Laos: Design and Supervision of CBC Sub-Component Lao PDR Education Development Project II

Assignment name: Supervision of CBC Sub-Component Lao PDR Education Development Project II
Project Value: USD 130,775 to date
Country: Lao PDR
Location in country: Vientiane, Attapeu, Houaphanh, Luangnamtha, Oudomxay, Phongsaly, Xekong
Name of Client: World Bank
Date: Jan 2003 – Ongoing

Narrative description of Project:

The Lao PDR Second Education Development Project’s overall aim is to contribute to the achievement of universal completion of primary education. Its specific objective is to increase primary school access, enrolment and completion in the country’s 19 poorest districts within the six poorest provinces. The Project has three components. Component One aimed to increase access and completion of primary education by financing: Community-Based Contracting (CBC) for classroom construction; A community grants for schooling program to lower the cost of education for communities; and In-service teacher training. This Project is Lao PDR’s first experience with CBC.

Component One was implemented through a decentralized structure, involving Implementation Units within the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) central, provincial and district offices, and representative Village Development Committees in some 400 villages. The CBC Sub-Component had its own Implementation Unit (IU) in the MoE’s central office. In addition, each of the targeted provinces and districts had an IU responsible at the relevant level for the three sub-components combined. Villages were selected using field-based school mapping process and schools were scoped using simple school-sizing rules. Villages were then contracted to undertake their own school construction, to a specified design, quality specification and price. The Project Management Unit provided training and regular engineering inspections.

After the first year, the Project produced schools at a rate greater than the planned target. The 2007 Mid-Term review found the resultant school construction costs were lower than any other internationally funded school construction projects to date.

Description of actual services:

 

Consulted with senior Ministry of Education staff on the structure and purpose of CBC, and how it could be incorporated into the project; Conducted joint feasibility assessments to selected provinces, for discussions with provincial and district government officers; Supervised the preparation of the Project’s CBC Operating Manual; Participated in the PID preparation; Developed the Project Management Arrangements; Carried out periodic supervision visits during implementation; and Adjusted the Component budget and direction at Mid-Term Review.