Monthly Progress Report (12) August 2020

1. Activities and Achievements of the Month

1.1 Summary of Progress

The Project implementation arrangements at SREDA, IDCOL and BIFFL were mostly restored, but with persisting restrictions within the office space to avoid further spread of COVID-19. The Project Implementation (PI) Consultant Team gradually resumed their activities with approximately two working days being present at the Project Office in SREDA. The international consultant members, however, still had to work from remote environment, under indefinite restrictions to be coming over to perform their field activities in Bangladesh.
The work resources (person-months) constraints are forcing the PI Consultant Team to cut down its activities. The home-based work resources of some of the international consultants have nearly run out, but without the flexibility to allocate their field-based working resources, the international consultants’ work is being severely restricted. Likewise, the temporarily-imposed upper limit for the national experts’ work resources has also restricted the activities of the Team.
Despite such constraints, the PI Consultant Team continued working on the support for the pending NOC issuing, the promotion of NOC application from IDCOL and BIFFL, and on the project implementation environment improvement (on the Project MIS). There were also some supportive works for SREDA’s GoB portion training arrangements. Ongoing activities include (i) standardisation of EE&C effect calculation methodology, (ii) advertising preparation, and (iii) follow-up of information collection on other development partners’ EE&C promotion activities.

Fig 1 Team meeting on EE&C effect calculation methodology

1.2 Assistance for Issuing of Two NOCs

Two NOCs were issues together on 13 August 2020, in response to the NOC requests submitted from IDCOL. One was numbered AD19120301 for 4A Yarn Dyeing Limited, a RMG factory specialised in jacket manufacturing, located in Dhaka Export Processing Zone, Savar. The NOC request (finalised version), with sewing machines, compressor, boiler, gas engine cogeneration and others, was received by SREDA on 8 July 2020. Another was the NOC request for the replacement issuing of once-withdrawn NOC (AD19092201) for Hamid Spinning Mills Limited, a greenfield spinning mill project in Narsingdi, numbered AD20032301. The NOC request for spinning machines (roving frame, ring spinning frame, automatic winder) absorption chillers and others, was received by SREDA on 12 July 2020. The PI Consultant Team worked with SREDA PIU members to check the documentations and to investigate the eligibility. As the remote communication between the international consultant members of the PI Consultant Team and the SREDA officials turned out to take extra time, the eligibility checking process took longer than expected duration.

1.3 Promotion for further NOC Request Submission

After having the two NOCs issued, the PI Consultant Team strongly reaffirmed the necessity to maintain impetus of the Project. In response to this acknowledgement, the PI Consultant Team restored close communications with the IFIs through remote environment, with an aim to encourage further NOC request submissions and to monitor the progress of the existing sub-projects. IDCOL and BIFFL PIU members were respectively invited to the PI Consultant Team’s informal internal meeting for information sharing and also to identify the ways to support the IFIs’ further NOC request submissions. It was found through these communications that both IDCOL and BIFFL are preparing for a few more NOC requests to be submitted to SREDA, despite the economic backlash due to COVID-19 pandemic. It was also recognised that he IFIs are desiring for a smooth and quick eligibility checking to be done at SREDA, to let the proponents feel secured on their financial arrangement processes.

Fig 2 Sub-project progress monitoring
Fig 3 Sub-project progress monitoring

1.4 Project Implementation Environment Improvement

The improvements on the ESMS process on the Project MIS (more precisely, the environmental and social performance reporting process and outputs) was finally completed. The PI Consultant Team further identified some more MIS improvements to be addressed to, including: (i) data corrections on the past NOC requests, notably on the loan sanction dates (which did not accommodate the dates earlier than the preceding process dates); (ii) reinforcing the equipment purchase and installation record keeping facilities; (iii) home page appearance for the IFIs, among others. During the month, the PI Consultant Team started drafting the change request reports, which will become the specifications for the actual improvement works to be conducted by CSL Software Limited.

1.5 Project Administration Works

Even after the removal of the official physical movement restriction, a remote meeting is still being the major communication method among the Project stakeholders and also among the PI Consultant Team, notably with the international team members. Document sharing (those which were submitted in hard copies) for the eligibility checking in NOC request processing was another function performed by the Project Administrator. The Project administration continued to be an essential function for the Project to be running. The Project Administrator also worked on some of the tangible outputs (work ongoing), such as the registering of sub-project’s energy & production related data into the Project MIS, considerations for integrating SREDA Standard and Labelling program with EECPFP Component III, among others.

