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Poverty Reduction Project

PN10155 | Project Completion Report Review Note | 16-Jun-2009

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2) There were too many conditions of effectiveness and first disbursement and the borrower’s capacity to fulfil them was not adequately explored. Effectiveness conditions must take these capacity shortcomings into account in order to avoid slippages and obstacles in the implementation of projects

3) The irregularity of the Bank’s missions in the early years and of disbursements had disastrous consequences on the management of the project. Since the country was characterized by extremely weak national capacities, it would have been judicious to increase the number of supervision missions in order to enhance technical supervision by the implementation unit

4) The irregular flow of resources had a negative impact on the implementation of micro-finance activities. Micro-finance is a highly fragile activity that cannot resist a lack of resources. Consequently, it is important to ensure that the necessary conditions are met for starting such an activity, especially in a country that has no experience in this domain

5) The Bank has been aware of the country’s extremely weak national capacities for several years. However, no appropriate measure was taken to address this problem. The Bank did not adapt its operations strategy to assist REG in solving the country’s specific problems. In order to improve its assistance to member countries, the Bank should refrain from applying the same remedy across the board. Priority should be given to improving knowledge about the specificities of each country in order to better address its needs through a differentiated approach. For example, the rule of 1.5 annual supervision missions per project generally applied is not sufficient for the REG. Besides, in view of the considerable involvement of the authorities in project management compounded by a lack of good governance, this activity should be entrusted to competent international technical assistants working on the basis of performance contracts, especially with regard to the transfer of knowledge

6) Another lesson from the failure of this project is the obvious link between the skills of the staff and the quality of project management. In the present case, the quality of the performance of the PMU managers was poor in view of the fact that recruitment was by governmental appointment and not based on competition and competence. Political and ethnoregional affinities were key in the choice of the managers of the PMU and the outstations. In the appointment of PMU or PIU officers, the Bank should no longer grant such latitude involving criteria other than competency to the authorities. The use of competition in the recruitment of project implementation staff should be generalized

1) Recipient(s): Beneficiary : The central government oversight ministries should refrain from changing over-sight body for projects; appoint external auditors from the onset of projects and ensure that the recruitment of project staff is based on merit and according to procedure


Equatorial Guinea

Summary Report PN10155_SR_EN PN10155_SR_EN.pdf