ADB Faster Project Implementation Week Concludes in Bangladesh

Asian Development Bank (ADB) organized “Faster Project Implementation Week 2019” at the Pan pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka and BRAC-CDM, Rajendrapur on 22-25 September to catalyze faster and quality implementation of development projects for delivering optimum benefits to the target stakeholders.

The Faster Project Implementation Week 2019, with the theme of “Delivering Faster and Better Development Outcomes”, focused on collaborative learning and sharing of knowledge on development projects through interactive workshop sessions for government officials involved in development activities.

Mr. Md. Tazul Islam, Minister of Local Government opened the Week at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel on 22 September as chief guest. Mr. Manmohan Parkash, Country Director, Bangladesh Resident Mission, ADB; Jeffrey Taylor, Director for ADB’s Portfolio and Financial Management Department and Ms. Farida Nasreen, Additional Secretary, Economic Relations Division were special guests at the opening session. At the closing ceremony on the first day of the event, Minister of Agriculture Mr. Muhammad Abdur Razzaque was the chief guest, while Alvaro Salas, Ambassador of Spain to Bangladesh and Hitoshi Hirata, Chief Representative, Bangladesh Office, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) were special guests.

Over 200 government project directors, project staff, development experts, and representatives of consultants and contractors attended the event. As part of the Week on 24-25 September, participants also discussed the details of how to further improve procurement processes and contract management at the BRAC-CDM, Rajendrapur.

Complimenting the Government on achieving significant successes in the last 10 years, Country Director Mr. Manmohan Parkash noted that faster and better-quality project implementation could further accelerate the pace of development and spread benefits more equitably. Mr. Parkash highlighted three pillars of faster project implementation: efficient procurement, sound contract management, and good governance.

“Faster project implementation is key to effective and efficient development,” said Country Director Mr. Manmohan Parkash. “Completing projects faster helps people benefit early.” “The learning of this Week can be applied to all projects, including ADB-assisted projects,” he added.

Mr. Parkash called for further reforms including delegation of authority together with higher accountability to operational staff to expedite procurement processes. He also highlighted ADB’s new procurement policy that adopts principle and risk-based approaches, and includes Quality and Value for Money, in addition to Economy, Fairness, Efficiency, and Transparency as the new principles of procurement. Under contract management, three fundamental aspects– quality control, time control, and price control were indicated as requirements to successful contract management in procurement, bidding, and project implementation phases. Country Director Mr. Parkash also underscored the need to ensure good governance by conducting proper due diligence, and mitigating fraud, corruption, collusion, and coercion in procurement and contract implementation to achieve better development outcomes.

ADB and the Bangladesh have a long and enduring partnership of over 46 years. Bangladesh is the second largest portfolio in ADB, comprising 54 projects under implementation with a current portfolio of over $10 billion. In the last five years, volume of ADB operations in Bangladesh tripled. In 2018, ADB approved highest level of support of $4.8 billion to Bangladesh, with eight sovereign projects totaling $2.2 billion in loans and grants, $16.5 million in technical assistance, and $2.6 billion mobilized in cofinancing.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region. Press release from ADB