Appraisal Environmental and Social Review Summary Appraisal Stage (ESRS Appraisal Stage)

48

Appraisal Environmental and Social Review Summary Appraisal Stage

(ESRS Appraisal Stage)

 

Date Prepared/Updated: 11/02/2019 | Report No: ESRSA00323

BASIC INFORMATION

A. Basic Project Data

Country

 Thailand

Region

EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC

Project ID

P170730

Parent Project ID (if any)
Project Name Socio-economic Reintegration Project in Southern Thailand
Practice Area (Lead)

 

«PRACTICEAREA»

Financing Instrument

 

Investment Project Financing

Estimated Appraisal Date

 

 

Estimated Board Date 11/8/2019

 

 

Borrower(s)

 

Hilal Ahmar Foundation

Implementing Agency(ies)

 Hilal Ahmar Foundation

 

Proposed Development Objective(s)

The development objective of the project is to assist the government in piloting an enhanced socio-economic reintegration process for selected former combatants.

The project will pilot a new approach to reintegration with a focus on social and economic measures, and with inclusive and transparent delivery modalities. The aim of the Pilot is to test new approaches and civilian implementation modalities that should improve the socio-economic reintegration experience of former combatants. If the project is deemed successful, the government will have at its disposal a set of social and economic support processes, and an implementation arrangement with systems and procedures that it can draw upon in the future. At the same time, would-be former combatants will have better prospects for a viable return to civilian livelihoods, a clearer understanding of reintegration support they can expect, and a better understanding of how and by whom it will be delivered.


Financing (in USD Million)                                                                                 Amount

Total Project Cost                                                                                             1.35

B. Is the project being prepared in a Situation of Urgent Need of Assistance or Capacity Constraints, as per Bank IPF Policy, para. 12?

No

C. Summary Description of Proposed Project [including overview of Country, Sectoral & Institutional Contexts and Relationship to CPF]

The World Bank will finance a socio-economic reintegration project in Southern Thailand:

  1. The project will pilot socio-economic assistance measures for selected former combatants, their families and the communities of return. The project has two categories of beneficiaries: Individual Project Beneficiaries (IPBs) and Community Group Beneficiaries (CGB). IPBs are former combatants (and their families) who have cleared government legal and other procedures related to their past activities and have returned to communities within the project area. The project will initially cover 200 IPBs and may be extended to another 40 IPBs in year 2. CGBs include the residents of the villages in which the IPBs reside and who will benefit from Community Social Integration Grants (CSIG) financed by the project. The project area comprises 16 villages in 8 sub-districts of Narathiwat and Pattani provinces. Monitoring and feedback mechanisms will be established to facilitate adaptive learning. The government will establish a multi-agency Program Advisory Committee to provide guidance to the executing agency, a local NGO selected by the government to implement the project. Various reintegration activities will be provided by government line agencies and non-governmental organizations.

2. The World Bank will provide technical support and capacity building (workshop and training) to support the implementation of the socio-economic reintegration program. Two South-south learning events will be conducted to share international experience on disarmament demobilization and reintegration (DDR); knowledge management notes will be produced to take lessons from the pilot interventions.

D. Environmental and Social Overview

D.1 Project location(s) and salient characteristics relevant to the ES assessment [geographic, environmental, social] The project will be implemented in two southernmost provinces namely Pattani and Narathiwat which specific locations of activities including socio-economic reintegration assistance program will be identified during the project implementation Pattani and Narathiwat provinces are Muslim-majority provinces, located in the southernmost part of Thailand that border Malaysia to the South and Gulf of Thailand to the Northeastern. The provinces feature a range of natural resources including forest, peat swamp forest and mangrove, rivers, coastal resources and are relatively fertile. The project will set up a multi-agency Program Advisory Committee (PAC) chaired by the by the Secretariat of the Peace Dialogue Panel of the National Security Council that will provide oversight of the implementation of the grant, as well as coordinate all participating government agencies and civil society organizations.The contracted NGO Hilal Ahmar Foundation (HAF) under the overall guidance of the PAC will be responsible for the pilot project which aims to deliver and evaluate a redesigned socio-economic reintegration program for ex-detainees and ex-combatants. The reintegration program would involve multi-sectoral assistance such as access to education/skills training opportunities, health and psycho-social services and livelihoods support. It is expected that one cycle of small grant will be provided for both sub-district level (approximately THB 300,000 or US$ 9,819 per Community Group Beneficiary (CGB) and individual or family level (approximately THB 50,000 (US$ 1,667) per Individual Project Beneficiary (IPBs). At individual or family level, additional grant or vulnerability grant of approximately THB 18,000 (US$ 589) per IPB will be provided to vulnerable IPBs. The reintegration pilot would initially cover 200 PBs and their families and may be extended to another 40 PBs in year 2. A reintegration unit housed under the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) will partner with agencies overseeing socio-economic aspects of the reintegration. Some services would be provided by line agencies and non-governmental organizations.

