I. Basic Information
Date prepared/updated: 08/27/2013
Report No.: AC6984
1. Basic Project Data
Original Project ID: P106216
Original Project Name: Bangladesh Higher Education Quality Enhancement
Country: Bangladesh
Project ID: P145749
Project Name: BD Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project - AF
Task Team Leader: Yoko Nagashima
Estimated Appraisal Date: August 12, 2013 Estimated Board Date: December 3, 2013
Managing Unit: SASED
Lending Instrument: Investment Project
Sector: Tertiary education (95%);Public administration- Education (5%)
Theme: Education for the knowledge economy (100%)
IBRD Amount (US$m.):
IDA Amount (US$m.):
GEF Amount (US$m.):
PCF Amount (US$m.):
Other financing amounts by source:
Environmental Category: B - Partial Assessment
Simplified Processing
Simple []
Repeater []
Is this project processed under OP 8.50 (Emergency Recovery)
Yes [ ]
No [X]
or OP 8.00 (Rapid Response to Crises and Emergencies)
2. Project Objectives
The key project development objective is to improve the quality and relevance of the
teaching and research environment in higher education institutions through encouraging
both innovation and accountability within universities and by enhancing the technical and
institutional capacity of the higher education sector.
3. Project Description
The following components/activities will be financed with additional financing of
US$125 million: (i) Component 1: Promoting Academic Innovation; (ii) Component 2:
Building Institutional Capacity of Tertiary Education Sector; (iii) Component 3: Raising
the Connectivity Capacity in the Higher Education Sector; (iv) Component 4:
Establishment of Quality Assurance Mechanism; and (v) Component 5: Project
Management & Communication and Monitoring and Evaluation.
Component 1: Promoting Academic Innovation (Total US$48.7 million, IDA US$46.9)
The objectives of this component are to: (i) establish enabling conditions to enhance the
quality and relevance of teaching, learning and research in universities; and (ii) introduce
an efficient instrument for the allocation of additional public funds to universities with an
emphasis on innovation and accountability. The mechanism selected to reach this
objective is the provision of additional resources through an Academic Innovation Fund
(AIF) accessible to all public and private universities on a competitive basis, which
provides incentives to launch initiatives aimed at improving their performance. The AIF
will be accessible to university departments, centers and institutes fulfilling specific
eligibility criteria, selection criteria, proposal submission procedures, which will be
carefully spelled out in a detailed Operations Manual. This component has two subcomponents under Additional Financing:
Sub-Component 1.1 - Financing to cover the shortage of funds for the 1st and 2nd
rounds AIF (Total US$ 5.0 million, IDA US$ 4.8 million).
The objective of this sub-component is to provide funds for the first and second rounds
AIF sub-projects which are under implementation. The shortage was created when the
Project needed to temporarily reallocate the funds to the Bangladesh Education and
Research Network (BdREN) activities under Component 3 during the restructuring.
Sub-Component 1.2 - Third round of AIF under Windows 1, 2, 3 and additional three
rounds of AIF under Window 4 (Total US$ 43.7 million IDA US$ 42.2 million)
The AIF will allocate its resources through four competitive windows: (i) Window 1Improvement of teaching and learning; (ii) Window 2 -Enhancement of research
capabilities; and (iii) Window 3 - University-wide innovations which will include
additional eligible activities for the establishment of Technology Transfer Office; and
Window 4- Innovation Fund.
