Statement of the External Advisory Panel by worldbank

VIEWS: 16 PAGES: 5

									Statement of the External
Advisory Panel


T
        he members of the external advisory panel appreciate the effort of the
        Independent Evaluation Group in preparing this report. Not surpris-
        ingly, the report emphasizes that the transport sector is one of the most
important sectors serving national and international development, account-
ing for 5 percent to 6 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP). No sin-
gle United Nations entity deals solely with transport because of its supportive
role to all sectors, so the Bank has assumed a crucial responsibility toward its
member states and has largely met their expectations.

Over the past decade, well over 15 percent of           jectives. It is also of a great value to beneficiary and
Bank lending has been allocated to 642 transport        donor countries and other stakeholders.
projects or projects, with transport elements ex-
ceeding $30 billion in total lending. Bank com-         It is regrettable that this is the first evaluation of
mitments for transport and transport-related            the transport sector operations since the Bank
projects rank third in importance after the law, jus-   evaluation group was founded in 1973. It would
tice, and public administration sector and the so-      be appropriate to introduce an intermediate, less-
cial sector.                                            extensive 5-year follow-up evaluation that can,
                                                        together with the individual evaluations of proj-
The report provides a wealth of concise global in-      ects, complement the decade-based studies en-
formation, well-chosen examples, and useful case        abling monitoring of Bank operational trends and
studies, thereby providing firsthand background         outcomes versus the Bank’s medium- and long-
for understanding the Bank’s operations and the         term strategies.
effort and views of its transport sector staff. The
findings are transparently provided, conclusions are    The evaluation adopts a well-structured method-
well documented, and the recommendations are            ology of successive, interactive, and carefully de-
soundly formulated. The report, therefore, pro-         signed and implemented steps. These cover a
vides a solid foundation for Bank management to         literature review, an analysis of the previously
develop and adopt new strategies and measures           mentioned 642 projects, solicitation of special
aimed at achieving present and future global ob-        thematic studies on road maintenance and road