D.2 Borrower’s Institutional Capacity

The government has selected the Hilal Ahmar Foundation (HAF) as the grant recipient to implement the program pilot. The Foundation’s capacity to address environmental and social concerns will be assessed and required strengthening measures incorporated during the first six months of the project implementation prior to the actual socio-economic service delivery which is tentatively set at the end of the first year. The HAF has project staff who have been associated with implementing earlier phases of the World Bank assisted program in Southern Thailand and are familiar with application of environmental and social safeguard policies. They need to be trained for application of the Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) and this process of orientation and training has already been initiated

ll. SUMMARY OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL (ES) RISKS AND IMPACTS

A.  Environmental and Social Risk Classification (ESRC)                      Substantial
 Environmental Risk Rating                                                                       Moderate

The Environmental Risk Rating for the proposed project is Moderate. There are no civil construction activities planned under this operation. The project will provide limited number of small grants for beneficiaries. At individual level, small grants will be provided to IPBs to use for skills training or livelihoods support activities include income generating activities around producing different types of agricultural products or off-farm activities. At community level, small grants will be provided to CBGs for non-civil works type sub-projects that explicitly support the reintegration of former combatants. These activities, which require small foot prints, would be mostly carried out in the existing residential or agriculture/livelihood areas of the individual beneficiaries and communities usually away from environmentally sensitive areas.

It is recognized that project activities on livelihoods support may lead to minor to moderate adverse impacts to the environment from improper management of solid/liquid waste and other forms of local pollution including dust dispersion, noise, etc. Improper management of solid/liquid wastes may also lead to community exposure to water- borne and vector-borne disease. Similar to implementation experiences of the previous World Bank supported CDD in the Three Southernmost Provinces in Thailand, these adverse impacts are anticipated to be low in magnitude, limited to sub-project sites, reversible and could be managed thorough readily available mitigation measures. Selection criteria for this multi-sector assistance, including negative list will be developed prior to project implementation to ensure that adverse impacts on the environment are avoided or minimized. For example, livelihoods activities that involve exploitation/harvesting of natural resources in critical natural habitats or involve/promote use of pesticide will be ineligible for project support. The operation manual of an integrated socio-economic reintegration program that will be developed prior to project implementation to guide the reintegration program implementation will include this requirement. These selection criteria would be reviewed and approved by the Bank.

The implementing agency, HAF, has project staff who are familiar with application of environmental and social safeguard policies particularly for CDD in the context of the Three Southernmost provinces. In addition, ES capacity of communities facilitators and experts available in the project areas had been developed through implementations of the previous World Bank supported CDD projects. Their capacities will be further strengthened for application of the Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) through training during the project implementation period. Contextual risks that could influence the delivery of ES mitigation measures and outcomes are not anticipated as the implementing agency and potential facilitators and experts are familiar with the areas and CDD ES operations.

Social Risk Rating                                                                     Substantial                 

The Social Risk Rating for this project is Substantial at this point of preparation given the sensitive conflict context, some concerns about the acceptability of project activities, and unknown capacity of implementing agency to manage E&S risks. The proposed intervention would be undertaken at a time when the parties to the conflict have not yet engaged in a formal peace process. Consequently, it is not without risk in both security and reputational terms.

Additional social risks could include those related to

  • possible exclusion of the relatively vulnerable amongst the returnees;
  • forced labor, child labor or labor influx related risks on sub projects;
  • community health and safety risks;
  • inadequate consultation with all stakeholders regarding pilot program activities; and
  • absence of functional grievance redress mechanisms;

A 2-day workshop on ESF has been provided to the government & executing agency (EA). Roles and responsibilities of the government & EA were discussed. The government endorses all key ESF instruments developed by the EA. The pilot will have a clear set of criteria and process agreed upon by the PAC. Gender sensitivity training will be provided to EA staff to raise awareness and to monitor the situation. ESF training will be provided including child labor, community health &safety issues.

The acceptability of the proposed approach would need to be carefully and sensitively consulted upon with a range of stakeholders who may need more explanation on the proposed reintegration program. The proposed approach would need to be crafted in consultation with community representatives, target beneficiaries and their families. The Bank would provide technical support to the government to develop and execute a stakeholder engagement strategy (including a communication and dissemination strategy) that supports public dialogue on this aspect of peace- building, informs the public, sensitizes communities, and gains support for the reintegration program.

