Nutrition Improvement for Community Empowerment (NICE) Project, Indonesia (ADB Loan NO. 2348-INO [SF])

Name of Client:
Directorate of Community Nutrition (DCN) / Ministry of Health (MOH), Indonesia


Length of Consultancy Assignment:
Start Date:  January 2010
Completion Date:  September 2012

Detailed Narrative Description of Project:

This ADB loan-funded project aimed to reduce and prevent underweight in 1.48 million children under the age of 5 years and 500,000 pregnant women. It provided positive social and economic benefits, including the avoidance of costs associated with cognitive losses and lower productivity, and with higher morbidity and mortality. It covered about 4,000 villages in 24 districts (including poor urban areas in six cities) in six provinces.

The project delivered five outputs: (i) strengthened capacity for the development of nutrition policies, programs, and surveillance; (ii) improved quality and integrated nutrition services for women and children in the project areas; (iii) enhanced community capability for and implementation of nutrition, hygiene, and sanitation interventions; (iv) expanded food fortification programs and strengthened nutrition communication; and (v) enhanced capacity for project management including planning, monitoring, and evaluation of nutrition programs. To facilitate the achievement of the goals and objectives, the NICE Project has made available financial grants to 1800 priority villages.

Accessing the $15,000 financial assistance required the preparation of proposals by a village committee in accordance with agreed priorities and guidelines. The community proposals were reviewed by the districts and approved by the provincial health offices, and the grants were released in three tranches directly to the account of the community nutrition committee.

PRIMEX fielded a team of international specialists who provided project management and technical assistance to the Central Project Management Unit (CPMU) in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of project activities, including advocacy and public awareness on the need for food fortification and improved nutrition services for mothers and children under 5 yrs old. The Team assisted the MOH-DGCN and provincial health offices and community-based organizations (CBOs) in preparing a detailed implementation plan for the preparation phase and providing support in the subsequent years of implementation.

The tasks of the Consultant Team included the assessment of adequacy and efficiency of public policy on Food and Community Nutrition, and provision of recommendations on specific reform strategies to the Project Director and Central Technical Team (CTT). More specifically, the consultants: (i) advised and assisted the Project Manager and CPMU staff to ensure that the Provincial Project Coordinating Units (PPCUs) and District Project Implementation Units (DPIUs) were operational; (ii) supported the CPMU in preparing detailed project activities and arrangements to ensure the supervision, guidance, and effectiveness of project staff and consultants; (iii) supported the training of CPMU, PPCU, and DPIU staff on ADB procedures regarding procurement of goods and services, prepared tender documents, and assisted in the bidding process, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting; (iv) assisted the Project Director in overseeing preparation of procedures and guidelines; (v) assisted the Project Manager in establishing grievance procedures and guidelines; (vi) advised and assisted CPMU as requested; and (vii) assisted the CPMU in preparing the Government’s Project Completion Report (PCR).

The PRIMEX team of consultants was mobilized on 4 January 2010 and, in just about over a year, was able to accomplish the increase in project fund disbursements from $11 million dollars to $46 million, or a 400% increase in the utilization of the fund allocation. More than 90% of the increase in the fund disbursements was attributed to the PRIMEX consultants’ efforts to facilitate the release of the financial grants to the 1,800 villages eligible and prioritized for this financial assistance. During the one-year period of its mobilization, the consultants facilitated the release of $25 million to the community nutrition committees. The Team simplified the proposal preparation guidelines and simplified the proposal review and approval process.