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2012 Annual Evaluation Review

2012 Annual Evaluation Review

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The Independent Evaluation Department’s 2012 Annual Evaluation Review (AER) draws attention to the strategic agenda and operational performance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in light of several challenges facing Asia and the Pacific. Some of these problems, such as poverty, food insecurity and financial stress, are not new to the region. But others, notably climate change and rising inequality, are departures from the past. Taken together, they point to the need not only for more resources for development efforts but also for much greater effectiveness in the use of these resources.
This report addresses considerations about ADB both doing things right, be they in individual projects or country programs, and doing the right things, with respect to the directions taken in those projects or country programs. Project performance presents areas of strength and weakness. Project ratings in some fields such as transport continue to show success reflecting solid delivery of outputs. The main gap is in the achievement of development outcomes, with problems manifest in capacity development and the sustainability of results.
ADB has had an overriding concern for increasing selectivity and focus since 2006. The guidance to focus on core operational areas has funneled the aggregate of numerous decisions at the country and corporate levels in one direction. While the core areas represent a potentially rich menu, there has been an unmistakable shift towards a predominance of infrastructure, with five-sixths of total project financing going to transport, energy, and water in 2011. This review cautions that furthering ADB’s goals of inclusive and sustainable growth in the region calls for attention to other core and noncore areas as well. Even if ADB is not a primary lender in some of these areas, results on the ground can be enhanced by ensuring vital linkages among related aspects—by an effort to connect the dots with the help of partners.
An increasingly one-dimensional ADB will likely underperform on its broader goals, whereas one that is reasonably connected across related areas will likely deliver better on inclusive and sustainable development. ADB could shift in this respect, as the AER notes promising improvements of performance in agriculture, health and social protection. But there are worries in other areas key to the Millennium Development Goals, such as declining performance in education and water supply and sanitation, which need to be reversed.
This review stresses the need to be acutely cognizant about the uncertainties arising from exogenous shocks. Climate change, whose impacts will be excessively borne by the poor, threatens to derail development unless mitigation and adaptation are stepped up and mainstreamed. Financial shocks call for continued strengthening of country resilience.
The Independent Evaluation Department’s 2012 Annual Evaluation Review (AER) draws attention to the strategic agenda and operational performance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in light of several challenges facing Asia and the Pacific. Some of these problems, such as poverty, food insecurity and financial stress, are not new to the region. But others, notably climate change and rising inequality, are departures from the past. Taken together, they point to the need not only for more resources for development efforts but also for much greater effectiveness in the use of these resources.
This report addresses considerations about ADB both doing things right, be they in individual projects or country programs, and doing the right things, with respect to the directions taken in those projects or country programs. Project performance presents areas of strength and weakness. Project ratings in some fields such as transport continue to show success reflecting solid delivery of outputs. The main gap is in the achievement of development outcomes, with problems manifest in capacity development and the sustainability of results.
ADB has had an overriding concern for increasing selectivity and focus since 2006. The guidance to focus on core operational areas has funneled the aggregate of numerous decisions at the country and corporate levels in one direction. While the core areas represent a potentially rich menu, there has been an unmistakable shift towards a predominance of infrastructure, with five-sixths of total project financing going to transport, energy, and water in 2011. This review cautions that furthering ADB’s goals of inclusive and sustainable growth in the region calls for attention to other core and noncore areas as well. Even if ADB is not a primary lender in some of these areas, results on the ground can be enhanced by ensuring vital linkages among related aspects—by an effort to connect the dots with the help of partners.
An increasingly one-dimensional ADB will likely underperform on its broader goals, whereas one that is reasonably connected across related areas will likely deliver better on inclusive and sustainable development. ADB could shift in this respect, as the AER notes promising improvements of performance in agriculture, health and social protection. But there are worries in other areas key to the Millennium Development Goals, such as declining performance in education and water supply and sanitation, which need to be reversed.
This review stresses the need to be acutely cognizant about the uncertainties arising from exogenous shocks. Climate change, whose impacts will be excessively borne by the poor, threatens to derail development unless mitigation and adaptation are stepped up and mainstreamed. Financial shocks call for continued strengthening of country resilience.

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10/06/2013

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AnnualEvaluationReview
2012
Evaluation
Independent
 
 
Reference Number: RPE:OTH 2012-07
Annual Report
May 2012
2012 Annual Evaluation Review
 
 
NOTE
In this report, “$” refers to US dollars
Director General
V. Thomas, Independent Evaluation Department (IED)
Director
W. Kolkma, Independent Evaluation Division 1, IED
Team leader
W. Kolkma, Director, IED
Team members
N. Bestari, Advisor, Office of the Director General, IED
 
A. Brubaker, Evaluation Specialist, IEDJ. Tubadeza, Evaluation Specialist, IEDR. Lumain, Senior Evaluation Officer, IEDN. Gamo, Senior Evaluation Officer, IEDA. Morales, Evaluation Officer, IEDC. J. Mongcopa, Associate Knowledge ManagementAdministrator, IEDG. Castillo, Senior Evaluation Assistant, IEDThe guidelines formally adopted by the Independent Evaluation Department onavoiding conflict of interest in its independent evaluations were observed in thepreparation of this report. To the knowledge of the management of IndependentEvaluation Department, there were no conflicts of interest of the persons preparing,reviewing, or approving this report.In preparing any evaluation report, or by making any designation of or reference to aparticular territory or geographic area in this document, the Independent EvaluationDepartment does not intend to make any judgment as to the legal or other status ofany territory or area.

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