General Informations

The present Murat River Watershed Development Project (MRWDP) design is aligned with the objectives set out in the Results-based Country Strategic Opportunities Program (COSOP) of 2006 and its 2011 12 Addendum, in particular the emphatic statement that sustainable natural resource management is a necessary condition for rural poverty reduction. The 2006 COSOP notes that the support from IFAD should aim to combine targeted interventions, geared towards quality of life improvements in poorer villages, with primarily self-targeting measures to stimulate, where feasible, broader-based growth in economic activity that can generate jobs and increase income for poorer rural people. The Addendum 2011-2012 served mainly to provide updated information and analysis with regard to the 2006 COSOP, and to steer the focus of the IFAD country program towards improved natural resource management with pronounced emphasis on the participatory rehabilitation of degraded forests and agricultural lands together with creating income-generating opportunities for poor forest dwellers. 

The overall goal of the Project is to reduce poverty among the upland communities of the Murat river watershed. The objective is to support Government’s efforts to check further degradation of watersheds and to improve the natural resource base as a means to raise income and livelihood in upland villages. The Project will specifically focus on village dwellers’ involvement in the decision making and implementation processes relating to the rehabilitation of the existing natural resources while facilitating the creation of a strong sense of ownership among the upland communities and thereby ensuring sustainability of investments.

Considerations that have shaped the design of the MRWDP include: (i) compliance with Government strategies and policies, in particular, the Government’s Long-term Strategy (2001-2023), Ninth Development Plan (2007-2013), National Rural Development Strategy (2010-2013), National Forest Program (2004-2023); National Action Program on Combating Desertification and National Climate Change Strategy (2010-2020), (ii) compliance with IFAD’s strategies and policies including: Strategic Framework 2011-15; Targeting Policy – Reaching the Poor; Gender Strategy; Engagement with Middle-Income Countries; Climate Change Strategy; Environment and Natural Resource Management Policy; Policy on Supervision and Implementation Support; and Environmental and Social Assessment Procedures; iii) IFAD’s 2006 Country Strategic Opportunities Paper (COSOP) for Turkey and the Addendum for 2011-2012; (iii) the urgent and well-recognized need to break the vicious cycle between natural resource degradation and rural poverty in the Murat river watershed characterized by a high degree of environmental deterioration and widespread poverty in the upland villages; iv) the communities’ expressed needs as well as the physical and economic feasibility of the selected activities; vi) criteria-based targeting of project interventions; vii v) mitigation and perhaps reversal of outmigration;) complementarities with and lessons learned from the two ongoing IFAD-financed projects in Turkey, the Sivas-Erzincan Development Project (SEDP) and the Diyarbakir, Batman and Siirt Development Project (DBSDP). 

This Project Implementation Manual (PIM) for MRWDP sets out the project strategy, operational activities, steps and procedures, and responsibilities of key stakeholders. PIM also includes a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) operational plan.

IFAD has supported eight projects in Turkey since 1982. The overall record of implementation was mixed. Difficulties arose from the highly centralized and bureaucratic nature of government administration and a supply-driven attitude towards development. In the past, these problems were compounded by unstable and adverse macroeconomic conditions but recent stabilization and rapid growth of the economy accompanied by fiscal and structural reforms has improved markedly the overall climate for investment and development. Nevertheless, bureaucratic procedures continue to act as a constraint on the smooth and successful implementation of projects. However, in the last six years these difficulties have been addressed through a series of measures including: Collaboration with UNDP for assistance in procurement and flow of funds; direct supervision and implementation support by IFAD; a more focused design of investments; and clearly defined modalities and institutional responsibility for Project implementation. These initiatives have resulted in a decrease in the time required for declaration of effectiveness and an accelerated disbursement for the three projects currently under implementation. Specific problems have included delays in declaring projects effective, slow rates of disbursement, and difficulties in managing the flow of funds. In some cases, portfolio restructuring, partial loan cancellation or resource reallocation has been necessary, resulting in adjustments to loan agreements and Project administration arrangements.

In Turkey, some constraints to implementing IFAD projects in the past have arisen from required bureaucratic procedures and an historical tendency to supply-driven development, which was not based on technical, financial feasibility, or concerns for marketability of produce. Specific difficulties, experienced not only by IFAD that support eight projects in Turkey since 1982 but also by other agencies such as the World Bank, include: (i) long delays in declaring projects effective; (ii) slow rates of disbursement; and (iii) difficulties in maintaining the flow of funds. There are also some lessons learned that need to be applied to new projects to mitigate the constraints to successful implementation. The following lessons learned were taken into consideration in defining the implementation steps and procedures and responsibilities of key stakeholders in the PIM: i) institutional responsibility for implementation should be streamlined with clear assignment to one arm of the administration for overseeing project execution thus minimizing the need for coordination within the state apparatus; ii) project management needs to be decentralized to the province level with a certain amount of authority for decision making related to implementation, and iii) projects financed by the Fund in Turkey require frequent follow-up and assistance to implementing parties.


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