28 Project Management Arrangements

From Blue Gold Program Wiki

Introduction[edit | edit source]

This section of the report aims to set out the arrangements for implementing the Blue Gold Program, covering a range of issues:

28 project management formal agreements, project committees, review missions, coordination meetings, progress reports and work plans
29 technical assistance TA contractual arrangements and services
30 evolution of the TA organisation organisational arrangements from program document to redrafted theory of change, decentralisation, exit strategy
31 capacity building large-scale capacity building, the move to customised training, refocused TA FFSs, vocational training
32 agricultural extension methods and communication approaches and instruments
33 horizontal learning farmer-to-farmer learning and its evolution
34 monitoring and evaluation Baseline and endline surveys, WMG surveys, DAE data, remote sensed imagery, WMG tracker
35 management information system polder dashboard and post-project data management, trend watcher
36 environmental due diligence environmental impact assessments and modalities

Whilst the technical content of these subjects is covered elsewhere in the report, the purpose of this section is to set out the managerial and organisational arrangements for delivering the project.

Implementing Modalities[edit | edit source]

The Administrative Arrangement signed on 20th February 2013 between the Minster for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation for the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Economic Relations Division (ERD) for the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) sets out the broad arrangements for the implementation of the Blue Gold Program. The following amendments were agreed:

11 Feb 2014 First Amendment to Administrative Arrangement
29 Dec 2016 Second Amendment to Administrative Arrangement (extend to 31 Dec 2020, increase financial contributions to BWDB (to €27.32 million) and DAE (to € 1.495 million)
21 Oct 2020 Third Amendment to Administrative Arrangement (extend to 31 Dec 2021, no payments after 30 Jun 2021, final reports by 31 Mar 2022)

A further Arrangement (known as the ‘Contribution Arrangement’) - signed on 4th December 2013 by the same two parties - expands on the Administrative Arrangement to provide specific start and end dates, responsibilities of BWDB and DAE, details of arrangements for transfers of funds by instalments, requirements for progress and financial reports, final reports, and annual audit reports, arrangements for evaluations of the program. The following amendments were agreed:

11 Feb 2014 First Amendment to Contribution Arrangement
29 Dec 2016 Second Amendment to Contribution Arrangement

Under both of these Arrangements, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) represents the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  And grant funds are contributed by EKN for administration by BWDB, DAE and a technical assistance (TA) team through direct contracting with EKN. Also through TA funding, support is provided to the activities of the Department of Cooperatives (DoC), Department of Fisheries (DoF) and Department of Livestock Services (DLS).

With respect to the GoB implementing organisations, separate Development Project Proposals (DPPs) for BWDB and DAE set out the aims and objectives of the project, its financial and physical scope, intended objectives and benefits, and proposals for monitoring and internal and external audits.

Working arrangements between BWDB and the Department of Livestock Services (DLS) and Department of Fisheries (DoF) were set out in Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs). Both DLS and DoF come under the administration of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.

The Department of Cooperatives (DoC), under the Rural Development and Cooperatives (RDC) Division of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (MoLGRDC), was an early partner in the formation and registration of water management groups (WMGs). After the publication of the Participatory Water Management Rules (PWMR) of 2014, BWDB was mandated to form and register WMGs, and the arrangement with DoC was discontinued.

The collaboration between MoWR and MoA has been an important ingredient for success, communicating that the overall focus is on increasing agricultural production and empowering WMGs to be the main drivers of development, rather than on the traditional focus on infrastructure alone. But increased agricultural production is only possible when improved infrastructure provides safety from flooding to all polder communities and the main framework for water management to control waterlogging; and only then are farmers prepared to invest in high value crops and higher cropping intensities. Thus, infrastructure and agriculture are inextricably linked and co-dependent.

Although there was no formal agreement in place, the collaboration between the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) and Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) has been a well understood critical relationship, fostered by a close BWDB/DAE partnerships at District level, and the attendance of BWDB representatives at DAE steering committee meetings and other workshops and conferences.

Local Government Institutions (LGIs) were not formally included in either of the BWDB or DAE DPPs, but – as will have been seen from Section D of this report – it will be important to do so in the future.

Development Project Proformas (DPPs)[edit | edit source]

Through the DPP, GoB organisations set out their intentions to invest in a development project, seeking approval for the investment and, if successful, a budget allocation. The DPP follows a prescribed format, including the project’s financial and physical scope, benefits, and proposals for monitoring and internal and external audits. The approval of a development project proposal follows a number of stages:  

  • Formation:  a project often starts with preliminary studies of its desirability in terms of national needs, with likely costs and benefits
  • Formulation:  the project scope is developed in greater detail and supported by economic studies so that decision-making bodies can evaluate and then approve, postpone or reject the project.
  • Scrutiny:  executing agencies and concerned ministries scrutinize the DPP, and when convinced that the case is well-argued, submit the DPP to the Planning Commission
  • Appraisal: Sector Divisions of the Planning Commission appraise the DPP
  • Recommendation for Approval: If appraisal is successful, a Project Evaluation Committee (PEC) meets to review the DPP and, if positive to recommend it for approval
  • Minister/ECNEC Approval: Approval of the DPP is made by the Minister for Planning (up to BDT 50 crore, equivalent to €5 million) or the ECNEC (over BDT 50 crore)
  • Inclusion in Annual Development Plan (ADP): When approved, a budgetary allocation for the project is made through the departmental annual work plans and budgets, centralised in the Annual Development Plan.