The possible use of the fund will be:
a. Small infrastructure renovation/refurbishing
b. Library (books, journals)
c. Teaching materials (lab equipment etc.)
d. On-line facilities (including access to digital libraries)
e. Teachers' development (training/seminars/conferences)
f. Curriculum development/ modernization of curriculum
g. Research collaboration with foreign universities
h. Collaboration with industries
i. Research projects (including publications)
j. Development of career centers (for facilitation of internship, job placement)
k. Quality enhancement activities (quality enhancement cell, self-study, etc.)
l. Scholarships and fellowships
m. Visiting foreign faculty
Component 2: Building Institutional Capacity of Tertiary Education Sector (Total
US$4.6, IDA US$3.5 million). The objective of this component is to reinforce the
strategic and institutional capacity of the sector, both at the central level and at the level
of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). It will include the following sub-components: (i)
Improving the strategic capacity of UGC which will continue to support the capacity
building for strategic planning of higher education sector; (ii) Strengthening the
institutional capacity of the universities which will contribute to increasing awareness
about the AIF and QA among the key stakeholders through appropriate media and
communication campaigns with specific emphasis on academic innovation, quality
assurance and institutional capacity enhancement, strengthening institutional capacity for
(a) preparation and evaluation of AIF proposals; (b) preparation of proposals for QA cells
and SA under QA; (c) implementation and management of sub-projects under AIF and
QA and enhancing the utilization of the facilities made available through the project; and
(iii) Intellectual Property (IP) Literacy. The activities under the third sub-component will
include: (a) eradicating patent illiteracy of the Bangladesh researchers from the
Universities; and (b) changing the minds and the mindsets of Bangladesh university
researchers to make them Intellectual Property Right (IPR) savvy and getting them ready
to create wealth from their IP.
Component 3: Raising the Connectivity Capacity of the Higher Education Sector (Total
US$44.2 million, IDA US$38.3 million). Basic infrastructure backbone would expect to
be established by December 2013. Once the network is established and becomes
operational, there is an urgent need to: (i) strengthen and scale up its management
structure including technical and management competencies of BdREN (Bangladesh
Education and Research Network) staff and fully support all the services upto field level.
The activities will involve Basic connectivity through Power Grid Company of
Bangladesh (PGCB) overhead dark fiber would be established by December 2013 to the
universities planned in original project. In addition, VC facilities using the BdREN
connectivity could be established in the major medical colleges and selected research
institutions. In addition, VC facilities will be established in the Ministry of Education,
Economic Relations Division, and Planning Commission. Provisions would be made
available for add-on software including cloud-computing and equipment for performance
enhancement. Government of Bangladesh would add another US$5.5 million to the
BdREN Trust endowment fund; (ii) awareness building and knowledge exchange on best
practice of ownership, governance and exploitation of National Research and Education
Network; (iii) capacity building for BdREN technical operation; (iv) digital library and
BdREN application development.
Component 4: Establishment of Quality Assurance Mechanism (Total US$37.0 million,
IDA US$27.0 million). The objective of the component is to ensure quality of higher
education in Bangladesh through the establishment of quality assurance (QA)
mechanisms and quality assurance cells at the national and institutional levels
respectively. To build on the momentum generated under the first two rounds of AIF and
the recent efforts made in developing a national QA mechanism, the Project would
support the following activities with proposed additional financing: (i) the establishment
of QA mechanism at the national level; and (ii) the establishment of QA mechanism at
institutional level.
Component 5: Project Management & Communication, and Monitoring and Evaluation
(Total US$11.7 million, IDA US$9.2 million). The objective of this component is to
ensure proper implementation, management, and monitoring and evaluation of scaled up
activities under the project. It would comprise two sub-components, aiming to reach this
objective namely: (i) project management and communication; and (ii) monitoring and
evaluation. Evaluation activities under the AF include: (i) stocktaking of activities to
assess the physical changes the funding has brought; (ii) assessing the satisfaction of the
stakeholders through satisfaction surveys and other qualitative approaches such as Focus
Group Discussions, Key Informants Interviews.
4. Project Location and salient physical characteristics relevant to the safeguard
The project will be implemented nationwide in selected public and private universities,
their faculties, departments, centers and institutions fulfilling eligibility criteria defined in
project operation manual on a competitive basis.
