By Michael Bamberger
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Additional resources for Case studies of project sustainability: implications for policy and operations from Asian experience
The success of a project will depend in part on the support of key stakeholders such as key figures in the central and local governments, trade unions, business associations, religious organizations, local community groups, and international agencies. With shifting political alignments and the transfer of key officials from one agency to another, the constellation of support and opposition to a project is likely to change over time. A project which is strongly supported by one administration may be more vulnerable after a change of government.
In the case of multi-component projects such as integrated rural or urban development, the central coordinating agency may not have the legal authority to implement some of the components (for example, health or education centers) and may have to rely on the support of the competent line ministries (for some of whom the project may have a very low priority). The second indicator refers to the stability of staff and budget of the operational agencies (C-2). While an agency may initially be provided with adequate resources, these may be eroded over time due to inflation, pressures to increase salaries (at the expense of the maintenance budget), or a gradually loss of political support.
First, the indicators are used to assess the extent to which the project is able to continue to deliver its intended benefits. They do not pass judgment on whether the original project design was, or now is, environmentally sound. A steel mill which continues to produce the intended output Page 11 may be assessed as sustainable even though it might produce some long-term environmental hazards. Second, it is possible to assign different weights to each set of indicators. While one group of stakeholders may assess the project mainly in terms of its ability to maintain a certain level of benefits, another may be more concerned about the distribution of benefits among different economic groups, while a third may attach more weight to institutional development and the participation of beneficiaries in project management.
Case studies of project sustainability: implications for policy and operations from Asian experience by Michael Bamberger