02/05/2010 – World Bank, Liberia
Monrovia – The World Bank and the Government of Liberia have concluded an intensive two-day long Country Portfolio Performance Review (CPPR) in Liberia. The two-day review held on February 2nd & 3rd, 2010 brought together Senior Management of the World Bank Liberia Country Team, led by the Country Manager Dr. Ohene Owusu Nyanin; Officials of Government headed by Minister of Finance, Hon. Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan.
The CPPR portfolio under review comprises 12 projects totaling US$226 million. With the completion of the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), the Bank’s three-year annual International Development Association (IDA) allocation is approximately US$138 million. The CPPR portfolio includes US$164.4 million in infrastructure and basic services (road rehabilitation, port rehabilitation, energy, water urban works); US$19 million for economic governance projects (forestry, public financial management, procurement reform and budget support); US$ 26.3 million for social protection (community-driven development projects, cash for work, women’s economic empowerment); US$ 7 million for agriculture; and US$ 8.5 million for health.
The objective of the CPPR was to access Performance in the implementation of Bank Projects. Ms Keller also noted that this year’s review was the first since the Bank reinitiated relations with Liberia in 2004 after a 20-year absence due to the civil war.
Presentations made at the review included: Infrastructure and Forestry; Social Protection and Human Development; Economic Governance; Monitoring and Evaluation; Governance and Project Risk; and Procurement. The cross-cutting challenges of Capacity and Procurement Management in various institutions were critical issues raised during the review; along with governance and accountability for results.
Speaking on behalf of the World Bank during the review, the Country Manager Dr Ohene Owusu Nyanin reiterated the Bank’s support for Liberia’s reconstruction and development agenda, and emphasized that the review was not just about World Bank projects, but about improving the lives of Liberians. He noted that the Bank is an “all-weather” friend, ready to work in partnership to overcome challenges and support the achievement of the development goals of Liberia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.
For his part, the Finance Minister, Hon. Ngafuan expressed gratitude for the World Bank’s strong engagement with Liberia. He stressed that this was truly an active partnership based on joint collaboration and a results-based approach “predicated not on what we can promise, but on how effectively we can deliver tangible development to the Liberian people”.
Also speaking, The Minister of State, Natty B. Davis noted that the first-ever World Bank Portfolio Review was an important opportunity to bring the teams closer together and unblock barriers to implementation. He called on colleagues in Government and the Bank to also take quick action with regards to capacity to improve the pace of implementation. He observed that the Bank’s response to Liberia was very timely, because systems and processes have been established and now need refinement to ensure progress in project implementation.
At the end of the two-day review session, a “Final Action Plan” was agreed by the World Bank and the Government based on group presentations from five thematic areas: Financial Management, Capacity Development, Economic Governance, Procurement & Contract Management, and Aid Effectiveness. It was agreed that rigorous monitoring and evaluation systems are needed to ensure money is being spent as intended and having real impact on the ground. Towards this goal, a two-day monitoring and evaluation workshop is being conducted for Government project staff February 4 and 5. This will help ensure that everyone understands the rules and procedures, and “red flags” that could indicate possible fraud and corruption in development projects. Creating a culture of transparency and accountability within Liberia will help ensure the maximum value for money and development impact for the Liberian people.
The Task Team leader of the CPPR, Ms Barbry expressed delight and gratitude for the level of attendance, and depth and quality of the deliberation.
The portfolio review was also attended by Minister of Planning & Economic Affairs, Hon. Amara Konneh; Minister of Public Works, Hon. Samuel Kofi Woods, II; Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Hon. Walter T. Gwenigale; Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Florence Chenoweth; Minister of Lands, Mines & Energy, Hon. Eugene Shannon; Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Hon. Natty B. Davis, Deputy Minister of Justice for Economic Affairs, Hon. Sam Ross; Civil Service Agency, Liberia Institute of Public Administration, the Public Procurement & Concession Commission; and Directors of various World Bank projects in the country. The portfolio performance review included: Infrastructure (Transport), Health, Community Empowerment Program) CEP and Cash for Work (Social Protection and Human Development), Agriculture, and Economic Governance (particularly Economic Governance & Institutional Reform project).