5. Environmental and Social Safeguards Specialists
Ms Sabah Moyeen (SASDS)
Ms Nadia Sharmin (SASDC)
6. Safeguard Policies Triggered
Environmental Assessment (OP/BP 4.01)
Natural Habitats (OP/BP 4.04)
Forests (OP/BP 4.36)
Pest Management (OP 4.09)
Physical Cultural Resources (OP/BP 4.11)
Indigenous Peoples (OP/BP 4.10)
Involuntary Resettlement (OP/BP 4.12)
Safety of Dams (OP/BP 4.37)
Projects on International Waterways (OP/BP 7.50)
Projects in Disputed Areas (OP/BP 7.60)
II. Key Safeguard Policy Issues and Their Management
A. Summary of Key Safeguard Issues
1. Describe any safeguard issues and impacts associated with the proposed project.
Identify and describe any potential large scale, significant and/or irreversible impacts:
The activities identified under the project are mainly technical assistance in nature and
some small to medium scale renovation/ refurbishment is anticipated.No acquisition of
land, construction of any new institution or building is anticipated. No land acquisition,
displacement of people from public or private lands (regardless of title) or adverse
impacts on livelihoods will be permitted under the project. Sub-projects will be screened
according to a screening format to ensure this. No major or irreversible social impacts
are expected due to this project. There will be no requirement for private land acquisition,
displacement of communities or people from either public or private lands regardless of
title and no adverse impacts on livelihoods of any nature. Therefore the project will not
trigger OP 4.12 Involuntary Resettlement. The original project did not trigger the policy
and lessons learned during its implementation support that it will not be triggered for this
AF either.
The small scale construction activities are not anticipated to cause any major
environmental impacts considering that all will be done with the existing structures in
order to provide better facilities. One or two floor vertical extensions of existing
buildings will also be financed. For vertical extension of any building, the Project
Management Unit has to follow country rules and DoE clearance procedure. The World
Bank Group General Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines: Construction and
Decommissioning will also be applicable. The proposed project will support six
categories research activities under the Academic Innovation Fund (AIF). These are: i)
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, ii) Business and Management, iii) Physical,
Biological, and Earth Sciences, iv) Engineering and Technology, v) Medical, Health, and
Nutritional Sciences, and vi) Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. These research
activities can be laboratory based or field based. The research activities to be carried out
under: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; and Business and Management are not
expected to create any major environmental impact. However, the research under 4 other
categories (Physical, Biological, and Earth Sciences; Engineering and Technology;
Medical, Health, and Nutritional Sciences; and Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries) may
have potential impact on environment and safety and hence these sub-projects will follow
the agreed Environmental Management Framework to mitigate the risks.
Considering the nature and magnitude of potential environmental impacts from
relatively limited scale of the renovation/refurbishing construction works and academic
research works, the proposed operation is to be classified as category 'B'. Since the extent
and exact locations of reconstruction works and research works are not known at this
stage and may not be known at appraisal, the requirement to carry out an environmental
analysis as part of project preparation can be waived but, for subprojects with potential
adverse impacts, a limited environmental analysis will be done during project
implementation prior to approval for any sub-project. However, if any land filling is
required for sub-project site preparation such as filling of low lying lands, full
Environmental Impact Assessment (not only an Environmental Management Plan) will
be a condition for IDA financing.
The project will be implemented nationwide; no adverse impact on Tribal People or
communities is expected as the project is mainly of a technical assistance nature. The
project originally did not trigger OP 4.10 Indigenous People. A rapid Social Assessment
carried out recently under the project confirmed that HEQEP sub-projects are neutral in
nature; there is no scope for manipulation, discrimination, exclusion or preferential
treatment to any faculty or student on basis of ethnic identity and gender. By reviewing
the sub-projects' reports and consultation with the relevant stakeholders, it can be
concluded that these projects by no means have any negative impact on the Tribal
students, all projects have had a positive impact on the general student body. Hence, it
has been determined that for the Additional Financing, the policy on OP 4.10 Indigenous
People will be triggered. The selection of sub-projects to receive project financing will
reveal the exact location of the institutions that will be part of the program. Since this is
not known ex-ante, it is difficult to determine whether program sites coincide with those
districts where there is a significant presence of IP groups.
