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Assessment of the Effectiveness of Bank Technical Assistance for Capacity Building in Indonesia

Assessment of the Effectiveness of Bank Technical Assistance for Capacity Building in Indonesia

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This special evaluation study evaluates selected ADB-financed advisory and operational technical assistance in Indonesia as of end-1995.
This special evaluation study evaluates selected ADB-financed advisory and operational technical assistance in Indonesia as of end-1995.

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This Special Study evaluates 61 of the 122 advisory and operational technicalassistance (AOTA) projects that the Bank had financed in Indonesia as of end-1995.
Indonesiais one of the largest recipients of AOTA from the Bank. AOTAs to Indonesia cover a wide rangeof sectors and subsectors and 32 recipient agencies. The Study followed a participatoryevaluation methodology and thus also reflects user perceptions.Difficulties were posed in the assessment of the effectiveness of AOTAs by(i) the broad generality in the objectives of several AOTAs and the lack of specificity in them; (ii)the multiplicity of such objectives and the absence of their prioritization and weightage; (iii) thelack of baseline data, measures of effectiveness in the attainment of objectives, and ofobjectively verifiable indicators of success; and (iv) the considerable passage of timesubsequent to the completion of some AOTAs leading to loss of corporate memory, and tooverlay by subsequent developments. The Study has had to be based on the best judgementpossible under the circumstances.The Study categorizes the AOTAs in the sample studied into two broadcategories: (i) AOTAs that provided a technical output such as studies and plans,recommendation on policies and regulations, and systems and manuals; and (ii) institutionalstrengthening and capacity building AOTAs that involve the effective transmission of systems,processes, and capacities that would enable independent production of the requisite outputs byrecipient agencies. The Study found that 75 percent of the AOTAs in the first category were atleast partly successful. By contrast, only 41 percent were partly successful or better in achievingsustainable institutional development, a process that is more complex, more demanding, andtime-consuming than the provision of technical outputs.AOTAs in all executing agencies were partly successful in terms of their technicaleffectiveness, but in terms of effectiveness in institution building, they ranged from partly successfulto unsuccessful. AOTAs for all sectors were partly successful in terms of technical effectiveness,though the level of success was lower in the energy sector; conversely, the level of success interms of institutional strengthening was low in all sectors except energy. All major activity groupsunder the AOTAs had some success in technical terms except monitoring and evaluation, but theonly major activity group that enjoyed some success in institutional strengthening was upgradingstatistical information services.In terms of program focus, AOTAs to Indonesia fall into five thematic categories:development/sectoral planning, organizational development, policy reform, environmentalmanagement, and privatization. AOTAs in the first two categories were rated as partly successful,and those in the other three were rated unsuccessful. In terms of contribution to Indonesia'sdevelopment management capacity, relatively greater success was achieved by AOTAs instrengthening policy formulation and the development and enforcement of the legal framework.The success of AOTAs in the mobilization, allocation, and management of finances andinvestment planning capacities was low. The success level of AOTAs in the other areas fell in
In addition, 13 ongoing AOTAs were evaluated only for design. Two TAs were canceled before anydisbursements were made.
3between. These areas were (i) enhancing public sector efficiencies and effectiveness in thedelivery and management of essential infrastructure and services; and (ii) promotinggovernment capacity to work productively with private, voluntary, and community institutions inthe development process, as well as the capacity of private, voluntary, and user-grouporganizations.The determining factor in the success of technical AOTAs was the consultant. Themain factors contributing to the success of institutional strengthening AOTAs were prior diagnosticstudies of recipient agencies, recipient commitment and input at a high level in thegovernment/recipient agency, realistic objectives and deliverable outputs, adequate resources anda realistic time horizon, process improvement, the training of trainers, milestones to measureprogress, active management involvement throughout the duration of the AOTA, and post-completion benefit sustaining mechanisms. The most common failings in unsuccessful AOTAswere the lack of a focused work program based on realistic objectives and deliverable outputs, andmechanisms to ensure maintenance of improvements after AOTA completion. The significantlyhigher achievements of the TAs accompanying loans as compared with stand-alone TAs highlightthe importance of some of these factors.AOTAs were not carefully planned to support a coherent capacity buildingprogram in critical sectors in the Government or targeted at key agencies. The 122 AOTAs weredispersed over 32 different recipient agencies. Many AOTAs with policy and organizationalreform objectives were implemented at levels of government too low to make strategiccontributions to overall government sector capacity building. AOTAs were not preceded by aprior diagnostic survey, resulting in incomplete solutions being conceived in the AOTAs. And yetthe AOTAs were often ambitious and underresourced. A rigorous methodological framework ora model was lacking in the development of AOTAs which resulted in design deficiencies. Inabout a third of the AOTAs, the primary determinant of their size was the President’s approvalceiling, not necessarily the requirements of AOTA inputs. There was a significant level of clientdissatisfaction with AOTA design and with the process of developing the terms of reference(TOR).Commitment at the appropriate levels of Government was not first established atthe identification and design stages. In some cases, recipient agencies used AOTA funds to dothings that they did not want to commit their own funds to, or they found convenient to be doneby outside sources. More often than not, counterparts were allocated by agencies on a part-timebasis with priority given to their regular work. In 76 percent of AOTAs evaluated, the consultantsproduced a product for an agency rather than assisting the agency to develop the competenciesto do the job for itself. But the sustainability of the benefits of the former was distinctly lowerthan the latter. Training was ineffective and did not have sustainability or impact because toofew people were trained and those trained were not trainers or senior management. TA budgetswere shoestring. Performance monitoring and supervision were weak and not participatory. In anumber of cases, the ceiling of $600,000 made TAs into short- term instruments to addressinstitutional strengthening tasks which are usually long term in their implementation.Recipient agency satisfaction with consultants' performance was high at 76percent. The reasons for non-satisfaction with the other 24 percent included (i) non-participatoryselection of consultants; (ii) consultants' lack of cultural sensitivity; (iii) consultants not involvingrecipient agency staff in decision-making; (iv) complex and unusable products prepared byconsultants; and (v) consultants' working out of their home office for significant periods of time.

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