Improving Road Maintenance in Cabo Verde through Performance-Based Contracts
In an effort to support economic growth on the islands, the government of Cabo Verde sought to upgrade road infrastructure but only had experience with two-year road rehabilitation and maintenance performance-based contracts (PBCs)—not longer-term ones. The World Bank funded an exchange for Cabo Verdean officials to learn from Brazil’s experience with PCBs and implement best practices in road building and contract management.
In an effort to support economic growth and social activities on the islands, the government of Cabo Verde wanted to upgrade infrastructure, such as road building and rehabilitation, but did not have experience with long-term performance-based contracts (PCBs), which can help lower costs and ensure proper road maintenance year-round.
The Cabo Verde Transport Sector Strategy, 2008-2020, articulates a vision for rehabilitating and maintaining the core road network and constructing missing links to increase rural access. Toward this end, the government introduced PBCs on four of the nine inhabited islands of Cabo Verde, namely those with a mountainous landscape where roads are expensive to build and rehabilitate and more vulnerable to landslides and flash-floods. However, these PCBs were short-term and covered only routine maintenance and emergencies. Government officials wanted to understand how to implement full-fledged PBCs.
The exchange was designed to improve Cabo Verde’s Road Institute’s capacity to prepare and monitor more complex, full-fledged PBCs that would give the contractor responsibility for rehabilitation and maintenance over four years or longer. The TTL knew that Brazil had experience with these PCBs and that Brazil had previously hosted a knowledge exchange on the subject with Vietnam. Also, as Portuguese is the national language of both Cabo Verde and Brazil, communication barriers would be minimal.
The program was a true exchange—first, six policy makers and technicians from Cabo Verde’s Roads Institute, Road Fund and Road Sector Support Program traveled to Brazil for a weeklong Study Tour. Later, representatives from Brazil traveled to Cabo Verde to visit road sites, work with the Road Institute on the bidding documents, including the draft contracts, and educate engineers and consultants on the concept of PBCs and on the bidding process.
During the Study Tour in Brazil, delegates visited Brasilia for discussions with federal-level counterparts at the Ministries of Finance, Planning and Transport, where they learned about international best practices and identified areas for road maintenance strategy improvement. They then visited with officials Salvador, Bahia—giving them both state and federal government perspectives. The trip to the state of Bahia also included site visits to current Bank-funded PBC road works projects employing the CREMA delivery method.
During the Workshop in Praia, Cape Verde, four Brazilian road engineers with extensive experience in managing PBCs shared their knowledge with the Roads Institute engineers in charge of preparing and overseeing the bidding documents and contracts for PBCs and participated in a seminar to introduce local road contractors and supervision consultants to PBCs and help prepare them for the bid process. The Brazilian delegates then conducted site visits to advise the Roads Institute engineers in their monthly compliance inspections of the roads already under PBCs in Cape Verde in order to optimize their contract management skills.
The exchange helped with the following:
- Increased Cabo Verdean officials’ awareness of international best practices in utilizing PBCs in road maintenance strategy.
- Improved Cabo Verde’s local contractors’ understanding of and sophistication in the bidding process.
- Created an informal knowledge sharing network between Brazilian and Cabo Verdean stakeholders in road management.
- Having the exchange go both ways—delegates from each countries traveling to the other—is an good way to make efficient use of resources, given that most stakeholders in the receiving country cannot travel but can benefit from the exchange.
- When both countries speak the same language or share some cultural similarities, it helps to make sure the chemistry clicks between participants and improves comprehension.
- In an exchange, it may be useful to reach out to neighboring knowledge-recipient countries with similar technical issues—but plan far enough in advance to ensure that resources and visas can be obtained.
Brazil is well-equipped to provide future knowledge exchanges. Since the exchange, nearly 70 percent of all roads in Cabo Verde are managed under PBCs (approximately 40 percent is covered by IDA-financed PBCs).
Bank staff brokered this exchange using a grant of US$41,000 from the South-South Experience Exchange Facility (SEETF) to fund the travel and accommodations of participants. Approximately 70 percent (US$29,005) was expended.
Exchange partners included:
- Output Performance Based Road Rehabilitation and Maintenance Contract (CREMA) - Overview of Brazilian transport policy and activities
- Bahia State Secretariat of Infrastructure (SEINFRA)
- Bahia State Secretariat of Planning (SEPLAN)
- Brazil Department of Infrastructure (DERBA)
- The agency responsible for the supervision of transport projects (SUPET)
- Bahia Integrated State Highway Management Project (PREMAR)
- Cape Verde Ministry of Transport
- Cape Verde Road Institute
- Cape Verde Road Fund (FAMR)
The Cape Verdean officials who visited Brazil and Salvador included:
- Presidente do Instituto de Estradas (Road Authority)
- One or two Gestor (Project Manager) do Instituto de Estradas
- Presidente do Fundo Rodoviário (Road Fund)
- Secretária Executiva do Fundo Rodoviário
- Director Geral de Infra-estruturas (Ministry of Infrastructure)
- Coordenador Nacional do Projecto RSSP (PIU of the WB project)
The knowledge providers in Brazil included:
- Francisco Luiz Costa, Director of Planning, Ministry of Transport of Brazil
- Marcelo Perrupato and Luiz Carlos Rodrigues Ribeiro- Overview of Brazilian transport policy and activities - CREMA
- Jony Marcos do Valle Lopes and Hugo Sternick- CREMA
- Otto Allencar- Infrastructure Secretary of the State of Bahia
- Marcus Cavalcanti- Head of the Cabinet of SEINFRA
- Saulo Pontes- General Director of DERBA
- Ivan Barbosa- Superintendent of Transport- SUPET
- Amélia do Amaral- Director of Intermodal- SUPET
- Luiza Amélia- Superintendent of the Technical and Financial Cooperation of SEPLAN
- Ivilana Tonhá- PREMAR Coordinator
- Anibal Coelho- PREMAR Consultant