experience in Armenia since the country became an ADB member in 2005.
Results-based lending (RBL) is a suitable modality for the program because (i) the government has formulated the School Strengthening and Renovation Program in which the RBL program can be anchored; (ii) the government has gained and demonstrated reasonable capacity through implementing investments in school seismic strengthening and renovation using its own systems and through implementing projects funded by development partners; (iii) using the government's systems will provide incentives for the government to further improve its systems and enhance its already strong ownership; (iv) it will provide a platform for the government to effectively coordinate the support of various donors, fostering development coordination and harmonization for maximum development impact; and (v) the modality enables ADB to disburse for results related not only to seismic strengthening of schools but also the quality of construction, institutional strengthening, and capacity development.
The program's design has incorporated the lessons learned from earlier operations in seismic disaster recovery and risk management, including 10 lessons summarized by ADB's Independent Evaluation Department in response to Nepal's earthquake. In addition, lessons learned from implementing RBL in other programs have also been incorporated in the program's design, including the need to have a small number of disbursement-linked indicators (DLIs), a strong focal unit dedicated to RBL implementation, actions to strengthen government systems, and a disbursement protocol that is not overly complicated or ambitious.
|Impact||To establish a resilient country, increase the safety of individuals and the society, and contribute to the sustainable development of the country|
|Description of Outcome||Improved coverage of seismically safe school buildings|
|Progress Toward Outcome||
As of 30 June 2018, the Program reached 49% of the lapsed time, 11.52% physical progress, and 8.32% financial progress. Civil works contracts for 7 schools have been signed and construction is ongoing on 6 schools. Design has started for 5 schools of the second batch.
Third batch of schools is not yet approved. In light of the delays the loan completion has been extended until November 2023.
|Description of Project Outputs||
2. Seismic disaster preparedness and response capacity strengthened.
3. Supportive policies and systems for seismic disaster risk management and reduction improved.
1. Seismic resilience of school buildings increased.
4. Capacity in executing and implementing the seismic safety investment program enhanced.
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)||
All 11 additional staff were recruited in end 2016.
The Program M&E was in place in end 2016.
ATDF operations manual was updated and adopted in end 2016.
The 30 program staff will receive training by October 2018.
As of 30 June 2018 eight communities received awareness on seismic risk disaster.
As of 30 June 2018 about 50 engineers received training on seismically safe construction.
Financing strategy for seismic safety improvement and management of public infrastructure is not yet due.
Guidelines in line with international best practices for school seismic strengthening and retrofitting is completed. The guidelines was developed with the World Bank support.
School strengthening and Renovation Program was approved in 2015 and was updated in January 2017.
Building code update is in progress and scheduled for completion in May 2019.
National seismic hazard probabilistic map is completed with the support of the World Bank.
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Environmental Aspects||The program will trigger an environmental assessment to mitigate moderate adverse environmental impacts which are typical for reconstruction and rehabilitation of small to medium-sized buildings. The following gaps are identified between the national environmental system and the principles under ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009): (i) no environmental assessment is required by the national legislation for school buildings of less than 1,500 square meters, (ii) inadequate enforcement of environmental assessment and management for buildings larger than 1,500 square meters, and (iii) no environmental assessment review framework with grievance redress mechanism. The actions and measures to address these gaps have been included in the PAP and results framework, including strengthening the ATDF to implement environmental safeguard actions in line with ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement principles for environment category B projects. A screening checklist has been developed to ensure that any program activities which may fall under ADB category A for environment or involve any involuntary resettlement as defined in ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement are excluded.|
|Involuntary Resettlement||No involuntary resettlement impact is envisaged under the program, as strengthening or reconstruction of school buildings will be at existing locations.|
|Indigenous Peoples||The program is not expected to affect any indigenous peoples defined as such in ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009), as Armenia is fairly homogeneous in ethnic composition.|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design||
The program safeguard systems assessment was conducted in consultation with stakeholders and disclosed on ADB website on 14 July 2015.
