The Asian Development Bank (ADB) intended to support the Bangladesh government’s plan for post-pandemic socio-economic recovery by “expediting project implementation and quick delivery of development results” to the people, Country Director Manmohan Parkash said on Wednesday.
He was co-chairing at a tripartite portfolio review meeting (TPRM) with Secretary for Economic Relations Division Fatima Yasmin.
“We need a problem-solving attitude, creativity, active learning, renewed commitment and new technologies to overcome the pandemic-induced challenges and accelerate project implementation,” he said.
“We have agreed on a special set of actions to ensure the highest standards of health and safety protocol to mitigate COVID-19 risks in project implementation”.
Around 250 senior government officials, project directors, and ADB staff participated in the first such review meeting in 2020, discussing overall portfolio status and prioritised actions to achieve development results timely.
They agreed on specific and time-bound actions to further accelerate implementation of ADB-assisted projects.
The special actions for improving project performance include expediting approval process of large contracts, expediting payment of mobilization advance for large contracts, strengthening health safety guidelines implementation, and providing virtual training to the project staff and beneficiaries.
Procurement, quality of contractors and consultants, financial management, contract management, land acquisition and resettlement, project design, and DPP/TPP approval/revision are common challenges in improving project implementation.
ADB’s current portfolio has 49 projects with around $11 billion under its sovereign portfolio.
It focuses its cooperation in Bangladesh in six sectors—energy; transport; water and urban/municipal infrastructure and services; education; finance; and agriculture, natural resources, and rural development.
ADB’s cumulative lending to Bangladesh stands at around $26 billion.