XYZ has recently taken on a large new project in one of its countries in ENA Region from a new institutional donor who should this project: Interview Case Study, UOB, UK

University University of Birmingham (UoB)
Subject Interview

XYZ has recently taken on a large new project in one of its countries in ENA Region from a new institutional donor who should this project be successful, will help in ensuring we get future funding from this donor. The project is over 5 years and is in the region of £5 million. From an operational and strategic perspective, it is very attractive and therefore XYZ decided to go ahead with the project. However, it has come with several risks and challenges.

The project involves taking plastic waste from a polluted river and recycling this waste, such that it can be utilized to produce local products in the local economy/region as well as helping to ensure the river is cleaner.

While being a grant (not for profit project), the project has a commercial element to it, in that XYZ hopes to handover the project to the local partner we are working with on the project, who could then run with the project such that it could continue long term and fund itself from the profits made on items sold. The challenge is that the partner we are working with has a low capacity, with little or no financial controls.

We are now one year into the five-year project and here are some of the concerns:

  • Procurement of capital infrastructure is behind budget and the initial estimates of cost have been underestimated.’
  • It seems clear that economic sustainability is questionable, with costs being higher than expected and the demand for products not being as high as hoped as well as profitable.
  • Due to the low capacity of the implementing partner, XYZ staff have taken on roles that would normally be done by the partner. However, there appear to be clear relationship challenges whereby the partner staff does not feel adequately empowered by XYZ. This is having an impact on the project.

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