2experience in agricultural and rural development projects showed discouraging results. This hasbeen attributed to, among other things, EAs' lack of appreciation of the objectives, scope, andoutputs, as well as of the various advantages of BME. A sense of ownership was lacking becauseEAs generally regarded BME as a requirement more for the Bank's own purposes rather than inrelation to their needs. There was often a lack of congruence between the BME design of Bank-assisted projects and local capability available for BME implementation. The Bank's current BMEguidelines do not seem to consistently take into account the information needs of potential users,cost effectiveness, and resource constraints of the EAs. Extensive data collection has beenemphasized, leading to unnecessarily complex and high-cost BME systems with less attentionpaid to providing basic information needs.4. Given above, a regional technical assistance (RETA No. 5636) for Evaluation of Bank Assistance to Developing Member Countries for Benefit Monitoring and Evaluation wasapproved in June 1995
to undertake a comprehensive review and assessment of BME in Bankprojects to identify the underlying reasons for its ineffectiveness, distill lessons from pastexperience, and recommend remedial measures to strengthen the Bank's support for BMEactivities in DMCs. The review of BME activities covers five DMCs, namely, Bangladesh,Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, and Sri Lanka (RETA countries). These countries were selectedbecause of a large number of ongoing and completed projects and sizeable future programs inthe agriculture and social sectors in these countries. Appendix 1 provides profiles of the projectscovered in the RETA. As part of the RETA exercise, country reports were prepared for the fiveRETA countries and two regional workshops were carried out in 1996 by the Bank for selectedDMC representatives and Bank staff. The first workshop reviewed the findings andrecommendations resulting from five country reports and reconfirmed the importance of establishing a system to monitor the development impact of projects and programs as amanagement tool to ensure efficiency in project implementation and support feedback into thedesign of new initiatives. The second workshop focused on development management systemwhich is of particular importance in the context of increased demand on multilateral institutions todemonstrate visible improvements in development results.
5. This Study was carried out under the above RETA. It seeks to identify factorsaffecting achievements and failures in conducting BME. Based on the experience gained withBME and the evolution of its concept over the past 15 years, the Study identifies areas for conceptual and practical improvements and recommends measures to improve the efficiency andeffectiveness of monitoring and evaluation of project performance.
6. The initial approach in carrying out the Study entailed a desk review and analysisof 128 Bank loan and 80 TA
projects approved during 1982-1994 in the agriculture, education,
Evaluation of Bank Assistance to Developing Member Countries for Benefit Monitoring and Evaluation
, for $450,000.00, approved on 22 June 1995.
The first workshop was attended by officials from nine DMCs and the second by officials from seven DMCs.Both workshops were attended by Bank staff from PEO, Projects and Programs Departments, and other relevant offices.
The number of stand-alone TAs with BME component totalled 43, while there were 37 TAs for BME provided inconjunction with loans.