Country Assistance Program Evaluation for Bangladesh (2009) | Asian Development Bank

Country Assistance Program Evaluation for Bangladesh (2009)

Evaluation Document | 31 October 2009

This country assistance program evaluation is the second for Bangladesh, evaluating ADB's support for Bangladesh from 1999 to 2008, focusing on the 2005 country strategy, and covering 24 completed and 37 ongoing projects and programs.

Although Bangladesh is one of the world's poorest countries, more robust economic growth in recent years has helped it reduce poverty significantly, knocking about 10 percentage points off its poverty rate in the 10 years from 1999, when about half of the country was poor.

ADB and other development institutions have played a role in this achievement - Bangladesh is one of the world's largest recipients of official development assistance - financing about half of the country's annual development spending. From 1973 through the end of 2008, ADB alone approved 183 loans totaling $10 billion for 163 projects and programs in the country. At the end of 2008, ADB's portfolio of active loans totaled $3.7 billion, financing 37 projects and programs in over 10 sectors.

This study assesses the performance of ADB country strategies and assistance programs to Bangladesh from 1999 to 2008, focusing on the 2005 country strategy, and covering 24 completed and 37 ongoing projects and programs. It updates Bangladesh's first country assistance evaluation in 2003, which covered ADB support from 1986 to 2001.

Overall, ADB's program in Bangladesh is assessed as successful; ADB's strategic positioning was highly relevant to the country's needs, government priorities, and ADB's own strategies. The study found that ADB contributed modestly to development results in the country, but has significant potential to contribute further.

Contents 

  • Introduction
  • Country Context
  • ADB's Country Strategies and Programs
  • Top-down Assessment
  • Bottom-up Assessment
  • Overall Assessment, Findings, Lessons, and Recommendations

Note on IED's Country Evaluations and Validations

Using its 2015 Guidelines for the Preparation of Country Assistance Program Evaluations and Country Partnership Strategy Final Review Validations, the Independent Evaluation Department (IED) intends to provide an objective and informed judgement of the performance and results of country partnership strategies (CPSs), particularly in terms of their relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and development impacts.

In ascertaining relevance, IED considers not only the alignment of the program with country needs and government objectives, but also cross-sector CPS objectives, appropriateness of modalities and sector program designs, and sufficiency of donor coordination.

The effectiveness of a country program in delivering results is also an important aspect of an IED evaluation. Primary focus is on the achievement of the outcomes and outputs of ADB interventions (and the likelihood of achievement if the program is still ongoing), as worded in CPSs and their results frameworks. These include knowledge products and institutional development efforts.

Performance and results are likewise judged from an efficiency perspective, that is, whether the program was delivered in a cost-effective and timely manner, and generated value for money. It also considers the capacity of executing agencies that may contribute to start up and implementation delays, and cost overruns.

Another critical element of IED's evaluation is the likely sustainability of results over the medium term, technically, financially, environmentally, socially, politically, and institutionally. Further, IED looks at how results led to development impacts. Specifically, whether ADB contributed to achieving the CPS objectives, directly through its sector programs and implementing cross-cutting agenda(s) across various modalities in different sectors and by various development partners.

IED gives special importance to cross-cutting objectives by considering how the cross-sectoral and thematic objectives of the CPS are articulated in the results framework and provided with appropriate indicators and targets; and how the program achieved the cross-sector thematic results. Equal weights are given to the achievement of sector and cross-cutting objectives in the relevance and development impact assessments, in both country assistance program evaluations (CAPEs) and CPS final review validations (CPSFRVs). This aligns with ADB's increasing emphasis on achieving corporate strategic priorities.

In preparing its country evaluations and validations, IED conducts document reviews, consults with concerned departments, staff, governments and other stakeholders, and undertakes evaluation missions. IED has put in place a quality assurance system to ensure consistent application of its 2015 guidelines. In CPSFRVs, IED's primary focus is to validate the evidence presented in the CPS Final Review.