Country Assistance Program Evaluation for the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam (1999)

Date: December 1999
Type: Evaluation Reports
Country:
Subject:
ADB administration and governance; Evaluation
Series: Country Assistance Program Evaluations

Description

Viet Nam's developmental priorities are embodied in the reform process that began before ADB resumed lending in October 1993. Under the Doi Moi, a program of economic renovation series, numerous policy reforms have been progressively implemented. The pace of economic reforms was initially rapid in the later part of the 1980s, in contrast with the slower pace of the 1990s reforms. Viet Nam's management of foreign assistance had been constrained by the high degree of formal centralization of decision making coupled with weak administrative capability, an opaque policy-making process, coordination problems between agencies, and a weak legal framework for managing foreign aid.

This evaluation identified major issues which includes ADB's response to problems of interagency coordination (with particular concentration on decentralized activities), the modality of poverty reduction projects in less endowed areas, and a systematic approach to capacity building, institutional strengthening, and conditionality setting.

Lessons

  • The country operational strategy and country assistance plans should be designed to provide operational guidance for making hard decisions on project identification and processing.
  • The absorptive capacity for external assistance in a transition economy needs to be thoroughly assessed and improved with assistance over an extended time period. 
  • Formulation of the operational strategy and the country assistance program should be focused and selective, and provide the basis for excluding as well as including specific areas of intervention.

Key recommendations

  • Project administration staff in the Viet Nam Resident Mission should be strengthened to lessen the problems of coordination with provincial authorities considering the shift towards greater decentralized responsibility, especially for poverty projects.
  • To complement staff increases, there should be more headquarters staff time during project processing and the quest for a sharper geographic focus for ADB operations.
  • Performance indicators should be identified in both country operational strategy and the country assistance plans as a basis for monitoring and evaluating ADB's program of assistance in Viet Nam.

Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Map
  • Introduction
  • Developmental Priorities and Strategies of Viet Nam
  • ADB Program
  • Implementation Performance
  • Conclusion
  • Appendixes