2018 Annual Evaluation Review: The Quality of Project Design and Preparation for Efficiency and Sustainability

The 2018 Annual Evaluation Review (AER) adds new perspectives to the development effectiveness discussion in two areas. First, it introduces a new section on ADB’s development results by distilling key findings from its high-level evaluations to analyze changes that have taken place due to ADB’s interventions, particularly achievements in the institution’s strategic agendas, drivers of growth, and country programs. Focusing on the delivery of results elevates the development effectiveness discussion to a higher plane, complementing the traditional discussion on ADB’s operational performance. In this respect, Independent Evaluation acknowledges ADB’s successes in promoting environmentally sustainable growth, regional cooperation and integration, and gender mainstreaming. At the same time, we also recognize the greater expectations from middle-income developing member countries, and the untapped potential of knowledge partnerships and credit enhancement products.

Second, the theme chapter of the 2018 AER takes a deep dive into improving efficiency and sustainability, two performance criteria in which sovereign operations have consistently underperformed. Recognizing that qualityat-entry matters, the 2018 AER examines design and preparation factors and how they influence project efficiency and sustainability. Undoubtedly, there have been improvements in these factors which, in turn, have had a positive influence on efficiency and sustainability. We document actions and measures taken by Management in its recent institutional reforms that have contributed to these results. And while we find this progress commendable, we acknowledge that still more work is needed to achieve the goals ADB has set.

Independent Evaluation emphasizes that delivering results is a critical element in ADB existence. As ADB crafts its Strategy 2030 in the coming months, we hope the 2018 AER contributes to this effort by highlighting lessons and making suggestions on how to enhance institutional performance and results.