Its sustained engagement in Thailand’s south has given the Bank not only significant knowledge of the target areas and issues but also trust and acceptance by state and non-state actors. Building on this experience and these relationships, the Bank would mitigate the risks through various ways. First, it would foster a transparent and participatory approach to program design that reflects the views of all relevant stakeholders. In so doing, it would seek to demonstrate that the revised program is not simply an extension of the current one. In this regard, Bank execution of Component 3 is a critical risk mitigation measure. Second, social accountability measures built into program design would allow for participatory monitoring and evaluation and identification of issues that affect implementation. Adjustments to design and implementation would confirm the RTG’s approach to reintegration as peace-building. Third, various reintegration activities would be undertaken by civil society organizations as these are trusted by the communities. Coordinating services across a diverse range of government and non-government agencies would help bring the RTG closer to the people. Fourth, by initially focusing on ex-combatants and ex-detainees who have already returned, the program pilot would serve as a confidence building measure that may help facilitate peace dialogue. Fifth, by phasing in the various components of the proposed intervention the Bank would be able to reassess the risks prior to the launch of the program pilot. Finally, it is worth noting that the government has already approved the 20 Year Strategic Plan in which peace dialogue and conflict resolution are prioritized as a national agenda, thus the policy and direction for the peace process as well as the reintegration program would be a continuing approach.

 

B. Environment and Social Standards (ESSs) that Apply to the Activities Being Considered

B.1. General Assessment

ESS1 Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts

Overview of the relevance of the Standard for the Project:

The design and implementation of the enhanced Reintegration Program Pilot, including delivery of multi-sectoral socio-economic reintegration assistance, such as access to education/skills training opportunities, health and psycho- social services and livelihoods support to 200 to 240 selected ex-detainees and ex-combatants and their families, is based on two social assessments. These assessments include the reports titled “Men and Youth in Thailand’s Conflict Affected Deep South” and “Reintegration: Voices from the Deep South”. The first report has been disclosed at the website of the Prince of Songkhla University and the World Bank in 2015. The English version of the second report will be disclosed at the HAF website by November 8, 2019. A summary of the two studies will also be disclosed.

                                                                                                                                During early implementation, the project will:

  1. conduct community and socio-economic This information would serve as the baseline data and the foundation of a “case management system” to support participants throughout the reintegration process.
  2. develop and execute a stakeholder engagement strategy, which includes a communication and dissemination strategy that supports public dialogue on this aspect of peace-building, informs the public, sensitizes communities, and gains support for the reintegration

 

The project will support livelihood activities that will be selected by IPBs during project implementation. Potential livelihood activities include production of various types of agricultural products (e.g. rice, vegetable, orchards, rubber, etc.), livestocks and off-farm entrepreneurial activities (e.g. small food processing, small convenient shops, etc.).

These small scale activities may generate small amount of domestic wastes, wastewater, odor, noise, or other forms of pollution. This may generate low to moderate direct and indirect impacts which are site-specific on the environment since grants size is small and number of grant is limited. It is not expected that the project will have cumulative environmental impacts. A simple Environmental Codes of Practice (ECOP), that is in plain and instructive language, will be developed along wih the PoM within four months after project effectiveness, and before disbursements of the socio-economic reintegration grants, to guide environmental management during execution of socio-economic reintegration assistance program. The ECOP will include a general set of environmental codes of practice that are applicable to any type of livelihood activity and ECOP specific to particular types of potential livelihood activities. It will include requirements of the relevant ESSs including ESS1 Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts, ESS3 Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention, ESS4 Community Health and Safety and Management and ESS6 Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources. Activities that involve harvesting of natural resources in critical habitats or use/promote use of pesticide or other types of economic ventures and activities that the project cannot support due to expected ES adverse impacts will be identified and agreed up on with the borrower and will then be reflected in a negative list to be included in the ECOPs and the POM.

The ECOPs will be developed during early implementation, as part of the ESCP, as the HAF is only fully onboard after the signing of the grant agreement. This is further justified given the low to moderate risk of site-specific activities. The ECOP will be reviewed and cleared by the Bank and will be incorporated into the POM within four months after project effectiveness, and before any site-specific investment and disbursements of the socio-economic reintegration grants.

