Supporting Kuwait’s Capital Projects

In the context of volatile international oil prices, Kuwait more than ever is seeking ways to achieve greater efficiency and improved outcomes for its investment spending.  At the request of the Ministry of Finance, the World Bank conducted a comprehensive review of the Capital Project Implementation Cycle (CPIC).

The review and findings which were collected over a 3-year period (2011-2014) and cover all sectors except petroleum and defense were a joint effort between the Bank and the government. The Report is particularly timely given the strong emphasis placed in Kuwait’s National Development Plan, “Strengthening the implementation of capital projects is a critical step for achieving Kuwait’s national goals of improving social and physical infrastructure to encourage more effective service delivery and productive employment,” said Nadir Mohammad, World Bank Country Director.

Historically, Kuwait made great strides in infrastructure and service delivery but the current systems— some dating from the 1960s —need reform for better results, according to the report. Findings highlight how the CPIC in Kuwait is complex, slow and inefficient and CPIC institutional arrangements need streamlining for better coordination and responsiveness.  In particular, cumbersome and opaque land processes as part of the CPIC often result in costly delays and negatively impact environmental sustainability.  The overall CPIC process was reviewed. Detailed case studies from three key implementing entities in Kuwait: the Public Authority for Housing Welfare, the Ministry of Electricity and Water, and the Ministry of Public Works, were included.

“We hope that the Kuwaiti Government takes immediate actions to implement the recommendations of the report in order to expedite project implementation,” said Bassam Ramadan, World Bank Country Manager for Kuwait. In this context, the report offers several options to improve the efficiency of the CPIC, including upgrading personnel skills and training. The Report presents more than 54 practical recommendations which are prioritized by complexity and impact, and suggests an action plan to implement the recommendations. The CPIC report is a model for an efficient and effective way of conducting business to meet client’s practical needs. The study draws on the wide spectrum of expertise from the Global Practices covering different sectors and regions to benefit partner countries.  “It’s the merit of Global Practice, going after experience in the Bank without sectorial or regional barriers,” said Hisham Waly, Governance Practice Manager. 

The Report findings were discussed at an event sponsored by the Ministry of Finance. The workshop was attended by high level government representatives including Her Excellency Hind Al-Sabeeh Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and Minister of State for Planning and Development, private sector experts and Bank staff. The event was very well received and widely covered in the media. 

“The CPIC review was challenging and rewarding.  We learned a lot from this review and we hope that it ignites discussion on how to conduct assessments of project implementation readiness under Bank financed operations such as Results Based Lending and Program for Results,” said Majed M. El-Bayya,  Task Team Leader and Lead Procurement Specialist of the World Bank’s Governance Public Integrity and Openness Department (PIO).

The Bank’s relationship with Kuwait dates back more than 40 years and represents some of the best of the Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS)