Community Based Resource Management MIRCO LEVEL ISSUES – EXTERNAL ROLE Coady International Institute Group Presentation November 27,2003
Topic In some instances the World Bank policies make implementation of Funding programs difficult at the community level. What policies need to be changed in order to create adaptable procedures to ensure success of community based projects? Case Study: North East Irrigated Agriculture Project, Sri Lanka
Objective The NEIAP website, www.neiap.org explains that “the objective of NEIAP is to help the conflict affected communities in the North-East province and adjoining areas to re-establish at least a subsistence level of production and basic community services, through assistance with jump starting agricultural and Livelihood Support Activities, and to build their capacity for sustainable social and economic reintegration
Who Will Benefit? The Project design is to reach about 24,000 families living in about 400 focal villages, which are centred around 400 small irrigation schemes, with a combined command area of 16,000 ha.
The project covers eight districts of the North-East province, namely Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Vavunia, Mannar, Mullaitivu, Killinochchi and Jaffna and neighbouring villages of the four districts in the adjoining three provinces, namely; Monaragala, (Uva), Puttlam (North West), and Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, North Central). The Jaffna district in the North was not covered in the original plan due to restricted access to the area, but later included in 2002.
Background This presentation relates directly to concerns about implementation of the World Bank funded program, North East Irrigated Agriculture Project, (NEIAP) in Sri Lanka.
The World Bank funded the NEIAP project with the main activities consisting of: • 400 minor (less than 80 ha) and some medium (between 80 and 200 ha) projects related to the rehabilitation of irrigation tanks. • Rehabilitation of 1200km of rural roads • Construction of 1200 drinking water wells
Construction of 400 community buildings (42 x 20 feet = 840 sq. ft) • Promotion of Livelihood Support Activities (LSA) comprised of: • Small business development • Poultry, goat and cattle farming • Metal quarries • Crop cultivation (home gardening) • Brick making • Grinding mills • Etc… • LSA’s operate on a Rs 20,000 repayable loan system. • Total funding for the project is 32.4 million U.S. dollars
NEIAP identifies the expected outcome to be: “(a) Increased irrigated farming area and agricultural production; (b) Sustained improvement in basic living conditions generated by increased agriculture production and other project supported reconstruction activities; (c) Enhanced access to safe drinking water facilities; (d) Improvement in service capacity of, and access to basic village level physical infrastructure and social services. (e) Improved food security; (f) Self employment & income generation”
World Bank Selection Criteria • war affected area; • 50% of people must be resident in the area or agree to resettle into the area; • 50% of people are below the poverty level Rs1500 (approximately $22.00 Cdn.); • the irrigation tank must irrigate at least 10 ha but less than 200 ha; • there must be at least 10 families in the focal village
Common Conditions • 1. The community that is benefiting from the project in the focal village is required to contribute a portion of the funding related to the civil engineering costs. For instance the community is to provide: • 10% of estimated total for irrigation channel system • 7% of civil costs for roads, buildings and wells.
2. After rehabilitation there is a requirement that 25 years of maintenance will be provided by the CBOs or by whomever is benefiting from the work. i.e. farmers have to maintain irrigation schemes, RDS has to maintain roads / buildings.
3. Operation and Maintenance for the minor tanks which includes head works and irrigation systems has to be done by the Farmers Organization of the scheme. For the medium tank operation and maintenance for the head works and main channels is the responsibility of the Irrigation Department. In this case the CBO is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the field channel system only.
Role of NGO The Project Management Unit (PMU) is the main office that controls the funds and overall administration of the project. Each district has a District Project Office managed by a Deputy Project Director.
Social mobilization activities are done by the NGO who normally are selected by competitive bidding procedures. The specific tasks of the NGO is to employ a social mobilizer for each focal village.
It is the social mobilizer that has to induce the CBO to be involved in the project and to mobilize them in the focal village. Examples of the CBO include: Farm Organization (FO). Rural Development Society (RDS); Women Rural Development Society (WRDS). The social mobilizer is required to arrange the initial meeting with the villagers to prepare the village social profile (VSP) and the village development plan (VDP). The VSP and VDP are developed by using participatory rural appraisal and participatory needs approaches. Once the project has been identified the CBO is then trained to take on the project management activities which include the financial accounting for the rehabilitation activities and any necessary technical guidance.
Implementation of the Project The project proposals go to the Deputy Project Director NEIAP for approval. All the cost estimates for the project are prepared by the implementing agency (Government) for approval and sanction. Normally the Irrigation Department Central, Provincial and Agrarian Services Department are the implementing agencies responsible for the rehabilitation of irrigation tanks.