The PI Consultant Team’s work environment restoration was also another major task to be conducted by the Project Administrator. It included logistic arrangements for Project office equipment (hygienic and safety materials as a countermeasure against COVID-19 infections), and office automation equipment (including a common PC in the office). Mobility management of the team members was also taken care of by the Project Administration (vehicle requirement management).

1.6 Project Administration Works (Salient Points)

Below are some salient points on the administrative issues works have been done for the project.

Fig 4 Online Team Meeting
  • Follow up team leader draft on EECPFP QPR16 – Finalizing for Submission.
  • Administrative work inputs to MPR July20.
  • Follow up IDCOL requirement mail and team correspondence on EECPFP- Eligible Technology & Equipment List Enhancement (finalized for now, to be consulted with TAC).
  • Follow up “ESMS Test Release”.
  • To support project manager on logistic issues, coordinated arranging meeting among TL, PM and team members on getting their opinion, suggestions and prepare list of requirements on safety equipments for COVID19 protection and machine support (PC and related licensed software) to create better working environment at SREDA office work place. Office key arrangement for E4 Tech team and Professor Masood.
  • Follow up team leader’s instructions on EECPFP Post-Eid work plan.
  • Follow up SREDA Chairman’s Project briefing carried on newspapers on media coverage of our ongoing project activities.
  • Follow-up Jaba for Car safety on COVID-19 countermeasures, work guidelines and Rental car bill for month of July, 2020 Log sheet checking and signing. (Providing Health Department COVID-19 countermeasures guideline to Jaba for Car safety and as per PM suggestion went through the whole booklet to find out the relevant part in the guideline appropriate for car travel and Jaba drivers and Jaba office environment improvement).
  • Arranging PI team meetings. Follow up Team leader and Project Manager provided work guide lines on resuming our activities at SREDA Project Office and coordination. Checking the suggestions from team members. Agenda was– office environment & COVID-19 countermeasures, MRI letter printed rules (Direction for Social & Institutional Organization to Prevent and Control of COVID-19 Pandemic, published by Combined COVID-19 Control Centre, Health Department) to be hanged at our office etc.
  • Working at SREDA on NOC, logistic issues, arrange meeting project PD and PI team members.
  • Follow up “Meeting with CEGIS”, collecting SREDA updates,
  • Coordinating and correspondence among the IFC-Pact ll, JICA and Miura team for the meeting requirement.
  • Follow up meeting with BIFFL.
  • Follow up IFC-Miura-team meeting rescheduling, SREDA activities planning.
  • Follow up ESMS module feedbacks.
  • Follow up “EECPFP – NOC issuing process” checked the MIS communications function.
  • Support Prof Masood on his task and explaining about NOC process fundamentals after that updated him on Hamid and 4AYarn NOC applications and what to follow at SREDA etc.
  • Visiting SREDA followed up IDCOL’s two recent NOCs (Hamid2 and 4AYarn dying) taking the scan of the two NOCs issued, so that we can upload it on the MIS on their behalf.
  • Submitted the EECPFP deliverables documents to PD.
  • Working at SREDA on deliverable submission, team meeting with PM, PD.
  • Monitored and organized transportation activities, checking invoice (Rental car bill for the month of June, 2020) and log-sheet information provided by the service provider, orchestrating transportation movements and arranging services when necessary.
  • As per team decision, scheduling and managing National PI team members’ physical attendance at SREDA office work place by rotational support at a good team collaboration to avoid social distancing and safety precautions due to COVID-19 outbreak worries in the country.
  • Working on PI team’s immediate work plan and team members’ availability and related activities plan.
  • Managed schedules for the meetings and recording decisions and communicate as and when necessary to all/ individual team members for action items or progress during meetings and performs basic follow-up afterwards.
  • Maintained good communication and collaboration among the international and National team members due to recent COVID 19 situation sharing country updates among the team. Helped finding doable tasks, set timeframes & goals, provided documentation to team members retrieving necessary information from previous sources. Maintaining and monitoring project plans, project schedules, work hours, discussing updates.
  • Observed the National team member’s activities and reporting to TL and PM for smooth-running of the team-management and cross-checked planned work schedules, when necessary.
  • Help support TL and PM in managing project activities following instructions, recommending changes, keeping update on compliance or national issues as per requirement.

2. Appendices

There is no appendix to this month’s progress report.