ESS10 Stakeholder Engagement and Information Disclosure

The Stakeholder Engagement Plan has been prepared prior to Project Appraisal in consultation with a carefully selected cohort of stakeholder representatives that includes Southern Border Public Administrative Centre (SBPAC), Internal Security Operations Center Region 4, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labor and Ministry of Public Health, Hilal Ahmar Foundation, representatives of academia, NGO/CSOs, religious organizations and local community representatives. One of the key activities of the operation is the development and execution of the stakeholder engagement strategy including communication and dissemination strategy that supports public dialogue on this aspect of peace-building, informs the public, sensitizes communities, and gains support for the reintegration program and the Stakeholder Engagement Plan would lay out a framework for its development. The project will also assist the government to develop a stakeholder engagement strategy including communication and dissemination strategy that supports public dialogue on this aspect of peace-building, informs the public, sensitizes communities, and gains support for the reintegration program. Recognizing the risk of tensions and the stigmatization and self- isolation of IPBs, a dispute handling and grievance redress mechanism (GRM) is proposed tol be developed and implemented. The GRM forms an important part of the project’s monitoring and evaluation system. Furthermore, the GRM will allow IPBs, their families and community members to express any grievances they may have about the project in a confidential manner. To this end, the GRM will use procedures that were already tested during the World Bank’s earlier CDD projects in the region. Disputes or grievances that cannot be resolved by the social counselors will be transmitted to the executing agency and, if they are very severe, to the PAC for resolution.

B.2.   Specific Risks and Impacts

A brief description of the potential environmental and social risks and impacts relevant to the Project. ESS2 Labor and Working Conditions

The executing agency Hilal Ahmar Foundation will have a few contracted staff providing project implementation support and managing procurement, finance and administration. Similarly community organizers and field based workers would be involved in implementation of the Individual Project Beneficiary (IPB) and Community Group Beneficiary (CGB) based support programs. The management of these direct workers would be laid out in a Labor Management Procedure (LMP) to be developed within four months after the project effectiveness and prior to disbursements of the socio-economic reintegration grants. Labor Grievance Redress Mechanism will also be outlined as part of the Labor Management Procedure. While there would be no use of security forces as part of the operation, adequate care is being taken for the security of workers involved in the project. There is no recent national data on the prevalence of intimate partner violence in Thailand. However, the World Bank has conducted a literature review on gender and violence in the Deep South in 2018 and has recently conducted two studies on the Impact of Families by Returnees Suffering from Conflict Affected Trauma (2019) and on Reintegration: Voices from the Deep South indicate that wives and children of the ex-detainees and ex-combatants suffer from domestic violence – physically and mentally. Women who return with their former combatant husbands or whose husbands return, report stress and domestic tension particularly as the recently returned men rarely leave the house. Based on the review and these studies in the Southern Thailand, risk of GBV is moderate. Required sensitization training will be provided.

The preparation of the LMP during early implementation, as part of the ESCP, and before the disbursements of the socio-economic reintegration grants , is justified as the HAF is only fully onboard after the signing of the grant agreement. This is further justified given the low ESS risks. The LMP will be reviewed and cleared by the Bank prior to disbursements of social and economic reintegration grants.

ESS3 Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention and Management

Livelihood support activities may lead to generation of various forms of moderate pollution such as waste water, (non hazardous) solid waste, dust, noise, odour, soil erosion and siltation, etc. depending on type and nature of activities. For example, skill training/implementation support for small food processing may generate wastewater, waste cooking oil and solid wastes, agricultural related activity may involve lost of top soil/soil erosion and use of fertilizer, etc. These potential impacts are expected to be limited to sub-projects location and to have low adverse impacts on the environment and people. Mitigation measures will be included in the Environmental Codes of Practice to manage these impacts. Activity that involve or promote use of pesticide will not be eligible for project support and will be included in the negative list in the operation manual.

ESS4 Community Health and Safety

Livelihood support activities could lead to potential for community exposure to water-borne and vector-borne diseases if environmental/sanitation management is inadequate. For example, stagnant or slow-flowing water/wastewater could provide breeding ground for insects including mosquitoes that can transmit diseases e.g. dengue fever. Poor solid waste management could attract insects, rodents that can transmit disease. Since project livelihood support will be a small-scale activities, it is anticipate that impact on community health due to water-borne and vector-borne disease transmission will be low. The ECOPs will include good practices to ensure adequate management of solid wastes, wastewater and drainage to prevent and minimized potential breeding ground for disease vectors. Adequate screening has been carried out to ensure that there are minimal security related issues for communities/beneficiaries or for the participating detainees.

ESS5 Land Acquisition, Restrictions on Land Use and Involuntary Resettlement

There is no land taking/acquisition or civil works expected as part of project design or project financing and therefore land use restrictions or involuntary resettlement impacts are not expected, hence ESS 5 is currently considered not relevant.