BWDB DPP and Revisions[edit | edit source]

The BWDB Development Project Proposal (DPP) for Blue Gold was prepared in November 2012, recast in March and May 2013 and formally approved in the ECNEC meeting of 30th July 2013. Table 11.1 sets out the budget heads for investments from the original DPP approved on 30th July 2013, the Revised Development Project Proposal (RDPP) approved on 21st June 2018 and the re-adjusted budget heads approved on 1st September 2020.

BWDB RDPP First Revision (June 2018)[edit | edit source]

The process for revising the DPP started in September 2016, when EKN confirmed to DG BWDB their interest in overcoming the shortfall in the DPP budget, by adding to their funding for Blue Gold. In turn, on 27th October 2016, a letter was sent by the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) to the External Relations Division (ERD) asking them to process EKN’s offer.  The RDPP was finally approved at a meeting of ECNEC 21st June 2018.  The ECNEC approval took 20 months from the MoWR letter dated 27th October 2016 notifying ERD of the additional funding offered by EKN.  

BWDB RDPP Extension and Re-Adjustment (September 2020)[edit | edit source]

On 3rd December 2019, a meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee (IMSC) agreed that the project should be extended to end-December 2021 to allow for an additional full construction season in 2020/21 and to allow the subsequent processing of final payments to contractors, and also authorised a no-cost re-adjustment between budget heads to maximise the project impact. The readjusted budget and supporting papers were submitted by DG BWDB to MoWR in February 2020, and finally approved by Minister MoWR on 1st September 2020.

DAE DPP and Revision (October 2018)[edit | edit source]

The DAE DPP for Blue Gold was prepared in November 2012 and recast in May 2013. The DPP was revised to incorporate the additional funds provided by EKN and to extend the period to end-December 2020. The DAE RDPP was approved by the Pre-ECNEC Committee (PEC) meeting in the Planning Commission on 16th October 2018.

Project Meetings[edit | edit source]

There was no single committee which provided joint coordination of all project activities. However, steering committees and project management committees (PMCs) were established in BWDB and DAE.

Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee (BWDB Component)[edit | edit source]

As per the provisions of the Development Project Proposal (DPP), the MoWR constituted an Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee on the Blue Gold Program (BWDB Component) with the following officials:

Chair - Secretary MoWR

Member Secretary - Project Coordinating Director Blue Gold Program

Members include representatives from MoWR, MoA, MFLS, ECNEC Planning Commission, ERD, IMED, BWDB, DAE, with EKN and TA as observers.

Inter-Ministerial Project Steering Committee (DAE Component)[edit | edit source]

The DPP sets out the membership of the PSC as follows:

Chair - Secretary MoA

Member Secretary - Project Director Blue Gold Program

Members include DG DAE, Joint Chief and Deputy Chief Planning MoA, and representatives from Ministry of Finance, MoWR, IMED, ERD, Planning Commission (Crop Wing), and Additional Director Planning and Evaluation Wing DAE.

Project Management Committees[edit | edit source]

BWDB Project Management Committee[edit | edit source]

As per the provisions of the Development Project Proposal (DPP), a Project Management Committee as the central decision-making body for the implementation of the Blue Gold Program (BWDB Component). The following officials were appointed:

Chair - Project Coordinating Director Blue Gold Program

Member Secretary – TA Team Leader Blue Gold Program

Members include representatives from MoWR, Planning Commission (Irrigation Wing), IMED, DAE, DoF, DLS, DoC, and Executive Engineer DP-3.

DAE Project Management Committee Technology Transfer for Agricultural Production (TTAP)[edit | edit source]

The DAE DPP sets out the membership of the PMC as follows:

Chair – Director General DAE

Member Secretary - Project Director Blue Gold Program

Members include Director Field Services DAE, MoA, and representatives from IMED, Planning Commission (Crop Wing), Additional Director Planning and Evaluation Wing DAE, Additional Director Barisal Region DAE, Additional Director Jessore Region DAE, Assistant Director Finance DAE, and M&E Officer Blue Gold Program.

Coordination Meetings[edit | edit source]

From 2016 onwards - although not officially mandated - informal project coordination meetings were held regularly between project-level representatives of the main implementing agencies: EKN, BWDB, DAE and TA team. These provided an excellent forum for discussing progress, identifying constraints to implementation, and suggested mitigating actions.

Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs)[edit | edit source]

Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between BWDB and the Department of Livestock Services on 30th April 2014, and between BWDB and the Department of Fisheries on 25th November 2014. These MoUs set out the scope for collaboration and mandated the appointment of a focal point in each organisation to coordinate activities with Blue Gold.

Review Missions[edit | edit source]

Five review missions took place over the eight-year lifetime of the project. The broad objective of each of the missions was to secure and where possible further enhance the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of the project. The third mission was designated as a mid-term review mission and resulted in a significant revision to the TA budget.

