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Results of Program Evaluation Questionnaire

ADB's Business Opportunity Fair (16–17 November 2009)

SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS:
The submission of the post-event questionnaire was very low at only 36 out of a total 197 actual
participants, or an 18% response rate. The country representation of the feedback received, however,
was better with 16 countries out of a total 24 registered, or a 67% response rate.

The bulk of responses came from consultants and contractors (95%), and the balance from a
manufacturer, and a government representative.

One half of respondents (50%) rated the overall conduct of the BO Fair as GOOD, and some 47% rated it
as EXCELLENT. Only one respondent provided a SATISFACTORY rating. No one gave a POOR rating.

The sessions concerning the ADB Procurement System were MOST LIKED by 71% of respondents,
followed closely by the panel discussions on Sector Opportunities which were also MOST LIKED by 66%
of respondents. This implied that the LEAST LIKED sessions were those in Cofinancing and Private Sector
Operations, a situation perhaps explainable by the general profile of participants dominated by
consultants, which therefore made these two topics less relevant at this stage to the majority of the
Fair’s audience.

The majority of respondents (27%) identified “Recruitment of Consultants” as the area where their
knowledge increased the most. This was followed by “How to Locate Business Opportunities” with 23%,
“How to Win ADB Contracts” with 16%, then “Procurement of Goods & Services” with 13%.

There seemed to be a keen interest to see the event repeated at regular intervals, and perhaps in
different country venues. As with any event with serious professional participation, a wealth of
productive observations and suggestions were received ranging from improved access to
sector/geographic experts, more interactive opportunities both with ADB staff/officers and
peers/participants, advance availability of conference materials and related information, the inclusion of
additional topics of relevance, and further development of the ADB’s BO Fair webpage, among others.

More detailed analyses of the participants’ responses to the various questions can be found in the
succeeding pages. The completed questionnaires are on file.
BO Fair Questionnaire Evaluation

Despite repeated reminders to participants during the 2-day event, the submission of the post-event
questionnaire was very low at only 36 out of a total 197 actual participants, or an 18% response rate.

The country representation of the feedback received, however, was better with 16 countries out of a
total 24 registered, or a 67% response rate. More important is that the responses received were almost
equally halved between ADB’s developing member countries or DMCs (i.e. Bangladesh, China, India,
Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Uzbekistan and Vietnam) and the more developed economies (i.e.
Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, and the USA).

Responses by Country Category

DMCs
Developed 47%
Economies
53%

Mirroring the early observation about the profile of participants, the bulk of responses came from
consultants and contractors (95%), a manufacturer, and a government representative.

Participant Profile
Manufacturer
Other
2%
3%
Contractor
15%

Consultant
80%

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BO Fair Questionnaire Evaluation

Overall Rating of Event


Poor
0%
Satisfactory
3%

Excellent
47%
Good
50%

One half of respondents (50%) rated the overall conduct of the BO Fair as GOOD, and some 47% rated it
as EXCELLENT. Only one respondent provided a SATISFACTORY rating. No one gave a POOR rating.
Following is a list of the comments received.

1. “Excellent, well run, easy to follow conference.”


2. “A valuable chance to understand the operations of ADB and to get access to plentiful
information useful for our business. I’m quite honored and grateful for this opportunity.”
3. “Venue, food, AV --- all excellent.”
4. “Thank you. I am impressed overall with the commitment and desire to assist.”
5. “Arrangements excellent.”
6. “The Fair was a good venue to know more about ADB. Well done!”
7. “Well organized! All presentations were clear and focused and provided sufficient time for
Q&A. Congratulations!”
8. “Overall the Fair is a welcome development as it allows us to better appreciate ADB’s plans,
processes and objectives.”
9. “You already provided excellent setup & arrangements; already very helpful providing access to
individuals in the Bank for me.”
10. “Comprehensive in its coverage.”
11. “This event is really productive. That’s best shortcut for a consulting firm to get general picture
of next few years’ strategy. Thanks for your joint efforts on the fair preparation &
implementation.”

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BO Fair Questionnaire Evaluation

Session Preferences
Sector Opport
Cofinancing
Private Sector
ADB Procurement
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

ADB Procurement Private Sector Cofinancing Sector Opport


Most Liked 26 8 4 24
Least Liked 4 4 7 6
No Comment 6 23 24 6

From a very simplistic perspective, the sessions about the ADB Procurement System were MOST LIKED
by 71% of respondents, followed closely by the panel discussions on Sector Opportunities which were
also MOST LIKED by 66% of respondents. This implied that the LEAST LIKED sessions were those in
Cofinancing and Private Sector Operations, a situation perhaps explainable by the general profile of
participants dominated by consultants, which therefore made these two topics less relevant at this
stage to the majority of the Fair’s audience. This is further supported by the high number of
respondents who provided NO COMMENT on the topics Cofinancing and Private Sector Operations.

