Tunisia - Water Supply and Sewerage Project : Republique Tunisienne - Projet d'Eau Potable et d'Assainissement (Французский)
Project outcome is rated satisfactory, with project sustainability likely. The overall performance of both the World Bank and the Borrower are rated satisfactory. A key factor of the project success in improving overall sector performance and in achieving... Подробнее +
Project outcome is rated satisfactory, with project sustainability likely. The overall performance of both the World Bank and the Borrower are rated satisfactory. A key factor of the project success in improving overall sector performance and in achieving such ambitious development objectives resides in ONAS (Office National d'Assainissement) and SONEDE's (Societe Nationale d'Exploitation et de Distribution des Eaux) strong institutional capacity. The absence of isolated project implementation units exclusively created for the purpose of the project allowed a large impact on these entities' staff and procedures from the institutional strengthening intrinsically associated to project dialogue. This positive aspect required however extra effort from Bank teams, who had to interact with several departments and units within each entity. Other lessons can be learned from this project implementation experience, namely the following: The deterioration of ONAS' financial situation shows that the Tunisian model in the water supply and sewerage sector is under strain and that further and faster reforms may be required to preserve the achievements of the past and face the challenges of the future. The Bank was not forceful enough during the early years of sewerage tariff freeze in raising awareness with the Government and ONAS on the predictable negative impacts of the absence of sewerage tariff adjustments over a long period. This issue should have been raised earlier to Ministerial or Government level. It should be noted that ONAS and SONEDE's past good performance, as reflected in many of today's performance indicators, also made it hard for the Bank to justify the need or to promote more ambitious or comprehensive sector reforms. Tunisia's gradualist approach to its macroeconomic and development policy agenda has generally maintained stability and brought about steady quality of life improvements. Sector policy dialogue and reform proposals need accordingly to be well adapted to this context, and be very respectful of local circumstances. Adding a policy reform component at the ministerial level to the original project could have helped in accelerating sector analysis and in introducing adequate reforms. SONEDE is still reluctant to hire consultants and contract out operations more broadly. The completion report of the Seventh Water Supply Project, dated August 1994, already mentioned that the long and successful dialogue with SONEDE had made the Bank staff too flexible and lenient towards this reluctance. These two actions could however help SONEDE make considerable cost savings as it could strengthen its technical capacity. Lessons should be drawn from the rural sanitation pilot project undertaken by ONAS. ONAS should establish, in close cooperation with the Government, a clear institutional and financial framework to ensure the sustainability of any rural sanitation investments. Finalizing technical studies before project effectiveness is critical in order to avoid delays in works and project implementation. Combining two different components to be implemented by two separate entities (SONEDE and ONAS) under a single loan (No. 3782) and a shared special account brought about numerous practical complications and difficulties in proper accounting of disbursements, and allocation of loan proceeds among the two implementing agencies, and it should be avoided in the future.
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