The World Bank has demoted its rating of a $433 million project to ‘moderately unsatisfactory’, debunking the provincial government’s claims of better performance that has been shown in statistics as well.
The global lender has downgraded the ratings of the progress of achievement of the project’s objectives as well as the speed of its implementation. The rating of the achievement of objectives has been lowered to ‘moderately satisfactory’ while that of implementation progress has been reduced to ‘moderately unsatisfactory’.
Notably, the World Bank had linked the disbursements of funds to achieving the agreed targets while approving a $61.62 million in May 2017. Till date, the bank could disburse only $5 million because of the poor performance of the Sindh government.
The project was aimed to reduce the stunting rate in children below five years of age with a focus on the most affected districts in the province.
Nevertheless, the provincial government has been painting a positive picture of its performance on the project. It even attempted at inflating its performance in some indicators for that matter.
The World Bank noted that the number of pregnant women who received prenatal care and counseling at the community level was reported at 650,023 in June 2018 due to “system errors”. The actual figure was 366,425, revealed the bank.
Similarly, discrepancies were discovered in the records of different departments regarding the use of modern contraceptive methods. After using the data from health management information system, the previously reported number of 2.539 million users was revised to 1.546 million. The cumulative data until January 2019 is based on the revised number.
“The Sindh government has recently updated and improved the health management information system to report on these indicators and that’s why there’s a difference in the numbers reported,” says the World Bank official.