2. Describe any potential indirect and/or long term impacts due to anticipated future
activities in the project area:
3. Describe any project alternatives (if relevant) considered to help avoid or minimize
adverse impacts.
No alternative study for Indigenous People, small scale infrastructure
renovation/refurbishing construction, vertical extension of building and research
proposals is possible at this stage of the project as the extent and nature of the subprojects will be identified during implementation of the projects. However, the subprojects will be assessed and awarded based on defined indicators including
environmental and social parameters.
4. Describe measures taken by the borrower to address safeguard policy issues. Provide
an assessment of borrower capacity to plan and implement the measures described.
The borrower developed an Environment Management Framework (EMF) for the
original project, which describes the necessity of environmental screening for any small
scale infrastructure renovation/refurbishing construction and research proposals. The
process has also been described in the operational manual of the project. The sub-project
proponent i.e., public and private universities, their faculties, departments, centers and
institutions fulfilling eligibility criteria will use a sample checklist to identify any
environmental issues in the infrastructure renovation/refurbishing construction works. If
there is any environmental issue identified, the project proponent will add an
Environmental Management Plan (EMP) with their proposal. For the research activities,
the applicant (research student/faculty) of research proposal will submit another
environmental checklist duly reviewed and signed by proposed supervisor and
departmental head. If there is substantive environmental impact, the applicant will submit
the mitigation measures for the activities.
The borrower has developed a Social Management Framework (SMF) which will come
into effect and will be used to guide the preparation of site specific Tribal Peoples
Development Plans. The SMF will also include appropriate assessment tools to
demonstrate inclusion, participation and accountability; a checklist to document that no
land acquisition is triggered and no communities/people are displaced either physically or
economically from either private or public lands and there is no adverse impact on
livelihoods. A screening format for ensuring that no land acquisition or displacement of
people takes place will be prepared and used for sub-projects as approval criteria. The
screening format may be included in the EMF and SMF and will be included in the
Operations Manual.
The Borrower (MOE) has reasonable experience and capacity in managing
environmental safeguard issues related to education projects - the Second Female
Secondary School Assistance Project (2002-2007) and the ongoing HEQEP. The
University Grants Commission (UGC), the implementing agency is not adequately
staffed to effectively play its strategic role. The project activities will include capacity
development of UGC and to ensure safeguard issues, an environmental professional will
be included in the committee for screening, selection and monitoring of all sub-projects
like the original project. Further to that, UGC will continue to hire short-term consultant
as needed to monitor the environmental safeguard issues in the selected sub-projects and
publish half yearly report on environmental compliance of sub-projects based on agreed
monitoring indicators. UGC will develop its own monitoring plan to oversee
environmentally critical sub-project. The Project Director will be responsible for overall
environmental safeguard and reporting. In addition, UGC will continue to assign two
professional staffs as additional responsibility to review the environmental safeguard
issues in sub-projects.
5. Identify the key stakeholders and describe the mechanisms for consultation and
disclosure on safeguard policies, with an emphasis on potentially affected people.
The Additional Financing triggers both OP 4.01 and OP 4.10. The SMF and revised EMF
will address the safeguard compliance issues. The EMF/ SMF will be shared by the
Ministry of Education with concerned academic institutions, Department of Environment
and civil society. As no potential affectees are identified as this stage, such field level
consultation will be carried out during environmental/social assessment stage and will be
a pre-requisite of IDA financing. The EMF and SMF will also be disclosed in World
Bank Infoshop. Relevant subproject specific safeguard documents/mitigation plans
(EMPs/ SMPs) prepared subsequently will also be disclosed to the public.