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           funds, a global overview of public-private part-           Country-driven ownership is important to at-
           nerships (PPPs) in transport, a review of a special        tain and is preferable to the imposition and en-
           transport policy programme in Africa, and infor-           forcement of “pre-agreement conditions.”
           mation extracted from existing impact studies in
           Brazil and Morocco and a multilateral study in          • In some cases hired foreign consultants and
           Ghana. In addition, interviews were conducted             Bank staff are unaware of country conditions,
           with Bank transport staff and with stakeholders           national obligations, and needs. Consequently,
           (government officials, transport service providers,       Bank missions can recommend actions or proj-
           and interested parties), and detailed country case        ects that do not respond to local concerns,
           studies were undertaken in Brazil, India, and             priorities, or immediate requirements. If de-
           Tanzania. Therefore, an admirable geographical            cision makers of the recipient country are un-
           balance between developing countries and con-             aware of such shortcomings, poorly conceived
           tinents has been achieved. Furthermore, the               projects can get started and move forward,
           deliberations and viewpoints of the external ad-          wasting time and resources. Bank manage-
           visory panel that arose during the progress of            ment should carefully consider the selection of
           the evaluation have been duly reflected in the            mission team members. Local consultants and
           report.                                                   academic transport specialists from the re-
                                                                     cipient country should be professionally con-
           The report concludes with recommendations de-             tracted, not simply interviewed, as is the
           rived logically from the findings and the results of      current practice.
           the analysis. The panel supports these recom-
           mendations. In addition, however, we would like         • Similarly, Bank training sometimes neglects
           to emphasize important issues of particular con-          local context, needs, capabilities, and realities.
           cern. Some of these are already dealt with in the         It should fully exploit local transport education
           report; others are complementary.                         expertise in the recipient country wherever
                                                                     available. If that is not possible, expertise from
           • The failure of some projects to fulfill their           neighboring countries or those experiencing
             objectives and to achieve their institutional and       similar conditions should be utilized. Thus,
             financial targets during the planned time period        the provision of realistic initiation, planning, de-
             is discouraging and should be avoided. Realis-          sign, and implementation of training would
             tic and attainable project objectives are neces-        be ensured.
             sary, regardless of country or Bank aspirations.
                                                                   • The panel strongly supports the reported find-
           • The report shows that monitoring and evalua-            ings on encouraging the Bank to go for riskier
             tion are rated “least satisfactory” among the           multi-institutional and/or multisectoral projects
             subobjectives, in the analyses of the outcomes          in developing countries, including road safety,
             of the objectives. The panel therefore believes         urban transport, and rural transport projects:
             that it is of vital importance for the Bank and the
             transport sector staff to adopt appropriate strate-      (a) More than 3,000 deaths result daily from
             gies and to investigate better methods, indica-              road accidents. Low- and middle-income
             tors, and tools (for example, log-frames and                 countries account for 85 percent of such
             target performance indicators) that are suit-                deaths and 90 percent of injuries (1 per-
             able for undertaking “results-based” monitoring              cent to 2 percent of GDP), and Bank proj-
             and evaluation of projects. These should be                  ects with road safety components show
             defined during the project preparation phase.                mixed results to date, with outcomes often
                                                                          unsustainable. Hence, we call for a more
           • Bank technical assistance is often unsustainable             thorough assessment of these projects,
             in recipient countries; therefore, the related               analyzing shortcomings, investigating the
             strategies need to be reassessed and improved.               best methodology, and adopting a new
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       strategy, including the more cohesive multi-      portance to the poor in urban and rural areas
       disciplinary approach mentioned in the            of developing countries and its considerable
       report.                                           share of total daily movements. It also em-
                                                         phasizes the inferior conditions of NMT facil-
   (b) Given that the number of cities with a            ities in many countries and the few Bank-related
       population of more than 1 million in de-          projects. We appreciate this finding and urge
       veloping countries is expected to increase        that the Bank fund more NMT projects, point-
       from 268 to 358 between 2000 and 2015,            ing out the problem of lack of sponsors to fi-
       we encourage more urban transport proj-           nance “outside the government budget”
       ects with a strong emphasis on the allevi-        because of the lack of or very low revenue-
       ation of the causes of the transport              generation nature of such projects. However,
       problem rather than just combating the            pedestrians and cyclists are also taxpayers. The
       symptoms, as has been the case in many            Bank and its clients should identify new sup-
       previous projects. City governance under          portive instruments and develop more sus-
       conditions of urban sprawl might be ad-           tainable NMT strategies, capitalizing on its
       dressed to improve institutions and re-           environmentally friendly nature and its sound
       form regulations; loans can be used to            economic and health effects on individuals
       leverage these changes.                           and families, compared with the motorized
                                                         modes. Support of concerned international
   (c) Many citizens of developing countries are         agencies (for example, Global Environment
       rural poor, often with low or almost no ac-       Facility, the United Nations Environment Pro-
       cess to transport; transport of agricultural      gramme, and so forth) should be sought.
       products to markets is extremely difficult.
       Poverty alleviation, a key objective of the    • We clearly back the report’s strategic call for ad-
       development agenda, can only be achieved         equate staffing of the transport sector; the
       if rural poverty is reduced, transport being     panel certainly supports including more mem-
       an important catalyst. We therefore back         bers with long experience as well as young
       more emphasis on sustainable rural trans-        professionals. This ensures a smooth transi-
       port projects.                                   tion of experience, sustainable quality (inno-
                                                        vation) and quantity of projects, and knowledge
• With the reported massive lending for intercity       dissemination to clients’ staff during imple-
  highways infrastructure in the past decade (73        mentation of projects; lack of the latter is a
  percent of Bank commitments to transport)             shortcoming of inadequate staffing indicated in
  and in appreciation of the report’s clear rec-        the transport sector staff interviews.
  ommendation to shift the focus of transport op-
  erations toward environmental and safety            • It is disappointing for the panel and the world
  concerns, the panel supports more lending in          transport community, particularly but not lim-
  the next decade for projects that tackle global       ited to researchers, to see few publications
  warming and rising energy costs (for exam-            and research done on Bank project outcomes,
  ple, land use/transport planning, restraining car     data, and knowledge-base. Compared with the
  use and reducing distance traveled, encour-           huge extent of Bank lending and the number
  aging modal shifts to environmentally friendly        of projects in the past decade, the share of
  modes, and so forth). This is in addition to in-      transport sector research papers, reports, and
  cluding environmental concern in all projects;        publications is just 4.3 percent of the Bank
  capabilities and obligations of developing coun-      total. It is self-evident that the world will expect
  tries should not be ignored.                          much more in the coming decade.