Rehabilitation of the roads is normally identified for each focal village. (Each village is eligible for a maximum of 4 km of roads). These projects are implemented by the Road Development Department, Provincial Irrigation Department and the Commissioner of the Local Government.
Construction of community buildings and wells are being implemented by the Commissioner of Local Government and Divisional Secretaries, Irrigation Department. (each focal village receives 3 wells, 1 building) For each focal village Rs 900,000 is allocated for LSA. Implementation of LSA activities is being implemented by the Divisional Secretaries.
Issues Capacity As noted the mobilizing CBOs is the duty of the NGO selected for each focal village. The problem is that the NGO is not doing their duties properly. Therefore the CBOs are inactive. As well there is a condition placed on the NGO to select a qualified mobilization officer for each focal village who is located in or near the village. The problem is that young people are being selected who, although educated, do not have the skills required to implement the program (limited capacity). Also within government there are capacity issues related to a shortage of staff with the specific experience and skills.
There are LSA problems related to the selection of the projects. The implementing officers decide by themselves what the priority projects will be and give their support accordingly. (The problem is that the people (villages) should be making the decision according to the criteria. The criteria is not being followed)
Some people are not willing to contribute the beneficiary contribution. In some focal villages some people are not willing to repay the LSA loans. Therefore the revolving fund cannot be supported. After the rehabilitation of the project maintenance of the scheme is the responsibility of the people but maintenance is not being done because the CBO is unable to organize the people; (no volunteers)
Environmental Problems The people implementing the rehabilitation of the tanks they are not cooperating with technical officers. They cut the channels in their own way and do not follow the design.
Water Management World Bank has requested the rehabilitation work to be completed within one year, however the CBO’s do not have the capacity to execute the project within that period.
Other World Bank policy states that NGOs must be hired to mobilize CBOs., however NGOs are not doing the job very well. Shortage of vehicles makes implementation difficult. Quality Control officers require transportation to conduct technical audits. Limited number of NGOs leads to corruption
The project is related to cultivation but there are no tools or equipment to manage and monitor water. As well, because of a lack of funding full rehabilitation of the irrigation systems is not occurring and as a result some channels are being abandoned. How can we expect the CBO to maintain the system for 25 years if only a part of the channels are rehabilitated?
Relationship to Learning CBRM Culture, values and beliefs The values and beliefs of the World Bank, related to the region and how the project is to be implemented are different with the values and beliefs of the Government and those people responsible for implementation of the NEIAP.
Environment and Ecology Workshops are held on the environment in an attempt to raise the level of capacity at the community level
Knowledge and Research Public research is conducted at the outset of the project. Local knowledge is used in order to identify the community level problems. Technical training on construction methods is an important aspect of introducing science based knowledge into the construction and maintenance program. This community consultation process provides a forum to share knowledge and values of the stakeholders.
Sustainable Livelihoods • Raising the capacity of the communities through the LSA programs which were mentioned earlier to include activities such as: • Small business development • Poultry, goat and cattle farming • Metal quarries • Crop cultivation (home gardening)
Governance Rules and regulations need to be followed in order to ensure success of the project. Success of course depends on the area where the project is occurring and the education and capacity levels of the residents in the area.
Solutions / Options CBOs must be educated before providing contracts (the skills needed do not exist and the ability to understand the technical training is also non-existent). Therefore, awareness training about the operation, maintenance, execution of the projects has to be completed prior to the start of the project. Effective training plans could be developed and trainees paid to take the training program. The focus should be on 50% youth.
World Bank needs to realize that execution is difficult without proper transportation. Flexibility is required so that selection of a NGO is not mandatory. In place of the NGO unemployed graduate students could be hired and trained by the Deputy Project Director, NEIAP.
If a NGO is employed as the social mobilizer there is a need to have a detailed monitoring program to ensure it is functioning appropriately. If NGOs are not executing their duties appropriately there should be a surcharge system introduced so that financial penalties may be applied.
Suggestions Resulting from Group Discussion • Provide funding for extensive training directly to the CBO • Finalize discussions with the World Bank related to removal of the NGO role • Build relationships with international NGOs to provide a policing service to the National NGOs. • Continue to train locally in hopes of increasing capacity in the villages • Develop a consortia where joint management and decision-making on the projects is shared between the CBO and NGO. • Look to decentralization of payments to the NGO. For instance a voucher could be provided to the CBO for payment to the NGO as a progress payment managed by the CBO.