Asian Development Bank: 2011 Annual Evaluation Review

Available at ADB website

Background

This report summarizes the key findings and lessons of evaluation studies carried out in 2010, and provides trends in the success rates of ADB operations. It also reviews the recommendations from evaluation reports and the status of actions taken by ADB Management in response to these recommendations. The report also reviews the work program accomplishments of IED in 2010.

Key Findings and Issues

Declining performance in terms of success rates. According to the past data, success rates have not reached 80%, although this is ADB’s corporate target for 2012. Performance began to decline in approval year 2000 after peaking at over 70%. Although the declining trend is supported by a limited sample size, the project and program performance report (PPR) system indicates that this trend will continue unless significant corrective measures are taken. Based on the new PPR system, about 25% of ongoing projects are facing implementation challenges and are at risk of not meeting their objectives (which confirms IED’s previous findings that portfolio performance ratings were overrated in PPRs)-an important issue that needs to be addressed.
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Do we need a Minimum Level of Failure (MLF)?

This is the title of a new posting on the Rick on the Road blog, the editorial arm of Monitoring and Evaluation NEWS. It argues that improving aid effectiveness by identifying and culling out the worst performers is a different and possibly more appropriate strategy than identifying and replicating the best performers. This argument ties directly into the debate about RCTs, which are considered by some as the best means for improving aid effectiveness.

PS 22 October: Kirstin Hinds of the DFID Evaluation Department has pointed out (in a reply to my original blog posting) that DFID has published a more recent independent review of project completion reports (covering 2005-2008) which may be of interest.

Other recent postings on the Rick on the Road blog include:

A full list of all editorial posts is available here.