Country Team meeting held on day 3 of the workshop.
Present: Nigel Brett, Hashib Alam, Niaz Apu, Sheikh Mohsin, Jebun Naher, Khalil Rahman, Fazlul Kader, Abdur Razzaque, Shankar Kutty, Chase Palmeri, Mel Posadas.
Minutes as follows.
PSSWDP: Appraisal of PSSWDP in March 2009, EB presentation in September 2009. Effectiveness in early 2010.
New projects: 3 concepts for future projects currently under review by IFAD. Most likely that an inception will take place in May 2009 for an integrated coastal zone project in partnership with Netherlands.
Direct supervision of MFTSP (Oct), MFMSFP (Oct), FEDEC (Nov), SCBRMP (Jan), MIDPCR (March).
World Bank supervision of NATP (Jan).
Main supervision agenda for 2009 - improvement in financial management and procurement, KM and impact.
3. C0untry Grants
New IFAD country grants to Bangladesh include a grant to research arsenic contamination in crops and livestock, and a grant to research saline tolerance in rice in coastal areas to mitigate for climate change. Both grants will have a start-up workshop in 2009 and are being managed by IRRI Dhaka Office.
4. IFAD President visit:
Possibility of a visit by IFAD's new President to Bangladesh in 2009. Such a visit is not yet confirmed, but if it goes ahead it could include field visits to see microfinance groups and mini hatcheries in MFTSP, or microfinance for farmers in MFMSFP. Other possibilities could be LCS groups in MIDPCR, or fishing groups in SCBRMP.
5. KM agenda in 2009
Apu is now in-country KM facilitator.
Monthly KM meetings for country programme network, chaired by Apu.
6 monthly portfolio review meetings chaired by CPM.
Maintenance of BD page on IFAD poverty portal.
2 six monthly newsletters.
2 bangla editions of the newsletter.
Identification of agenda for documentation by projects through supervision missions.
ENRAP follow-up events - possibly refresher write-shop.
6. Procurement agenda in 2009.
Major improvements are needed in procurement management in the country programme. Activities that will be supported include:
- training of project staff in procurement by Sudhir (focus on FEDEC, SCBRMP)
- training of project staff and also district level staff in procurement by Amar Mishra and/or Sudhir (focus on MIDPCR).
- specific training in community procurement and waterbody development procurement is needed in SCBRMP.
- big increase in lead time for procurement - IFAD will be alerted at least 3 months in advance of any prior review - to avoid last minute rushes and delays.
- any corrections in data sheets that are not recorded in opening sheets will be automatically be re-tendered.
- in the case of MIDPCR, Amar will review the documents in-country for all cases of IFAD prior review(as opposed to sending full sets to IFAD) in view of the huge bulk of documentation involved. Amar should review financial capacity, technical capability, past experience for responsive bids. Amar will then inform Shankar of the outcome of the reviews. The only docs that are sent to IFAD in these cases are the 5 page evaluations.
- However for any case of over USD 100,000 all docs should to be sent to Shankar in IFAD for all phases of procurement review.
- LGED will send a letter to IFAD outlining the process of procurement at district level and pointing out that only the top 3 responsive bids are sent from the District to LGED HQ.
- In SCBRMP, in cases where there are discrepencies between IFAD and GOB procurement guidelines, the project should follow IFAD guidelines.
- In the case of SCBRMP - advance payment of LCS women is ok.
- In the case of SCBRMP - while any splitting of lots for roads is in line with the Govt guidelines under certain circumstances, IFAD require expanations from the PD for all these cases.
- In SCBRMP, it was explained that in remote areas, only 5 contractors are present, and that this automatically leads to the same companies bidding for the large number of roads that are financed.
- IFAD will not approve any cases where works begin before contracts are signed.
7. Other training needs in 2009
- TOT training by Dewan Alamgir is needed for FEDEC - 3 batches in 2009.
- Refresher results based AWPB training is needed - Maria Donnat will be approached to see if this is feasible.
- IFAD format for results based AWPB will be provided to the new PD of NATP.
8. IT support in 2009
- Software adaptation for Dhan Foundation for SCBRMP.
- FM software adaptation for MIDPCR