Recently completed activities

School buildings

In May 2015, DAARTT completed ten girls or mixed girls and boys schools in the Faryab province with funding from Norway.

The schools have a capacity of 10,000 students in two shifts. Due to insufficient number of schools, education in Afghanistan takes place in two or sometimes three or more shifts. The total number of students in the ten schools is currently 8,335, of which 7,380 (88%) are girls.

As a part of project completion, ten community-based school management committees have taken responsibility for their schools and ten maintenance teams, equipped and trained by DAARTT, have started taking care of the school buildings.

To help increase the capacity of the Provincial Education Department’s engineering section for monitoring and quality assurance of construction projects, DAARTT provided training and M&E tools for the Department’s six engineers.

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Dormitories for female students

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Justice buildings

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DAARTT has always carried out rigorous monitoring of its own construction projects, but has in recent years also developed a strong capacity for monitoring of projects implemented by other contractors.

DAARTT monitored 70 school projects in 2013 under contract with the Ministry of Education. The monitoring process pointed to serious quality problems and added significant value to the projects.

The process did not only help solve specific problems, but was also able to feed back information for management decisions beyond the individual projects.

In monitoring 34 DANIDA funded school projects during 2015, DAARTT identified 319 construction problems. Almost all problems that could be addressed were resolved, ensuring project quality.

DAARTT also carried out evaluations of five school projects at the time of their completion, providing evaluation reports with recommendations for further action.

Capacity building

On-site training
In 2013, DAARTT provided on-site training in monitoring and evaluation/quality control to engineers from provincial education departments in East, North and central Afghanistan over a nine-month period.

Training workshops
In addition, 78 engineers from the education departments of 16 provinces and nine engineers from the Ministry of Education’s Infrastructure Services Department attended workshops combining classroom and on-site training by DAARTT in monitoring and evaluation/quality control.

The training was complemented by provision of M&E equipment and tools, as well as three vehicles.

Development of cost-estimation system
During 2014, DAARTT supported the Ministry of Education in developing and using:
• a comprehensive cost-estimation system for all school types, including extensive standard bills of quantities for all structures
• cost matrices for all provinces of Afghanistan
• model formats for cost estimation.
The system allowed the Ministry of Education’s Infrastructure Services Department to estimate the costs of any school in a few hours, where previously this took weeks.

Development of construction manual
In 2014, DAARTT also supported the Infrastructure Services Department in developing a 250-page construction manual to serve as a reference tool for its technical staff. This provided guidelines for each step in the process of planning, implementing and monitoring school construction projects and included formats to be used in managing the process.

The cost estimation system and the manual provided tools for improvement of contract management, enabling the Ministry of Education to ensure higher cost-effectiveness and quality of school projects as well as faster implementation.

Wide-ranging assessment of capacity
As a basis for further strengthening of capacity, DAARTT in 2015 prepared a number of comprehensive reports identifying shortcomings in the Ministry of Education, in particular at its Infrastructure Services Department and provincial education departments, and recommended 31 measures for improvement of:
• Planning
• Design
• contract management
• and quality assurance of school buildings.
Full implementation of these would need substantial external support.