• In several places the report refers to nonmo-       • A country-specific approach to projects is im-
  torized transport (NMT), pointing out its im-         portant, because not all conditions prevail and
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A DECADE OF ACTION IN TRANSPORT




             not all rules are applicable in all countries. This       emergency financing, and the governments
             is vital for success and for reaching practical re-       frequently lack liquidity for other urgent ser-
             sults. For example, metros should only be ap-             vices. The Bank certainly realizes this fact, and
             plicable for megacities, all-weather rural roads          we encourage new endeavors to promote par-
             only in countries with variable climates, and in-         ticipation of the private sector in maintaining
             stallation of certain types of information tech-          roads and other transport assets. This simi-
             nology services linked to country technological           larly applies to the operation and maintenance
             capabilities only to ensure sustainability (main-         of urban public transport.
             tenance and/or upgrade). History; size; pre-
             vailing circumstances and problems; past and           • The fight against corruption is also very im-
             expected future development stages; economic,            portant. We admire the Bank’s continuous ef-
             social, and political obligations; the level and na-     fort and invite even greater accomplishments
             ture of bureaucracy; current applied regula-             in this respect in the future.
             tions; and institutional performance and the
             national culture of the public administration all      • The panel supports sustaining previous at-
             dictate this approach.                                   tempts to achieve a balanced allocation of
                                                                      Bank lending by mode, country, and Region,
           • We strongly support the Bank’s approach to en-           thereby serving the balanced development
             couraging private participation and removing             cause.
             obstacles to achieve successful PPPs in the
             transport sector in developing countries and           • The panel acknowledges the Bank’s effort to
             transition economies. This is particularly im-           cooperate with other international funding
             portant for roads and road maintenance, ports,           agencies, as reported, and calls for making
             and airports. It can also be applied in some el-         such connections closer and more pragmatic
             ements of railways (train operations, track, and         and widening them, moreover, to include re-
             maintenance) and particularly encouraged in in-          gional agencies and transport professional
             land navigation, urban public transport, and             institutions.
             some traffic management projects. The lessons
             of the success of road funds and previous global       • Finally, we add to the existing report recom-
             experience with PPPs in transport are excel-             mendations directed to Bank management a
             lently discussed and analyzed in the report and          further two-tier recommendation directed to
             very much appreciated by the panel. We urge              beneficiary countries—they should benefit
             member countries and Bank staff to benefit               from the report contents and findings and also
             from the useful lessons presented, taking the            upgrade the know-how and communication
             local context of each country into account with          skills of their executive and technical staff for
             emphases on the required prerequisites for               better utilization of the capabilities and knowl-
             the success of PPPs.                                     edge of the Bank’s missions. This will encour-
                                                                      age negotiating sound and successful projects
           • As reported, when road infrastructure is poorly          with attainable objectives and sustainable out-
             maintained, the public pays heavily through              comes. Local universities’ transport academics
             higher vehicle-operating costs, accidents, loss          and the World Bank Institute have a key joint
             of travel time, and reduced accessibility to             role to play.
             jobs, among other results. However, decision
             makers in developing countries do not neces-           We acknowledge that we have been associated
             sarily think in terms of long-term economic            with this valuable study and appreciate learning
             benefits. They are rather often engaged in             much from our participation.




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Members of the External Advisory Panel

Viorica Beldean, Honorary President of the           Planning Centre, Cairo University, Egypt, and
Board of METRUL Bucharest and President of           First VP of CODATU
the Romanian Committee of CODATU (Cooper-
ation for Urban Mobility in the Developing World),   Pierre Laconte, Honorary Secretary General,
Romania                                              International Association of Public Transport,
                                                     Belgium, and President, International Society
Ali S. Huzayyin, Professor of Transport and          of City and Regional Planners
Traffic Planning and Engineering, Faculty of
Engineering, Cairo University, and Director of       Henning Lauridsen, Chief Research Engineer,
the Development Research & Technological             Institute of Transport Economics, Norway




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