ARM 2014 23 August to 4 September 2014
ARM 2015 27 September to 12 October 2015
MTR 2016 18 to 29 September 2016
ARM 2017 24 November to 4 December 2017
ARM 2018 9 to 19 November 2018
ARM: Annual Review Mission

MTR: Mid-Term Review Mission

Given that the project was due to end in December 2020, and that the main focus in 2019 would be on arrangements for the completion of water management infrastructure, a single-focus review was planned after the results of the 2018/19 construction season were available. After internal discussions with BWDB, EKN agreed with BWDB that planning for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons would be better served by engaging BWDB and TA teams in setting ambitious targets aiming to complete as much infrastructure as possible by the revised end of construction at end-June 2021.

Copies of the Aide Memoires of the five missions are available in the File Library, along with three collections of position papers prepared by the TA team for MTR 2016, ARM 2017 and ARM 2018.

Annual Work Plans[edit | edit source]

Annual Work Plans (AWPs) set out the activities planned for the year ahead and the associated budget requirements. The first two AWPs covered the calendar years 2014 and 2015. So that the documents could be aligned with the Government of Bangladesh planning cycle, AWPs were reformulated to cover the Financial Year (July to June) from July 2015. AWPs were prepared and submitted to EKN: 2014 (24 June 2014); 2015 (24 December 2014); 2015/16 (14 July 2015); 2016/17 (30 September 2016); 2017/18 (15 June 2017); 2018/19 (1 August 2018); 2019/20 (10 July 2019) and 2020/21 (18 September 2020).

Polder Development Plans[edit | edit source]

Polder Development Plans (PDPs) present an integrated analysis and planning for a specific polder covering community mobilization, water management, agriculture, business development, environment, gender and institutions. PDPs for all 22 polders are available through the File Library (keyword PDP).

Progress Reports[edit | edit source]

Progress reports were prepared by all three implementing organisations. For the TA team, the first progress report covered the six-month period from April to September 2013. Thereafter, from October 2013 to June 2015, quarterly progress reports were prepared by the TA team. At the request of EKN, half yearly progress reports covering the GoB financial year (July to June) commenced from July 2015 and continued throughout the remaining life of the project. TA Progress Reports are available in the File Library (keyword PR).

See more[edit | edit source]

Previous chapter:
Chapter 27: Sustainability
Blue Gold Lessons Learnt Wiki
Section G: Project Management
Next chapter:
Chapter 29: Technical Assistance: Context, Scope, Contractual Arrangements and External Service Contracts

Section G: Project Management
Chapter 28: Project Management Arrangements Chapter 29: Technical Assistance: Context, Scope, Contractual Arrangements and External Service Contracts Chapter 30: Evolution of TA Organisational Arrangements organisation
  1. Introduction
  2. Implementing Modalities
  3. Development Project Proformas (DPPs)
  4. Project Meetings
  5. Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs)
  6. Review Missions
  7. Annual Work Plans
  8. Polder Development Plans
  9. Progress Reports
  1. Context and Scope
  2. Contractual Arrangements
  3. TA Service Contracts
  1. Scope
  2. Scope of Technical Assistance in the Program Document
  3. Early Arrangements for the TA Organisation
  4. Evolution of TA Organisation
  5. Theory of Change: the emergence of practical approach to PWM
Chapter 31: Capacity Building Chapter 32: Agricultural Extension Methods and Communication Chapter 33: Horizontal learning
  1. Capacity Building Programs
  2. International Exposure
  3. Refocused Training
  4. Refocused TA FFS
  5. Vocational Education Training
  1. Communication aimed at beneficiaries
  2. Communication aimed at organisations
  1. Horizontal Learning – the approach in BGP
  2. Horizontal Learning – An assessment of BGP’s experience
Chapter 34: Monitoring and evaluation Chapter 35: Management Information System Chapter 36: Environmental Due Diligence
  1. M&E Objectives
  2. Approach to the Participatory Water Management Project Monitoring and Evaluation Framework
  3. Key elements in the Project’s M&E Framework
  4. Impact assessment/Endline survey 2020
  5. Independence of M&E Reporting
  1. Background
  2. Establishing a WMG Tracker
  3. Management Information System (MIS)
  4. MIS Design and Development
  5. MIS Results Reporting
  6. WMG Tracker Closure
  7. Polder Dashboard
  8. Polder "Health Checks"
  9. Participatory Monitoring
  10. Post-Project Monitoring
  11. Self-assessment of WMG performance
  1. Objectives of the EIA Study
  2. Overview of EIA arrangement and consideration
  3. The modalities for carrying out the EIAs
  4. Alternative future modality
Blue Gold Wiki
Executive summary: A Call for Action
Section A: Background and context Section B: Development Outcomes Section C: Water Infrastructure


Summary and Introduction


Section D: BGP Interventions: Participatory Water Management Section E: Agricultural Development Section F: Responsible Development: Inclusion and Sustainability




Section G: Project Management Section H: Innovation Fund Files and others