But while the responses to the direct question “Which sessions were least liked?” indeed revealed
Cofinancing Operations as the least popular topic, the sessions on Sector Opportunities curiously
received the second highest number of responses. Reasons identified by participants for this include:
1. “Complicated information with many strands to follow”
2. “repetition from earlier sessions; not enough discussion on specific skills required”
3. “opportunities by sector should have been in more detail”

For the MOST LIKED sessions, the following reasons were provided by participants:
1. “this was most relevant and gave an opportunity to put faces to names”
2. “clear presentation; easy to follow” (referring to ADB Procurement)
3. “gave a clear picture of business opportunities”
4. “good background/overview for new entrants with limited experience”
5. “these sessions (ADB Procurement & Sector Opportunities) helped me meet my prime
objective”
6. “well documented and explained”
7. “more relevant to my firm / organization’s interest”
8. “provided a better understanding of the procurement process / criteria for selection”
9. “good overview of process”
10. “clear and comprehensive in coverage”
11. “sector opportunities got down to the nuts and bolts”
12. “these sessions helped us to reiterate the knowledge we had, and gave us the opportunity
to discuss some details with relevant staff”

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BO Fair Questionnaire Evaluation

Areas Where Participant Knowledge Increased


Procurement of
Goods & Services
13%
How to Find
Business Opps
23%

Recruitment of
How to Win ADB
Consultants
Contracts
27%
16%

Cofinancing Ops Private Sector Ops


9% 12%

The majority of respondents (27%) identified “Recruitment of Consultants” as the area where their
knowledge increased the most. This was followed by “How to Locate Business Opportunities” with 23%,
“How to Win ADB Contracts” with 16%, then “Procurement of Goods & Services” with 13%.

Consistent with earlier feedback about least liked sessions, “Private Sector Operations” and “Cofinancing
Operations” were again the areas where participant knowledge increased the least. Once again, this
seems to be more a reflection of relatively low levels of interest and relevance among participants in
these two areas, rather than a reflection of the substance or manner of presentations.

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BO Fair Questionnaire Evaluation

Suggested Areas of Improvement / Additional Topics for the Future:


Even during the organizational planning and preparatory stages of the BO Fair, the BOF Team had
already been faced by known constraints, challenges, and difficulties involving availability of, and
accessibility to, ADB sector and geographic specialists; time limitations for sector/geographic panel
discussions; unique demands of networking logistics; and timeliness of the availability/submission of
presentations and handouts. Apparently, the manifestation of these same constraints and challenges
were noticed by some participants as reflected in their comments which could be summarized in the
following statements:
1. Increase availability of, and one-on-one interaction with, named/pre-identified
sector/geographic experts;
2. More consistency in presentation and handout content;
3. Availability of handouts prior to the event for more productive face-to-face meetings;
4. Allow more time for interactive presentations/Q&A and one-on-one meetings with sector
experts who can provide value-added information about consultants’ submissions of EOIs and
proposals;
5. Availability of participants’ information list prior to the event to facilitate inter-participant
networking (mention of EU experience where participants could arrange to meet a potential
partner or alliance);
6. Availability of softcopies of conference materials, handouts, and photos, in CD or other media,
even if for sale;
7. Restructure/reorganize the webpage;
8. More roundtable-type discussions
9. Make available a question box on Day 1, and then a “response session” from the question box
on Day 2;
10. Improve communication between ADB project managers and consultancy firms;
11. Increased targeted networking outside of the social format e.g. more free time with project
officers.

In addition, the following topics were suggested:


1. More information on internal management and selection;
2. Include Rural Sector i.e. agriculture, water resources management, IEMS;
3. Consider a workshop session on “Secrets of Quality Proposals”;
4. Better explanation of ADB oversight and approval of procurement implementation by client
nations/EAs;
5. Present some case studies to include how a program evolves from conception to operation and
completion, including procurement;
6. Topics that would provide a panoramic view/understanding of the roles of all stakeholders
involved in ADB projects;
7. Resident mission operations;
8. Country specific issues relating to procurement;

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BO Fair Questionnaire Evaluation

9. PPPs and CDM (clean development mechanism);


10. Problem areas or stumbling blocks for consultants;
11. Presentation on Independent Project Evaluation;
12. Timelines for evaluation of proposals;
13. More details and sector discussions for Energy and Water projects for Private Sector Operations;
14. Basis of consultants’ rates, and discussion of quota system;
15. More details about ADB strategy so consultants can plan strategically.

Lastly, the following observations and suggestions were made:


1. “The absence of any Japanese firms was very evident. I was told by an ADB staff that they get
preferential treatment and their money is tied in spite of stated ADB policy to the contrary. ADB
needs to clarify procurement and tied money (i.e. cofinancing by JBIC, etc.)”;
2. Allocate more time to presentation and training PRIOR to the individual meetings and
networking aspects of the Fair;
3. Conduct the Fair in regular intervals e.g. every 6 months or every year; and consider other
country venues;
4. The issue of geographical distribution of consulting firms should be addressed, in order to
provide an opportunity for Central Asia firms to compete;
5. Cocktail networking reception was good, but not enough senior ADB staff present;
6. More networking and/or information on who’s who in ADB;
7. Make available a table to leave business cards and company brochures;
8. Q&A must follow EVERY session;
9. De-briefings be given higher priority after contract signing;
10. Ask specialists of various departments to be present to answer specific queries;
11. Provision of participant photos so participants can recall new contacts made;
12. Provide lunch.

END OF REPORT

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