Consultation will in general concentrate on awareness-raising, garnering feedback on
the curriculum and other aspects of student life (inclusion and participation) as well as
exploring additional development activities that could be promoted under the project. The
institutes will keep Minutes of these consultation meetings in the activity files and make
them available for inspection by IDA, GOB officials and other interested groups and
persons. The institutes can use several methodologies to reach out to the tribal students;
some possibilities may be: (a) assessing the number of tribal students enrolled at the
institutions; (b) arranging teacher-student forums and parent –teacher forums with tribal
families to enhance communication and awareness raising regarding th project benefits;
(c) workshops and focus group discussions to tailor project benefits to the needs of tribal
students; assess whether any special areas are being currently left out; (d) establish a
feedback loop with the PIU, by submitting Tribal Peoples Plans with specific
interventions recommended jointly by tribal students and teachers; (e) submit a budget
for the above activities; (f) the PIU will monitor the successful implementation of the
Plans and a third party monitor will evaluate the process and outcomes.
B. Disclosure Requirements Date
Environmental Assessment/Audit/Management Plan/Other:
Was the document disclosed prior to appraisal?
Date of receipt by the Bank
Date of "in-country" disclosure
Date of submission to InfoShop
For category A projects, date of distributing the Executive
Summary of the EA to the Executive Directors
Resettlement Action Plan/Framework/Policy Process:
Was the document disclosed prior to appraisal?
Date of receipt by the Bank
Date of "in-country" disclosure
Date of submission to InfoShop
Indigenous Peoples Plan/Planning Framework:
Was the document disclosed prior to appraisal?
Date of receipt by the Bank
Date of "in-country" disclosure
Date of submission to InfoShop
Pest Management Plan:
Was the document disclosed prior to appraisal?
Date of receipt by the Bank
Date of "in-country" disclosure
Date of submission to InfoShop
* If the project triggers the Pest Management and/or Physical Cultural Resources,
the respective issues are to be addressed and disclosed as part of the Environmental
Assessment/Audit/or EMP.
If in-country disclosure of any of the above documents is not expected, please
explain why:
C. Compliance Monitoring Indicators at the Corporate Level (to be filled in when the
ISDS is finalized by the project decision meeting)
OP/BP/GP 4.01 - Environment Assessment
Does the project require a stand-alone EA (including EMP) report?
If yes, then did the Regional Environment Unit or Sector Manager (SM)
review and approve the EA report?
Are the cost and the accountabilities for the EMP incorporated in the
OP/BP 4.10 - Indigenous Peoples
Has a separate Indigenous Peoples Plan/Planning Framework (as
appropriate) been prepared in consultation with affected Indigenous Peoples?
If yes, then did the Regional unit responsible for safeguards or Sector
Manager review the plan?
If the whole project is designed to benefit IP, has the design been reviewed
and approved by the Regional Social Development Unit or Sector Manager?
The World Bank Policy on Disclosure of Information
Have relevant safeguard policies documents been sent to the World Bank's
Have relevant documents been disclosed in-country in a public place in a
form and language that are understandable and accessible to project-affected
groups and local NGOs?
All Safeguard Policies
Have satisfactory calendar, budget and clear institutional responsibilities
been prepared for the implementation of measures related to safeguard
Have costs related to safeguard policy measures been included in the project
Does the Monitoring and Evaluation system of the project include the
monitoring of safeguard impacts and measures related to safeguard policies?
Have satisfactory implementation arrangements been agreed with the
borrower and the same been adequately reflected in the project legal
D. Approvals
Signed and submitted by:
Task Team Leader:
Environmental Specialist:
Social Development Specialist
Additional Environmental and/or
Social Development Specialist(s):
Ms Yoko Nagashima
Ms Nadia Sharmin
Ms Sabah Moyeen
Mr Francis V. Fragano
Mr Amit Dar
Approved by:
Regional Safeguards Coordinator:
Sector Manager:
Comments: cleared.