PHASING OF THE PROGRAMME
The complete set of tasks identified in the previous chapter represents a medium-term process taking several years. It is proposed that the Programme should begin with a Phase 1, lasting about 30 months, followed by other activities in later phases. The tasks for those later phases cannot be described or costed in any detail now because their extent and details will depend on, and be guided by, the outputs of the Phase 1 work. Phase 2 would only need to be defined and funded during the closing months of Phase 1.
Figure 7.1, illustrates the proposals in the form of a time-scaled flowchart, taking the same form as the simpler ones in Figures 6.1 and 6.2 but showing the months and phases. The Phase 1 flowchart shows the start of Phase 2; although, this phase's length is yet to be determined. The ongoing activities are shown as being open-ended on the right-hand side of the chart. Some of the tasks that continue after Phase 1 have been subdivided, for instance Task K1 is shown as Task K1a during Phase 1, and as Task K1b when it continues thereafter. This is done for the sake of clarity in defining and costing the tasks in Phase 1.
The two productive parts of the Programme, the knowledge management in Part K and the uptake promotion in Part U, this flowchart is shown together with programme supervision and management activities. This programme management part includes monitoring and evaluation (M&E), to ensure that the Programme achieves its objectives and to facilitate improvement over time.
Many of the Programme's outputs will be produced in instalments, or in preliminary versions, which will be revised or updated later. This is explicit in Figure 7.1 for Task K4a, but also applies to other tasks. In particular, the databases of Tasks K1 and K2 will first be set up in preliminary form, with whatever information can be gathered by about month 8, to enable Tasks K3 and K4 to proceed without undue delay. It will then be progressively updated and improved throughout Phase 1 and beyond.
The consistently improving databases will be used by other tasks. Ultimately it will be constantly used by the uptake promotion in Task U3. The K1 database will be improved by gathering data from many countries and regions within West Africa. The technology database of Task K2 will be updated with new data from makers of water-lifting devices around the world and from about month 14 onwards, with mutually comparable test results from the Programme's own Tasks K5 and K6. This process of gradual improvement of information bases, at the same time as they are being used, requires careful handling. This is the core of the compromise solution to the timing problem discussed under Recommended interventions for this Programme above.
Details of the proposed timing and schedules are under Implementation schedule, below, and Annex B. As indicated in Figure 7.1, there is an initial period of five months for setting up the supervision and management arrangements. Then the main investigative tasks K1a, K2a, U1 and U2 are commenced within the next two months, closely followed by the tasks that use their outputs (K3a, K4a and U3a). The supporting tasks follow according to their functions, with K5 starting early because of the critical path via K6 to K2a's definitive database of water-lifting devices. The arrows on the flowchart indicate how and, roughly, when the information will flow between tasks. However, interactions between tasks are so many they cannot all be shown on one diagram. More details of interdependencies are shown in the bar charts of Annex B, and in the list of tasks in the section on recommended interventions. Again, as in Figure 6.2, the importance of the uptake promotion task, U3a, is highlighted by the fact that all the information flow paths ultimately lead to it.
FIGURE 7.1 Time-scaled flow chart for the proposed Programme
ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE PROGRAMME
It is proposed that the detailed setting-up and month-to-month management of the Programme should be entrusted to a Programme Management Team, and that the entire process should be supervised on IFAD's behalf by IPTRID as the Programme Supervisor. IPTRID is ready to take on the role of Programme Supervisor. Figure 7.2 shows the structure of the proposed arrangement for Phase 1; for subsequent phases it could remain the same if found satisfactory, or could change. As the diagram indicates, the Programme Supervisor (IPTRID) is supported by a Steering Committee, and the Programme Management Team is supported by a Panel of Experts. The main links between the parties are those shown in the diagram as denoting the flow of finance and responsibility. There are also links that only denote liaison. The proposed roles of the various actors can be summarized as follows. More details are in Annex C and the points below:
IFAD shall appoint IPTRID as the Programme Supervisor and fund all or most of Phase 1;
IPTRID as the Programme Supervisor (Task M1), will appoint and pay the Programme Management Team, supervise the entire Programme, deal with any major policy issues arising, publicize the outputs, and plan Phase 2; the
Steering Committee will advise IPTRID of its role as Programme Supervisor at a strategic level; the
Programme Management Team will manage the Programme (Task M2), appoint and pay the research contractors, pass on outputs to IPTRID as the Programme Supervisor and others, undertake M&E (Task M3), and make suggestions for Phase 2; the
Panel of Experts will help the Programme Management Team with the technical oversight of the individual tasks, in particular the reviewing of draft reports and other outputs; and the
research contractors will carry out the research and uptake tasks, in liaison with the Programme Management Team and each other.
Figure 7.2 - Proposed organizational structure for Phase 1 of the Programme
IPTRID, the Programme Supervisor will act as client to the Programme Management Team and keep all parties informed of progress and any serious problems: details are in Section C.2 in Annex C. IPTRID will appoint and administer the Steering Committee and use it for strategic advice.
