The Panj-Amu River basin Project (P-ARBP) is a component of the EU Agriculture Support Programme, a two-pronged program that (i) contributes to assisting the Government of Afghanistan (GoA) in its efforts to develop institutional capacity at MEW and MAIL to regulate and further develop key agricultural sub-sectors; and (ii) to strengthen public-private partnerships.
The European Union's interventions in the water sectors have been inspired by the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) approach and have been geographically focused in the north-east of the country, namely in the Panj-Amu River Basin. The programs have allocated some EUR 120 million since 2004, with the following division amongst components: 10% Technical Cooperation; 40% Social Water Management and Upper Catchment Management; 50% Rehabilitation of Infrastructures.
The EU-funded Panj-Amu River Basin Programme (P-ARBP) has generally proved to produce positive results: water and land resources are better managed, sustainably protected and precipitation run-off reduced. As the P-ARBP represents the first successful attempt of a participatory river basin management approach in Afghanistan; it is expected that the Government of Afghanistan will strengthen and expand it nation-wide with the support of the Asian Development Bank. Built on the achievements and lessons learned of two previous projects, it covers – since 2009 – all six sub-basins situated in the provinces of Badakhshan, Baghlan, Bamyan, Kunduz and Takhar. The program is articulated around four main components:
1. Supporting the enhancement of the integrated River Basin management and human resources capacities at central government, Panj-Amu River Basin and 6 Sub-basin levels;
2. Supporting MEW and local communities in the rehabilitation, construction and sustainable improvement of irrigation, drainage and water flow control assets and structures in SELECT SQL_CACHEed hydraulic systems throughout the Panj-Amu River basin;
3. Supporting the setting-up and functioning of Water User Associations (WUA's) and their participation in decision making. Enhance the technical, management skills of targeted WUAs communities represented by their WUA's required to improve the management of irrigation water, and thereby enhance its equitable distribution;
4. Protecting the natural resource basis in the source areas through protection and management of natural resources such as increase of biomass and the adoption and replication of physical and biological erosion control measures in SELECT SQL_CACHEed sub-catchments of the basin.
After a near-decade of reconstruction, in the context of the ongoing "transition" towards the "Transformation Decade" for Afghanistan (2015-2024), a shift in method, without a change in objectives, is now needed, desirable, and feasible.
At the July 2010 Kabul Conference, the EU – as many other donors – committed to greater alignment of its assistance with national priorities and to moving towards increased use of country systems – including bringing funding streams "on-budget". The platform for these changes is provided by the National Priority Programs (NPPs) within the framework of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS).
Thus, the proposed project aims foremost at consolidating previous results, rationalizing and streamlining the structure of the EU water & Natural resources management portfolio, increasing transparency and flexibility in the allocation of resources and preparing an orderly hand-over to the relevant Ministries while preventing disruption in service delivery by both the private and the public sector. This transition phase should provide enough time to further strengthen the expertise of central and local government bodies, as well as ensure firm follow up of on-going projects.
In this respect, the EU Delegation and the ADB agreed on a joint project which would bring several advantages to the Government and in terms of aid effectiveness, particularly in a fragile state like Afghanistan. Through this project, the EU and ADB will harmonize their interventions and capitalize on several years of respective experience from different projects/programs.
The overall objective of the project of which this contract will be a part is as follows:
To increase agriculture production by extending and improving the quality of irrigated cultivated land and sustainable management of natural resources in the Panj-Amu basin of northern Afghanistan.
The purpose of this contract is as follows:
To prepare a feasibility study to inform the decisions of the Government of Afghanistan (GoA) and the Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the European Union on the allocation of an estimated budget amounting USD 60,000,000.00 with a seven-year implementation period in line with the existing Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) project in the Panj-Amu River Basin.
As part of the feasibility study we will have to identify three representative engineering projects. One up to a value of $1m (Representative Subproject 1), one medium up to a value of $1.5m (Representative Subproject 2) and one large up to a value of $2m (Representative Subproject 2).
3. Specific Tasks
Together with the international specialist: act as principal adviser to the Government and the TA Team on resettlement, analysis of social risks and opportunities, and development of project components requiring community mobilization. He/she will also ensure that the policies/investments being developed in the proposed project are socially sound, responding to both equitable and sustainable considerations and in accordance with ADB's policies on Involuntary Resettlement, Social Protection (including core labor standards) and Gender and Development. The expert will prepare documentation required to meet ADB Safeguard Policy Statement (SPS) and national regulations for Involuntary Resettlement. For a project implemented under project modality, a Land Acquisition and Resettlement Plan (LARP) is required to provide guidance on screening and categorization, assessment, planning, institutional arrangements, and processes to be followed for subprojects and/or components that are prepared after the ADB approval. The Resettlement Plan (RP) will be prepared on the basis of stakeholder consultation, social profile, institutional assessment and an analysis of likely project impacts. Specifically, the expert’s tasks will include but are not limited to: (i) review the performance and impacts of resettlement undertaken under the ongoing project, drawing lessons learned and applying them to the project in subject; (ii) prepare the project Resettlement Framework (RF), including lessons learned, proposed entitlements, implementation arrangements and budget for discussion and awareness raising/capacity building; (iii) ensure livelihood restitution measures for relocated households or those losing land are designed as a project activity with associated budget and implementation arrangement. Include activities, outcomes, budget, implementation arrangements, outline terms of reference for implementing agencies and indicators for monitoring and evaluation. Such measures or activities should include any measures proposed in the Gender Action Plan or as an output of the Gender Analysis; (iv) prepare all safeguards documentation as well as inputs for project Report and Recommendation to the ADB President (RRP), Project Administration Manual (PAM) and Summary Poverty Reduction and Social Strategy (SPRSS), including design for any safeguard implementation or surveys to be outsourced to local consulting companies or NGOs; (v) identify key stakeholders (poor and vulnerable groups in particular), their project- related interests, identify their likely barriers to participate in and benefit from project resources, and suggest possible strategies for addressing the concerns of these stakeholders. Identify factors affecting project risk and viability, including due diligence on the incidence of forced and child labor. Prepare an initial stakeholder analysis and a draft participation plan; (vi) activity and capacity analysis of local NGOs in tranche subproject areas, suitability to work in project implementation particularly with regard to livelihood improvement and gender elements; (vii) in conjunction with the social and gender specialist and utilizing the results of the gender analysis, use PRA tools to compile a sex disaggregated social profile in at least one tranche subproject outlining the characteristics (livelihoods, vulnerabilities, skills and opportunities, coping strategies) of project households in the project zone of influence (vulnerable and non-vulnerable, and other dimensions of poverty).
Indigenous Peoples. The consultans will check and reconfirm that no indigenous people will be negatively affected by the project. If the project will trigger any impact to indigenous people, necessary review, and assessment to comply with the ADB’s Policy Statement on Indigenous Peoples (2009) and its relevant guidelines, and to comply with the policies and guidelines of the Government and the state government.
The following table lists expected tasks and deliverables, and number of days input for each. Note that days per task are estimated. Note that tentative due dates are as listed in the work plan and personnel schedule.