Project Assistance Completion Report: Irrigation and Water Management I Project, No. 685-0280
PACR of a project (1/86-9/92) to expand and improve village-level irrigated farming in the Bakel zone of the Senegal River Basin and to encourage private sector participation that can be replicated throughout the Basin. the project provided a total of 22 person-years of long-term TA and 20 person-months of short-term consultancies. It funded the design and construction of 239 hectares of irrigation systems, and the rehabilitation of 50 hectares of existing systems. An office building was constructed for the long-term TA providers, and funds were provided to renovate housing quarters for TA staff residing in Bakel, operate the demonstration farm, and establish a socioeconomic monitoring system of irrigation systems in the project area. the project also financed a training program and observation tours for farmers, training for a development officer, and several reports, including 12 socioeconomic studies, a general feasibility study on medium-scale irrigation systems, and a study on land tenure issues. Despite these successes, the project failed to achieve its major objectives. (1) There was no private sector involvement in irrigation development and agricultural services. (2) A financially-viable irrigation prototype was not developed and replicated by farmers. (3) No technical improvements were made in the design and construction of project-supported irrigation systems. (4) Employment and agricultural production did not increase in the Bakel area. Based on the recommendations of the 6/90 mid-term evaluation, the Mission and the Government of Senegal determined that it was no longer desirable to continue the project and formalized an agreement for its early termination. the following lessons were learned. (1) Economic assumptions made during project design should be based on actual data or evaluated during the early stages of project implementation. (2) the host country implementing agency's contracting capabilities should be assessed during project design in order to determine the best contracting mode early on and prevent unnecessary delays in implementation. (3) the TA contract should be jointly assessed by the implementing agency and USAID on an annual basis to determine the need to continue or readjust TA services. Early response to unsatisfactory performance could have led to a reorganization of the TA personnel and improved implementation. (4) Good communication between the TA and implementing agency personnel is essential for project implementation. (5) A program and financial management audit of the project and of the TA contract should be carried out within the first 2 years of project implementation. (6) It is difficult to mobilize an effective TA team for remote projects sites. (7) During project design, USAID should thoroughly investigate the priorities of the host country and its capabilities to implement the planned activity.