It is recommended that the Steering Committee should have three to five members, and that IFAD and any additional donors, who help fund the Programme, should be represented on this committee. It should be set up, administered and financed by IPTRID as the Programme Supervisor, and should be responsible only for the overall strategy and direction of the Programme and any major policy issues that may arise. It should meet twice in the first six months and thereafter only about once a year.
It is proposed that, during Phase 1, the Programme Management Team will be contractually responsible for the quality and timely delivery of all outputs, and for adequate liaison between tasks. The Team will need to draw up precise terms of reference for research contractors, leaving enough freedom to make suggestions for the improvement of their own tasks and of the wider Programme. Since the Programme Management Team will have final responsibility for the outputs, it will not be possible to blame shortcomings on the research contractors. If the Programme Management Team considers that a particular research contractor is not performing satisfactorily, despite warnings and suggestions given by the Team, they will quickly consult some or all members of the Panel of Experts and, if the matter still cannot be resolved they will call on IPTRID as the Programme Supervisor for help. To ensure feasibility of this arrangement, the Programme Management Team will have the final choice of research contractors from short-lists agreed with IPTRID as the Programme Supervisor. Details are below, under Selection of contractors. The Programme Management Team will have its own technical staff with experience in relevant fields, as well as calling on the Panel of Experts.
The Panel of Experts, set up and administered by the Programme Management Team, will need up to six members, with varying degrees and frequencies of involvement. Some will be specialists who are called on only a few days per year. IPTRID, as the Programme Supervisor, may nominate individuals with particularly valuable expertise and ask the Programme Management Team to appoint them to the panel. The panel will seldom need to meet as a body, most of its work being done by e-mailing draft reports to particular panel members for review. However, two meetings near the start of the programme would be beneficial to guide the setting-up of activities. Individual members of the panel, as well as key members of the Programme Management Team, will occasionally attend Programme Coordination Workshops, at which those responsible for particular tasks will describe their ongoing work to people working on other tasks, to promote exchange of ideas and help the Programme Management Team guide the Programme.
The research contractors will carry out the tasks in the knowledge management and technology uptake parts of the Programme, following the terms of reference and contractual conditions set up by the Programme Management Team. Recommended interventions for this programme, above, and Annexes A and B of this report, provide a starting-point for these documents; though the Programme Management Team will finalize them. The contractors will be required to liaise with each other, and to attend the Programme Coordination Workshops where they will occasionally present results of their ongoing work.
In principle, it would be possible to combine the Steering Committee and the Panel of Experts into one group. Though it is considered that two groups with distinct functions, as described above, would be more efficient. As Figure 7.2 shows, there should be some informal liaison between the two groups on technical matters.
As shown in Figure 7.1, programme supervision and management functions for Phase 1 include three distinct tasks, called Tasks M1, M2 and M3. Task M1 will be carried out by IPTRID the Programme Supervisor and the other two by the Programme Management Team. Detailed lists of suggested activities for all three are set out in Annex C.
The Programme will need a short title for implementation, such as West Africa Small Pumps Programme (WASPP).
SELECTION OF CONTRACTORS
It is recommended that contracts should be set for research tasks by inviting proposals from limited sets of short-listed bidders, who should be provided with adequate background information on the origins, purposes and nature of the entire Programme. They should also be provided with the Terms of Reference, tentative logical framework (logframe), and the tentative schedule of the particular Task, together with information on other tasks that are prerequisites for it or depend on it. Bidders should not receive copies of the tentative cost estimate or staff inputs, but should be required to propose their own schedules of inputs and their own financial bids. They should be encouraged to amend or refine the logframes, apart from the goal, purpose and outputs in each case. In particular, they should be encouraged to discuss risks and uncertainties and how they can be mitigated. The formation of composite bidders, consortia, joint ventures or associations, that bring together firms or parties with strong West African experience and others with wider international experience, should be encouraged, as should bidding by NGOs either alone or in consortia.
A similar process should be followed at the start of the selection, by IPTRID as the Programme Supervisor, of the Programme Management Team. This selection process must bear in mind that the Programme Management Team will carry overall responsibility for all outputs of Phase 1, and will have the final choice of research contractors. It would not be reasonable or efficient to give the Programme Management Team responsibility for the outputs of research contractors without also having the right to select them.
Bidders for research contracts should be permitted to propose implementation of more than one task in a single contract, identifying any cost-savings or enhanced efficiency, and in such cases should be allowed to modify the schedules to a reasonable extent. For example, it may be advantageous to combine all or some of Tasks K5, K6 and K2a. This combining of tasks should not, however, be forced on the bidders by combining the tasks before inviting bids. If this were done, it might turn out that there are not enough bidders capable of doing the full range of activities. If any combined bids are subsequently selected, the Terms of Reference and schedules of the tasks should be modified by mutual agreement, between bid evaluation and contract signing, to take advantage of the tasks being carried out by the same organization.
As set out in the above list of activities, the research task contractors will be selected and contracted by the Programme Management Team, and the Programme Management Team itself will be selected and contracted by IPTRID in its capacity as the Programme Supervisor. This leaves only the selection and contracting of IPTRID to act as the Programme Supervisor to be done by IFAD. It is recommended that IFAD's first choice should be to entrust this role to IPTRID. If that does not prove possible, IFAD should ask IPTRID and any other interested parties to suggest other candidates, and then discuss the task with some of them informally before making a selection and proceeding to a formal contract based on the task descriptions in this report. The selection criteria should be:
communication skills and experience in the dissemination of research outputs.