ESS6 Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources

The project is not anticipated to lead to negative impacts on critical habitats since the project will not finance any civil works. The project support on livelihood activities that involve exploitation/harvesting of natural resources in critical/sensitive habitats will not be allowed and will be included in the negative list in operation manual. However, livelihood support activities or capacity buildings which will be identified during project implementation through needs assessment and consultations with project beneficiaries may involve conservation of natural resources e.g. canal/river or production of crops or animal husbandry. The ECOPs will include measures to enhance conservation practices and will include Good International Industrial Practices (GIIP) to avoid or minimize adverse risks or impacts on the environment and people.

ESS7 Indigenous Peoples/Sub-Saharan African Historically Underserved Traditional Local Communities

The three southernmost provinces are home to the majority Malay Muslim population to the extent of 96% who don’t meet the standard characteristics of IPs. The Bank has had experience of supporting implementation of a CDD project in these areas during 2009-2017. In the absence of Indigenous peoples, OP 4.10 was not applied and on the same basis ESS7 will also not be relevant.

C. Legal Operational Policies that Apply 

OP 7.50 Projects on International Waterways                                          No

OP 7.60 Projects in Disputed Areas                                                           No

III. BORROWER’S ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL COMMITMENT PLAN (ESCP)

DELIVERABLES against MEASURES AND ACTIONs IDENTIFIED                TIMELINE

ESS 1 Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE: Establish an organizational structure with qualified staff to support management of E&S risks including recruitment of part-time or full-time safeguards specialist acceptable to IBRD within executing agency.

Maintain safeguards specialist, as necessary, throughout Project implementation.

 

 

01/2020

MANAGEMENT TOOLS AND INSTRUMENTS: Develop and implement Environment Code of Practice (ECOP) for the management of sub-projects. ECOPs will be based on typology of projects to be selected. The ECOP will be part of the Project Operations Manual. The ECOP will be provided for IBRD review before use of projects funds commence.  

 

02/2020

Selection criteria for this multi-sector assistance, including negative list will be developed prior to project implementation to ensure that adverse impacts on the environment are avoided or minimized. The selection criteria will be reviewed by the Bank.
ESS 10 Stakeholder Engagement and Information Disclosure
The Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP) has been drafted by the EA and shared with the Bank for review. The development of the communication strategy would be carried out as part of project implementation.  

02/2020

ESS 2 Labor and Working Conditions
LABOR MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES (LMP): Develop and implement labor management procedures. LMP will be part of the Project Operations Manual.  

02/2020

GRIEVANCE MECHANISM FOR PROJECT WORKERS: Develop and maintain a grievance mechanism for Project workers. 02/2020
ESS 3 Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention and Management
Relevant provisions of ESS 3 to be incorporated in the ECOP. 02/2020
ESS 4 Community Health and Safety
GBV AND SEA RISKS

Based on the review and these studies in the Southern Thailand, risk of GBV is moderate. GBV and SEA related sensitization training will be provided.

 

03/2020

ESS 5 Land Acquisition, Restrictions on Land Use and Involuntary Resettlement
ESS 6 Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources
Relevant provisions of ESS 6 to be incorporated in the ECOP. 03/2020
ESS 7 Indigenous Peoples/Sub-Saharan African Historically Underserved Traditional Local Communities
ESS 8 Cultural Heritage
Not relevant.
ESS 9 Financial Intermediaries

 

B.3. Reliance on Borrower’s policy, legal and institutional framework, relevant to the Project risks and impacts

Is this project being prepared for use of Borrower Framework?                                No

Areas where “Use of Borrower Framework” is being considered:

None.

IV. CONTACT POINTS

World Bank

Contact:   Pamornrat Tansanguanwong      Title: Senior Social Development Specialist Telephone No: 5778+8347 /

Email:   ptansanguanwong@worldbank.org

Contact: Ingo Wiederhofer                        Title:    Lead Social Development Specialist Telephone No:  473-5989

Email: iwiederhofer@worldbank.org

Borrower/Client/Recipient

Borrower: Hilal Ahmar Foundation

Implementing Agency(ies)

Implementing Agency: Hilal Ahmar Foundation

V. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

The World Bank 1818 H Street, NW

Washington, D.C. 20433

Telephone: (202) 473-1000

Web: http://www.worldbank.org/projects

VI. APPROVAL

Task Team Leader(s):                            Pamornrat Tansanguanwong, Ingo Wiederhofer

Practice Manager (ENR/Social)              Christophe Crepin Cleared on 02-Nov-2019 at 07:39:39 EDT