Public consultations for beneficiary communities are conducted continuously to present the schools design details and to receive feedback on the draft design.
|During Project Implementation||Consultation are and will be conducted as needed.|
An approved capacity development TA for Seismic Safety Improvement Program (SSIP) supported implementation of the SSIP, the first results based lending program in Armenia. This was implemented from May 2016 to September 2019. TA costed $1 million equivalent, of which $800,000 was financed on a grant basis by ADB's TASF-V. The TA supported the following: (i) improving the supportive policies and systems for seismic risk management reduction; (ii) strengthening the country's seismic disaster preparedness and response capacity; and (iii) enhancing the capacity in executing and implementing the investment program for seismic safety management and SSIP. Amendment to the TA contract was made to include seismic validation of design and construction of school buildings.
On 16 November 2018 ADB approved a new grant-funded $500,000 TA for the Support and Validation of SSIP results. The TA aims to ensure i) continued support to the design delivery, construction quality and building norms update to be carried out by a Capacity Building Consultant, and ii) validation of SSIP DLIs to be carried out by a Validation Consultant. The Capacity Building Consultant's and the Validation Consultant's contracts were signed in August and May 2019, respectively
|Responsible ADB Officer||Mousaelyan, Gohar Rouben|
|Responsible ADB Department||Central and West Asia Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||Armenia Resident Mission|
Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development
Government House 3, Republic Square
|Concept Clearance||10 Mar 2015|
|Fact Finding||15 Jun 2015 to 30 Jun 2015|
|MRM||24 Jul 2015|
|Approval||22 Sep 2015|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|Last PDS Update||14 Sep 2018|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|22 Sep 2015||19 Oct 2015||22 Dec 2015||31 May 2021||31 May 2024||-|
|Financing Plan||Loan Utilization|
|Total (Amount in US$ million)||Date||ADB||Others||Net Percentage|
|Project Cost||107.00||Cumulative Contract Awards|
|ADB||88.50||22 Sep 2015||28.60||0.00||32%|
|Cofinancing||0.00||22 Sep 2015||29.60||0.00||33%|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|22 Sep 2015||21 Oct 2015||21 Oct 2015||31 Oct 2017||30 Sep 2019||-|
|Financing Plan/TA Utilization||Cumulative Disbursements|
|800,000.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||800,000.00||22 Sep 2015||791,939.74|
Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.
The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.
The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.
In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.
Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.
|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Seismic Safety Improvement Program: Environmental Monitoring Report (January-December 2020)||Environmental Monitoring Reports||Mar 2021|
|Seismic Safety Improvement Program: Environmental Monitoring Report (January-December 2019)||Environmental Monitoring Reports||May 2020|
|Seismic Safety Improvement Program: Environmental Monitoring Report (January-December 2018)||Environmental Monitoring Reports||Oct 2019|
|Seismic Safety Improvement Program: Environmental Assessment and Review Framework||Environmental Assessment and Review Framework||Jul 2015|
|Seismic Safety Improvement Program: Program Safeguard Systems Assessment||Program Safeguard Systems Assessments||Jun 2015|
Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation
None currently available.
None currently available.
The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.
Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.
ADB Supports Armenia’s Drive to Build Earthquake-Resilient SchoolsADB is extending assistance of $89.3 million to help Armenia build earthquake-resilient schools and scale up its capacity for responding to natural disasters in one of the most seismically active regions in the world.
|Tender Title||Type||Status||Posting Date||Deadline|
|3284-ARM: Seismic Safety Improvement Program [A-17EN / A-20EN]||Invitation for Bids||Closed||28 May 2020||15 Jun 2020|
|Contract Title||Approval Number||Contract Date||Contractor||Contractor Address||Executing Agency||Contract Description||Total Contract Amount (US$)||Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)|
|Capacity Development||Technical Assistance 8958||13 May 2016||IRD Engineering S.R.L. (Italy)||Via Michele Mercati, 51 Rome 00197 Italy Email [email protected]||Ministry of Territorial Admin & Emergency Situations||773,250.00||—|
None currently available.