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ICAI – Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations

The Findings (Headings)

(See main story: http://www.themontserratreporter.com/uk-dfid-mrat-icai-confusion/)

DFID has taken a pragmatic approach to meeting Montserrat’s reasonable assistance needs.

DFID has not adequately thought through its approach to helping Montserrat improve self-sufficiency.

DFID’s engagement on the power sector has been pragmatic but should be more long term.

DFID’s strategic plans do not adequately address cross-sector issues such as access to the internet.

DFID has planned minor projects well but major projects have shown planning weaknesses

Beneficiary engagement has improved for recent, larger projects.

Projects are locally owned, monitored and controlled but often delayed.

DFID’s programme on Montserrat had a clear positive impact in the aftermath of the natural disasters but less progress has been made on improving self-sufficiency.

The impact on beneficiaries of the projects we reviewed is mixed.

DFID has not properly evaluated all projects.

DFID has sought appropriate expertise in many cases and will need to continue to draw on external advice in the future.

DFID continues to find effective knowledge management a challenge.

There is scope for further shared and sustained learning between DFID and the Government of Montserrat.

A whole of Whitehall approach to the OTs is an opportunity that DFID must seize.

Conclusions – (truncated)
3.1 The economy of Montserrat has deteriorated significantly since 1997. A territory which was formerly self-sufficient is now financially dependent on budget support.

3.2 Over the longer term, the UK Government has a clear willingness, in principle, to provide capital investment through DFID to reduce Montserrat’s dependence on the UK and achieve selfsufficiency if possible.

3.3 DFID has established neither a sufficiently robust planning framework nor timescales for improving

self-sufficiency. Equally, DFID has neither determined the likely costs associated with improving self-sufficiency nor set out how this will be financed or shared among development budgets and Government of Montserrat sources.

3.4 As a result, DFID and the Government of Montserrat have spent too long developing plans that cannot be evaluated properly against the goal of self-sufficiency. We have not been able to identify a clear set of plans appropriately prioritized and with a realistic assessment of their financial impact on self-sufficiency and sustainability.

3.5 DFID’s programme on Montserrat had a clear positive impact in the aftermath of the natural disasters but the impact on beneficiaries of the projects we reviewed is mixed. Out of four capital projects we reviewed, the roads and water projects are having a positive impact on intended beneficiaries. DFID has, however, made some poor assessments on individual capital projects. As a result, for example, the airport has had less beneficiary impact than expected and the first new school building is not yet functioning.

3.6 In short, although we saw evidence of good and necessary assistance to fund basic investment on

the island, we found that DFID has not adequately undertaken long-term strategic planning with the

Government of Montserrat for improving self-sufficiency. In our view, DFID should do more to engage other resources to support its work with the Government of Montserrat, either from other development partners such as the EU and CDB or from other UK government departments.

Recommendations
Whilst our conclusions are drawn from the scope of work undertaken, we believe that this report identifies issues which may have wider relevance than DFID’s approach to Montserrat.

1: DFID should develop a more detailed understanding of self-sufficiency for Montserrat. DFID should use this understanding with the Government of Montserrat to determine a realistic set of

expectations over the medium term to improve economic, financially justifiable selfsufficiency.

2: DFID should support the Government of Montserrat to develop a longer term plan for the island based on an agreed understanding of self-sufficiency. This needs to show how the different projects add up to a coherent impact on livelihoods and economic progress. It should set out the level and composition of financial and technical assistance and a projection of capital costs and necessary revenue support.

3: DFID should work with the Government of Montserrat to increase the engagement of the people of Montserrat in its projects. This is both to understand their perspective and to manage their expectations.

4: DFID, working with the FCO, should bring together the required actions and commitments from across Whitehall to achieve the aims of the 2012 White Paper for Montserrat and the other OTs so that best practice is built into future projects, programmes and policies.

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The Findings (Headings)

(See main story: http://www.themontserratreporter.com/uk-dfid-mrat-icai-confusion/)

DFID has taken a pragmatic approach to meeting Montserrat’s reasonable assistance needs.

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DFID has not adequately thought through its approach to helping Montserrat improve self-sufficiency.

DFID’s engagement on the power sector has been pragmatic but should be more long term.

DFID’s strategic plans do not adequately address cross-sector issues such as access to the internet.

DFID has planned minor projects well but major projects have shown planning weaknesses

Beneficiary engagement has improved for recent, larger projects.

Projects are locally owned, monitored and controlled but often delayed.

DFID’s programme on Montserrat had a clear positive impact in the aftermath of the natural disasters but less progress has been made on improving self-sufficiency.

The impact on beneficiaries of the projects we reviewed is mixed.

DFID has not properly evaluated all projects.

DFID has sought appropriate expertise in many cases and will need to continue to draw on external advice in the future.

DFID continues to find effective knowledge management a challenge.

There is scope for further shared and sustained learning between DFID and the Government of Montserrat.

A whole of Whitehall approach to the OTs is an opportunity that DFID must seize.

Conclusions – (truncated)
3.1 The economy of Montserrat has deteriorated significantly since 1997. A territory which was formerly self-sufficient is now financially dependent on budget support.

3.2 Over the longer term, the UK Government has a clear willingness, in principle, to provide capital investment through DFID to reduce Montserrat’s dependence on the UK and achieve selfsufficiency if possible.

3.3 DFID has established neither a sufficiently robust planning framework nor timescales for improving

self-sufficiency. Equally, DFID has neither determined the likely costs associated with improving self-sufficiency nor set out how this will be financed or shared among development budgets and Government of Montserrat sources.

3.4 As a result, DFID and the Government of Montserrat have spent too long developing plans that cannot be evaluated properly against the goal of self-sufficiency. We have not been able to identify a clear set of plans appropriately prioritized and with a realistic assessment of their financial impact on self-sufficiency and sustainability.

3.5 DFID’s programme on Montserrat had a clear positive impact in the aftermath of the natural disasters but the impact on beneficiaries of the projects we reviewed is mixed. Out of four capital projects we reviewed, the roads and water projects are having a positive impact on intended beneficiaries. DFID has, however, made some poor assessments on individual capital projects. As a result, for example, the airport has had less beneficiary impact than expected and the first new school building is not yet functioning.

3.6 In short, although we saw evidence of good and necessary assistance to fund basic investment on

the island, we found that DFID has not adequately undertaken long-term strategic planning with the

Government of Montserrat for improving self-sufficiency. In our view, DFID should do more to engage other resources to support its work with the Government of Montserrat, either from other development partners such as the EU and CDB or from other UK government departments.

Recommendations
Whilst our conclusions are drawn from the scope of work undertaken, we believe that this report identifies issues which may have wider relevance than DFID’s approach to Montserrat.

1: DFID should develop a more detailed understanding of self-sufficiency for Montserrat. DFID should use this understanding with the Government of Montserrat to determine a realistic set of

expectations over the medium term to improve economic, financially justifiable selfsufficiency.

2: DFID should support the Government of Montserrat to develop a longer term plan for the island based on an agreed understanding of self-sufficiency. This needs to show how the different projects add up to a coherent impact on livelihoods and economic progress. It should set out the level and composition of financial and technical assistance and a projection of capital costs and necessary revenue support.

3: DFID should work with the Government of Montserrat to increase the engagement of the people of Montserrat in its projects. This is both to understand their perspective and to manage their expectations.

4: DFID, working with the FCO, should bring together the required actions and commitments from across Whitehall to achieve the aims of the 2012 White Paper for Montserrat and the other OTs so that best practice is built into future projects, programmes and policies.