The criteria on which IPTRID, acting as the Programme Supervisor, will select the Programme Management Team will be for IPTRID to determine. It is suggested they should include:
communication skills and experience in the dissemination of research outputs.
Both selection and the Programme Management Team's subsequent selection of research contractors should begin with the drawing up of a short-list by advertising the nature of the work to be done and inviting expressions of interest. Respondents will be selected for the shortlist using a few straightforward criteria, similar to those listed above. Short-listed parties will then be invited to submit costed proposals against a full Terms of Reference for each particular task, accompanied by background documents explaining the Programme as a whole and the need for cooperation and communication between research contractors.
Proposals for each task should be of the two-envelope type. The technical proposals should first be systematically evaluated before the opening of the financial envelope of one preferred bidder, or perhaps two bidders if they are close together in technical merit. Details should be negotiated with one favoured bidder, with some flexibility to change the Terms of Reference or schedule at the bidder's suggestion, subject to any necessary linkages with other tasks. Rigid rules requiring acceptance of the cheapest bid, such as those sometimes used for precisely definable work, such as construction contracts, would not be appropriate for this type of work.
At both short listing and final selection stages, the process should be transparent, though confidential, and records should be kept by the selecting party. The process should use explicit criteria with precise criterion importance weights. The criteria should be fixed in advance by the selecting party to suit the nature of the work and the contract, not simply taken from standard procedures of any organization.
Annex B presents, in bar charts, a proposed or tentative schedule for the separate activities of all Phase 1 research and uptake tasks, and for the supervision and management activities of Tasks M1, M2 and M3. Technical reports, and other research outputs, will be transmitted via the Programme Management Team to interested research contractors, to IPTRID as the Programme Supervisor, IFAD and any other funding agencies involved, and to outside parties who express an interest (subject to IFAD's agreement in each case). This forms part of the Programme management activity in the bar chart.
The duration of the proposed Programme is 30 months: Five for the initial setting-up of the supervision and management arrangements and the selection of any research contractors who need to start in month 6, then 25 months for the rest of the Programme. Selection of contractors for the other tasks will be done from month 5 onwards as needed. The schedules take account of the interdependence of tasks already listed under the section on Interventions recommended for this Programme, where one task is a prerequisite for either the starting or the finishing of another. More detail is given for particular activities in the bar charts.
Each research task's schedule starts with two months for finalizing and signing a contract and mobilizing the team. The numbered activities in the task bar charts correspond to the logframes in Annex A, where they are described in more detail. Many of the activities include the submission of Inception Reports and Interim Reports, which will serve to inform the Programme Management Team and others of the progress and initial findings of the tasks. Distribution of these reports from month 8 onwards, as well as of other intermediate and final research outputs, will be part of the Programme Management Team's method of informing contractors of each others' work, and informing IFAD and the members of the Steering Committee and the Panel of Experts of the ongoing results of the Programme. Another means of coordination and information sharing will be the Programme Coordination Workshops.
COST AND FINANCING
The cost of Phase 1, as defined above, is estimated at about US$1.5 million at early 2002 prices, including taxes. Some 3 percent of this is for supervision and the Steering Committee (Task M1, US$40 000), and 17 percent is for management and the Panel of Experts (Task M2, US$260 000). Estimates are tentative because the cost will depend on the degree of interest shown by bidders for the management and research contracts, and because some tasks are such that their extent may be varied without changing their nature. For instance, the collection of country-specific information (Task K1a) and the uptake promotion (Task U3a) could be made slightly cheaper by limiting the number of countries covered in Phase 1; these two tasks alone account for almost a third of all Phase 1 costs. The management and supervision costs, amounting to an estimated US$300 000, are a relatively high proportion of the total cost (20 percent). This is partly because the programme is quite complex, relative to its average turnover of US$50 000 per month. It is hard to see how the management (Task M2) could be effectively accomplished with less than the proposed 24-person-months over the 27-month period.
It is proposed that IFAD should fund, through a Technical Assistance Grant (TAG), the whole of Phase 1. If that proves not to be possible, funds could be sought from another donor, perhaps for one or more specific tasks. If a smaller programme is required, for instance one costing only about US$ 1.0 million including taxes, the recommended course would be to reformulate this programme as a mainly technological one, without the technology uptake-promotion effort, which represents a large part of the cost.
Towards the end of Phase 1, other funding agencies should be approached by IFAD with a view to their funding specific individual tasks in later phases, especially the relatively expensive and independent technical Tasks K7 and K8 if they prove to be necessary.
As described above and in the definitions of Tasks M1 and M2 in Annex C, funds will flow from IFAD through IPTRID as the Programme Supervisor to the Programme Management Team, who should be responsible for the expenditure of all funds except those covering the costs of the IPTRID (Programme Supervisor) and the Steering Committee. The flow of funds should be subject to clear accounting procedures and to full disclosure to the funding source.