Approved project Pakistan: Sindh Irrigated Agriculture Productivity Enhancement Project

The Board of Directors of the World Bank approved the Sindh Irrigated Agriculture Productivity Enhancement Project on March 20, 2015. The project involves a total of $242 million, of which $187 million is provided by the IDA, and $55 million by the Government of Pakistan. The stated goal of the project is to ‘improve irrigation water management at tertiary and field levels in Sindh.’ This is to be achieved through the following four components:

1) Community Water Infrastructure Improvement ($120 million);
2) Promotion and Installation of High Efficiency Irrigation Systems ($66 million);
3) Improved Agriculture Practices ($24 million); and
4) Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Strategic Studies ($32 million).

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Cheap technology to tackle corruption – Blog by Tony Verheijen

Blog by Tony Verheijen, Dutch national who is currently World Bank Country Director in Serbia, and previously Sector Manager of the Public Sector and Governance department in South Asia. This blog was published on December 15, 2014 on the World Bank website.

“Greetings! Sir, we purchased a property worth 11,000 Euros. We paid a tax for the purchase of 800 Euros and paid a bribe of 400 Euros for property registration”.

Citizens from the Pakistan Province (state) of Punjab – population of over 100 million citizens – send numerous SMS messages similar to this to Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab, on a daily basis. Messages are then processed and consolidated feed-back on government services is posted on a public dashboard for everyone to see. But, more importantly, they provide Punjab’s administration (and the Chief Minister himself) with real time data about the delivery, quality, and efficiency of various public services. The key is, of course, that Sharif and his government follow up on the information they gather: fixing service delivery problems where they arise, rewarding bureaucrats for the good work and/or punish them for the lousy one.

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