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RWSS PforR pre-MTR mission agenda, May 25- June 3rd to achieve the following objectives:

- Review the status of the verification of results for the second verification cycle (2014)

- Share and discuss the results of the Program Performance Assessments conducted by the WB team in collaboration with PforR implementing agencies in the last month.

- Reveiw the progress of the Technical Assistance program and agree on the unitlization of the existing program savings

- Agree on measures to overcome the existing chllenges affecting the achievements of DLIs.

 The schedule for kick-off meeting is on 25 May 2015 and the rwap-up meeting is on 3 June 2015.

 MTR assesment:

1.In preparation for the Mid Term Review, an in depth assessment of the Program was jointly conducted between the World Bank and the NTP-SO in the six weeks previous to the mission. This MTR assessmentreviews two and a half years of program implementation andtakes a practical approach to identify actual or potential future constraints that may affect the progress towards achieving results. The findings of this assessment were discussed during the mission and aresummarized below. The different sections of the assessment and the corresponding recommended actions are included in Annexes 1-3.

General

2.The results-based approach is providing strong incentives to achieve results. The implementing agencies at the provincial level have made good efforts to meet the annual deadlines to achieve the results to which they had committed to and this is reflected in the acceptable progress made up to date in meeting the targets for the first two years of the Program. Program implementation is still going through an adaptive period of learning, which is different for each province, and that has had consequences in forms of delays and the final delivery of results.Implementation arrangements and technical capacities are also not consistent across the eight participating provinces. The NTP-SO needs to have a much stronger coordination role and work more continuously with the provinces to eliminate these

Technical

3.There is a lack of a clear strategy to select and designwater supply schemes to reach the Program targets. Some selected systems were responding to other provincial strategic needs not compatible with achieving the expected Program targets. Those systems are often more expensive than expected and this will make it more difficult to achieve the total number of targeted connections by the end of the Program.

4.It was therefore recommended to plan strategically, and select morecost-effective systems where connections can be maximized. The definition of eligible water supply schemes under the program has been made more flexible, allowing rural systems that take water from existing urban schemes of any size. Provinces should work with NCERWASS to identify possible eligible schemes before July 15, 2014. The World Bank will make also available the technical review of 30 schemes with specific recommendations to pursue up to US$ 2.5million in additional savings.

  1. 5.Implementing agencies should pay attention at the readiness of water schemes to be qualified for “sustainable water systems” under DLI 2.1. Data collected for those schemes which take water from existing ones, shows that these schemes are on track to achieve the expected conditions of sustainability, but for other schemes adequate management arrangements are still to be made. A workshop to share experiences on the successful Rural Water Supply Enterprise Model implemented in phase I will be organized in September.
  2. 6.Demand forsanitation remains high in the RRD.The good progress made in the sanitation DLIs is due to the better assimilation of implications and criteria behind the concept of CWS, and the role of facilitating consultants.
  3. 7.The adequacy of the amount committed to sanitation (4.6% of the Program funds) to reach the Program targets is questionable. Funds allocated to IEC activities for sanitation are only available in the second half of the year due to inadequate planning and budget allocation for recurrent expenditures. Restrictions on governmental expenditure also limit the number of collaborators that can be paid by the Program. These issues need to be tackled in the next planning cycle in July to ensure sufficient and timely funds for sanitation in 2016. The sanitation consultants that are supporting each province should play an active role in that exercise.
  4. 8.In general, there is little attention to the maintenance of sanitation facilities in schools and clinics. These centers do not have a budget for maintenance and proper care is left at the discretion of the school directors, with the consequent risk that these facilities fall into disrepair. The assessment recommends to include a new DLI on the sustainability of the sanitation facilities in schools and clinics. More details are provided in Annex 1.

Fiduciary Systems

9.Procurementactivities under the Program include mainly procurement of works and selection of consultants for Water Supply Schemes. Currently, most of these schemes are under construction or in procurement process. Some of these processes have started later than expected.Time of contract execution, though, has been reasonable on average. The level of bidder’s participation is low, as on average the PCERWASSes have received about only 3 bids per package. The total savings amount from the procurement process is also low, with only 1.4% of the total cost estimate of the signed contracts under the Program. Annex 2 contains specific recommendations to improve the procurement efficiency


10.The main area for improvement relates to financial management, andthe significant lack of coordination in implementing the program cycle aligning planning of investment needs, budget allocation and use of available funds to achieve results.Important inconsistencies explained have been found that translate into the lack of funds available when they are needed (see Annex 2). The main concern is the little capacity to pre-finance using own sources. The existing disbursement mechanism is not helping the provinces in managing the cash flow gap.This issue, and the proposed new disbursement rules and changes in the DLI matrix to address these constrains are explained in Annexes 1 and 8.

Environmental and Social Management

11.The social assessment confirmed the positive impact of the program activities and the minimum affection to rural habitants in the RRD. Provinces have made efforts to keep land acquisition low and ethnic minorities are included as beneficiaries in two of the program provinces. Minor issues found relate to the lack of availability of some key documents for monitoring in some provinces, such as the compensation plan, or thoseinforming on the compensation payments. The assessment found that clearer guidance is needed on steps that provinces can adopt to conduct screening of EM peoples in each sub-project area.There is also a need to better mainstream gender in IEC activities of the Program.

12.The environmental assessment confirmed the information provided in the ESSA that the impacts are being small, temporary and manageable. The provincial authorities are preparing Environmental Protection Commitments for most of the subprojects. There are also a series of aspects that require more attention and those relate to thestaffing to monitor environmental aspects of the program has been inadequate; Vietnamese environmental management requirements that have not been always fully complied with; and the inadequate incorporation of environmental considerations into subproject preparation, bidding, construction, monitoring and supervision. More details and recommended actions are included in Annex 3.

 

 

 

 
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